Beware: spoilers for SUPERMAN #38 abound! 

From writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason come a thrilling stand-off between the Teen Titans and the Titans of Tomorrow. As the present and future collide, new challenges arise for our heroes. The question is though, is the future set, or can it be changed? So, how does SUPERMAN #38 fare as an entry into this crossover series? Find out, right here!

superman #38
SUPERMAN #38 page 8. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A Tale of Two Sides

SUPERMAN #38 begins with Aqualad and his fellow Titans searching for Superboy and Robin. Once the Titans locate the two, a fight ensues. It’s quite an entertaining sequence, filled with humorous quips from Robin. Eventually, though, the brawl dissolves. Starfire, Aqualad, and Kid Flash agree that they don’t want to hand Superboy over to Savior, formerly known as the Batman of Tomorrow, also formerly known as Tim Drake.

Savior wishes to destroy Superboy to prevent him from catalyzing a future disaster that will result in the deaths of millions. Problematically, not every member of the Teen Titans totally disagrees with Savior. Beast Boy and Raven are on the hunt for Superboy with every intention of capturing and containing him from the rest of the world.

The Struggle In Establishing The Modern Superman

In the meantime, the present day Titans transfer Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude in an effort to remain hidden from Savior. Suddenly, Superboy discovers that Savior has trapped Superman in red kryptonite. In a burst of raw power, Superboy releases his father from his entrapment, leaving Superboy in a strange trance.

Now the events of SUPERMAN #38 begin to escalate. The Titans of Tomorrow arrive at the Fortress of Solitude along with Raven, Beast Boy, and Savior. However, everyone’s motives shift. They come together to aid Superboy in containing his power. Finally, one individual succeeds in containing Superboy’s power, resulting in the ultimate sacrifice of that individual.

So, though the issue may feel one-dimensional at times due to an overall lack of focus on character development, it’s undeniably an entertaining piece. With this, its final pages provide some much-needed characterization to its primary characters. Thus, overall, SUPERMAN #38 is a worthy, engaging conclusion to the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” story arc.

superman #38
SUPERMAN #38 page 15. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #38

The stand-out aspect of this issue’s artwork lies in the contribution of colorist Gabe Eltaeb. Though SUPERMAN #38 maintains various beautiful panels, perhaps the most prominent are the final pages. Eltaeb incorporates a fantastic balance of colors that accentuate Superboy’s out-of-control solar flare. Additionally, the final page exemplifies a gorgeous convergence between past and present events of the DC Universe.

In regard to the illustrations by penciller Sergio Davila, they can be inconsistent at times. I’m personally not a huge fan of this depiction of Superboy and Robin. They appear particularly distinct from the other, older characters in SUPERMAN #38. As a result, I feel as though the general portrayals are a little disjointed.

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With this, the presentation of the action sequences come across as clunky in various instances, particularly when paired with the lettering. Overall though, this issue’s pros outweigh its cons. As a result, for the most part, its imagery maintains some excellent sequences that parallel the narrative perfectly.

What Lies Beyond

Fans of this Superman series thus far will enjoy SUPERMAN #38. It has enough thrills and battles to maintain and satisfy one’s attention. With this, the work is a great conclusion to its ongoing story arc. It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this issue’s final sequences. It appears as though the future is in fact malleable. If that’s so, then how many times can one recreate the future without serious consequences ensuing? Perhaps this question will be addressed in the next few entries of SUPERMAN!

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SUPERMAN #38 by Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi, Sergio Davila, & Gabe Eltaeb
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though SUPERMAN #38 has its faults, it's an engaging installment that fans of the series will certainly enjoy.
78 %
A worthy finale
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