Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Step Beyond

Had a chance to read Superman Beyond #0 tonight (it goes on sale tomorrow), and I was thoroughly taken with the oneshot. Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Sal Buscema (the team who produced all those great Spider-Girl near-future tales over at Marvel) have done a wonderful job of exploring the future DCU as seen in the pages of Batman Beyond. This story explores Superman's role in this universe--a retired Superman who comes back out of retirement to confront a menace in a manner that is pure Superman. DeFalco may not be a DC writer per se, but he gets Superman--he understands who the character is, how he functions, and what he believes in, and DeFalco manages to convey that in this well-structured oneshot tale. We also get a look into the relationship of Superman and the original Batman in the last pages of this issue, and it's a nice wrap-up to a very satisfying story.

Frenz and Buscema may lack the flash and fine linework of any of a dozen fan-favorites, but these guys know how to tell a story. They convey action in a clear and distinct manner, they communicate emotion, and at no point is the reader visually confused by poor visual design. And their characters actually look the same from one panel to the next; you'd think this would be a requirement for comic book artists, but pick up the average comic today and notice how few artists can actually maintain a uniformity of appearance throughout the entire issue!

If you're looking for a solid, well-constructed Superman story, you could do a lot worse than Superman Beyond... in fact, a lot of writers working on mainstream DCU Superman tales today could take some notes from the pages of this oneshot.

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