Superman #42 Review

Superman #42

Written by: Patrick Gleason & Peter J Tomasi
Art by: Peter J. Tomasi & Mick Gray
Colored by: Alejandro Sanchez


This  issue begins a new story arc.  Jonathan visits his friend Kathy on her farm outside of Metropolis. Kathy’s grandfather and Bessie, their cow with special milk, played a role in the Black Dawn story arc (see Superman #17). Jonathan and Kathy travel through a transportal to peek in at Bizarro Superman, Loiz, and Bizarro Boy on Bizzaro world. Jonathan and Kathy are protected by an electro-plasma membrane which keeps the Bizarro family from touching them; however, Jonathan and Bizarro Boy share a brief special connection. The pair return to  a spaceship in the basement of Kathy’s farmhouse. The transportal is connected to the spaceship in Kathy’s basement and it allows the pair to go on adventures on different worlds.

Superboy and Kathy walk upstairs and she begins to do chores as they discuss the changes they’ve endured since Superboy’s move to Metropolis. Superboy suddenly realizes that he forgot to complete his own chores and the book transitions back to Metropolis. Lois and Superman are shown arriving home and quickly recognize that Jon is absent and that he forgot to take out the garbage and cook dinner. Superboy arrives with carry out Chinese and quickly cleans up the kitchen.

Lois and Kent ask Jonathan where he’d been. Jonathan lies but Lois and Kent figure it out and let him know that he was seen in costume flying toward the country. Jonathan cleans up quickly and goes to bed. He thinks about how much he misses the farm but how happy his parents are as he goes to sleep.

Final Impressions

The Bizarro-World portion of the story was very interesting to me. The opening sequence shows Bizarro Superman at a grave site reflecting on impact recent events have had on life and his family. The art shows Bizarro’s large form slumped over in the dark at a grave site as he laments the impact of recent events. His inner dialogue states, “Ever since he went, our lives haven’t changed.” The bizarro-language enhances the impact of the meaning for me.  And again, (spoilers) Bizarro states, “It is not my son’s death day.” The changing of the language made me feel the regret, sadness, and loss in Bizarro, even more.

Going into this book, I anticipated that this would be a filler issue and that it wouldn’t be very interesting. However, the Bizarro-connection drew me in, as well as Kathy and Jonathan’s friendship. Superboy is sneaking over to Kathy’s farm and they have been using a transportal to visit places. I find the friendship between Kathy and Jonathan interesting. Kathy is the leader despite Jonathan’s powers. She also cares about Jonathan, asking him how living in Metropolis feels. I am very excited to have a Superman story that is a page-turner with much to follow.   

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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.