Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #1 Review

What a Sucker!

Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Paul Pelletier, Drew Hennessy, Adriano Lucas, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: April 20, 2020

With the comics industry in a shutdown, there has been considerable debate on what each company should do.  Going digital is a scorching take with arguments on the pros and cons of it getting people fired up in a time when we really all need to relax.  Well, DC Comics is trying something out that harkens back to those simpler days of 2013 or so by making every day New Comic Book Day with a full slate of daily Digital First books hitting the... computer.  I was a massive fan of the entire week Digital First line-up when it was going strong, so I am all about this.  Of course, DC is going to start with the Trinity, and the first book up is Superman: Man of Tomorrow by Robert Venditti and Paul Pelletier.  Is it any good?  Let's find out...

This issue collects Robert Venditti and Paul Pelletier's Superman Giant #1 story, so if you have already read the print version, there is nothing new here.  However, if you haven't read it, 24 pages for $0.99 is quite a deal, even if the story isn't as memorable as it could have been.

Parasite is in Metropolis with a few days to...suck(?), and it's up to Superman to stop him.  Unfortunately, that's the premise, and it doesn't go far from just that.  Venditti gives readers who are unfamiliar with Parasite a crash course on the character that doesn't stray far from the major bullet points. While I understand why that is (especially as it first appeared in the Superman Giant issue written more for newer readers), there are a couple of exciting things going on that he could have explored further.

Parasite shows up, sucks up all the power in Metropolis, and when Superman tries to stop him, he starts to siphon off Supes' energy as well.  Meanwhile, Lois and Jimmy are chasing down the big story, and Lex is hanging in the background wanting all the praise.

The story's central theme is not Parasite, though, but Superman's inspiration that plays out in a decent half time speech to rally the citizens of Metropolis to help each other through the power outage.  It hit home with what is happening right now to all of us, but felt too generic and ended too quickly to have any real impact.  Still, it's what Superman is all about and played out nice enough.

In the end, Superman doesn't defeat Parasite, but practices what he preaches and vows to help cure his insatiable hunger, but we've seen that so many times before that I really don't believe him!  That's not anything against the story here, though, since I expect it from Superman every time Parasite shows up.  I'm sure he will get to it once he's finished getting the bottled City of Kandor back to normal, right?

This issue is well worth the price of admission, as long as you don't expect too much going in.  Robert Venditti plays it safe here, but hits the themes you'd expect from the average Superman comic, but not much else.  Paul Pelletier's art is outstanding throughout, and while it is cliche, it is worth the meager price of admission by itself.

Bits and Pieces:

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #1 is a real bargain for $0.99, and as long as you don't expect too much from it, it is a pleasant surprise to read during these odd times.  Robert Venditti plays it safe, and while the story isn't memorable, the art is excellent, and it has a sweet, timely message to boot.


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