Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 9, 2021
Cover date: May 2021
“The Golden Age” – Part 1
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Penciller: Phil Hester
Inker: Phil Hester
Cover: Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur & Hi-Fi
Variant Cover: John Timms & Gabe Eltaeb
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
A breach in space has opened up in space and this rip to somewhere unknown has allowed giant green creatures that resemble a cross between a xenomorph (Alien movie franchise) and an arachnid (Starship Troopers franchise) to come swarming through on their way towards planet Earth.
Superman and Jon are first on the scene and fight the creatures off and back through the rip until a S.T.A.R. Labs space station is able to seal the breach.
As Superman and son head back home S.T.A.R. contact Amanda Waller. They reveal in a series of texts that they were secretly monitoring Superman, Jon and the breach.
Superman and his powers are deteriorating from radiation leaking from the breach, but Jon is immune. When Waller discovers this she orders S.T.A.R. to secretly keep the breach open.
Meanwhile Lois, Clark and Jon are enjoying some relaxing family time. Lois notices that Clark is exhausted and Jon seems distressed.
The breach reopens and Superman and son are back in space to send the creatures back. Superman protects Jon from a lethal blast and suffers a severe wound that horrifies the heroes.
One of the S.T.A.R. scientists contacts Waller again as the flood of creatures is becoming too hard to hold back. She instructs them to shut the breach and send through the harvested data on Superman and the breach.
As Superman and Jon return to Earth a tearful Jon reveals that according to records in the future, Superman’s time is almost at an end.
The next time a breach opens, if Superman tries to stop it… he will die.
In space, the breach reopens… is this the end of the golden age?
To Be Continued…
Story – 4: After what we, the reader, have endured how bad could a new direction be?
A change in pace as a new story arc begins with a retread of two well known and well worn stories: ‘A child sees someone they idolise stumble’ and ‘reconnecting with an estranged loved one’. It is handled really well, the scenes when Clark and Jon have a heart to heart is particularly touching as they really haven’t spent any real time together since before Jon left Earth with Jor-El and Jon was still a child.
The scene with Lois is also nice and though understated and not explored fully it still speaks volumes.
The secondary storyline with the alien attacks, breaches and a villain testing Superman’s limits are not as interesting but will inevitably take a larger role as we move ahead.
The curve ball is the fact this is ‘Superman’s last story’. Whether that is to be the case remains to be seen but I’m sufficiently interested.
Art – 3: I am yet to be sold on the art. It’s a definite change after Ivan Reis and Joe Prado but it’s unfair to make a comparison as the style of storytelling is significantly different to what they were dealing with. It is a difficult sell though as Hester’s style is rooted in pace over detail. Very reminiscent of Scott MacDaniel’s art. I’ll have to give it an issue or two to bed in but one scene that illustrated the art not translating the script well enough yet was that of Lois watching Clark and Jon.
Back up story:
“Tales of Metropolis: Bibbo – Part 1”
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Sami Basri
Jimmy Olsen, the new owner of the Daily Planet, introduces us to the new status quo. Metropolis was always the City of Tomorrow, but now it’s an intergalactic one thanks to Superman’s new role.
Superman has elected Bibbo Bibowski as the voice of the people. Unknown to him or Superman, two nefarious aliens are using their extraterrestrial abilities to appear as humans manipulating Bibbo’s emotions for their own gain.
Jimmy notices something odd about Bibbo’s new ‘friends’ but by the time Bibbo realizes for himself he is faced by a deadly challenge. Some quick thinking on his part helps him take one of the aliens down. Jimmy reveals the existence of the other but in the confusion the assailants escape.
Jimmy asks Bibbo to write his first ever article for the Daily Planet.
Meanwhile dark forces are watching and plotting…
To Be Continued…
Story – 5: It’s a short and quirky back-up but it is fun and engaging. I mean can you ever have a bad Bibbo story? I liked the aliens plan but not their execution. Still it is a breath of fresh air. I recommend you give it a read.
Art – 5: Wow! What a stark difference of styles in the same book. I thought this back-up was beautifully illustrated. Basra and Arellano have done a great job of making a back-up unmissable.
Cover Art – 3: As mentioned in the Art section, Hester’s style is something that will need a little adjusting to. The cover art is engaging and the image is powerful enough to make me want to read it so half the battle is won.
Variant Cover Art – 5: Wow this is a pretty awesome cover and teases everyone coming in to the storyline to come. As a wraparound it really pops and even though it’s forcing Jon as the new Superman and his father as a supporting cast member, the art is so good I can forgive it.
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