The Doom Patrol have just finished their latest series, subtitled Weight of the Worlds. There was a bit of planet hopping in there, but I’m not really sure why it was called that. This issue of DC’s weekly online Man of Steel book could much more legitimately have used the title.
Now there’s a super-feat. And there’s no need for the Bereft of Imagination to worry about Superman being overpowered because it’s clearly a metaphysical task. It’s Superman’s spirit that is temporarily bearing the burden of Atlas.
Back in Metropolis, boys and girls come out to play. Bad boys and girls. Happily, good boys and girls also appear.
I’m a sucker for stories that show Superman as a source of inspiration and this is a lovely such done-in-one. The Daily Planet is being a tad cheeky in referring to ‘Superman’s day off’ because it’s really anything but… this has to be one of the toughest 24 hours of his life – but how great that he knows he has friends to cover for him.
Perhaps better still is that he realises it’s not only superheroes who will step in – regular folk will step up. Writer Robert Venditti turns in yet another fine script, and continues a Metallo subplot – the only thing missing is the running gag about Clark’s ever-wrecked wardrobe. Maybe next time. Extra points for what looks to be the first appearance in years of the Planet’s Flying Newsroom.
Illustrator Scott Hepburn is stronger on larger than life figures than everyday folk – Superman, Atlas, Firestorm, and the other metahumans in here look great, but the Planet staff? It’s unfortunate that the single weakest image – a very doll-like Lois – is extracted for a makeshift cover, but it’s not so far from the rest of the work. Ian Herring’s use of shadows for facial modelling doesn’t help… maybe it’s a case of two great tastes that don’t add up to one great flavour, because Herring is a good colour artist, look at that Firestorm page? Maybe Hepburn was rushed because I’ve seen art from him that’s wound up looking a lot better. And even this story has some great visual moments, such as a thoroughly defeated Silver Banshee. As for the lettering, it’s Dave Sharpe doing his Dave Sharpe thing – very professional.
Overall, this is a more than decent issue, well worth your time unless you have something more pressing. Like the world on your shoulders.