As a fan of just about everything touched by Messrs. Loeb and Sale, I went into this with very high expectations. Generally speaking, many of my favourite Superman stories are Smallville focused. That is the strongest stuff here as the Kents are wonderfully fleshed out and Lana Lang and Pete Ross both have fine moments. When the action moves to Metropolis, however, things begin to take a turn for the worse. Luthor's motivations for empire buildings and his hatred for Supes are insufficiently explained and this undermines the impact of the moments in which they interact. The story is both small and large scale, which might have been biting off more than the creators could chew. It is still a solid book, with a wonderful atmosphere created by the artwork but it is a step down from the team's strongest work.