Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Jamal Campbell and Nick Dragotta
Color Artists: Jamal Campbell and Frank Martin
Cover Artist: Jamal Campbell
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman and Lex Luthor are working together! It seems like a dream but it’s not, and while things are shaky, it’s a start of a new day. But with this new era comes new dangers as villains from Luthor’s past reveal themselves in the twisted brothers Dr. Pharm and Graft, who seek to bring a new brand of supervillainy to Metropolis. Their first experiment was the Parasite Swarm mutation, and their latest is the dreaded Silver Banshee. See how the Man of Steel handles his budding partnership and these new threats in Superman #4.
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Alright, alright, alright. We’re back with Superman’s next adventure and all signs are pointing to the super-villainess Silver Banshee as the next villain for him to face. But clearly as shown in the beginning pages of the comic, there’s far more going on than what it seems. Silver Banshee isn’t acting alone here, and we’re seeing the next phase of this partnership between Superman and Lex Luthor in motion. There will be SPOILERS here and there throughout the review.
So, we start off with a simple morning as a young woman is getting breakfast ready while calling on her boyfriend to get up for work. All seems right in the world for her, until she gets a knock on the door and is greeted by Graft, the villain introduced in the first story arc as one of the co-masterminds of the Parasite Swarm with the silent Dr. Pharm. From there, the woman reveals herself to be Silver Banshee but is subdued by Graft’s Kryptonite Klaw and the story begins. From there, the comic explores more of Superman and Luthor’s dynamic as they begin to build something resembling trust in their continued investigation of Dr. Pharm and Graft’s activities. Which leads Superman into a confrontation with Silver Banshee.
Once again, this creative team hits it out of the park. On the writing side of things, Joshua Williamson nails it when it comes to giving vibrant, entertaining, and distinctive voices and personalities to every character in the book minor and major. He definitely does so with Superman and Lex Luthor especially, which is all made better thanks to Jamal Campbell’s brilliant art. One great example is a scene with Lex Luthor just sitting in a prison yard, minding his business while he overhears some random thugs talking about who they think can beat Supes. One of them stupidly says Batman, and while this conversation goes on Luthor calmly picks up an acorn, takes out the nut inside, and flicks it right into the thug’s mouth, with Campbell’s panels focused on the high-speed launch.
Now, let’s talk about the story. Clearly, Williamson is building up Dr. Pharm and Graft as new Superman villains who’ve got a more twisted edge to them. Without spoiling too much, the comic does explore some of the shared history between Lex Luthor and the villainous brothers, primarily told by Luthor which is somewhat unreliable and is where Nick Dragotta takes over for art specifically for Luthor’s flashback before transitioning back to Campbell’s art in the present. From there, the lead up to the fight between Superman and Silver Basnhee is a little eerie as they find one of the brothers’ old hideouts where the super-villainess is waiting for the Man of Steel. Silver Banshee’s new power is illustrated well by Campbell and really pushes the banshee aspect of her character. The only downside is that the fight is sadly pretty short, and I would’ve liked to see more of it before getting to the big reveal with her and another popular Superman character at the end.
Superman #4 kicks off a new story as Silver Banshee gets roped into the schemes of Dr. Pharm and Graft to combat the Man of Steel. The story and writing by Joshua Williamson continues to be great, particularly with the handling of Superman and Lex Luthor’s new dynamic with each other which has a give and take nature to it. Jamal Campbell’s art is just as great whether it’s illustrating Silver Banshee and her new powers or just Superman, Luthor, and the rest of Metropolis. One downside is that the fight between Superman and Silver Banshee is pretty short. However, the comic does provide a spicy reveal that I’m confident the creative team can handle and expand on in the next issue.