Superman, Volume 4: Black Dawn

Superman, Volume 4: Black Dawn

Though Superman and his family have found a measure of peace in their adopted town of Hamilton, they’ve also sensed a sinister presence lurking beneath its idyllic rural façade—something, as a visiting Batman and Robin are about to discover, that is stripping young Jonathan Kent of his powers and pitting neighbor against neighbor, hero against hero, father against son.Soon...

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Title:Superman, Volume 4: Black Dawn
Author:Peter J. Tomasi
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Superman, Volume 4: Black Dawn Reviews

  • James DeSantis

    Another really strong volume. I'm reading these so slow because I really don't want Peter J. Tomasi to leave this title (even though he already has).

    So we begin our story here in a semi-dark way. The town Superman and his family live in is becoming unhinged. Something isn't right in our little farm-town and things are going wrong. Before that Batman and Damien show up and Bruce tells Clark that Jon has untapped potential. In fact, Batman is convinced he should be stronger than he is already. Th

    Another really strong volume. I'm reading these so slow because I really don't want Peter J. Tomasi to leave this title (even though he already has).

    So we begin our story here in a semi-dark way. The town Superman and his family live in is becoming unhinged. Something isn't right in our little farm-town and things are going wrong. Before that Batman and Damien show up and Bruce tells Clark that Jon has untapped potential. In fact, Batman is convinced he should be stronger than he is already. That's when the town begins to collapse on itself and a new evil arises, one you might not expect. When friends become foes, and secrets begin to show themselves, will our heroes make it out okay?

    Good: The dynamic of family is still strong here. Clark and Lois are both caring parents and Jon is growing quick and dealing with life situations. I really love that Peter makes Lois a fucking badass without trying. She is able to handle herself in this series, and more than once comes to the rescue. I thought the villain here was a great choice to counter Clark's views on saving people and fighting villains and the twist of the town was cool.

    Bad: The last issue, while cute, was a little overdone. Having Clark relive his days with his Pa to share the same storyline with Jon felt a bit cliche. I also will be sad to see them leave the farm.

    Overall this was a great volume. I really am loving Peter's run. I think he did wonders for the character if you ask me. A 4 out of 5.

  • Chris Lemmerman

    [Read as single issues]

    Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are back with a vengeance in this volume of Superman, which brings a lot of the stories from the first year of the book into tight focus as Superman, Jon, and Lois are all tested to their fullest when a mysterious yet familiar threat emerges from the shadows.

    Black Dawn is a bit of a rehash of Whatever Happened To Truth, Justice, and the American Way?, but in a good way. It's reimagined nicely, and it brings Superboy along for the ride on the

    [Read as single issues]

    Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are back with a vengeance in this volume of Superman, which brings a lot of the stories from the first year of the book into tight focus as Superman, Jon, and Lois are all tested to their fullest when a mysterious yet familiar threat emerges from the shadows.

    Black Dawn is a bit of a rehash of Whatever Happened To Truth, Justice, and the American Way?, but in a good way. It's reimagined nicely, and it brings Superboy along for the ride on the next step of his character arc too. There are a few quick handwavey explanations about things, but it's a decent way to close down this chapter of the Kents' lives as they move away from Hamilton and back to Metropolis where they belong.

    Gleason is also back on art, with Doug Mahnke tag-teaming with him for certain issues, like the extra-sized #25 that tops off the story. They have a great visual synergy that means this is the most consistent the book has looked for a while, and that really helps sell the story overall.

    Strong character work as ever and a decent homage to a very famous story gives us a great volume of Superman adventures.

  • Rory Wilding

    Having read the initial three volumes of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s

    run, it’s been interesting to see how DC is retconning the Man of Steel throughout the Rebirth initiative. Although I have not read

    as well as the crossover event

    , based on this fourth volume, some things have changed (with a suit with a new belt buckle) and some haven’t (failing to maintain a normal family life in Hamilton County, USA).

  • Scott S.

    Rebounding quite nicely from the blah

    , Vol. 4 finally explains some of the oddness that has been percolating under the crust of Hamilton County since the arrival of Clark, Lois and Jon. Also, Lois has a true deus ex machina moment ("Now we're talking!" exclaims Lois . . . and the reader), courtesy of an unexpected visit to the farm from Gotham's dynamic duo, that I wished would've lasted longer than three pages. With said visit we get the amusing dialogue many other reviews

    Rebounding quite nicely from the blah

    , Vol. 4 finally explains some of the oddness that has been percolating under the crust of Hamilton County since the arrival of Clark, Lois and Jon. Also, Lois has a true deus ex machina moment ("Now we're talking!" exclaims Lois . . . and the reader), courtesy of an unexpected visit to the farm from Gotham's dynamic duo, that I wished would've lasted longer than three pages. With said visit we get the amusing dialogue many other reviews have commented on - "Batman doesn't eat pie" - during dessert with our superheroes.

    Though the epilogue chapter seems sort of tacked-on, this was an otherwise

    good volume that seems to get things back on track. DC's doing something right with this

    title.

  • Chad

    Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Doug Mahnke deliver yet another knockout punch with this entry into the Superman mythos. All of the oddness in Hamilton County is finally explained. Something of a redux of

    for the next generation. My one complaint would be too many inkers on a few of the issues. You can definitely see a distinct shift in the quality of the art and style. Fantastic art, fantastic story.

  • Adam Spanos

    The main six-part story here is an epic Superman family story that, despite being set in and around the farm and (under) the local town, is epic, as a villain from the ‘wrong’ timeline makes his reappearance (I had to read the Wikipedia page for his back-story), reveals the secrets of those strange neighbours, their cow, the haunted house, and even the whereabouts of Mr & (”Ex.”) Mrs Frankenstein.

