My review of Superman #52 was not particularly positive. To be fair, the issue had a lot to live up to because the death of Superman story had been done before, and mind you, by a group of A list artists and writers. Although my interest in Superman wasn’t reinvigorated by Superman #52 or Rebirth #1, Superman Rebirth #1 was a very good read.
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason and penciled by Doug Mahnke Superman Rebirth #1 is the perfect homage to the 1990s Death of Superman story and pre-Flashpoint Superman. If Superman #52 and this issue could have been melded together I think issue #52 would have resonated stronger with me, but I digress.
By this point in time the ashes of the New 52 Superman have been laid to rest underneath a giant S-shield monument. Above the monument is pre-Flashpoint Superman contemplating how to resurrect New 52 Superman. Below the monument is Lana Lang who is trying to break into the crypt to take Superman’s ashes to be buried next to Ma and Pa Kent. For the first time, Lana and pre-Flashpoint Superman cross each others path while at the monument. Pre-Flashpoint Superman is able to convince Lana that he’s the real deal by explaining to her how he came back from the dead after he was killed by Doomsday. Mahnke’s art related to the flashbacks to Superman fighting Doomsday are spectacular because they really capture the essence of the prior story.
Lana is convinced that Superman is dead, but pre-Flashpoint Superman believes that he can resurrect Superman if he could get to the Fortress of Solitude. Somehow Lana remembers how to get there and takes pre-Flashpoint Superman there. There at the fortress, pre-Flashpoint Superman looks for the regeneration matrix that brought him back to life, but such a device does not exist in the New 52 universe; therefore, New 52 Superman can not be brought back to life and is really dead.
Lana ends up taking the ashes of New 52 Superman and burying them beside Ma and Pa Kent, and as for pre-Flashpoint Superman, he decides to fill the shoes of Superman within the New 52 universe. All-in-all a good issue because it seems like DC Comics is trying to right the Superman ship that has gone off course over the years. Consume Review Repeat gives Superman Rebirth #1 a eight out of ten Doomsday knockouts.