Story Arc: The City of Tomorrow.
Writer(s): Joe Kelly, Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar, Stuart Immonen & Mark Schultz.
Artist(s): Doug Mahnke, Ed McGuinness, Kano, Steve Epting, German Garcia, JAckson Guice, Stuart Immonen, Mike McKone, Yanick Paquette & Joe Phillips.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: December 17th, 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
It’s easy to imagine Superman’s life without ever really following him around. With his powers, there’s nothing more you can do than imagine him flying around the city saving kittens from tall trees and beating bad guys whenever they forget the beating they’re doomed to receive. Under his superhero persona, however, lies a man like any other, working a decent job and trying to juggle serious life issues, like what Christmas gift he should get for his beloved wife. Unfortunately, his daily life is far messier, from engaging alien threats to elucidating the devilish plans of an evil billionaire mastermind. This era of the Man of Steel gets rotated between the hands of countless renowned creators looking to shape the future of this iconic hero and collects Action Comics #760-763, Adventures of Superman #573-576, Superman #151-154, Superman: The Man of Steel #95-98, and Superman: Y2K.
What is Superman: The City of Tomorrow (Vol. 1) about? The story follows Clark Kent in his everyday life as a news reporter and his daily battles to maintain peace in Metropolis as Superman. Throughout his trials and tribulations as the Man of Steel, he is also accompanied by his love Lois Lane and his archnemesis Lex Luthor as they both secretly engaged in a deal that will put Superman in trouble. Meanwhile, Metropolis is on the brink of an unexpected cataclysm as Imperiex makes his debut as the embodiment of entropy. However, trouble is never far away with Lex Luthor’s plans simmering just around the corner and Superman will need all the help he can get to save Metropolis.
“Whatever happened to the City of Tomorrow?”— Jeph Loeb
Incredibly accessible, this volume collects an era of writing of the Man of Steel that focuses on giving readers a glimpse into the life of Clark Kent, juggling both of his identities and seamlessly reflecting on his place in the world. Whether it’s an episode that draws him back to his Kryptonian roots, forcing him to acknowledge his past or embrace his American ways, or a showdown with villains who are up to no good, the stories presented here all establish the hero’s strengths and weaknesses while also teasing a larger event through an overarching narrative. In fact, many writers get the chance to write Superman but they always steer the story towards an impending threat teased by the Son of Mongul or Lex Luthor himself. Otherwise, the volume collects countless entertaining mini-stories, from the arrival of silly villains or the mystery of a “Mrs. Superman”, without ever looking to astonish readers through stellar story-telling.
The same can also be said about the artwork. There is no particular consistency in it throughout this volume, especially with the countless artists that are part of each creative team here. The only element that can be noted is an overwhelming abundance of colour that gives Metropolis and all of Superman’s supernatural and alien threats more life and energy than one could imagine. Otherwise, there are dramatic differences in character designs, especially notable in Superman’s build and facial expressions, sometimes really leaving a sour aftertaste for certain short story arcs. The much more chaotic nature of his everyday life also assures for an explosive experience but is often quickly deadened by the extreme verbosity of certain writers. While the story does sometimes seem to shape up into something potentially exciting, there’s always something keeping you from really engaging with what’s going on.
Superman: The City of Tomorrow (Vol .1) is an entertaining portrayal of the inner connectedness of Clark Kent, Superman, and Metropolis as an imminent threat is teased and introduced.