In a relatable and fast-paced Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2, Sean Lewis and John Timms embrace the fact that Jonathan Kent will never replace his father as Superman, and instead finds a place as the Superman for a new era.
NOTES FROM METROPOLIS
As I finished reading my third Future State title in a week, Superman of Metropolis did what Aquaman and The Next Batman did not: it fully embraced that this is not Superman.
The running theme of the issue was Joanthan’s internal conflict as he copes with self doubt for not living up to the precedent set by his father. We meet four faceless copies of Superman from different eras, all of them browbeating (and just plain beating) Jonathan as they admonish him for not being a Superman carbon copy. It all comes full circle with the fitting title, “Superman of Metropolis,” which I will not spoil for you here.
In all, it read like a fairly standard Superman story for a new generation, and that is exactly what Future State is all about, really. By setting itself in the not-too-distant future, Future State is a “What If…?” timeline that tries out new characters in the iconic roles without tampering too heavily with the established DCU continuity (which is a mess anyway because, well, such are comics).
Where Superman of Metropolis succeeds is speaking for all of Future State. No, these are not the characters you remember, and they don’t have to be. Where past changes fail oftentimes is trying too hard to replace classic characters. As Lewis and Timms establish in Superman of Metropolis, the Future State characters are independent of the classic tropes. They are not meant to fill anyone’s shoes; they are sewing their own.
You don’t have to accept Jonathan as the new Superman, but instead appreciate him as a Superman for a different generation. That is why this issue has earned its grade because it stands for all of Future State in that regard.
The story itself was fun and action filled the panels while sticking to the universal theme of self discovery. With the Manga-inspired artwork and the underlying message, this is a Superman title that especially young adults can identify with.
On a side note, the real show-stealer was Brain Cells. He injected the comic with much-needed personality and the occasional dry humor. Brain Cells made for a great antagonist to Jonathan and Supergirl, and could be a “devil’s advocate” for the two in the future if not an outright villain.
Overall, this was an entertaining read and finds a way to make a more relatable Superman, which can be a tall task.
Timms’ pencils and Gabe Eltaeb’s colors stole the show, but Lewis told a worthy tale of Future State’s Superman coming to terms with not being THE Superman and finding his own identity. The end of the initial two-part “Superman of Metropolis” opening story arc clearly establishes where the series is heading as Jonathan finds his place in the DCU.
THE READING PLAYLIST
What makes for good reading music for Superman of Metropolis #2? I’m leaning toward Power Trip’s “Hornet’s Nest” for the action sequences.