Joshua Williamson and Jamal Campbell have kicked off their Superman run in a bang with an epic story involving Parasite. The Superman villain has been given a serious upgrade that has seen Parasite now be able to infect others through the air. In the process Parasite is able to create his own “children” that threaten Earth. Can the Superman Family battle against the evolve Parasite? Let’s find out with Superman #3.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Ariana Maher
While still in control of himself the Parasite-infected Superman breaks Lex Luthor and Livewire out of prison and brings them to SuperCorp.
Lex creates a device to utilize Livewire’s powers to attract the Parasite army to SuperCorp Tower.
Utilizing a containment suit Superman tries to reason with the Rudy Jones side of Parasite. When that doesn’t work Superman reminds Parasite that his clones have absorbed most of the energy in Metropolis.
Hearing this Parasite decides to absorb all of his clones. When Parasite becomes full Lex uses a neutralizer gun to knock out Parasite.
Afterwards the Superman Family help the city recover Lois Lane convinces Clark Kent to play the game Lex wants in order to figure out what he really is up to.
Later, Superman meets with Lex to reveal he confirmed with STAR Labs that Lex’s neutralizer gun did save Parasite from dying from whatever increased his power.
Lex once again pushes Superman to let him help save the world. Superman says he has decided to not give up on Lex. Superman then leaves Lex still locked up with a special Superman watch.
Superman then meets with Mercy Graves to start work at SuperCorp.
Elsewhere Garm and Dr. Pharm are seen targeting Silver Banshee for the next phase in their plans. End of issue.
Superman #3 is all about efficiency. There was no time to waste for Superman as the Parasite crisis has gotten out of control. That lack of time is felt with the pacing utilized by Joshua Williamson and Jamal Campbell for what became the close to the series first story arc.
Immediately we see that sense of urgency with how Superman uses the time he has before Parasite has full control of him that Lex Luthor was the only one that could help in this spot. Williamson and Campbell show that urgency with how Superman is presented. This isn’t at all what Superman wished to do but what he had to do because they have run out of time when it came to dealing with Parasite.
At the same time, we see that Superman is careful about how he brings Lex and Livewire to help. Throughout what could be said to be a team-up Superman makes sure to keep an eye out for what Lex and Livewire are doing. While this won’t wash away their crimes but could lessen their sentences later.
This plan worked well with how this was a last-ditch plan being utilized by Superman. But even with that being the case Superman didn’t want to give up on trying to connect to Parasite as people. Even using Rudy’s name when addressing him rather than Parasite was a great way to show this. It once again emphasizes how Superman’s greatest power is his connection with others. At the end of the day he is Clark Kent and being Superman is just an extension of the kind, considerate person he was raised to be.
With how the Parasite crisis was resolved Willimson built greater investment in how he is planning to utilized Superman and Lex’s standing with each other. While Lex will be kept locked there is the door open to Superman getting his greatest villains help. Lois Lane being the one to mention how it would be best for Superman to play Lex’s game in order to fully figure out what Luthor is doing was a smart call. There are now more layers to this story as Superman and Lex will try to get the one up on the other without making it obvious.
This entire story also helped to build up the new mad scientist villain characters in Garm and Dr. Pharm. As new villains introduced after 85 years of history Garm and Dr. Pharm need their credibility to be built up. Doing that from the shadows as they use other Superman villains to get their plans over is a great play. This allows other villains like Parasite and Silver Banshee to be emphasized. Then in the background we can see Garm and Dr. Pharm receive development that gets the reader to buy them both as major threats with each passing issue of Superman.
Campbell once again shines with his artwork throughout Superman #3. The horror-villain take on Parasite made the character be presented as a big threat. This is by far the most credible Parasite has come across while fighting Superman. There was a sense of overwhelming threat that even the Superman Family couldn’t handle alone. This darker action material was balanced well with the end of the issue where we got back to a bright, colorful Metropolis. Showing Metropolis in this way is a great subtle way to show how different it is from other iconic DC cities like Gotham City.
Superman #3 concludes the Parasite crisis story in a way that gets you invested in the future that Joshua Williamson and Jamal Campbell have planned for the series. This is definitely one of the premier titles for DC Comics that fans should be reading.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10