REVIEW: Superman Of Metropolis #1

Superman of Metropolis #1 is finally here, bringing us the start of the Future State event. This issue is comprised of three separate tales that chronicle our beloved characters re-imagined for a different time yet in the most familiar of settings. In this case, Metropolis.

The standard cover for this issue is created by interior artist John Timms and colourist Gabe Eltaeb. For me this cover is heavily entrenched in Superman lore as Superman appears to be protecting a bottled city of some kind. Of course on closer inspection it turns out to be none other than Metropolis. This definitely made me think of Brainiac straight off the bat. Determination is etched all over the face of Jonathan as the fate of Metropolis literally rests in his hands. This is a perfect cover to a freshly launched series.

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 Review - The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Now there are several variants for this issue to mark the big event launch, so we will break down each of those. Variant cover B is created by Inhyuk Lee and is an absolute joy to behold as Superman hovers high above, surrounded by clouds. I love the contrast between these two covers. Superman is of course for all seasons and seeing him enjoying life in this way is very life-affirming to say the least. Exactly what we need in this day and age.

Superman of Metropolis #1 - The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Variant C is a blank cover. Personally I love when they do this, it allows budding artists to try out their work on an actual comic cover. A great idea, and although I cannot draw to save my life, I do still always pick up a blank cover if it’s available.

Superman Of Metropolis #1 blank variant - The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

As for variant D, it’s safe to say it is certainly a bit confusing! There have been several of these Wonder Woman covers for other characters, it’s a great idea to advertise Wonder Woman 1984, however it is very misleading. With that said this is a beautiful piece by Frank Cho. It’s gorgeous. The lighting expertly done with the colours really does scream GODDESS! It really represents everything that she stands for as a character, it’s perfect.

Superman Of Metropolis #1 variant by Frank Cho - The Aspiring Krytonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Though this cover isn’t always listed, this variant is by the one and only Jock. For me Jock’s work is instantly recognisable, I am a huge fan of his. Every piece is so unique, so different and so effective, this cover is no exception. I adore it. The blur effect in the background really show the stakes and speed that Superman is working with here, like I said, so effective.

Superman Of Metropolis #1 - The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Superman of Metropolis #1 thrusts the reader 10 years into the future and straight into the action as the United States Military clashes with a large-sum of augmented citizens. Those citizens have been upgraded with corrupt Nanotechnology courtesy of a rogue Artificial Intelligence. Only one man stands between Metropolis and impending doom, none other than Superman himself Jonathan Kent.

Writer Sean Lewis does a fantastic job of informing the reader of all that has recently transpired in this newly established universe in such a short space of time. Its easy to feel lost or overwhelmed considering the magnitude of this event, however Sean Lewis honors the past just enough to cultivate an exciting vision of the future that is anchored in Superman lore.

Like with classic else-world tales of yesteryear, Future State appears to feature familiar characters in unfamiliar settings and scenarios. This is definitely the case regarding Jonathan and Kara (Supergirl). Both of these beloved characters feel familiar yet they have certainly both grown and matured. These two feel more like contemporaries now rather than a niece and nephew. Kara seems to carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and this must play into Clark’s absence on Earth.

Jonathan stepping into his fathers shoes is of course natural progression, however in this issue it feels as though Jonathan has fully embraced the weight of the symbol emblazoned on his chest, but has forgotten to revel in the hope it can inspire.

Both Kara and Jonathan look fantastic in their redesigned costumes. Superman looks to be honoring his roots as Superboy as well as that of Conner before him as he adopts the no cape look. Kara has opted for a collar similar to that of her cousin from the new 52 era. This makes her look infinitely more regal and much more imposing than what we are used to seeing. Kara certainly looks to have stepped up in her cousins absence.

Writer Sean Lewis has created a rather interesting character by the name of Andrej Trojan who owns Trojan Solutions. Trojan doesn’t appear in the issue himself though his exploits in this timeline are chronicled and are sure to be felt moving forward. The main villain who does appear in this issue is also rather interesting and has fascinating ties to a certain Superman rogue from the past. The creative team don’t make a secret of this which I feel may have been a missed opportunity.

The real highlight of Superman Of Metropolis #1 is the artwork by John Timms and Gabe Eltaeb. John Timms who worked most recently on Young Justice has created the most incredible artwork for this issue. Every page is full of intricacy but on the grandest of stages. The combat and destruction is just awe-inspiring. Every turn of the pages feels like a Hollywood blockbuster. Gabe Eltaeb’s colours fill ever panel with so much depth and atmosphere. Our characters truly feel like they move from one habitat to the other as the environment shifts around them according to colour and tone.

Sean Lewis has done a wonderful job of crafting and cultivating a brand new era that feels new and exciting yet enveloped in the familiar. Jonathan’s dialogue in particular is the anchor that takes you back to familiar territory. I love to hear so much of Clark resonate from his son. This works in perfect contrast to the main antagonist of the issue whose dialogue is very cold and calculating. These two make for perfect adversaries.

The second story within Superman Of Metropolis #1 is titled ‘The Metropolis Menagerie’ and follows Mister Miracle as he protects Metropolis in yet another time. I won’t go into any more detail on this as I feel it isn’t Superman focused in the slightest, however the second story does have some ties and shows us a different perspective on the events of the first story.

Jimmy Olsen and Guardian find themselves in a predicament as Metropolis is bottled and her people begin to riot against their former saviour – Superman. In Clark’s 10 year absence it is so wholesome to see a very matured Jimmy still have that same amount of hope that his hero is going to come back. I would love to explore more on what has been going on in Jimmy’s life for his personality to change so much.

Writer Sean Lewis has done a great job of capturing all sides of this situation, I love that this had it’s own story that could truly focus and explore the repercussions of what Superman has done. The artwork is awesome too, the first half is by Cully Hamner and the latter by Michael Avon Oeming. The artwork is excellent in this story and I have to say the change is seamless and as described in the issue really showcases Metropolis in a darker light. The colours by Laura Martin helps add to this effect as Metropolis is drenched in shadows and silhouettes for the most part of the issue.

I for one cannot wait to read the next installment of Superman of Metropolis. We are certainly off to a great start. I am so excited to see whats next for the Superman family and Metropolis in the coming weeks. 

Haven’t picked up your copy of Superman Of Metropolis #1 yet? You can pick up the standard cover by John Timms here (UK), or here (US). If you prefer the variant cover by Inhyuk Lee you can get that here.

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