Review – Future State: Superman of Metropolis – Bottled City

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Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 – Sean Lewis, Brandon Easton, Artists; John Timms, Valentine De Landro, Cully Hamner, Michael Avon Oeming, Artists; Gabe Eltaeb, Marissa Louise, Laura Martin, Colorists

Ray – 7/10

Ray: The first Superman book of Future State gives us a much more radical shift for its lead characters. Clark Kent is nowhere to be seen, Jon is taking over his father’s role, and Metropolis is going to hell. In Sean Lewis’ main story, an authoritarian government police force is clashing with a powerful tech empire that seems to have roots in Brainiac’s remains—and has mutated into a weird new form called Brain Cells. Jon has an odd relationship with the AI being, and takes the radical move to bottle Metropolis without consulting anyone else using Brainiac’s technology. This makes him public enemy #1 in the eyes of both the government—and Supergirl, who considers him unworthy to be Superman. There seems to be some Kryptonian “pureblood” bigotry going on there, but it also seems like not all of Kara’s thoughts are her own here. The betrayal that ends the issue is to be expected, and overall it doesn’t really seem like anyone comes off well here personality-wise. Some exciting action, but an odd story.

A hero arrives. Via DC Comics.

Next up, the creative team shifts to Brandon Easton and Valentine De Landro for a short story taking place against the backdrop of the bottling of Metropolis. Shiloh Norman, the second Mister Miracle and one of Metropolis’ many ground-level heroes, has to try to keep the public safe while fending off many of the dangerous tech entities looking to control the city. It looks great, combining a good amount of high-tech action with some nice character-driven moments and a fun narration as Shiloh talks to his Mother Box. I always liked stories that essentially put us in the POV of a minor hero against the backdrop of a major crisis, and Easton has a good handle on the two genres.

It’s back to Sean Lewis with Hamner and Oeming doing double-duty on art for the last part, as the Guardian—who seems to be based on the Manhattan Guardian version by Grant Morrison—winds up enmeshed in a conspiracy involving a missing Jimmy Olsen. This one takes place on the ground after Metropolis was bottled, and the public here is not happy. Guardian has his hands full trying to stop people from destroying the barrier and tracking down the villain who may have kidnapped Jimmy. There is some clever social commentary mixed in here, but overall this and the main story don’t fully connect. Unlike the other Future State stories, I’m not quite seeing how this feels like Metropolis yet.

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