Well so far this digital series has been stellar. I have to say I was rather worried about the change in creative team, but after reading Man Of Tomorrow #7 it is clearly still in good hands.
But first, let’s take a look at the cover by Yasmine Putri. Now I admit, other than her work on the DCeased horror variant covers I wasn’t too familiar with her style. But this piece seems completely different to what I have seen before and that is not a bad thing at all, it shows that she is an incredibly dynamic artist. The style for this piece feels rather rough, especially around the edges, but I mean that in the best way, that style adds to the effect that Superman is mid-flight. The colours used really make our Man Of Steel look almost god-like or angelic. It’s a great cover, and I hope to see more of Yasmine’s art style.
Unusually, this issue is split into two very different segments and therefore stories, so I’ll break it down in the same way.
The first story within the issue is titled “Viral” and is one of those stories that really brings the Man Of Steel into modern times. Jimmy Olsen demands to be seen in high regard for his work at The Daily Planet, to prove himself he takes a slightly different career path in being the PR Agent for Metropolis’ second superhero Soar. Superman senses that something is a little odd with this new superhero, and his instincts (as usual) are right.
There are so many great character interactions in this story, my personal favourite is the one between Superman and Jimmy Olsen. It’s rare for Jimmy to stick up for himself like this and to take such bold actions, so it’s great to see Superman be there for him not to rescue and guide him when he’s in need, but as a friend – a best friend. Writer Dave Wielgosz really get’s these characters and have portrayed their relationship perfectly.
I also really love the interaction between Superman and Soar, because Superman has a hunch that something is a little off with this larger than life character it seem’s that the pair are stand-offish with one another. I have to say that can be rare for Superman and it isn’t until the issue progresses that we learn that his instincts are right.
This whole concept for the story is something that we are very familiar with, and it kind of hits home that some people are genuinely like this. The fact that Dave Wielgosz has centered in on this is a great idea and a great way to bring Superman even further into these sometimes unfortunate times. The artwork during this first section is by cover artist Yasmine Putri, I really like it, She genuinely has such a unique art style within this issue and for me it it feels like a breath of fresh air. There’s a slight hint of anime in her style for this issue and I think that’s what enables her to portray the characters’ emotions perfectly.
Now onto the second story of the issue titled “The Wrath Of Wioska”. Due to Superman’s immense power set and nigh-invulnerability, The Man Of Steel doesn’t require combat training simply the ability to absorb just as much punishment as his foe and the ability to hit even harder to settle the win. However this mentality is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain as our villains are becoming just as powerful with even less thought for collateral damage than ever before.
It’s for this very reason that we find Superman on the planet Gatoshi and in the presence of the notorious Wioska, former trainer to the most gifted warriors Apokolips has ever seen. Superman looks to Wioska for training so that he can rely less on his powers and more on his skills and honed abilities. To be able to put down a foe in the most efficient way possible minimising casualties and damage to the surrounding area.
I love this way of thinking. This is quintessential Superman looking to better himself in the aid and betterment of his fellow man. For sometime now comics have focused heavily on escalation. Villains and their machinations becoming increasingly dark and twisted. Well Superman’s thought process in this story is the perfect remedy for this dark status quo we are fully immersed in. Looking to get situations resolved in the most expedient way possible is the most humane way to go. Totally on brand for Superman.
Wioska truly breaks down Superman in this issue. I loved seeing Superman’s true power which emanates from within him flourish as his physical power is depleted. Seeing his determination in the face of adversity is awe-inspiring. The thought of helping others is always at the forefront of Superman’s mind pushing him to be the very best version of himself he can possibly be.
Miguel Mendonca’s artwork in this story is sensational. Everything feels so alien as it should do. Wioska looks great. He looks every bit the elder statesman with knowledge to impart. His clothing is truly inspired by that worn by the natives of apokolips. Think the scale mail worn by Granny Goodness. Superman himself looks inspired by Dan Jurgen’s iteration of the character from the early 90’s. I love this look featured in this story.
Mendonca’s art is complemented wonderfully by colours created by David Baron, whose colours radiate off of every single page. Every alien habitat we encounter feels unique, full of properties specific to that region. The night sky is kaleidoscope of twinkly lights and colour, reminiscent of Jack Kirby’s portrayal of space.
Dave Wielgosz has crafted a very unique and thoughtful Superman tale. Seeing Superman look to better himself makes the character feel even more human. A human who is humble and who would like to better himself. These are traits I truly find inspiring. To want to learn and to improve. Wioska’s dialogue is that of a true drill sergeant who has seen it all. He is hard on Superman yet respects why he is putting himself through such a rigorous ordeal.