Superman 233 (January 1971)

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What a pleasure it is to read a Superman comic book where he’s not supposed to be perpetually thirty-one or whatever goofy age DC pins on him. The more mature Clark Kent, here becoming a television personality as the Daily Planet goes through changes, brings something else to the comic. I hate to sound like Joe Quesada, but a married Superman has different sensibilities.

The superhero antics–opening with a Kryptonite event–are a lot less sensational than the modern comics–it’s Superman versus gangsters. Gangsters in jets, but gangsters. The real boon to these scenes is the artwork. Curt Swan’s action sequences are fantastic. Even with O’Neil’s tight script–somehow, he gives Superman a lot of thought balloons but never makes them overbearing–it’s Swan who makes the issue feel like an experience.

And then there’s even a cute backup story featuring Jor-El and Lara getting together.

CREDITS

Superman Breaks Loose; writer, Denny O’Neil; penciller, Curt Swan; inker, Murphy Anderson. Jor-El’s Golden Folly; writer, E. Nelson Bridwell; artist, Anderson. Editor, Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

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