    Despite the presence of Batman & Robin, Lois still manages to be a full-partner in the story

    The main six-part story here is an epic Superman family story that, despite being set in and around the farm and (under) the local town, is epic, as a villain from the ‘wrong’ timeline makes his reappearance (I had to read the Wikipedia page for his back-story), reveals the secrets of those strange neighbours, their cow, the haunted house, and even the whereabouts of Mr & (”Ex.”) Mrs Frankenstein.

    Despite the presence of Batman & Robin, Lois still manages to be a full-partner in the story, reminding us that she has been a strong female character in comics ever since the 1930s, surviving the forced domesticity of the 1950s to take her place as the role-model she started her career as.

    This has an excellent story, with humour, tragedy and epic action, and with excellent artwork, recapitulating the villain’s original raison d’etre, and also reminding us of the importance of the Superman Family to the main character and his back-story.

    The seventh issue is a stand alone with Superman and son doing a bit of bonding with a flashback to young Clark and Pa Kent’s similar situation back in the day.

  • Travis Duke

    (3.5?) I am really enjoying this superman series, I think mainly because of the strong family story they got going on. After a sidestep with volume 3, volume 4 gets back into the flow with a good twist about the town Hamilton that the Kent family has made home. We also get a great villain cameo that I wont spoil. Like I mentioned I really enjoy the family aspect that Tomasi is writing. The father and son relationship with Jon and Clark is heart warming and I love seeing how they struggle at time

    (3.5?) I am really enjoying this superman series, I think mainly because of the strong family story they got going on. After a sidestep with volume 3, volume 4 gets back into the flow with a good twist about the town Hamilton that the Kent family has made home. We also get a great villain cameo that I wont spoil. Like I mentioned I really enjoy the family aspect that Tomasi is writing. The father and son relationship with Jon and Clark is heart warming and I love seeing how they struggle at times but ultimately succeed. Lois isn't forgotten either, she has few nice moments too. Solid series so far.

  • Wing Kee

    Not my favorite choice by Tomasi and Gleason.

    World: The art is good, I've always liked Gleason art, it's full of character and bits and pieces. The world building is okay but it is a bit wonky and out of left field. I don't really like what they did with the town of Hamilton and I don't agree with it.

    Story: The pacing is fine and so is the tone and the dialog. The issue I had with this arc was the fact that it exists. I like Kathy and Farmer Cobb and I did not like what they did with these cha

    Not my favorite choice by Tomasi and Gleason.

    World: The art is good, I've always liked Gleason art, it's full of character and bits and pieces. The world building is okay but it is a bit wonky and out of left field. I don't really like what they did with the town of Hamilton and I don't agree with it.

    Story: The pacing is fine and so is the tone and the dialog. The issue I had with this arc was the fact that it exists. I like Kathy and Farmer Cobb and I did not like what they did with these characters. Why could there not just been this little beautiful slice of Americana in Hamilton. The villain also annoyed and the fight in the end contrived and far easily dealt with. Not a big fan of this arc at all.

    Characters: This is probably the first step in Rebirth that I don't agree with this creative team. I don't need a dark sinister thing brewing beneath a wholesome town. I don't need it. Kathy was a great character for Jon to be friends with and the town was a good place for Jon to learn to love humans and people and life. This was unnecessary. The villain was stupid zzz.

    Not my favorite arc.

    Onward to the next book!

  • Artemy

    What kind of a sick sadistic fuck is Peter Tomasi? Not only did he introduce the character of Jon in his first volume of Superman by murdering a cat, not only does he keep rubbing it in every chance he gets (see also Super Sons), but now there's also this?

    Why do you hate cats so much, Tomasi? If you don't like them, just don't include them in your stories, you asshole.

    But anyway. This huge 6-part story is a continuation/rehash of Joe Kelly's famous Action Comics one-shot

    What kind of a sick sadistic fuck is Peter Tomasi? Not only did he introduce the character of Jon in his first volume of Superman by murdering a cat, not only does he keep rubbing it in every chance he gets (see also Super Sons), but now there's also this?

    Why do you hate cats so much, Tomasi? If you don't like them, just don't include them in your stories, you asshole.

    But anyway. This huge 6-part story is a continuation/rehash of Joe Kelly's famous Action Comics one-shot

    , and it's shit. The idea of The Elite as a one-off team of crazies worked fine for an issue just to make the point that Kelly was trying to make, but to base an entire story arc around that same premise only shows how little life there is in this concept beyond its original intent. Manchester Black is a pastiche character who just doesn't work on his own, his beliefs are comically wrong and villainous, and honestly, we don't need yet another story to explain how Superman is still actually a good and relevant character. The guy's got 1000 issues under his belt and trunks, of course he's still relevant! Now go and do something useful with him instead of torturing that poor cat's soul even more, Peter Tomasi YOU SICK FUCK.

    The volume is capped off with an issue written by Michael Moreci, and it's honestly even worse than Tomasi's story. It's a one-shot about Clark parenting Jon, and it undermines everything we've learned about Jon to date by depicting him as an insufferable ill-mannered brat more akin to Damian Wayne, who never listens to his father and does everything backwards. Looks like the only thing Michael Moreci knew about the character before writing this issue is that Jon is a teenager. Sorry, dude, but he's not THAT kind of teenager.

    Just as I was ready to give Tomasi another chance at redeeming himself as a writer in my eyes, he goes and does shit like Black Dawn. A useless, derivative story that desperately tries to say something meaningful about an 80-year-old character by rehashing a story that is almost 20 years old. I'm so glad that Bendis is replacing this hack, he can't possibly be worse than this.

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