Beware; spoilers for SUPERMAN #39 abound!

SUPERMAN #39 is a delightful, entertaining issue that features the Justice League being heroes in a refreshing way. Thanks to writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, readers will enjoy a tale that allows them to revisit their own childhood connections to superheroes. So, how did this issue fare? Find out, right here!

superman #39
SUPERMAN #39 page 9 & 10. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

A Field Trip to Remember

SUPERMAN #39 kicks off with a battle between Superman and the Demolition Team. This fight is a great way to start the issue. Firstly, it includes some awesome, entertaining action sequences. With this though, perhaps the most entertaining aspect of this sequence is Superman’s humor. He’s witty and continuously fires off one-liners at his opponents while giving off a great sense of confidence. It’s awesome to see Tomasi and Gleason provide this light-hearted characterization of the series’ titular hero.

The issue then segues into its central plot. Superman decides to take a group of hospitalized children, who witnessed his recent battle, on the trip of a lifetime. With the help of Green Lantern, Superman takes the group to the Watchtower to meet the rest of the Justice League. Superman then engages them with a variety of games and activities that are, literally, over the Moon. One activity includes a challenge to get Batman to smile, and one lucky kid accomplishes that colossal task.

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So, the appeal of SUPERMAN #39 lies in its heart. The issue encapsulates a genuine, childlike awe of superheroes. Because of that, there’s a rich touch of nostalgia throughout the piece. It also presents a unique view of heroism that can often be pushed aside in comics. Qualities such as bravery and fearlessness certainly contribute to being a hero. However, the capacity to be empathetic and selfless are equally important. This work embodies those characteristics and renders the iconic heroes we have revered from our childhood even more admirable.

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SUPERMAN #39 page 14. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #39

In regard to the issue’s artwork, I absolutely love the cover art. It has the nature of SUPERMAN #39 and adds an extra wistful touch. With this, colorist Gabriel Eltaeb does a great job in this entry. His palette is bright and full of energy. So, his work matches the dynamic nature brought on by the children in the issue. I think his best work in this issue lies in his coloring of the Justice League. The energy in their image augments the liveliness of the overall piece.

How Superheroes Brought Me Back to Life

In regard to the drawings themselves, I find Superman’s look to be a bit odd, especially his facial features. Despite this, I enjoy pretty much all other aspects of SUPERMAN #39’s visuals. My favorite panel from artist Barry Kitson is the final page. It’s a simple image. Superman and the children gaze at Earth from the Moon. Firstly, these panels capture the joy of the children themselves in their expressions. Secondly, it’s simply a moving image. These children are unfortunately spending their youth in a hospital. However, for this single moment, they get to be kids. They get to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the world, and the final page perfectly captures that.

superman #39
SUPERMAN #39 page 19. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #39 is wildly different from the last issue. It’s lighter and takes on a distinct tale. As a result, this issue might not be what readers are expecting. Hopefully, they will still sit back and take in the refreshing magic of SUPERMAN #39, because it is definitely out of this world.

SUPERMAN #39 BY Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Barry Kitson, & Gabriel Eltaeb
Art 8
Characterization 9
Plot 9.5
SUPERMAN #39 is a fulfillment of childhood nostalgia that presents itself as a lovely tale. As a result, readers will enjoy a refreshing issue that is light in tone and high in entertainment.
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