Superman: Man of Tomorrow #17
Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 15, 2020
Cover date: October 2020
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Penciller: V. Ken Marion
Inker: V. Ken Marion
Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer
A purple energy is emanating from the hospital. The MPD has established a perimeter, but one of their helicopters is caught in the energy. As it begins to fall, Superman catches it and returns it to safety. He learns that Dax, a psionic, has created a psionic barrier around the hospital. At his approach, a small hole opens letting him enter. As Superman makes his way through the hospital, Dax uses the staff to guide him to the Oncology ward. Dax reveals to him that his mother is dying of cancer and he wants Superman to cure her. When Superman can not heal her, Dax lashes out and attacks him. Eventually Superman talks Dax down and they embrace. Superman offers to wait with him, and the two men talk about Dax’s mother. The final page shows Superman entering the prison as the narration reveals Dax’s mother used to play card with him in prison once a week. Superman pulls out a deck of cards to continue the tradition.
Story – 5: Wow! I found this story to be very well written. It really struck an emotional chord in me, for whatever reason. Superman’s desire to help people is so poignantly shown through Stephanie Phillips’ writing. I really liked how at no point are we supposed to feel Dax is justified in his crimes because of his mother’s sickness, we are, however, invited to feel sympathy for his suffering. Never does Superman give the impression that he approves of what Dax has done. There are enough writers who try to justify a villain’s actions by a sad story. I never got that feeling here. Superman’s reaction to Dax was spot on. He talked Dax down by mourning with him. He then embraced him and offered to wait beside him. The final page of Superman visiting Dax in prison to play cards was superb, and aligns with how Superman has been portrayed by Venditti.
Art – 5: I really enjoyed this art. It felt dynamic, and was beautifully detailed. The fight between Dax and Superman looked great and fun. The purple energy felt active and electric, it bubbled with energy as it lashed out at Superman. And the panels where Clark revealed the “S” worked perfectly as an insert to the falling helicopter. V. Ken Marion drew a very young looking Clark, which didn’t bother me at all. The facial features and angles seem very manga inspired, but not to the point where you would confuse it with manga. Additionally, the colours are vibrant and perfectly suited for the story.
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