Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three (of Three) is published by DC Comics, written by Gene Luen Yang, with art by Gurihiru, and letters from Janice Chiang. In the previous issue, Superman saved Tommy from the KKK with the help of Tommy’s sister, Roberta, and Chuck, the young boy raised by a Klan member. Now, while Tommy is safe, the Daily Planet isn’t. The Klan arrives at the newspaper’s office to kidnap Lois Lane, Perry White, and Inspector Henderson.
In an effort to save as many people as possible, Roberta and Jimmy Olsen team up while Superman tracks down the kidnapped victims. But the Klan has more surprises up their sleeves. Superman quickly realizes that to stop the Klan he has to face his own identity and full potential.
Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three finds Clark Kent coming face to face with his own insecurities in addition to the evils of the Klan. When Roberta notices that Superman is holding back, Clark must make a difficult choice – continue blending in or be true to himself and unleashing his full power. The first half of the comic is an action-packed fight between Superman and the Klan but the latter half slows the pacing down and offers a deep look into Clark’s alien past.
In addition to exploring Clark’s past, the issue also focuses on the truths about the Klan. In the 1920s onward, the Klan fed on the antisemitism and racism of the time. This moved them from the shadows into the light of day as more members lived in cities than small towns. Because of this, Klan leaders realized they could capitalize on hatred, making the Klan one of the biggest pyramid schemes of its time. Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three focuses on this aspect of the Klan as well as their outright racism and the terrorist attacks they committed. But when the truth about what the Klan is really up to is revealed, their cause and methods seem more similar to Hydra than the real KKK. While this is a comic that children can read, it suffers from a tone problem. Seeing the violent rhetoric and acts of terrorism next to cartoonish science-fiction created by a mad scientist is confusing. It, unfortunately, took me out of the story for a bit.
Still, Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three is an important issue and a solid conclusion to the series. Yang’s ability to touch on hard topics, like racism, through the narrative is impressive. Additionally, Gurihiru’s art remains spectacular and my favorite part of the book. This includes coloring. Gurihiru’s coloring leaves the pages looking lively and bright. In addition, the characters of color are not washed out. Often, colorists struggle to properly color skin color, but that is not the case here. At the end of the day, considering the state of the United States, this series is a must-read and there is no better time to pick up all the issues now that it has ended.
Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three is available wherever comics are sold.
Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three
At the end of the day, considering the state of the United States, Superman Smashes the Klan Part Three is a must-read.