Lois Lane decides the Kent family deserve a break so she buys an RV to take them on a road trip, stopping at various spots important to the United States of America.
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Artists: Scott Godlewski
Colourist: Gabe Eltaeb
I really don’t know what I think of this one.
On one hand I think educational comics are great, I think it’s a great way to teach people of all ages. I really miss Flash Facts and the likes. But, the problem most people have with educational comics is that they are too educational, forgetting to be a comic book. The more I think about this issue the more I reckon it falls into the same trap.
It was really surprising to have an issue of Superman like this. Tomasi and Gleason are better writers than this. There are lines of dialogue that feel like they were written by a teenager in his creative writing assignment. While I agree with much of the sentiments within the issue, having lines about making movies about war heroes over criminals comes across like the writers’ opinion, not Lois Lane.
I also have to point out that I’m not an American. So in a sense I learned a lot from this issue since I have no knowledge of American History. But at the same time a Superman comic isn’t where I wanted to learn about these things.
There’s a scene where a disabled veteran is kicked out a restaurant until Superman intervenes. It’s a nice scene that’s very Superman but it happens so quickly it feels weird. The idea that this character would be refused service for being homeless is believable but he’s drawn with a square jaw like every other hero. Superman helps purely by being morally sound. The whole scene sums up the issue. It makes good points but in bad ways. It felt like the writers had a checklist of American monuments they wanted to fit in along with references to contemporary issues in America.
It’s hard to rate the issue. There are moments of joy that ring true to the rest of the series but on a whole it’s an odd comic that feels like the sort of thing school would give you to convince you to learn something you don’t care about. What I mean is the history and moral lessons feel like they dictate the story, they don’t fit into the story naturally.
Recommendation: Pick up the issue of Superman and American History are your two favourite things – otherwise I’d avoid this one.