I have never read Adventures of Superman before, but picked this up because Jock did the artwork, and I'll check out anything that he does.
This story is successful beyond the Jock artwork though, and was a wonderful surprise. Screenwriter Max Landis (yes, John Landis's son) supplies readers with the first New 52 meeting between Superman and the Joker, and what a great meeting it is.
Where Landis achieves success that has been so elusive in the New 52 is that he plants this story directly in the new continuity, and doesn't let the history of the old DC Universe drag him down. The biggest problem with the entire New 52 so far has been a seemingly lacking understanding amongst writers and editors of just what exactly has been carried over from the old universe, and what hasn't.
Here, Landis gives readers insight that this is the very first meeting of Superman and the Joker, and that this is a whole new universe, and the Joker is a new villain for Batman, and that long, tangled history isn't something that he has to worry about adhering to and writing around.
In this issue (a one-and-done) the Joker has planted bombs all around Metropolis, and surprise surprise, Superman has showed up to stop him. Now, this may seem like a straightforward enough story, and it is, but where Landis succeeds so incredibly here is in the way that he writes Superman, and the dialogue that exists between the characters. The big problem with Superman has always been pretty clear for me, he's boring. He doesn't have any particular personality traits that have defined him across multiple writers or eras, so he's always seemed pretty vanilla compared to other heroes in modern times. Here in AoS #14 though, Landis imbues Superman with a fantastic sense of humor and more charisma than maybe any other portrayal of the character I've ever read.
To see Superman drive the Joker mad with his flippant attitude and boyish foolishness actually made me chuckle out loud more than once while reading this, and that immediately vaults this into the upper pantheon of Superman stories for me.
I couldn't be happier with how great this issue is, and that Jock did the artwork so that I had a reason to pick it up and read it. I don't know anything about this title, but if Max Landis is the regular writer, consider me signed up for this book from now on.