Project Superman is a well-crafted comic with an adequate story. Good reading, but not great.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Plot by SCOTT SNYDER; Script by LOWELL FRANCIS; Art and cover by GENE HA
FLASH FACT! They experimented on him in a lab for years!
On Sale June 29, 2011
I bought Project Superman for Scott Snyder, writer of American Vampire and Detective Comics (with upcoming Swamp Thing and Batman in the relaunch), but Snyder is only a portion of the pink matter behind Project Superman - with Lowell Francis doing the heavy lifting, co-plotting and scripting the story. Francis does a good job for one of his first comics for DC.
Project Superman starts ominously with London burning and a hint at what might be two Supermen fighting one another before switching to 30 Years Ago, where the protagonist Neil Sinclair is introduced: a blond, blue-eyed candidate for a project to instill powers into a regular human. If you're a fan of Clark Kent, it looks like he might have been vivisected at some point - but that could just be a psych out, the DNA they are using to augment Sinclair comes from a mysterious "Project Six." The story follows Sinclair as he is turned from an eager candidate into an uncontrollable superhuman, a story full of paranoia, horror and a foreboding sense of dread. Neil's character is well fleshed out, his relationship with General Lane seemingly the only thing giving him cement shoes with which to ground himself. After General Lane is taken out of the picture Sinclair goes a little psychotic, leaving him in shackles at the story's end. Sinclair has something to prove to Lane, and the last page in the book gives him something new to prove himself against.
I've found that Flashpoint comics have been a fun way to read the DCU without having to get to involved. If you are picking up Flashpoint they accentuate the main comic, but otherwise they stand alone quite well as an Elseworld's story. I know they have said that these stories matter to the DCU, but with everything rebooting I highly doubt that any of these tweaks will find their way through to the relaunch. In this regard these stories are unfettered from continuity and just let their creators have some fun.
Gene Ha does interiors for the first time in recent memory and it appears to me that he has been studying equal parts of Frank Quitely and Dragonball's Akira Toriyama (I dare you to not compare Sinclair's hair to Son Goku's). It is refreshing to see Ha has taken to adding some more high-paced action, breaking from a style that has always seemed a little stiff. The color and effects by Art Lyon accentuate Ha's art; although there are scenes where Sinclair uses his X-ray vision which look great but are too photo-realistic to mesh well with the rest of Ha's style.
Project Superman's characterization, art and plot are well executed, but left me wanting something more. With a few tweaks the storyline could have been a truly high-octane comic. Adding some riskier elements into the story, perhaps some high-concept sci-fi ideas, and a slightly edgier tone might have brought me more completely into the story, but as it is Project Superman is just a good comic.
Review by: Martin John