The Men of Tomorrow: Exodus
The story so far…
We meet Ulysses who has a similar story to Superman, but instead of his parents sending him to Earth as their world explodes, he’s sent from Earth to the 4th dimension. There, he gains the powers of energy capture and release, increased strength, and flight, and he comes to think of ‘The Great World’ as a paradise. Somehow, he’s ended up back on Earth where he befriends Superman and finds out his parents are still alive. We also learn that he will kill someone he thinks is dangerous (the fake Machinist who was actually dead before Ulysses shot him). Finally, we learn that Ulysses is very disheartened by all the hatred and violence on Earth and is ready to do something about it – he’s gonna offer 6 million people the opportunity to leave the planet.
Meanwhile, we’re introduced to 2 different bad guys. One, The Machinist, builds robots that range from tiny mind control bugs to the gigantic ape Titano. The other, a reaper type dude, who we still don’t know much about, but who watches everything Superman does and seems to know a lot about him (maybe even more than I do).
With that setup, we move on to issue #36, Exodus.
Ulysses is continuing his TV speech he started last issue where he offered the first 6 million people a chance to leave the planet for the 4th dimension. He’s apparently come to the conclusion that Earth is a lost cause and it’s impossible to build a better tomorrow on the planet (I suppose getting into so many fights in the few days he’s been on Earth might lead one to throw in the towel). Well, Superman doesn’t like the idea of everyone leaving Earth for some unknown world that is sponsored by someone he doesn’t fully trust anymore and while they don’t fight (yet), Superman and Ulysses have some serious words and Neil takes off.
Superman does the reasonable thing and heads to Ulysses’ parents to try to talk sense into their son while everyone else in the world starts clamoring to be one of the ‘lucky’ 6 million. And even though the beings from the 4th dimension look weird, people are still offering their children and begging to be taken. Instead of showing up at his parents though, Ulysses shows up at the prison where Klerik is being held (didn’t see that coming) and has a chat with him in alienese. Things get even more interesting when he goes back home and tells his parents that because he loves them they can’t go with him to the 4th dimension and ut oh – Superman overheard him (perhaps this is starting to sound like a To Serve Man Twilight Zone thing).
Then things get real. Ulysses takes a swing at Superman and absorbs a bunch of his energy. He then zaps him with it as he lands a punch that sends Superman flying through the wall and across the street. Not ketting up, as soon as Superman gets up Ulysses flys into him with his eye beams blazing and, although he says Superman is a good man, blasts him through 3 panels into a Lexcorp truck.
It’s about this time I start getting a Silver Surfer vibe since Ulysses exclaims that he’s done this before…what, abduct 6 million people from a world? Beaten up a planet’s protectors? Either way, ‘A Perfect World has a cost’…
Superman is in deep trouble at the end of this one. He’s gonna have to figure out how to defeat someone who can absorb his energy and fire it back at him. And he’s already pretty wiped out.
What did I learn:
- Ulysses has some kind of deal with Klerik
- People are willing to follow someone if they claim to be leading to paradise – even when they don’t know much about the leader
- Superman not only trusts people to eventually come around and make the world a better place, he also is trusting that Ulysses has the best intentions…until it’s too late
- So far Ulysses hasn’t set any criteria for inclusion in the ‘lucky’ 6 million…I wonder how long until he breaks that news to the people of Earth
Once again, the art is great. There were a few pages that were a bit too white for my tastes – though it was because they contained a bunch of Ulysses’ beam attacks. The story also is a page turner and if I were reading this on a monthly basis, I would be real pissed I had to wait for the next issue. I get to start that one right away since I’m reading this 2 years after the release – yeah me! I give this issue another B+.