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Superman: Metropolis #1

Superman: Metropolis #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 19, 2003

Cover date: April 2003

Writer: Chuck Austen
Penciller: Danijel Zezelj
Inker: Danijel Zezelj

"Welcome to the City of Tomorrow"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Jimmy Olsen, photojournalist for the Daily Planet, leaps onto a stage to get a better angle of a photo: Martin Westcott, future senatorial and presidential hopeful, has been shot in the head. Despite malice directed towards him, Jimmy gets the shot.

Later, at the Planet, Perry White laments the loss of Westcott. Lois has learned that a local gang thug perpetrated the hit for fame. In the midst of this, they find that Westcott is in fact miraculously alive, giving a press conference at that very moment. He cannot understand why he is alive...all he knows is that his wound won't take bandages but he feels fine.

They visit Westcott at the hospital. His wife is angry at Jimmy for taking the photo, but after a brief talk, she allows him a bookend shot. Both of his photos make the front page.

Superman, outside during the visit, uses his telescopic vision to examine the wound.

At home, later, Jimmy laments how the tech has affected his life. He remembers being sucked into his video game, his camera being changed. He also recounts how the tech came to be, through Brainiac's machinations with Luthor over Lena and control over patents.

Superman knocks, and tells Jimmy that he thinks the tech has taken over Westcott's mind. He wants to use Jimmy to help communicate with the tech.

Superman flies Jimmy over Metropolis, finally landing in the docks of Metropolis harbor, near the Ace O' Clubs. They put the watch on a wall nearby and the tech takes it. It begins to speak, and the voice is female.

Jimmy is freaked, and tells Superman he could have done this alone, but Superman tells Jimmy he wanted someone else there...for support.

The tech speaks with Jimmy, and they ask what the tech wants. The tech tells them it wants a purpose. Scum Luthor and Brainiac created it without purpose.

The tech admits that it wanted to see what life was through Westcott, but denies that it is affecting his life in any way save in observance.

Superman asks the tech why it speaks in simple terms and calls Luthor scum. The tech replies that it doesn't like being called the tech. It's name is Lena Luthor.

5Story - 5: For the start of a new series, this issue had everything that I like in a non-action oriented story. First and foremost, for the first time in a while, this was a Superman story based firmly in established continuity. Jimmy is motivated by past events. His Funstation escapade, his camera changing, the up/down Superman comparison death shot...

Superman, as well, is motivated by the past. Y2K rears its head, just when it seemed to be becoming a backdrop, and this is very well done. It's refreshingly presented, as it usually seems to just be some amorphous idea that is given whatever properties the writer wants it to have, but here, instead of having fun with it, the writer takes it to task by making it start to unravel itself.

Also, it's truly wonderful to see the supporting cast.

I like the idea of Westcott being mentioned as a Presidential hopefull. Is Luthor already securing his second term?

My only worry is the Lena thing. Lena is back, a baby in Luthor's life, so how can she still be the tech? Maybe her brain? Either way, it's a subplot, so I'll give it a chance to explain itself over 12 issues. At this rate, I hope it becomes an ongoing, because it's beating the other three series of late.

4Art - 4: This would have been five of five all the way if it hadn't been so dark. I abhor the dark Superman, and have for some time. But the framing, the pacing, the shots, everything I have to say was technically well done. I have no complaints save the shading and dankness. The poses, the characters, they are all very well done.

5Cover Art - 5: A cover with detail, a dramatic pose illustrative of what occurs in the issue, an interesting draw-in, and irony...Super-Jimmy. I like it. I can't even take away for the dankness, because in this case it appears to be night out.

The logo isn't great, but heck, it's more of a Metropolis thing than a Superman thing, so it kind of makes sense. I like it, to a degree.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2003

February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003

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