Superman: Man of Tomorrow #1 review

One evening in the big city, Clark Kent is trying to get wife Lois to join him for supper, but she’s busy with a story.

A power outage breaks the relative calm of the Daily Planet city room.

Up on the roof, Lois watches as Clark rushes off to investigate in his other identity of Superman.

Soon, the Man of Tomorrow is facing his old foe, the Parasite.

There’s a lot of fighting in this first issue, which repurposes a story created for Superman 100-Page Giant #1 for the debut title from DC’s new Digital First line. Nope, I don’t understand the logic there, but who cares? As a Brit I don’t have access to Wal-Mart, and I’ve missed having fresh Superman material over the last few weeks, so a 24pp story for 99p is pure win.

Especially when it’s from creators of the calibre of writer Robert Venditti, penciller Paul Pelletier and inker Andrew Hennessy. The aforementioned action includes lots of satisfying punching of the bad guy by Superman, as well as a pretty elegant infodump for readers unfamiliar with the Parasite.

But this issue is so much more than a super-slugfest – there’s humour aplenty with Lois, Jimmy and Perry, compassion for a villain who’s actually a real stinker and one of the best scenes of Superman being inspirational that I’ve seen.

Venditti writes a terrific Lois and Clark, their rich relationship sketched with economy and pizzazz. I’m not sure he’s ever met a journalist for a great Metropolitan newspaper, mind – Lois can’t write with background noise? And she does drafts? She would not last a day in a newsroom!

It’s always a treat to see pages by Pelletier, there’s a simple, direct appeal to them that only a skilled craftsman could produce. Just look at Superman punching Parasite with one hand, his other fist ready to follow through.

Other visual highlights include Lois’s disgraceful driving and a particularly pugnacious Perry White. Inking Pelletier’s first-class compositions is Hennessy, who understands the value of line weight.

Adriano Lucas has fun building a palette around Parasite’s trademark purple, while Clayton Cowles letters with a lovely light tough. The issue is topped off with the original cover by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey, but here it’s not obscured by lots of floating heads – it’s rather spiffy.

There’s a final page teaser for future issues but this is basically a done-in-one primer on Superman and his world, a terrific balance of character and action. Don’t miss it.

5 thoughts on “Superman: Man of Tomorrow #1 review

  1. I work at Walmart and we saw the initial wave of first issues an then nada. Even the people who supply magazines to us have never heard of them…

    Oh and I hate the Kuder Parasite look. Give me the Swan look!

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      1. Parasite is now just another monster in a sea of monsters. *yawn* Bremen when parasite first started absorbing intellects? The sequence drawn by Swan with a scientist on the ground now a drooling idiot, now that was true horror.

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  2. I’ve read the first two of the Vendetti/Pelletier Superman stories and they’re both a treat. (The third issue of their run is in Walmarts now, but I haven’t been able to justify going into one yet.)

    Be on the lookout for the Mark Russel-written issues of Batman and Swamp Thing, too (and the Swamp Things have Hester/Mandrake backups!), and my favorites of the line: Gail Simone/Clayton Henry Flash stories! They really capture the spirit of the done-in-one gems of my youth, updating the playful Bates/Novick style with crisper dialogue and more dynamic art.

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