Superman #36 Review

Superman #36

Written by: Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Doug Mahnke
Colors by: Wil Quintana
Letters by: Rob Leigh


This issue begins back on Apokolips as Superman battles Kalibak, the leader of Apokolips. Ardora, a follower of Darkseid, and The Prophet provide a background narrative shown in dialogue boxes throughout the first half of the issue. The Prophet shares a vision in which he sees darkness, cold, and no hope for Apokolips in its future. Ardora responds, “Have faith, prophet.” The Prophet declares that Apokolips is a place without faith, lawless, and where the people are blind. Both question Superman’s motives thinking that Superman fights for his planet and not for the good of Apokolips.  Ardora feels that they need to blind Superman’s “steel will.” However, The Prophet and Ardora change their minds and agree that they need to change their will to match Superman’s, by the end of the story.

The story continues as Granny Goodness joins the fight against Kalibak and his forces. She lands a hard blow to Kalibak while he pursues Superman. Granny Goodness is shown pulling the ear and hair of Kalibak and then matching him punch for punch. Next, a couple of things happen simultaneously, Lois confronts the Furies and the followers of The Prophet capture an unconscious Lex Luthor and take him away.

The story transitions as Kalibak grabs Lex Luthor and tosses him into the abyss, which is a large pit on the planet Apokolips. At that very moment Kalibak is hit from behind, the rocks beneath him crumble, and he falls off the cliff and into the abyss. The Prophet’s followers, the Omega Fleet Para demons, save Lex with a lasso. Once Kalibak is defeated the story transitions quickly to the The Prophet and Ardora. The Prophet gives authority to Superman to decide the fate of Lex Luthor and Granny Goodness.

The prophet calls the people together while yelling, “Hail! Hail! Lord Superman!”

Superman frees Lex and states that Granny Goodness is free to go, as well. The Prophet and Ardora persuade Superman to stay and lead due to Apokolips having a vacuum of leadership at the present time. Superman asks Lois and Jon; they both pledge their loyalty to Superman no matter what he decides. Superman states, “I accept.”

Superman gives a speech to the people of Apokolips stating that he is there to give them hope and to turn Apokolips into a beacon of hope. Superman charges Ardora to gather together the governors from every region and lead. He supports her capacity to lead the people of Apokolips as he returns to earth. Superman gives Ardora a Boom Cube which he promises to answer whenever they call. Attention turns to Lex who was unconscious throughout the fight. Superman, Lois, and Jon leave to return to earth with Lex in tow. Once they return to earth Lex expresses his anger toward Superman for treating him with disrespect. He tears the “S” off his uniform as Superman flies away.

Final Impressions:

Lois Lane provides the highlight of the issue from a character development standpoint. The Furies accuse Lois of being weak for fighting by Superman’s side. Lois returns with the statement that her love does not make her weak. She takes out the Furies which is followed by another sequence between Lois and Superman. Lois returns to Superman’s side when he promptly tells her how glad he is to see her. It was a show don’t tell moment in the comic that demonstrates the strength that compassion, and love possess.   

Another highlight comes when Superman shows mercy and true leadership to the people when he forgives Lex Luthor. The story continues showing Superman as he tells the people his backstory. Krypton’s destruction orphaned him, and that he was raised by humble farmers on earth where his spaceship landed. His earthly parents showed him the true light of love and hope. He encourages the people of Apokolips to cast off the chains of Darkseid and to support those who offer kindness. And, you will see the” coldest hearts among you will melt and lead you to the New Guards of your future security.”

This story arc included interesting characters, such as, Kalabik, Granny Goodness, the Furies, along with and the world of Apokolips. Granny Goodness has reappeared as an important character after this story and she recently appeared in Mr. Miracle, by Tom King. Her connection to the new gods and now with Superman has my interest peaked. The mention of Darkseid and the possibility of what DC might do with that character moving forward is also interesting. Mostly, the apocalyptic nature of the story with the future of a planet at stake felt weighty enough and important enough for a character as powerful as Superman.

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