Man Of Tomorrow #11 is finally here and like I have said many times before has been such a great series which gives readers the opportunity to get to know and read work from a plethora of creatives. I am certainly grateful for that!
Before we get into this weeks issue, let’s take a look at the cover by Gleb Melkinov with colours by Jordie Bellaire. I adore this cover. It is gorgeous and has a real timeless feel to it. Mostly I think that is down to the very detailed yet striking outlines used, as well as the beautiful pastel tones used to colour it. The shading is really effective as it perfectly highlights Superman’s muscle tone as well as the shadows on the buildings.
Man Of Tomorrow #11 seems to have shifted back to it’s previous format, whereby we have one creative team on one story, and what a team and story that is.
It’s a slow news day at The Daily Planet as Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen all try to find something to occupy their time. Suddenly, a spaceship appears and Superman goes to investigate to find out who this stranger is and what the purpose of their visit is. It is none other than Grikus The Undefeated, who challenges Superman to a fight to the death in order to secure his 1000th and final battle win.
I love this story, it genuinely is such a simple concept, but it is so effective. Not only are we introduced to a new character, whom I wouldn’t actually call a villain, we also see once again how humble Superman is. Robert Venditti has sculpted yet another quintessential Superman story and I just want to see more of his take on the character and also those around the character. Grikus The Undefeated is a brilliant character, he is no threat to Metropolis or it’s people, he is simply a gladiator who wants to live in honour and fulfill his dream of being undefeated for 1,000 fights. Whilst it’s not an ideal situation as his fights are to the death which means a potentially innocent life lost, it’s a very honourable thing to do and way to live by.
To the readers surprise, Superman accepts his challenge and of course does the most humble thing by letting him win. That’s not to say he didn’t put up a fight, but this is what Superman is all about. It doesn’t bother him that people think that he has lost a battle, that’s not what he is about. He assisted Grikus in believing that he has completed his dreams and goal in the most peaceful way possible and he did that without hestiation.
There are some really great interactions between characters within this issue, mostly those between Lois Lane and Clark Kent. They really represent what married life is really like in this issue. I love the little squabbles and comments that Lois makes regarding household budgets and always having to replace Clarks’ suits. For me it’s a really nice and realistic touch which really grounds the couple, and it’s that kind of attention to detail that I really admire Venditti for.
The artwork by Gleb Melkinov is magnificent. I really like his art style, and combined with colours by Jordie Bellaire, the pair really bring this story to life. The action sequences are second to none, you feel every punch and blow that both Superman and Grikus take. The same can certainly be said for the facial expressions too, you can feel the emotion, worry and sometimes sarcasm radiate from the characters faces, and that’s something that is executed perfectly.
I also adore the attention to the little details with both the artwork and colours, a good example of that being the fact that Lois has purple eyes in this issue. That is a detail that is often changed or overlooked. Melkinov and Bellaire work perfectly together, and although the colours seem slightly muted, the use of pastel tones are gorgeous and add a sense of realism to the issue.
Man Of Tomorrow #11 is a thrilling and quick read, which has some real sweet moments and touches. With the introduction of a new character and a huge tease of yet another iconic Superman villain, I cannot wait to see what Robert Venditti and team bring to the table next.