Previously in SUPERMAN, our titular hero embarked on a rescue mission with his son, Jon. After discovering that the planet Galymayne was facing imminent destruction, the father and son duo decided to go and save its citizens. Surprisingly, the planet’s High Priest assured them that Galymayne’s citizens didn’t want to be saved as they entrusted their lives to the will of their god, Dhermet. Unsurprisingly, Superman didn’t react well to this assertion and decided to take matters into his own hands. So, what happens when SUPERMAN #41 and son take on the perceived will of a god? Well, find out below!

superman #41
SUPERMAN #41 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The End Is Only The Beginning

After a confrontation between Superman and the High Priest’s forces, a Galymayne citizen named Klain swooped in to rescue Superman and Jon. SUPERMAN #41 kicks off right where the previous issue left off. Klain explains that he has always been a person of science, along with his wife. Unfortunately, she died at the hands of Galymayne’s religious zealots. As a result, Klain is making every effort to ensure the safety of he and his wife’s offspring.

Superman, Jon, and Klain realize that the planet is beyond saving. However, Klain has known this for some time as he has already selected a planet in which his offspring can survive. Before the squad can relocate though, the High Priest and his forces locate them. Jon escapes with the eggs of Klain’s spawn while Superman attempts to fight off the horde. Sadly though, Klain dies in the battle.

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There’s Always Hope

The aspect that makes SUPERMAN #41 an improvement upon its predecessor is writer James Robinson’s exploration of complex themes. Despite Klain’s admiration for science, he still believes in an afterlife in which he will reunite with his wife. This coexistence of beliefs actually bewilders Superman. However, Klain goes on to say that Superman’s actions instilled great hope in him, allowing him to die believing in the future of his children. So, despite the fact that Galymayne meets its demise and Klain meets his end, this issue maintains hope. Legacies remain, and the cause Klain fights for ultimately overcomes.

I enjoyed the deeper character development of Klain in SUPERMAN #41. I also liked how his characterization involved the exposure of new facets of Superman’s character. Superman and Jon have explored a new area in their relationship. This is emphasized at the end of the issue through their touching discussion on belief and Superman’s perception of the existence of God. So, I hope this exploration persists into the future of this series.

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SUPERMAN #41 page 7. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues Of SUPERMAN #41

Like the narrative, SUPERMAN #41’s artwork is a giant improvement upon its predecessor. Colorist Dinei Ribeiro beautifully lays out the world of Galymayne. Every panel features a gorgeous balance in colors, particularly the sequence where Galymayne explodes. As a result, Jon’s words regarding the beauty of Galymayne’s destructing reign true.

Artist Ed Benes does an excellent job throughout this piece. I especially love Superman’s appearance. Benes evokes a gentle Superman in his illustrations, which is fitting considering the context of SUPERMAN #41. With this, I did find that some of the issue’s panels were a little too busy.

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I believe these moments of obscurity were present to provide an ominous sense to the issue. However, this piece didn’t necessarily need that. Sure, the events of SUPERMAN #41 are tragic, but the overall theme is its hopefulness in the face of tragedy. This is why I find the coloring to be so perfect. It juxtaposes the darkness of the story with the light of hope that Klain, Superman, and Jon exude. So, overall, the artwork of this issue goes above and beyond the surface.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #41 is a wonderfully poignant issue that sheds light on the impact of sacrifice and faith. The narrative and artwork perfectly juxtapose each other to establish a memorable piece. So, if you didn’t totally enjoy the previous issue, take the time to check this one out. You won’t want to miss it!

SUPERMAN #41 by James Robinson, Ed Benes, & Dinei Ribeiro
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Characterization
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Summary
SUPERMAN #41 challenges its narrative with unexpected events and complex themes that make the issue a work worth remembering.
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