Written By: Keith Champagne, Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Scott Godlewski
Colored By: Gabe Eltreb
The Kent family rented an RV and took off on a Fourth of July road trip, stopping at Niagara Falls, the grave of Deborah Sampson, the WWII memorial in New York, and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Along the way, Lois and Clark teach their son Jon about truth, justice, and American history.
Lois and Jon wake up to find a cheating Superman. Rather than taking the highway, Superman flies the family RV to Washington D.C., the family’s final destination on their patriotic road trip. The Kents head to the capitol building, where the entrance is lined on both sides by protesters. Clark uses this opportunity to teach Jon about the importance of free speech and assembly. After showing him the power of words, the parents show the importance of creation at the Air and Space Museum.
After a lighthearted morning, The Kents trip pivots to recognize the main theme of this issue: American Veterans throughout history. This turn kicks off with a stunning two page splash depicting the National World War II Memorial as Lois and Clark read the inscription from the plaque. Clark teaches Jon about the term “Police Action” as he explains the messy political scenarios that led to the Korean and Vietnam Wars as they visit their respective memorials.
The issue rounds out with a longer lesson revolving around the Civil War. After visiting the Lincoln Memorial and reading The Gettysburg Address out loud, the family heads to Gettysburg itself while Lois tells the story of Little Round Top. After taking some pictures and honoring the fallen, the Kents run into another family on vacation, The Dowds. The Dowd family tells The Kents that they come to this spot every year to honor the birthday of one of their ancestors, who died in the Civil War. They tell the story of this Thomas Dowd, whose body was never found after the battle. After settling down for the night, Superman uses his x-ray vision to find the body of Thomas Dowd and bring it home, before they rise the next morning and head home themselves back to Metropolis.
Thoughts on the issue
If you have a relative who is a war veteran that likes Superman, this book or arc would make an excellent gift for them. This issue is nothing if not respectful. Personally, since my grandfather served in Korea, the line about Korea being the “forgotten war” of American History really hit home.
This is the second of two issues that reads more like a history textbook than a superhero comic. That said, it was still enjoyable. While it was still a series of lessons, they felt more genuine than last issue, and fit the voice of Superman a little better. For better or for worse, Superman will always be tied to the phrase “Truth, Justice, and The American Way.” Peter Tomasi really takes that to heart in this issue as he shows why that can and should be a good thing. Clark criticizes some of the big mistakes the American Institution has made while at the same time honoring those that served when their country called. Scott Godlewski’s clean and clear artwork does an excellent job grounding the story, making the interactions all feel properly human.
One small thing: Cute little Easter Egg in the RV’s license plate at the end, which reads AC1-1938. This of course is a reference to Action Comics #1, the first Superman Comics and birth of the Golden Age, which came out in 1938.
Final Score: 8.5/10