DC Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 [of 2]
Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 5, 2021
Cover date: March 2021
“Superman of Metropolis” – Part 1
Writer: Sean Lewis
Penciller: John Timms
Inker: John Timms
Cover: John Times and Gabe Eltaeb
Variant Covers: Inkyuk Lee and Jock
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
“Future State: The triumphant victory of our heroes saves all reality from the brink of destruction and shakes loose the very fabric of space and time. From the ashes of Death Metal rises new life for the infinite multiverse and glimpses into the possible unwritten world of tomorrow.”
‘Welcome to the Metropolis of Tomorrow’ In the future, Andrej Trojan has turned people into living nanotechnology. Trojan forced Lex Luther out of business and Metropolis declaring it ‘The Free Republic of Metropolis’ but his reign lasted until the military came to reclaim the city and to take control of Trojan’s secret weapon, known only as “Brain Cells”.
Caught in the crossfire between Trojan’s zealots and the army are innocent civilians and Jon Kent won’t allow them to die. He is… SUPERMAN!
The army warn Superman off after he refused to help them destroy ‘Brain Cells’ the AI that is linked to the nanotechnology infused humans. There is a reason Jon hasn’t taken action against Brain Cells – his existence is because of Kara and Jon!
Trojan was able to extract the DNA and technology from one of the original Superman’s greatest foes. Jon captures Brain Cells and pulls him out of Metropolis to try and sever his connection to the humans.
Brain Cells mocks Jon as a half breed, citing his many lost battles protecting Metropolis. Jon ignores him and instructs Kelex to bring an army of fortress robots to surround Metropolis. They then initiate Jon’s secret plan… shrinking and bottling the city.
While bottled, Metropolis is in a safe ecological environment that Brain Cells technology cannot penetrate. Brain Cells points out this is an action so radically offbeat the original Superman would never have attempted it. Worse still, Kara appears and tells Jon she was busy with a better solution. She destroyed Andrej Trojan’s satellite network. No network, no way for Trojan or Brain Cells to control humans.
Supergirl tells Jon he is to had over Brain Cells and give up the role of Superman. Jon notices Brain Cells glowing with energy and realizes that he is using his connection to his DNA donor to somehow influence Kara.
Jon argues that the military weren’t interested in saving the people or stopping Trojan. They wanted Brain Cells for their own use. Kara is overwhelmed by mind control and battles her nephew. As their fight escalates the military sends in an army of drones.
Kara’s consciousness reaches through the fighting and she points out Jon’s error. Metropolis may be free from influence but it is a prison. Jon realizes in his impetuousness he has inadvertently caused even more harm to the civilians.
During the family bickering a giant drone ship has arrived. The duo realize they have to work together as they try to protect the bottled city, unfortunately they discover old habits die hard. Brain Cells has taken the bottle city for himself and the giant drone ship isn’t military… it is far more dangerous!
To Be Continued…
Story – 4: Before we begin, the issue is part of the Future State concept. It is not an unfamiliar concept, Conner Kent dreamt of this role for years, Future State is just fast forwarding Jon’s ‘someday’ role. With that in mind its actually a pretty decent ‘early years’ Superman tale. He’s fallible, gullible, determined to live up to his fathers legacy, powers beyond mere mortals but no experience or skills to put it into practice.
Supergirl echoes many of real life fandoms thoughts about Jon as Superman and even the concept of Clark Kent’s son in general. It feels a little forced as in many ways this is a Superboy story. However if you can overlook the obvious attachment we have for Clark Kent this is a pretty good story. I thought Brain Cells was a lame moniker and I’ve deliberately kept the review vague because he is a better concept that a goofy name. Could this survive beyond part 2? I don’t know. I’m interested enough in the character in a way I am absolutely not in Legion of Super-Heroes. If you have ever read any of the MC2 Marvel books such as Spider-Girl this is very similar and I can live with that.
Give it a go.
Art – 5: The art is energetic and fast paced. Pacing with the script is really well done and inking I’d bold but not overpowering. There are a few issues with anatomy stretching the limits of believability but that’s a personal issue and it doesn’t spoil the book in any way. With the fast pace it actually works in a beneficial way with the action.
Cover Art – 3: Jon looks more mature and confident facially but the composition of the whole piece is a little off. He looks more like Reed Richards physically. The weird pose makes Jon’s torso look stretched out and his arms dislocated. It really irks me when looking at it. The interior art is sequential so its forgivable there, here as a solo piece it just looks awkward.
Variant Cover Art – 4: Here is a beautiful cover that suffers from ‘Jon Kent syndrome,’ an ailment artists suffer from when trying to make Jon look a specific age and it doesn’t fit with any other depiction. Jon looks like a youth here, too youthful. It doesn’t gel with the interior art and couple with the next variant it is even more noticeable. Still, it is a vibrant and fun image regardless of my pet peeve.
Variant Cover Art – 3: Where Lee makes Jon young, Jock takes his depiction to the other extreme. This bold print makes a very aggressive looking Jon a much, much older. Perhaps too old? It is instantly recognisable as a Jock piece but I’m not sure it fits the book.
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