Click here to return to the main site.

Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover



Authors: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Allan Goldman, Ron Randall, Walter Simonson and others
Titan Books
RRP: £8.99, US $12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 744 0
ISBN-10: 1 84576 744 6
Available 22 February 2008

Can Superman redeem humanity if he can’t redeem himself? He stands for truth and justice - but whose truth, whose justice? Faced with challenges unlike any he’s encountered before, the Man of Steel risks losing his faith in humanity, his faith in himself... even in faith itself. His crisis is brought about by Redemption, a new superhero whose powers seem to be fuelled by the prayers of his followers. Unfortunately, those powers are out of control and are killing people. Superman’s journey of discovery takes him from his childhood home in Smallville to the worst parts of Suicide Slum and a hellish underworld made up of the stuff of nightmares. Can Superman resist the ultimate temptations of power and sin? Or will the last Son of Krypton be in need of redemption himself...?

This rather slim volume collects stories that originally appeared in the pages of Superman #659, Action Comics #848-849 and Superman #666. Rather than being a single continuous narrative, three separate tales are presented here - though the first one, the one-shot “Angel”, has a definite impact upon the events of the next one, the two-part “Redemption”, in terms of both its theme and a recurring character. The final story, the suitably Satanic (it was, after all, published in Superman #666 - the number of the beast) 38-page special “The Beast from Krypton”, is connected only very loosely in terms of theme with the preceding adventures.

Ironically, “Redemption” is my least favourite of the stories in this book, having an annoying tendency to be preachy while desperately striving not to offend anybody. I was also irritated by Superman’s habit of leaving his cape and boots lying around in the apartment he shares with Lois - how would they explain that to unexpected visitors?!

“Angel”, on the other hand, is my favourite story, despite walking a similar moral tightrope to “Redemption”. It helps enormously that the resolution to this tale is genuinely both shocking and uplifting.

“The Beast from Krypton” is just plain weird, but boasts impressively stylised art by Walter Simonson and guest appearances by the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna, among others.

Redemption is a mixed bag, but “Angel” manages to redeem it.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£6.99 (
£6.99 (
£5.39 (
£5.87 (
£7.19 (
$10.39 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.