Superman #45: One last day in the happiest place on Earth
DC Rebirth set out to restore hope and optimism to the DC Universe, but the truth is, it had never completely left. Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason had taken Damian Wayne—a character whose very existence was a cynical march toward his own inevitable death—and sent him on a path of redemption (and his own rebirth) long before Geoff Johns pulled Wally West out of the Speed Force.
It was no surprise, then, that Tomasi and Gleason were tapped to take on the Last Son of Krypton when Superman went back to #1 in June of 2016. Superman had changed quite a bit in The New 52, and his portrayal in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a sad reflection of the cynical, truthless world we live in.
But Superman is not a mirror—he is a window. In his awesome, alien power, and the acts of good for which he puts it to use, we see above the haze of our moment to the clear blue beyond. And in his humble upbringing and humanity, we see our own reflection mingled with that limitless sky. We see the reality of who we are and the hope of who we might be meet on the plane of possibility, and we reach.
This is who Superman is, and this is what Tomasi and Gleason have captured so perfectly through forty-five issues on the Superman title. They may not have given Clark his family, but they have defined it—across huge, comic book adventures, small, heartfelt moments, and delightfully hilarious hijinks. It all comes to a close in this week's Superman #45, and while the end is bittersweet, Tomasi and Gleason are right there with us, not just to remember the joy we’ve shared, but to equip us for the big change ahead.
Superman #45 is the circle come round to where it first began. Through familiar places, faces, and stories, Clark, Lois, and Jon recall our time together over these two years. Hamilton was a refuge for the Kent family when two universes met, and Superman has been a refuge for the rest of us. While the wider DC Universe quickly moved on to the same old tricks and increasing levels of complexity, Superman has remained steadfastly simple:
Truth, justice, family.
May it ever be so.