I’m still looking at the New 52 Superman in my continuation of the DC Rebirth reading order. I’m almost done with this Men of Tomorrow story arc but actually have over 40 issues to read through before I get to the DC Rebirth Special, which BTW, I’ve read already – and it was great.
Superman #38 The Men of Tomorrow Chapter 7: Friends and Enemies
In the last issue, Superman and Ulysses ended up watching The Great World explode and all the people Ulysses knew growing up were gone. Needless to say, he was pretty pissed and focused his anger on Superman since he was the one suggesting they could save both the humans and the world.
This issue starts with a mighty battle between the two super men with Ulysses taking the upper hand and eventually hitting Superman so hard, they break through from the 4th dimension to Earth’s dimension. In doing so, they crash through buildings and nearly crush some of the millions who were going to be fuel for The Great World, but who unexpectedly find themselves back on Earth. In an effort to prevent people from getting hurt, Superman drives the fight out of the city and tries to convince Ulysses they don’t need to fight.
Apparently this pisses Ulysses off even more and he starts using the energy he gained from the destruction of The Great World to try to cause the same reaction in the Earth. Superman can’t allow this and when Neil doesn’t even care that destroying the Earth will kill his parents, Superman resigns himself to a fight. But he know’s Ulysses can absorb his energy…how’s he gonna over come that?
The answer is use a new ability – the Super Flare.
It’s a pretty impressive series of panels that start with his heat vision and progresses through the entire expenditure of Superman’s power in the Super Flare. Somehow Ulysses survives but both he and Superman are knocked out by the blast.
While they’re sleeping, Batman puts in a cameo and locks up Ulysses in Stryker’s Island and takes Superman back to the Batcave. This is where we learn about the Super Flare which is related to Superman’s heat vision. Apparently, it releases all the energy in Superman’s cells in one burst and incinerates everything within a quarter mile – pretty nasty. The drawback is that it makes Superman essentially human for about a day since he has no super energy – that can be bad.
In any case, Superman heads to Stryker’s Island to visit Ulysses but he is only able to tell him he’s sorry before Neil tells him he doesn’t want to speak to him. Superman also arranged for Neil’s parents to visit and they tell their son they love him and Ulysses realizes he hasn’t lost everything after all.
The story is pretty much over…Clark starts working at the Planet again, Jimmy tries to push blurry pictures onto Perry White, and Clark gets the front page headline with his story on Ulysses. Clark also realizes that he needs someone to talk to…apparently he’s not involved with Lois in this universe and he just lost the one person who he thought had similarities with him in Ulysses, so who can he talk to? Apparently, it’s Jimmy Olsen as Clark fast changes into his Superman outfit in front of him. This could be interesting and it could cause trouble, we’ll see.
Finally, this issue has an epilogue where we finally see the reaper type dude again and he’s sending a package to Clark at the Daily Planet.
My highlights are as follows:
- Apparently this reaper type dude is completely separate from the main characters in the story arc – not friends with Titano nor Klerik, though the Machinist is missing so he may be tied to him
- Speaking of which, where’d the Machinist go? He’s disappeared in issue 35 after blowing up his freighter but we haven’t heard from him since
- Jimmy Olsen gave away his parent’s billions to help those less fortunate – hopefully they’ll use it wisely and not spend it all at once and end up back in their desperate situation once it’s gone
- I’m not very familiar with DC nor Superman, but I totally wasn’t expecting to learn of a new superpower on such an established character – I wonder if this is common?
- It sounds to me like Stryker’s Island is a higher security version of Arkham
- Superman is gonna have to learn to live (and not get hurt) as a human if he starts using his new power a bunch – that could be very dangerous, particularly now that he’s told Jimmy his secret identity.
The 20 panel buildup and blowup of the new Super Flare moves this issue back into the B+ territory. This wasn’t the best part of the story arc, but with the new power, the reveal to Jimmy, and the epilogue it was definitely a good read. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes even though according to the DC Rebirth reading order I’m following, there’s only 2 more issues left until I move on to Aquaman: Out of Darkness.
You can find Superman #38 The Men of Tomorrow: Friends and Enemies by Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr., and Klaus Janson on Comixology or at your local comic book shop.