Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 review – people in glass houses three in one

January 6, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Comics
3

Summary

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 delivers another anthology package, but it’s weaker than Batman’s, through propped up by solid art.

3

Summary

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 delivers another anthology package, but it’s weaker than Batman’s, through propped up by solid art.

DC’s “Big Three”, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, has always been a bit of a myth. Yes, those are the company’s three most longstanding and popular characters, but realistically, in terms of sales, adapted stories, public interest, marketing potential, and so on, and so forth, it’d be more accurate to say that DC has a “Big Two” of Batman and Superman. It’s no coincidence then that Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1, like The Next Batman #1, is an anthological collection of three Metropolis-set stories that help to create a picture of the new status quo.

This trilogy isn’t as strong as Batman’s, in my estimation. Like Gotham City, which is now under the totalitarian sway of the Magistrate, Metropolis is undergoing a similar fate, with Andrej Trojan turning people in nanotech and the army trying to keep everything under control – forcibly, if necessary. In Superman’s absence, Jonathan Kent has been left in charge, with considerable help from Supergirl. But with her also otherwise occupied, Jon is forced to make a decision that is going to force him to confront what being Superman actually means, and also grapple with whether he’s more dangerously human than Kryptonian.

With Braincells cast as the villain, Sean Lewis, John Timms, Gabe Eltaeb, and Dave Sharpe craft a very nice-looking and thematically-relevant story in which Jon, out of other ideas, shrinks Metropolis to the size of a paperweight and spirits it away to the Fortress of Solitude, much to the chagrin of Kara, when she eventually arrives, though not to Braincells himself, since there’s obviously a larger plot at play. This is rich territory for a son of Superman story but I can’t say that the issue does much with it on any level beyond large-scale superheroics. Where the Batman issue scaled back the action to focus on worldbuilding, in some ways Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 tries to have its cake and eat it, too.

I’d also argue that the supplementary stories are weaker here. An old-school-looking Mister Miracle outing and an action-packed Guardian story are both present to flesh out this version of Metropolis, but somewhat lack the original perspectives of the Outsiders and the Arkham Knights, as seen in The Next Batman.

I think there’s a lot of potential in the main story arc, though, and the issue certainly looks great. Even if I wasn’t especially enthused by what I’ve seen of it thus far, I’m still interested to see more of it, which I suppose is fair enough.

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