Superman ‘78 #5 Review

Writer: Robert Venditti

Art: Wilfredo Torres, Jordie Bellaire, Francis Manapul, and Dave Lanphear of A Larger World

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: December 28th, 2021

If I could simply start by praising how amazing this series has been. Robert Venditti has successfully found the perfect blend of the classic SUPERMAN movie feel with a clever modern twist making this a feel-good gem for a long-time comic fan. To quickly catch fans up, Brainiac has worked his way into the Reeve SUPERMAN universe and imprisoned the Man of Steel in the bottle city of Kandor. Long story short, SUPERMAN needs to find a way out before Brainiac does the very same to Metropolis as he did to Kandor. But will SUPERMAN escape in time to save Metropolis and the rest of the world? Let’s soar into SUPERMAN ‘78 #5 by Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres to find out.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any others that were mentioned than simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.


Venditti has a knack for writing within this Donnerverse. It feels almost commonplace by this point to say that you can practically hear Christopher Reeve’s voice through the pages, as well as the other main characters… but you totally can! Plus, anyone who remembers the movies knows that Reeve SUPERMAN’S greatest strength was empathy and compassion for others. Well, that shines through in spades immediately as SUPERMAN ‘78 #5 begins.

Moreover, Venditti continues to lay out a wholesome, well-designed, and charming tale that helps expand on that father-son relationship between Kal-El and his father that we’ve never seen in the Donnerverse. Furthermore, he provides readers an equal balance of clarity and power that makes this issue of SUPERMAN ‘78 so much fun and incredibly entertaining.


Donnerverse fans have no choice but to commend Wilfredo Torres for his outstanding renderings which literally take exact designs and character traits straight to the pages of SUPERMAN ‘78 #5. From Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) to Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), Jimmy Olsen (Marc McClure), and Perry White (Jackie Cooper), these quick, spitting image cameos are what give this comic that undefinable charm. But moreover, I love the realistic simplicity of the character illustrations. Sure, an extremely muscular hero in tights is a staple within the comic book genre. However, it’s so refreshing to see this sensational realism that mimics actual people we grew up loving.

Furthermore, two scenes, in particular, stand out as the moments I felt hooked into this issue of SUPERMAN ‘78. There is an instance where SUPERMAN is getting “shocked” with such vivid facial expressions of pain alongside these explosively vibrant colors from Jordie Bellaire that leaped off the page. Followed strictly by the fight scenes which paralleled the Donnerverse movies with precision. The almost modest punches and throws that fans of the movies would remember are drawn with pinpoint accuracy.

But this outstanding art team doesn’t stop there. Bellaire colors the comic to practical quintessence, furnishing this “super” realm and background with a more dulled tone to enable the main characters like Brainiac and SUPERMAN to feel even more extraordinary. SUPERMAN’S suit literally pops off the page attracting the eyes to his every position adding a clever touch to the issue.


In a rapidly, ever-changing world, Venditti and Torres continue to provide a solid, classic SUPERMAN series to the DC COMIC landscape that would make any longtime fan proud. Anyone can tell simply by flipping through the pages how connected this creative team is. Venditti takes the story so seriously holding Reeve’s SUPERMAN accountable towards his normal tropes and mannerisms making sure not to get too campy but holding true to this version of SUPERMAN. Counter Venditti’s storytelling with the overly nostalgic appearance and renderings from Torres, as well as the bright and jolting color choices that make the Man of Steel soar through each page, and you have one heck of a memorable book.

There is no doubt that SUPERMAN ‘78 #5 is a must-read making this series and eventual trade a must-buy for any SUPERMAN fans collection. Classic enthusiasts will certainly get the feels, Donnerverse buffs will find the renderings uncanny, current SUPERMAN fans can see some foundation takes, and new readers can still find one heck of an outstanding story. This series should be on every SUPERMAN reader’s pull list. Pick this up, let me know what you think, God Bless, and have a Happy New Year!


Leave a Reply