Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2 – Sean Lewis, Brandon Easton, Writers; John Tims, Cully Hamner, Valentine De Landro, Artists; Gabe Eltaeb, Marissa Louise, Laura Martin, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The second chapter of Jon Kent’s journey is much stronger than the first. If the original was all about Jon failing, as he let the sinister Brain Cells goad him into bottling Metropolis and setting Kara against him, this one is about the opposite. This is about how he comes into his own as a hero and exorcises his demons. When we begin, Brain Cells’ plan has been exposed and—like his “father”—the AI has no problem killing Superman to preserve his power. But Jon has gotten smarter and more determined, even when he’s forced to go up against a quartet of creepy faceless clones of his father.
While Kara was in more of an antagonistic role in the first issue, that’s rectified here as well—she was right there, but outside circumstances made her more aggressive than she needed to be. Here you can feel the Super-family coming back together, although I did think the plotline with Brain Cells was resolved a little abruptly. The best part of this story is definitely the last segment where Jon makes a pledge to the citizens of Metropolis, learning from his mistakes and more closely starting to resemble his father. It’ll be interesting to see how the events of this issue play out in the backups.
The pacing of the Mister Miracle backup is odd, given that it plays out in both Superman titles but the one in the other book takes place after the second chapter of this one. This story takes place with Mister Miracle trapped in the shrunken Metropolis, as he goes up against an army of robots and tries to find his way out. He finds some unlikely allies along the way, escapes death a few dozen times—and then gets teleported out to deal with things on Warworld. This is a strong story with some great art by Valentine De Landro, but it also feels like we’re reading the narrative out of order. Still, great to see this version of the character again after Scott Free getting the spotlight in so many stories.
Finally, the Guardian story also finishes well as the titular hero tries to save Jimmy Olsen from an unceremonious execution by the insane Honest Mary. This villain never really connected with me as a serious threat, mostly because she looks like a particularly surly college girl, but the subplot involving young citizens of Metropolis backing up Guardian against her is strong. The first chapter was a little too frantic, but this one feels like a strong companion to the main story—also by Sean Lewis—as we see the last moments of the Metropolis bottling and the way the city’s heroes made sure that the citizens’ best instincts won the day. Some great visuals by Cully Hamner too. All around, a strong final issue.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.