Friday, December 29, 2017

REVIEW: Superman #37 (2017)



SUPERMAN #37 (2017) — regular
cover by Ivan Reis. ©DC Comics
SUPERMAN #37
DC Comics
, $2.99, 32pgs.

On-sale December 20, 2017

"Super Sons of Tomorrow, Part 1: Dark of the Son"
20 pages, Read Time: 6:40

by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason (writers) and Jorge Jimenez (artist).

BOTTOM LINE: All prologue, no story. And, hey, are we sure this isn't an issue of BATMAN?

Interestingly, given that this is an issue of SUPERMAN, we start out with a 10-page sequence (half the book!) that features future Tim Drake arriving at Wayne Manor to take down Batman. It's a nicely drawn battle and certainly holds my interest, and, although there is a lot of reference to things going on in other titles I do not follow (and that's a little annoying), I am able to follow along well enough.

After defeating Batman and taking some anti-JLA tech from the Batcave, future-Tim then shows up at the Fortress of Solitude — which he is able to infiltrate a little too easily it seems — and takes down Superman using a device larger tham whatever could have been in the case he stole.

Really, this issue functions solely as a prologue to the larger "Super Sons of Tomorrow" storyline. And while both the Superman and Batman fights are well-executed, both sequences could've — would have in the Silver or Bronze ages — and perhaps should've been done in just a couple of pages, combined, rather than an entire issue. As it is, while the dialogue is convincing and real, it does nothing to introduce the plot of the greater story. Superboy himself is not even mentioned until the last word of the story, so we have no idea what's up with the cover, that has him appearing to blow up while surrounded by Superman and the Teen Titans. I mean, talk about teasing a scene that's not in the book!. It's the promise of an entire story beat that is not delivered, or even referenced anywhere in the actual comic. And pity the poor soul who picks this comic up expecting Superman, only to get 10 pages of Batman. And then even when Superman shows up, he only gets a brief moment about him, where he is rebuilding statues of his parents — destroyed where, when, or why, we know not — before things turn back to dealing primarily with future-Tim.

At the very least, it seems to me (even if not particularly realistic) that Tim should have referenced Superboy when fighting Batman, and said explicitly why he'd come for Batman first. Then, Superman's half of the book should have dealt a little bit more with what's going on in his life, and mentioned Superboy some more, to add some real motivation to his fight. As it is, there's little real drama, given that Superman has no real idea why he's being attacked by future-Tim.

But, of course, having Tim drop more hints during each battle as to why hes here and what he plans to do really only matters if this story were to still to play out over an entire issue. As noted, this entire thing really only needed to be a prologue of a few pages before moving on to the main story plot teased on the cover.

But the biggest sin this issue commits, to my mind, is that the entire thing reads in just a little more than 6 1/2 minutes. That's a quick read for $3, making this a pretty poor entertainment value, even if it is pretty to look at.

***VISUALLY RECOMMENDED***

STORY GRADE: B–
ISSUE SCORE: 70.75

COVER: 7.00 | PLOT: 6.00 | SCRIPT: 8.75 | LAYOUT: 8.75 | ART: 9.25 | EDITS: 4.50
PRODUCTION: 9.25 | VALUE: 4.75 | COLLECTIBILITY: 6.00 | GOSH-WOW: 6.50

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