REVIEW: ‘Superman: Red & Blue,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Superman Red and Blue #1

Superman: Red & Blue #1 is an anthology series published by DC Comics. Much like Batman: Black & White, the issue features a red and blue color scheme. It also features a collection of all-star creators tapped to write stories centered on the Man of Steel.

The first issue contains five stories. “Untitled” is written by John Ridley, illustrated by Clayton Henry, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Dave Sharpe. “The Measure of Hope” is written by Brandon Easton, illustrated by Steve Lieber, colored by Ron Chan, and lettered by Clayton Cowles. “The Boy Who Saved Superman” is written, illustrated & colored by Wes Craig, and lettered by Deron Bennett. “Human Colors” is written by Dan Watters, illustrated by Dani, and lettered by Sharpe. Rounding out the issue is “The School of Hard Knock-Knock Jokes,” written by Marguerite Bennett, illustrated by Jill Thompson, and lettered by Troy Peteri.

Although he has written the Man of Steel before in animation and other comics, “Untitled” marks Ridley’s first time writing a solo Superman story. In line with his work on The Other History of the DC Universe, “Untitled” is steeped in DC Comics canon, particularly the events of World’s Finest #192-193, which saw Superman and Batman imprisoned in Lubania by Commander Nikolai Koslov. also features the simple, yet striking art of Henry, with Bellaire making ample use of the series’ title colors. When Clark finally meets Koslov for an interview, the difference between the two is stark. Clark is clad in a blue suit and stands tall, with his tie being the only splash of red. Koslov is shown hunched over from the weight of age, clad in a blood-red suit — fitting, given the atrocities he’s committed.

“The Measure of Hope” is an often sobering reminder that Superman cannot save everyone, yet his example can inspire others. Easton’s script opens at Jolene Northridge’s funeral, where Superman attempts to comfort her son Melvin. It then winds back to the cause of Jolene’s death-which is utterly heartbreaking. Lieber, best known for his work on Superior Foes of Spider-Man, shifts from comedy to tragedy-often showing Melvin with his face buried in his hands or Superman’s face frozen in shock. Chan’s colors also make Melvin a prime focus in the story, with his mahogany brown skin and jet black suit.

The best story in the issue is “The Boy Who Saved Superman,” which, true to its name, centers around a boy named Abdi El-Kahl who saved a weakened Man of Steel when he was first starting. Craig applies the same sense of carefully crafted chaos to this story that he did to illustrating Deadly Class; with the dark blue of the apartment building, Abdi and Superman are trapped in crumbling to a fiery red background. Bennett, to his credit, leans into the chaos with his lettering-including depicting Abdi shouting the words “WAKE UP!” in jagged, sharp form.

Superman: Red & Blue #1 features emotional and engaging tales centered around the Man of Steel, courtesy of some of the industry’s best creators. I’m not sure how long this series is meant to last, but I can’t wait to see what future issues bring, and I highly recommend it for all Superman fans.

Superman: Red & Blue #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

Superman: Red & Blue #1
5

TL;DR

Superman: Red & Blue #1 features emotional and engaging tales centered around the Man of Steel, courtesy of some of the industry’s best creators. I’m not sure how long this series is meant to last, but I can’t wait to see what future issues bring, and I highly recommend it for all Superman fans.