The book starts as Superman returns from a mission. His family is waiting for him to fulfill his promise to see them that night. This story is about the dilemma of the suburban family and the modern threats to marginalized members of society. As the family travels to several historical sights, they learn about the constitutional rights of vulnerable members of society. Both Lois and Clark teach Jonathan how they value the rights of these vulnerable individuals.
What is this all about?
‘ROAD TRIP’ part two! As the Kents’ family road trip takes some strange and unexpected turns that will reveal a foreboding threat reaching out to touch their lives, you can bet that their gonna need a vacation after their vacation!
In this issue, Lois organizes a family vacation to give the family rest and to teach Jonathan a lesson about sacrifice. The issue provides some interesting historical references. For example, the first stop they make is to the grave site of Deborah Sampson who, as a soldier, avoided medical attention to remain on active duty. This specific example highlights the damaging effects of male privilege. Deborah Sampson proved her worth on the battle field. In what ways do we continue to limit the opportunities for women just based on gender?
Lois has several interesting and thought-provoking conversations with Jonathan along the way. One conversation has Jonathan learning a valuable lesson about diversity. He summarizes the lesson by saying, “To coexist even though everyone represents something different”. The book shows both Lois and Clark interpreting events which reinforce equality in their roles.
The use of humor in the art to draw attention to generalizations in society lightens the tone and gives the story some breathing space. Clark is represented throughout as heavy chested with tooth-picked legs. There are call outs to other members of the Justice League showing Jonathan wearing a Flash T-shirt. In some cases, the story provides relatable exchanges such as when Clark and a ranger have a humorous exchange about a leaky roof.
At times, the book presents interpretations of situations in a way that may be offensive to some even if others support them. For example, Clark makes a judgmental statement to a waitress who refused to serve a paralyzed veteran of the 2003 Iraq war. “Your wall is filled with movie and TV stars they’ve done nothing of real value for you.” Although many might agree with this sentiment, it sounds like a generalization.
The book identifies ways for society to prioritize the needs of veterans of foreign wars. For example, Clark asks, “Why do we glorify mobsters and serial killers when Hollywood could highlight the life of real heroes”. In addition, it demonstrates ways that society gives attention to negative influences. For example, Clark makes a point to Jonathan that politicians risked their lives to create a constitution that would protect the people from oppression. The intent is to call attention to everyone’s responsibility to stand up for each other’s rights.
While the book surfaces many important issues facing our treatment of war veterans and those who’ve made sacrifices it misses the mark in other ways. It comes across as a dilemma for suburban America. Superman is depicted as the overworked father and Lois as the family organizer. In addition, in spots where a “picture says a thousand words” the word balloons took center stage. As in life, modeling can paint a picture and lead as an example in a more powerful way than preaching.
Reviewed by Tom Zimm
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by: Scott Godlewski; Colors by Gabe Eltab; Letters by Rob Leigh
Published by DC
Release Date: 07/19/2017