Parallel world’s are not always a good thing


I find it ironic that I sat down to read Tangent: Superman’s Reign #8, and then less than an hour later found myself watching the latest episode of Nova talking about Hugh Everett and his parallel theory of quantum physics.  I would hate to think the events were a coincidence, but it does make you wonder what would happen if someone were given the powers of Superman and decided to end all the world’s problems.

supermanreign8cover.jpgFifth week events are one of those rare instances where publishers get to stretch their legs a bit and offer readers something different.  In the case of DC, that fifth week event was the introduction of the Tangent universe in 1997 and then revisiting that world in 1998.  At the time, there was no connection between the DCU and the Tangent Universe, as the multiverse idea was long ago wiped from the planes of the comic universe. At best, Tangent was a really detailed and ongoing Elseworlds title.  Of course, the events of Countdown returned the concept of the multiverse, and Tangent fit right in, claiming the Earth-9 position of the 52 available.

At the end of Infinite Crisis, as the Green Lanterns were trying to find their way home, the Tangent Universe’s Green Lantern’s lantern found its way to New Earth, just waiting for the right moment to cause some parallel world adventures for our heroes.

As the twelve issue maxi-series has progressed, heroes one by one have been sucked into the Tangent-verse, finding themselves criminals in the land of Harvey Dent – Superman, a tyrant who used his powers to take over the world, end all famine and war, and generally make life nice.  That is if you followed the rules.  Those that stood along T-verse Superman have had it pretty good, while the rest have been criminalized.  It has been another fantastic visit to see where the roads diverged in the woods leading down different paths.  If Earth Prime’s heroes are being transported to the Tangent Universe, it only makes sense that the heavy hitters from the T-verse should somehow make their way to the DCU.  And that’s exactly what T-verse Superman, Power Girl, and Orion have done.  Upon arriving, T-verse Superman sees a perfect opportunity to bring his peaceful plan to Earth-Prime.

Too bad that plan includes blowing up the White House as a way of destroying the symbols that are causing conflict throughout the planet.

While the previous issues have been a lot of mystery and intrigue, issue #8 is all about fighting the good fight, no matter what side you are on.  There are plenty of great battle scenes between the Supermen and Power Girls of both worlds, and since a lot of T-verse’s Superman’s powers are magic in nature, the smack down gets pretty heated, leading to the previously mentioned attack on Washington, D.C.

The back up story by Ron Marz has long been hinting at a revolution, and when the Earth-Prime and fugitive T-verse heroes meet, it reminds me of the classic JSA/JLA team-up stories from days gone by when the Earth-1 and Earth-2 counterparts would fight bad guys.  Dan Jurgens brings enough suspense to this issue causing the reader to root for the home team, and enough ha-ha moments to make the tension not seem to intense.  There’s a great moment when the Flash gets the better of Batman, and T-verse Flash has to break the ice.

If you aren’t familiar with the Tangent Universe coming into the series, don’t worry, Dan Jurgens created the original stories, and is kind enough to add the necessary information for those who didn’t make it to reading the characters the first time around.

The art in this issue is a little odd; it kind of feels like a cross between Brian Bolland and Darwyn Cooke.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a tad shocking to see on the splash page when Superman and Power Girl are looking you right in the face.  It’s not what you normally see in a series that isn’t being hyped all to heck, but it works, and I like it.

While there were some really good fights in previous issues as the heroes tried to free their comrades, this issue finally the battles finally move from the clandestine to in your grill and the story actually feels like it is getting to a point.  It’s just too bad things are going to be wrapped up in the next four issues.  I’m hoping things aren’t rushed just to finish the thought. I’ve really enjoyed this series to date, and am giving Tangent: Superman’s Reign #8, 3.5 out of 5 stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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