In Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4 from DC Comics Clark Kent is hot on the trail of a mystery that stretches back decades. A creature seeking revenge, a land baron hiding his secrets – and Superman stuck in the middle! All this and more in your next Major Spoilers review!
SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW #4
Writer: Robert Venditti
Penciler: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Drew Hennessy
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Andrew Marino
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: 13th May 2020
Previously in Superman: Man of Tomorrow: the Toymaker, the Parasite and a group of savvy gamblers have all fallen to Superman’s superior skills and all round do-gooded-ness. In each of them, Clark Kent’s nous and Superman’s devotion to truth and justice have stood them both in good stead. After almost a century of stories, Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4 proves there’s life in the Kryptonian yet.
BIG BLUE FOR YOU!
Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4 is a delightful, charming story that hits all the right notes while still packing a wallop. When Superman faces down a creature of earth and vegetation, it is up to Clark Kent to work out exactly what is going on, and for Superman to mete out the justice the bad you so richly deserves.
Your reviewer has always been more of a Batman guy (look out for the neat and fun Batman cameo in this issue) which tends to suit his moods more often than not. But there is a reason Superman has always been the iconic character for DC Comics, and it isn’t just because he was the first. While Truth, Justice and the American Way tends to owe more to a mythical time that never was, it is the intent behind that slogan that still stands, and still attracts. Superman is an artless character – slow to anger, he’s still motivated by the desire to bring justice to an unjust world. In Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4, he does bring a measure of that to the monster he has been fighting, once he realises what is going on.
Writing a comic looks easy, doesn’t it. Fill up a few word balloons, structure the story so you want to flip the page, give some art direction to the penciler and it’s off to the bar to party hard. That’s all baloney, of course. Some of the simplest looking stories are often the hardest to pull off. While no one will think that Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4 breaks the comics writing mold and ventures off into new hinterlands of expression, it is an immensely solid story that conveys action, humor, and characterisation in a finely balanced whole. I really liked the depiction of the relationship between Lois and Clark. She’s more down to earth than he is, but motivated by a keen sense of justice as the archetypal crusading journalist. It’s a marriage of equals, and thank God for that. And while the motivations of the monster are pretty easy to work out by mid-point in the story, the conclusion still makes for a satisfying read.
LOOK, UP IN THE SKY, IT’S THE ARTISTS!
The art team on Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4 do sterling work. The intricacy of the monster is the standout effort in this issue, with clods of dirt, grass, roots and insects all convincingly displayed as this living avalanche moves around the panel and becomes a convincing foe for Superman. The combined work by penciler Paul Pelletier and inker Robert Venditti is such that I can’t discern where one starts and the other finishes. It’s a unified whole brought to vivid life Adriano Lucas’s colors, which add a depth and reality to the artwork. The action scenes are well composed (though there is an amusing butt shot of Superman in one panel) but what interested me the most is how the artists transformed Clark Kent from a friendly rube to an intent Kryptonian in the space of a couple of panels.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR ADULTS AND KIDS ALIKE
Superman: Man of Tomorrow #4 is just a really solid read, one I can see young kids really enjoying and being excited by. There’s action aplenty, and a mystery a child could work out for themselves and feel good about their deductive skills. There’s also plenty there for the die hard Superman fan, especially the realistic portrayal of two competitive professionals in a loving and kind relationship.
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Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #4