Posts tagged ‘panelsfromsupermanfortomorrow’

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 12 (Superman #215)

superman gets ready to kick ass

I’m not going to spoil who the “big bad” is at the end of all this, but I love these two panels from the final issue because they end up where all superhero stories end up; and yet, at the same time, the big final battle is kind of a disappointment—in the sense that after all the soul searching and mystery, all that is left to do is destroy.  Very similar to what the rebels told Superman themselves, back in part 2: In order to rebuild and heal, some must die.
And that’s it!  What should I do next?

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 11 (Superman #214)

 superman for tomorrow
Superman realizes that creating Eden was not enough for mankind.  He now believes that nobody can—or should—create paradise.  Or is this just a retroactive justification for refusing to cure Father Leone’s cancer?

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 10 (Superman #213)

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Lois and the vanished one million are not happy living in Superman’s utopia.  Again, the parallel is to Adam and Eve wanting more than God gave them in the Garden of Eden.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 9 (Superman #212)

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Superman follows the vanished into the Phantom Zone and meets Clark Kent.  We now begin to understand that Superman created a world within the PZ—and idealistic alternate reality—in which there was a Garden of Eden.  But the “Clark” that is here isn’t loved by the “real” Lois Lane who has now joined him.  She loves the “real” Clark Kent–from her own reality.  Or does Clark’s statement mean that she loves Superman and not Clark, that she loves the God and not the man?
This thread isn’t explored any further, really, which is too bad, but you can’t blame Brian Azzarello for that.  This storyline was so rich, and had so many opportunities for deep character development, that we can let this little comment slide.  I assume that if Azzarrello had stayed with the title after this storyline, he would have delved into this further.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 8 (Superman #211)

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Superman fights Wonder Woman, who is trying to stop him from using the “vanishing device” on himself.
It’s no big shocker that the device is the Phantom Zone projector, even though Azzarello hasn’t told us that yet.  It was pretty easy to recognize it as such.  Again, the “big reveals” in this story are neat and all, but the real meat is in the dialog and the big ideas.  Here, Wonder woman threatens to kill Superman before Superman can vanish himself: Humanity needs its God on Earth, and is willing to kill God to keep him.  You could probably teach several college philosophy courses on this idea alone.
And, of course, Jim Lee’s great pencil work.  He did this right after Batman: Hush, when he was at the peak of his powers.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PARTS 6 and 7 (Superman #209-210)

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This is God-as-destroyer, and recalled, for me at least, Noah and the Great Flood.
An Earth-based God (the four elements) threatens to kill all humans, and Superman’s response is basically to say that he’d miss people, but he’d just go find another alien race to adopt as his own.  (I’ll see your genocide and raise you one global destruction.)
In other words, without Lois Lane, humans seem to mean much, much less to Superman.  This helps explain why he refuses to cure Father Leone’s cancer in #210…
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Superman “says” that he won’t cure cancer because, if he was able to, humans would expect too much of him.  But is that really what’s going on here?  I mean, if he can then why not do it?  He’s already stopped wars and saved the universe hundreds of times.  In fact, he was out saving another galaxy—a million miles away—when Lois was vanished.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 5 (Superman #208)

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Mr. Orr—the human version of God in a story examining the meaning of power, God and faith, can cure Father Leone’s cancer.  This puts Daniel Leone in the classic position of Adam—tempted by the “Devil’s” cure.  Only in this book, it’s not clear that Superman is an all-positive
God, or that Orr is an all-evil Devil.  Orr tells Leone that Superman can cure his cancer, or Orr can.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 3 (Superman #206)

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Continuing on the theme: Why should God even bother being God?  The conversations between Superman and Father Leone are deep, and require multiple readings.  This is truly an example of comics-as-literature.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 2 (Superman #205)

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In Superman: Birthright, another great Superman story, we see him engaged in saving the world from itself: If a guy has superpowers, why doesn’t he actually improve the planet?  Warren Ellis did this as well in the pages of The Authority.
In this issue, he stops a war.  In the panel above, we get to see how people feel when God (i.e., Superman) steps into their lives.

SUPERMAN: FOR TOMORROW PART 1 (Superman #204)

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Having wrapped Frank Miller’s Batman, I thought I’d launch another DC review.  I don’t like most DC books enough to want to buy all the back issues and wade through them, so I’m not doing a series-wide retrospective.  Last time, I focused on a creator’s work—this time: A single story.
And it may be my favorite Superman story of all time.  So I’m doing a panel from every issue.  By necessity, there will be a few spoilers here—but I won’t reveal all the big plot turns and story beats.  And the beauty of this book is how the story is told, much more than the story itself, so even knowing what will happen (if you haven’t read it yet) shouldn’t ruin the whole thing for you.  Still, you should try to go snag it off Amazon before reading this.
Superman: For Tomorrow was written by Brian Azzarello with art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams.  It was published in 2004 over the course of year (issues #204-215).  In terms of continuity, you need to know that, before this story starts, one million people vanished from the face of the Earth—including Lois Lane, who was married to Superman at the time.  (I never could keep it straight whether or when they were married.)
One thing that makes this book so great (there are many) is that as soon as it starts, Superman is frustrated and powerless.  His wife has been taken, he has no idea where, and he is losing faith in himself as a result.
But the entry point for the story is a clergyman who is losing faith because he is dying of cancer.  In this panel, from the first issue, Superman comes to visit Father Daniel Leone, who kneels before Superman.
Superman tells him not to, but this is the first glimpse of Superman-as-God.  It will be important to the book later, when Superman is revealed to have essentially created a Garden of Eden.
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