Comic Picks By The Glick

Superman vol. 3: Multiplicity

September 22, 2017

This volume is a little closer to what I want to see in a “Superman” story as co-writers Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason attempt something few writers do these days:  Follow up on a concept laid down by Grant Morrison.  In this case, that would be his epic “Multiversity” series as Superman teams up with the Justice League Incarnate to take down a threat that is specifically targeting Supermen from across the multiverse.  Tomasi and Gleason manage to craft a serviceable mini-epic out of this three-issue arc that makes decent use of Morrison’s concepts and nails the title character’s ability to inspire when everything seems at its worst.  Working against the story is it’s antagonist Prophecy, who is every bit as generic as his name implies, and the fact that five(!) different artists were required to deliver these three issues.  Even though I liked how the previous volume focused on short two-part arcs, “Multiplicity” is one that probably should’ve been given another issue to properly set up its villain.

 

The title arc is also bookended by two one-offs that only required one artist each to deliver.  Jorge Jimenez illustrates “Tangled up in Green” where Superman encounters Swamp Thing during a drought in Smallville.  While it’s usually interesting to see these two vastly different superheroes interact, this story comes off as more of an excuse to see them throw down over complications from Superman’s other-dimensional status.  Jimenez makes the fighting lively, but the end result is just more handwaving to validate this Superman as the proper one in this universe.  If you’re like me and have already accepted this Superman, then this is largely going to feel pointless.

 

“Dark Harvest” is the final story in this collection and it spotlights Jon Kent and his friend Kathy as they go out into the swamp one night to look for her missing cow.  The art is from Sebastian Fiumara and he gives it a great horror-infused edge even at its most surrealistic moments.  Said surrealistic moments -- including parts where it looks like the two kids are shrinking and later swimming in a sea of milk in a haunted house -- do make the story feel somewhat nonsensical and by the end I was wondering what the point of it all was.  There’s nothing wrong with Tomasi and Gleason taking a spooky little diversion like this, except that it’s likely only going to be memorably scary to readers of Jon and Kathy’s age.

 

jason@glickscomicpicks.com

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