Review: ‘Future State: Superman Of Metropolis’ #1 Is A Mixed Bag With Promise
by Tony Thornley
With DC’s Future State event launching full force this past week, readers got a glimpse of the future of the DCU. It’s not just a hint at future stories though, as several issues, including Superman of Metropolis #1, also experiment with format in some cool and interesting ways.
Superman of Metropolis gives readers three stories, each with a different taste of the DCU’s future. It’s an interesting format, with stories that are a bit of a mixed bag. The lead story is by Sean Lewis, John Timms, Gabe Eltaeb, and Dave Sharpe with back-ups featuring Mister Miracle by Brandon Easton, Valentine De Landro, Marissa Louise, and Sharpe, and the Guardian by Lewis, Cully Hamner, Michael Avon Oeming, Laura Martin, and Andworld Design.
In the wake of an attack by Brainiac, Jon Kent is forced to bottle Metropolis to save the city. However, Brainiac might have more powerful allies than Jon expected. Meanwhile, Mister Miracle is Metropolis’s only hope to stop a mysterious invader, and Guardian battles a malicious AI determined to rule the city!
All three stories in this issue were worthwhile, though they’re not all equal. The lead story was solid, but it was full of overwrought narration and Timms’ cartoony art wasn’t totally a match for the darker tone Lewis was going for. The line and color art was good though, and the story was interesting with some cool big swings and plot points. Some of the characterization was a little off (Jon felt more like Conner or Kara), but it was an enjoyable enough adventure.
However, the two back-ups were great. Easton, De Landro, and Louise’s Mister Miracle captured the spirit of the Fourth World, while giving us a protagonist that felt a little more Marvel style with art that captured that street level feel. It created a feeling that Shilo Norman was the people’s hero, while Superman would be more focused on the big picture. In the final story of the issue, Lewis, Hamner and Oeming knocked it out of the park. Guardian captured the themes of a Captain America story- the greater good and personal sacrifice- while firmly set in the world of awe and wonder that is the DCU.
With a generally solid issue like this, it’s great to take a step back and look at the whole package as well. A lead story that was solid but not great was actually elevated quite a bit by having two strong back-ups behind it. Additionally, even though the price point was higher, I definitely felt like I got the bang for my buck. Knowing that this format will be continuing for a bit after the soft relaunch in March, this issue gives me a bit of faith in it.
With the Man of Steel’s future up in the air, it’s exciting to see that everything is in good hands.
Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 is available now from DC Comics.
An interesting new format elevates the entire package in an experimental take on Metropolis’s protector.