superman #45

When it comes to touching Superman tales, Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi nail it every single time. As the duo’s run ends with SUPERMAN #45, I cannot help but look back on some of their most poignant stories. From a sentimental field trip in SUPERMAN #39 to Clark’s most recent adventure with Bizarro, the two have truly captured the ethos of Superman.

So, it’s no surprise that Gleason and Tomasi’s run would come to a close on a tender note. SUPERMAN #45 is very much about family and the inevitable challenges it will face, and hopefully overcome, together.

Without further ado, here’s how SUPERMAN #45 fares as the conclusion of a consistently solid run.

superman #45
SUPERMAN #45 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

To Change or Not to Change

After an era in the town of Hamilton, the Kents have decided to make a change and move into a new home. Though his parents are optimistic about the change, Jon initially expresses a great deal of grief. He doesn’t understand the need to move since he assumed his family was content with their old home.

His father eventually takes him aside to explain that change doesn’t necessarily signify discontent. Rather, it marks a new beginning. Change allows people to explore new facets of themselves, in addition to the world around them.

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Of course, it’s no coincidence that the thematic elements of SUPERMAN #45 coincide with the conclusion of Gleason and Tomasi’s run. In the issue, you witness varying perspectives of the same form of change. Jon is initially resentful and angry, but he eventually expresses understanding and acceptance. Lois, for the most part, remains calm and collected until she experiences an overwhelming sense of nostalgia.

Thus, the writers establish the idea that a single, resounding moment of change doesn’t have to impact every aspect of one’s life. However, a significant change can still catalyze an array of indecipherable emotions, which require time to interpret.

As a result, Gleason and Tomasi bring another authentic, identifiable tale to the table through SUPERMAN #45. It’s an undoubtedly human story that traverses one of life’s inevitable experiences. Ultimately, we come to understand that though big changes must occur throughout a lifetime, those changes don’t necessarily have to alter what we know to be true or the things that matter most to us.

superman #45
SUPERMAN #45 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #45

In regard to this issue’s artwork, Gleason and colorist Stephen Downer truly give SUPERMAN #45 their all. Downer’s palette is rich and exudes positivity throughout each and every panel. Additionally, Gleason’s illustrations maintain cohesiveness and consistency throughout the piece.

Personally, my favorite sequences revolve around Gleason and Downer’s depiction of Lois Lane. Sure, the focus of SUPERMAN #45 centralizes on Jon and his relationship with his father, but Lois is arguably the most significant emotional tether of this installment.

On one page, we see Lois mopping an empty living room by herself. She’s alone, cleaning up a place she used to call home. In that moment of realization, she becomes overwhelmed by memories of the past. As a result, Lois begins to cry.

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The aspect that makes this particular sequence so powerful isn’t only the omission of dialogue but the simplicity of the sequence’s imagery. Downer’s palette is neutral, further establishing the emptiness of the space Lois is in. Interestingly though, this poignant moment of sadness is juxtaposed by the issue’s final page, which also primarily features Lois. She reenters the living room, now abundant with furniture and family. The sad, nostalgic feelings she was previously experiencing are now replaced by optimism, as she comes across a piece of her old home: the Kent family mailbox.

Thus, Gleason and Downer perfectly capture the thematic elements of the narrative through their artistry. Nostalgia is an inevitable feeling everyone will experience at some point in their lives. It’s something that can be rooted in joy or grief. SUPERMAN #45’s exemplifies those many facets of nostalgia in its imagery without the need of words.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #45 is a fitting conclusion to a consistent run from Gleason and Tomasi. As a result, there’s no question that their interpretation of Superman will be missed by readers. With this, however, it’s important to remember that refreshing, new visions of the iconic DC superhero are still on the horizon.

So, though this take on Superman is coming to a close, there’s still an infinite number of stories that have yet to be told!

SUPERMAN #45 by Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi, & Stephen Downer
SUPERMAN #45 serves as a refreshing end to a solid run from a talented team of writers and artists who have depicted their own, genuine interpretation of the Superman character.
85 %
a lovely conclusion
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