Superman #37 – Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Writers; Jorge Jiminez, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Corrina: Evil Future Tim Drake. Ugh.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: A major new crossover kicks off this issue, hitting Super-Sons, Teen Titans, and the next issue of Superman as well, and it turns out to be a stealth sequel to “A Lonely Place of Living“, as the Tim Drake from the future returns with a new mission. Unfortunately, it’s also a cautionary tale about juggling plotlines between very different writers, as there’s a lot of character issues in both chapters of this crossover that drag down the story. (For the review of part 2 of this story, see the Super-Sons #11 review.)
The issue opens with Bruce at home, reading, when Batman suddenly crashes in through the window and attacks him. It’s Tim’s evil Batman, and we know he’s evil because he essentially announces this with every mocking word out of his mouth. Tynion’s Tim was a haunted, broken man desperately trying to save his world. Tomasi/Gleason’s Tim feels more like a refugee from Earth 3. His overt violence towards the man he would see as his father figure makes for a much uglier picture.
After Tim knocking Bruce unconscious – with a gun – and stealing his secret weapons against the League, the story shifts to the Arctic, where Superman is working with Kelex to repair the statues of the Kents destroyed by Mr. Oz. They’re interrupted by Tim, who invades the Fortress and dramatically announces himself, taking on the most powerful Superhero in the world with the same ease he took on Bruce.
Why can he hack a Kryptonian battlesuit? He learned from the evil Superboy from his world – Conner Kent. The dialogue is just painful in places, with Superman at one point promising to teach Tim “A lesson about pain”, as if this was a DCEU film. Tim, unbeatable so far (something he definitely wasn’t in the previous storyline) traps Superman in a portable red kryptonite chamber and tells him his real plan – he’s there to kill Jon. So…kind of a disaster out of the gate. Does it get any better with chapter two? We’ll see.
Corrina: This crossover takes my two least favorite elements from an otherwise exemplary Detective Comics run and doubles down on them. First up is Future Tim Drake and this time, instead of being a clearly traumatized hero turned villain because of his torment from years in his mysterious prison, he’s just an out-and-out one-note villain with bad dialogue, as Ray so eloquently states. I’d have been happy to never see this character again.
The second half of my problem is that Evil Tim has the exact same goal as he did before: kill someone. For some reason, his focus swaps to Jon Kent because…well, reasons. Wanting to kill an innocent to save the future is a plot line I hate and, this time, we get even less reasoning behind it because Jon is the nicest kid ever. Okay, then. And let’s talk about how, for plot reasons, Tim was able to defeat Batman and Superman at the drop of a hat. They were jobbed for plot reasons. Last time, Tim couldn’t even defeat a group of non-powered people. (Okay, we can count Clayface as powered.) And this time, he can shoot Bruce, who knows already who and what he is? And sneak into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude? Even Lego Batman needed help to get someone else inside!
I’m bummed because the setup of the Super-Sons new HQ and the new concept, with them going to the same school, held tremendous promise and that’s ignored, I guess, for however long this crossover takes. :sigh:
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.