Robert Venditti and Paul Pelletier are back together again on Man Of Tomorrow and I am thrilled to say the least. When it comes to this creative duo you know you are in for a treat. This issue is certainly no exception as a classic villain who doesn’t often get time to shine goes toe to toe with the Man of Steel in a knock-down, drag-out fight for the ages.
This very conflict plays out in spectacular fashion on the cover created by interior artist Paul Pelletier, as Superman is locked in combat with none other than John Corben aka Metallo. Metallo is a character who has been redesigned countless times over the years both in appearance and backstory. His appearance on this cover is definitely my preferred choice. Seeing Metallo’s organic body parts remind me of this often misguided villains tragic origin. I love how Metallo is sporting Military fatigues. This is a very clever reminder of the characters time served in the Military under General Sam Lane.
Of course Metallo’s Kryptonite heart has to be, well at the heart of the piece. I love how the Kryptonite radiates out of Metallo’s chest weakening the Man of Steel. Superman is showing nothing but guts and determination as he fights off the elements deadly effects. I absolutely adore this cover. Superman’s chiseled physique alongside Metallo’s cybernetic chassis gives the cover a real 90’s feel.
Ex soldier John Corben aka Metallo looks to replace Superman by any means necessary deeming The Man Of Steel unworthy of his position as Metropolis’ guardian. Metallo’s misguided assault on Superman places Metropolis and her inhabitants in deadly peril, none more so than Lois Lane.
Once again Robert Venditti has brought us an incredible story which highlights the best of Superman. As soon as Metallo is mentioned both we and those involved know that there is going to be Kryptonite involved, yet Superman races off to stop Metallo before any harm is done. Superman knows the effects of Kryptonite, yet that doesn’t dishearten him from trying. That is my Superman, risking everything in order to save the city that he loves, and also the people within it.
John Corben aka Metallo is a very interesting character. I always believed him to be somewhat misguided as the machinations of his superiors in the Military, along with Lex Luthor led him into conflict with The Man Of Steel rather than of his own volition. Even in this issue, Metallo’s actions are somewhat altruistic through his eyes at least.
One thing that I adore about Venditti’s Superman is his attention to detail and although these details don’t necessarily push the story forward, it certainly pushes the character development and dynamic forward. Yes, I am referring to the marital biccaring between Lois, Clark and a number of ruined suits. This was done very subtly within this issue as we see Clark folding his suit perfectly on his desk before leaving to save Metropolis.
Another fantastic trait of Superman’s that Venditti is the fact that he isn’t afraid to ask for help. There are two instances in this issue where that is the case and the first one really made me smile. There’s something about seeing those closest to Superman saving him when he is in need, it just goes to show that despite his skill set and immense power, he still needs assistance sometimes just like us.
The second instance where Superman seeks helps perfectly links with the earlier issues within this series and I love the continuity within that decision. I also love the fact that Superman clearly believes that this villain has some good within him, and offers him the chance to prove that. I guess time will tell if Superman was right. But this too is another trait of Superman that I adore, the fact that he is willing to give people a second chance.
For me, Man of Tomorrow #14 is all about the artwork as Paul Pelletier has created a cinematic masterpiece upon every page. The combat and destruction is absolutely brutal and unforgiving. Both sides utilize every skill at their disposal to incapacitate the other. Nothing is left in reserve as Superman fights for his very life as Metallo’s Kryptonite heart tips the scale in his favour.
This is another fantastic issue crafted by a creative team that understands these characters completely. The combination of Paul Pelletier, inker Drew Hennessy and colourist Adriano Lucas have created a visually stunning issue that is truly a joy to behold. Man of Tomorrow #14 is an absolute feast for the senses and I cannot wait to see where the next issue takes us.