Superman Adventures: Men of Steel; Distant Thunder

Tuesday, April 30, 2013  By  Jennifer Wharton     No comments

Stone Arch, an imprint of Capstone, continues its DC line with reprints of the Superman Adventures comics. These are based on the Superman Animated Series and were originally published several years ago.

Men of Steel, originally Superman Adventures #1, expands on one of the first episodes in the animated series, beginning with Superman’s defeat of Lex Luthor’s battle suit and of John Corben. Lex Luthor then designs a robot to imitate Superman’s powers. Superman gets back from a visit home just in time to find out that his mysterious double is going on a crime spree. The super robot’s powers are a match for Superman’s – or are they? Will Lex Luthor turn the city against Superman or will Superman win the day and do the right thing?

Distant Thunder, originally Superman Adventures #3, brings back Brainiac, who revived himself after their initial battle by storing his information in LexCorp’s computers. Brainiac’s chosen form for attack is quite unique and adds a fun dimension to this comic, which is a little more tense than the previous title. The robot is determined to retrieve Superman’s orb that contains all the remaining information on Krypton. Brainiac threatens Lois and the other humans, and Superman must decide between giving up the last thing he has of his home and his parents or saving the lives of the humans…unless he has a last-minute plan to save the day!

The stories, written by Paul Dini and Scott McCloud, are fast-paced and, while there are a few moments of reflection, they’re mostly pure action. The art is bright and bold, instantly familiar as Superman’s world. It has a classic feel without being outdated. The fights are choreographed with lots of flying figures, exploding robots, and classic cartoon sounds. These editions appear to be basic reprints of the original comics and the text and art in a few places shows blurry lines and fuzzy edges. Each book includes additional information at the back; author biographies, glossaries, character list “Superman Glossary,” and questions with various panels that could work as writing prompts or comprehension questions.

Available only in library-bound editions, these are a bit pricey, but in my opinion they’re worth spending a bit more on. They’re similar to ABDO’s library bound individual comic issues from Marvel and at my library the durability and constant circulation is more than worth the extra cost. The additional back matter in Stone Arch’s comics will make these useful for a school library as well as a public library, and parents and kids alike will be thrilled to read these all-ages comics with classic characters, action, and plots.

Superman Adventures: Men of Steel
by Paul Dini
Art by Rick Burchett, Terry Austin, Marie Severin, Lois Buhalis
ISBN: 9781434245496
Superman Adventures: Distant Thunder
by Scott McCloud
Art by Rick Burchett, Terry Austin, Marie Severin, Lois Buhalis
ISBN: 9781434245519
Stone Arch/Capstone, 2012
Publisher Age Rating: 7-11

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