Story: Dave Wielgosz, Michael Moreci
Art: Riley Rossmo, Thony Silas
Colors: Ivan Plascencia, Wil Quintana
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
What They Say:
Superman wakes up in chains and doesn’t know where he is. He’ll need to put the pieces together quickly if he’s to survive a brutal bout in this gladiator arena! The Main Man himself, Lobo, has come to Earth chasing a bounty, but Superman thinks Lobo is just hurting the little creature. Will Superman put a stop to Lobo, or does the alien have other plans?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Man of Tomorrow series moves forward with two new short stories this time around and they’re pretty fun if a little odd. The opening on brings back Dave Wielgosz, who has written for a lot of the DC Giant books, and paired with Riley Rossmo on the artwork with Ivan Plascencia coloring. It’s rich and crazy weird but the right kind of delight. The second story brings us something a little more traditional-modern with Michael Moreci scripting it and having Thony Silas illustrate with Wil Quintana coloring. I think this is my first time seeing Silas’ artwork so it definitely has me wanting to see more of it across other characters.
The opening tale is one that’s both good and frustrating with what it does. Wielgosz gives us a Superman that’s intent on stopping Lobo from whatever it is Lobo is doing, no questions asked, because almost all of the time it’s bad. But that’s just setting up a fight when you know that there has to be a better way and Superman of all people should be the better person. Of course, when Superman does get involved it goes wrong as the bounty is actually incredibly dangerous to everyone and Lobo is on the rare side of right. It’s a good fight that pairs them up a bit to go up against this empathy vampire. But what I really liked is what Riley Rossmo brought to the project. I adore the way this is so “non-standard” when you get down to it, showing us a kind of Superman we don’t usually see, exaggerated in some really neat ways that just delighted.
The second story focuses on Superman being abducted as he wakes up in bonds laced with Kryptonite, not sure where he is or how he got there. Revealing it to be Warworld means he figures things out quickly as Mongul is just using him as a distraction for a bigger play as he’s been put in the arena with someone named Kreedon to fight. The chapter works well to showcase the fighting side of things and how quickly Superman deduces the reality of what’s going on which is good, especially with the internal dialogue. Mongul’s plan is the usual ill-thought-out piece that could never work in the first place but the way it has Superman dealing with him felt like it was missing a couple of panels to tie it together cleaner combined with it playing up his role as a people-chosen champion for Earth, since Mongul continues to misunderstand how all of this works.
I continue to enjoy the variety of stories and creative that we get working on these projects that come from the DC Giants as it’s a good way just to work some variety. Hell, I hope that if there are any outstanding filler stories in desk drawers from decades past that were never used that they get placed within this kind of thing because it’d be a blast to visit those times again. The two tales here are pretty standard fare stuff that handles the short-form style well enough but could use a little tweaking. At the same time, we get two stylish artists working them that helps to edge and elevate it up bit and to deliver something that we don’t always get to see in the mainline books. I really liked both approaches overall and it’d be fun to see more standalone or ongoing works from either of them with this character.