With Krypto presumed dead at the hands of the Eradicator, the final page of SUPERMAN #3 showed a Jonathan Kent who had had enough. With his face burning with fury, his eyes ablaze with heat vision, and tears of grief pouring down his cheeks, this image got the blood pumping for SUPERMAN #4. Was Jonathan going to let rip? Would he let anger take over and aim all that pain at the Eradicator?

Superman

In a word, no. SUPERMAN #4 opens up with Clark once again asking Lois to protect their son while he takes on the Eradicator. In the background we can see Jonathan expressing concern for his dad. It’s disappointing that SUPERMAN #3’s cliffhanger went nowhere, so the issue almost got off to a bad start. I say almost because within two pages we get to witness a glorious piece of action (and a wonderful two page spread) as Jonathan takes up the mantle of the house of El, joining his father in delivering one hell of a punch to the Eradicator. This moment is full of power and strength, executed with some gorgeous art by Patrick Gleason. Mick Gray’s inks also add a great dynamic to the piece.

READ: Catch up on SUPERMAN with our review of #3!

Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason write a very weighty issue, with a lot of information to take in. Fortunately, it never feels over-stuffed. Due to some confident panelling, bright engaging colors, and  lettering that adds great pacing to the dialogue, SUPERMAN #4 packs an emotional punch. Father and son take on the Eradicator, and not all is at it seems. There is huge emotional depth here, carried by a Man of Steel who is a concerned father, a hopeful hero, and a grieving son.

Superman

Not that this comic doesn’t have some issues. There are some panels that feel over-inked, looking like big blotches of black on the page. In certain panels, character expressions suffer from lack of detail because the artist is focusing on something happening in the foreground. But these can be easily overlooked when the storytelling is exceptionally strong. Tomasi and Gleason are writing and drawing a very human, very hopeful Superman. He is someone who can be inspirational without it sounding saccharine sweet.

READ: Need more Superman in your life? Check out our essential Superman reading list!

Packed full of color, inspiring moments, and tear-inducing sequences, SUPERMAN #4 is an emotionally riveting issue in a story arc that continues to deliver month after month.

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