Review: Superman #349

Superman #349 cover
Cover by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano

Superman #349
Published and © by DC, July 1980

Title: “The Turnabout Trap”
Synopsis: Returning from an interstellar mission, Superman finds himself trapped on an Earth where everyone has changed sexes.

Writer: Martin Pasko
Penciler: Curt Swan
Inker: Frank Chiaramonte

Review: Intrigued by the gender-bender cover, this issue was one of the few Superman comics this reviewer remembers purchasing new. Sadly, this issue didn’t live up to its potential. Actually, it’s a pretty typical outing for Superman during the Bronze Age: moderately fun, but lacking both depth and danger. Curt Swan’s art doesn’t help: it’s too clean, and lacks the dynamic energy of contemporary works. Superman #349 reads like a lightweight relic from an earlier era. Sure, it was probably aimed at a younger audience – but that audience was busy over at Marvel reading the “Dark Phoenix Saga.”

Grade: C

Cool factor: Wonder Warrior and this incarnation of Superboy. Just look at those costumes. Fabulous!
Not-so-cool factor: Mr. Mxyzptlk. Hate him.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 15p British variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.

Character quotable:Y-you!? -gasp- You’re Louis Lane!” – Clark Kent, confused

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on March 29, 2023.

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