Superman/Gen 13
by Adam Hughes, Lee Bermejo
(DC/WildStorm, 2001)

Crossovers are comics done in cooperation between two comic companies, "crossing over" popular characters from each company to the other. The concept is popular with fans that like to see two or more of their favorite characters from different publishers interact. Unfortunately, these undertakings are rarely worth what is paid for them, as characters tend to be presented in very limited, two-dimensional ways, due to the limited format of the story. Superman/Gen 13 is one of the few that is definitely worth picking up.

On a field trip to Metropolis, the Gen 13 kids are witness to Superman battling a giant cyborg gorilla. Too close to the action, Caitlin Fairchild is knocked unconscious when Superman collides with her near-invulnerable body. Covering her with his cape, Supes returns to action. Caitlin soon regains consciousness, however, with a case of amnesiatic mistaken identity. As a result of her "crush" on Superman and her finding the cape, she believes herself to be Supergirl. Superman and the kids must now team up to find Caitlin, and stop the damage she is doing with her "super" heroics.

Superman/Gen 13 has one of the most engaging storylines I have read in years. Writer Adam Hughes gives us a very significant insight into Superman's persona, examining the perception of him held by a younger generation. No two-dimensional characters here, as the Gen 13 kids, who first think of Superman as an uptight stiff, come to know and adore him for what he is: the first and the best of those who comprise the superhero scene.

Artist Lee Bermejo also shines in this story, with a penciling style that is as expressive as it is action-oriented. This is the first work of his that I have seen, although, after this project, I will be seeking out more.

Humor, action, characterization and beautiful artwork -- from all angles, Superman/Gen 13 delivers the goods to comic readers.

[ by Mark Allen ]
Rambles: 1 February 2003

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