Superman #40 Review

Superman #40 

James Robinson, writer
Doug Mahnke, pencils
Jaime Mendoza & Scott Hanna, inks
Will Quintana, colors
Rob Leigh, letters


The issue starts with Superman and Jonathan spending some father son time in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman initiates a discussion about the anniversary of the destruction of Krypton, which happened on this day. Jonathan and Superman  watch the holographic simulation of Krypton’s destruction together; however, they are interrupted by a signal from the Fortress’s computer system alerting Superman that somewhere another world is facing destruction.  They both head to that world and greet the population.

Upon their arrival and introduction, Superman expresses his intentions to help the planet from destruction. However, the leaders of the planet tell him to leave because they have placed their faith in their god, Lord God Dhermet, the creator. The leaders tell Superman that if their god wants them dead, then so be it. Superman insists on helping them, which offends the locals. The leaders accuse Superman of being the fulfillment to a prophecy which stated, “the monster” will come and try to change them and rob them of their faith.

Superman is convinced that he can overpower the locals and still save the planet. However, Superman and Superboy begin to feel their powers ebb  as the locals attack them. They attempt to leave the planet but find that their powers are significantly diminished so they seek refuge. A local scientist, hiding in the nearby cliffs, offers them refuge. He states, “those who claim to be saintly are often the most savage.” Superman agrees but questions the importance of philosophy lessons given the level of danger they face. The scientist takes them in a capsule and shows them the center of the planet. The last panel in this issues shows the scientist stating, “Let’s save this world together.”

Final Impressions:

The possible destruction of Galymayne, a distant planet, creates the tension in the story. Additional importance is derived from Jonathan when he convinces Superman to take him along on the journey. The art is good, but not great, with one notable exception. A panel shows Superman flying through space with Jonathan on his back, and the earth in the background, which gives spatial significance to the story and it looks pretty cool.  

For the most part, the main characters, Superman and Superboy, do not advance or develop in any way. However, at one point Jonathan asks Superman what his plan is for engaging the planet? This question reminds the reader of the amount of time Jonathan has spent on missions with Damian. Damian, like his father, has a plan for everything. That thought process appears to have rubbed off on Jonathan.  

Ultimately, I would not recommend picking up this book. The exposition is clunky and paint-by-numbers. For example, the exchange between an alien scientist and Superman about religious people felt forced. There is very little about the story that engages the reader. The characters do not advance, and, even the new characters are given motivations that are boring and played out. This issues feels like a filler.  

Out of 10
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Tom Zimm
I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist that works with children. I've been interested in comic book heroes since I was a young child. However, it's been in the last 3-4 years that I've been making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list. DC's Rebirth really won me over, especially Geoff Johns' 80-page book. My favorite properties include The Flash and The Incredible Hulk. My criteria for a good comic book include taking stupid and fun seriously while remaining self-aware.