Superman: Strength #3
Quick Rating: Good
Superman has to save Metropolis – but his muscle won’t be enough.
Writer: Scott McCloud
Breakdowns: Scott McCloud
Pencils: Aluir Amancio
Inks: Terry Austin
Colors: Patricia Mulvihill
Letters: Todd Klein
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Art: Alex Ross
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman: Strength is the perfect example of how the “prestige format” in comics is so utterly overused these days. Because of the high price, only hardcore Superman fans are likely to pick it up. Unfortunately, the story is about what makes Superman Superman – the strength of his heart, the power of his character. Superman fans already know this. The people who’d really get something out of this mini, the non-fans, will never pick it up because it just plain costs too much.
Superman has been caught by a hood named Fido who has invented a pair of gloves capable of opening a warp in reality, a wormhole of sorts. What’s more, he’s modified the gloves to be able to manipulate the size of objects. Now a rain of giant pocket items – coins, paperclips, keys and the like – are raining down on Metropolis, and Superman is freed by his worst enemy just in time to try to save the day.
The idea is kind of goofy – the idea of ten-foot pennies and paperclips falling from the sky is very silver age – but in a way, that’s kind of the point. Superman is a relatively simple character – an incredibly powerful man who is made only more powerful by the power of his own heart. The rest of the book features him chasing after the villains, on the run, who (naturally) have Lois Lane held captive.
Like the writing, the artwork is something of a throwback. Amancio and Austin, working from McCloud’s breakdowns, have a look that’s very classical. The tech is way over the top, Superman’s jaw is way square… it may be a cliché to say it, but this book looks totally Kirbyesque, and I mean that in a good way.
Like I said, though, this is a book that will be lost on its intended audience. Superman fans already know the lessons learned in this issue. And the people who don’t know it already will be put off by the cover price.