By James Robinson (writer), Renato Guedes (pencils), Wilson Magalhaes (inks), Hi-Fi (colors)

Superman #677 begins Starman writer James Robinson’s anticipated run and hearing many good things about this author, I had my expectations pretty high. The first few pages alone featuring Krypto playing fetch in space with Superman and Green Lantern seems like a precursor of what we’re in store for: fun. It’s silly, simple, and majestic all at the same time and the Krypto’s narrative will make you giggle.

From there, the story switches gears and gets a bit more serious back in Metropolis. Here, a monumental battle is taking place between the Metropolis Science Police and a giant, city-wrecking monster. On a normal day, a monster like this would be easily dispatched by Superman and police would be left to clean up the damage. With Superman’s absence, the police finally get to see some action. But try as they might, they simply do not have the manpower (or coordination) to take the creature down. This is where the mysterious “Altas” appears. In a flash of brilliance, this new character takes care of business, misleading many to believe that it was Superman who saved the day. But when Atlas reappears, he begins an assault of terror on the police force when a few hot heads provoke him.

Much like Geoff John’s recent issue of Action Comics #866, this issue of Superman is an excellent jumping on point for anyone curious about James Robinson’s writing or just picking up a Superman book and not feeling lost. Robinson’s story is a bit unorthodox with much of the narration coming from a police officer who I honestly don’t think we’ll be hearing from again. It’s just weird because this is a non-character (in my opinion) and while his narrative gives us insight on who his team members are, we as readers could honestly care less what happens to them. Simply put: They’re fodder.  If I’m wrong and we see more of this guy, then I’ll gladly eat my words.

Renato Guedes is a heck of an artist. He has an excellent sense of scope and when the monster attacks Metropolis, he gives us some awesome views of the path of destruction. The cityscapes he draws are highly detailed and his grasp of displaying powerful action is just superb. If and when Superman has his showdown with Atlas, we’re in for one heck of a treat. Hi-Fi’s coloring work is the icing on the cake, adding a lot of dimension to Guedes’ linework. This is a perfect example of how much difference a capable colorist can make. Because of the Hi-Fi’s work, we see all the action taking place near sunset. Buildings begin to turn a little pink and we see their long shadows extend over the streets. It’s great atmospheric work and one that shouldn’t be ignored. (Grade: B)

– J. Montes