The opening issue to Future State: Superman of Metropolis shows a group of heroes step up to defend a city under siege.
In the aftermath of the crossover event Dark Nights: Death Metal, a new DC Multiverse has risen, including a whole line of alternate timelines in the two-month event Future State. The Superman Family faces an ominous, new status quo in the anthology miniseries Future State: Superman of Metropolis, with a trilogy of short stories examining the latest generation of heroes stepping up to defend the iconic city with Clark Kent conspicuously absent from the proceedings. And while some of the stories are uneven and overstuffed at times, this opening issue does set some genuinely intriguing paths for the Superman Family and familiar faces of Metropolis to go next.
The anthology’s main feature, by Sean Lewis, John Timms and Gabe Eltaeb follows Clark and Lois Lane’s son Jon Kent who has taken on the mantle of Superman as he reunites with Supergirl and faces off against a whole host of new threats endangering the city. Brandon Easton, Valentine de Landro and Marissa Louise craft the middle installment as a new Mister Miracle finds himself proving he’s far more than a master escape artist in a futuristic fight. Lewis teams with Cully Hamner, Michael Avon Oeming and Laura Martin for another story closing out the issue that goes a new Guardian as a man on the ground that discovers
Easton’s story is probably the best of the bunch in this opening issue, with a tight focus and Louise’s color palette really elevating de Landro’s visuals in a prolonged action set piece that pits Mister Miracle in a high-flying showcase. Lewis’ opening tale is certainly the most ambitious and Timms and Eltaeb’s artwork really pops off the page there’s just a lot going on and it can be a bit dense and overwhelming at first glance. This may come off as a little disorienting at times though, given the enormity of the challenges that Jon is facing as he acclimates to being Superman this may be intentional, but it is definitely something to be aware of.
Lewis’ pacing works much more effectively in the anthology’s closing tale with a more grounded, emotional tale following Guardian. This is enhanced by Hamner and Martin bringing some real grit to the first part of the story following seamlessly into the latter portion as the shield-wielding superhero takes on a job that takes him from the streets to the top of Metropolis’ skyscrapers. Every single one of these tales occurs largely in media res, a trend that appears often in this first wave of Future State titles, perhaps due to the anthology format for most of the titles. And here it mostly works though the pacing and sheer amount of information to establish the new timeline can leave readers breathless at times.
Future State: Superman of Metropolis is perhaps the most ambitious, expansive launches of the lot so far, with all of Metropolis. The set of stories is reminiscent of the world-building that the Superman line of comic books saw in the aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths, reintroducing familiar elements but modernized for a fresh starting point. There is a lot going on in this opening issue and it’s one of those reads that really bears taking the time to pore even the quickest panels. But the creative teams really do provide exciting jumping on points for each of their superhero protagonists, just be sure to be ready to hit the ground running.
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