DC Future State: Superman of Metropolis (2021)
More than I expected
Superman of Metropolis is a two-issue anthology miniseries comprising of three short stories. After reading Future State: Wonder Woman and being disappointed by how short it was, I was fully expecting this comic to follow suit. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find the story having more depth than my last read. The three (seemingly) interconnected stories also added weight and perspective to events.
The main story sees Jon Kent’s Superman trying to take down Brain Cells – a genetic offshoot of Brainiac. Brain Cells is mind controlling people within Metropolis, which is causing chaos across the city. Jon sets a trap, shrinks the city and bottles it in order to protect it from Brain Cells. The second story follows Shilo Norman’s Mister Miracle from within Metropolis. Shilo tries to discover the source of the mysterious barrier surrounding the city while having to battle robotic invaders. Similarly, the third story sees Jake Jordan’s Manhattan Guardian working with Jimmy Olsen inside Metropolis. As chaos intensifies within the city, they have to stop the anarchist Honest Mary from wreaking more havoc.
I was surprised by how invested I was in the stories. The bottling of Metropolis ended up being a mini-comic book event. Jon’s struggle with not being a full Kryptonian gave him a distinctive voice which really worked. Facing Supergirl and the faceless clones of his father also served his internal struggle nicely. I wasn’t very invested in Jake or Shilo, but their perspectives within Metropolis served the overall story well.
The writing was pretty consistent across the three stories and the artwork made each feel distinctive.
What I liked
I really like the artwork in Jon’s story. The colors really pop and the borderless full page images really work in giving perspective. The writing also worked for me. Jon himself is really likable as a half-Kryptonian who doubts his own abilities. And I like that we are told about the Great Wars that Jon has fought. I’m officially interested in his battles with Brainiac, The Five Empires, The Golden Gods of Creon, and the Time Luchadores.
I guess this is what comics do – they make you want more.
What I didn’t like
I found Jake and Shilo to be considerably less interesting than Jon. The Jake/Jimmy team-up felt very familiar and not too interesting. The Shilo story is a bit more intriguing – it ends on a cliffhanger that also involves Jimmy.
The artwork for Jake’s story doesn’t look as polished as the other two. The faces, in particular, don’t look very good in my opinion. I’m not a fan of the Shilo artwork either. But his is definitely intentional. Thick linework and minimalist backgrounds make for a very specific look. It’s just not one that I care much for.
I generally liked what I read. It was definitely an upgrade in storytelling after reading Future State: Wonder Woman. The different styles of artwork really helped to separate the stories nicely – even if I didn’t particularly like two out of three of them.
I’m curious about Shilo’s cliffhanger but I’m definitely not curious enough to actively seek out the conclusion. If it happens to fall within the Future State comics, I’ll gladly read it. Otherwise, I’m fine with not knowing how that ends.
Jon’s Great Wars are a different story however. I’m definitely looking forward to more on those.