Superman #27 is the kind of comic I remember from my childhood, although then, these kinds of “learn about history and geography” travel stories tended to star Dennis the Menace, not DC’s first family.
After confirming the existence of his son from a villain who tried to erase and then corrupt him, Superman needs a vacation. So Lois rents an RV and Clark, she, and their son Jon set out on a trip together for the fourth of July in a story written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason and illustrated by Scott Godlewski.
Now, it’s a little late, timewise, but in today’s world, reminders of America’s roots and the sacrifices made to build it are welcome. I liked that the examples weren’t all typical — instead of the usual battlegrounds, we get the story of Deborah Sampson, a woman who dressed as a man so she could fight in the Revolutionary War, and a reminder of our country’s foundational value of religious freedom. The Kents talk about respect for the past and the risks the founders took.
Sure, this comic is plenty wordy, but it needed to be. It also isn’t subtle, particularly when the Kents invite a homeless, handicapped vet to eat with them in spite of others looking down on him. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost finesse when confronted with today’s struggles and challenges. While Superman uses his powers in this issue, he doesn’t punch anything, instead demonstrating different kinds of heroism. I think we needed a clear statement of what he stands for these days, and what this country is really about.
I could most sympathize with the opening sequence, with Lois and Jon valiantly trying to wait up for Clark’s return, while Superman tries to avoid falling asleep while flying. (I haven’t seen that before! But even a Superman can be exhausted, right?) I’ve been on both ends of that, trying to push on home after a long trip and waiting for a loved one’s late return. I like humanizing such a powerful character, and while I’m still not used to husband and father Superman, these kinds of scenes are making me appreciate the concept more.