This issue officially begins the "Grounded" story by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), where Superman Forrest Gumps it across America in an effort to reconnect with humanity. Much like the prologue written in Superman #700, I am somewhat disappointed. The disappointment comes from the execution of Superman making his trek across America, not the concept itself. It seemed like a cool idea on paper, but it just isn't coming together for me.
I was under the impression, from interviews prior to the books release, that Superman would not be wearing his costume. That made sense to me. If he wanted to reconnect with humanity, then he should dress the part. Instead he's walking around in his costume attracting attention from everyone. Celebrities wear disguises when they want to blend in with the public, why doesn't Superman?
I also didn't think he would be using his powers to solve everyday problems, but he is. I feel the same way about this as I do the costume. If he wants to reconnect with humanity, then he shouldn't use his powers to clean up store rooms and fix cars. Use your hands Superman! Open up a book and help somebody out. I don't know. It just seems like it would have been more powerful of a story if he had done these things.
Superman is really preachy in this issue too. For a guy who is trying to find his inner humanity, he spends a lot of time telling them how to live. It feels more like JMS is using this is as his soap box to tell everyone how to live, as opposed to writing the character. The way he talks to everyone isn't going to help win over the crowd that is annoyed by Superman acting like a messiah either.
Overall, it's not a bad issue. It's just not a Superman story that I really enjoy reading. If you're into it, then that's awesome. Please don't misinterpret this post as me telling you not to read this series. The writing, while preachy, is good and the art is great too. There are some real emotional moments, coupled with good advice. It's just not a Superman story that I care to read.
Let me know what you think!