REVIEW: ‘Future State: Superman: Worlds of War,’ Issue #1

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Future State Superman World of War #1 - But Why Tho?

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1 is written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by Mikel Janin, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Dave Sharpe. It is published by DC Comics. The book also features three backup stories tied to Warworld. “Midnighter” is written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, illustrated by Gleb Melnikov, colored by Bellaire, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham. “Mister Miracle” is written by Brandon Easton, illustrated by Valentine De Landro, colored by Marissa Louise, and lettered by Sharpe. Finally, the “Black Racer” story is written by Jeremy Adams, illustrated by Siya Oum, colored by Hi-Fi, and lettered by Gabriela Downie.

Superman: Worlds of War begins with “The Many Lives of Clark Kent,” where Clark Kent’s hometown of Smallville has become a monument to Superman’s life. The Man of Steel himself is trapped on Mongul’s Warworld, powerless and forced to engage in combat against alien warriors. “Mister Miracle” and “Midnighter” feature the heroic escape artist and hyperintelligent fighter working to free Superman from enslavement-and encountering several obstacles in the process. Finally, “Black Racer” puts a new spin on a classic staple of Fourth World mythology.

Johnson’s script beautifully examines why Superman means so much to so many people. On a metatextual level, “The Many Lives of Clark Kent” explores all the different ways Superman has been presented over the decades and how his legacy has impacted many people. And on Warworld, Superman vows to protect his fellow gladiators even though he’s been weakened. Johnson also references the events of Superman of Metropolis #1, as the effects of Jon Kent shrinking Metropolis are still reverberating through the world.

Joining Johnson on artistic duties are Janin and Bellaire, who produce some of the most stunning images I’ve ever seen in a Superman comic. Janin previously illustrated Batman while Tom King was on the title, and his photorealistic style adds an unseen humanity to the proceedings. Janin also provides a new design for Superman, with a metal chest plate and adornments inspired by John Carter of Mars. Bellaire provides vibrant eye-catching colors, with Warworld being the standout as it is covered in a crimson filter resembling the bloodshed in the gladiatorial pits.

Of all the backup stories, “Mister Miracle” and “Black Racer” are the standouts. Easton’s script features elements of spy fiction, with Mister Miracle using his escape skills to evade Mongul’s enforcers. De Landro and Louise provide trippy, psychedelic art in the vein of Jack Kirby, including Mister Miracle’s signature red and yellow costume. Adams, who previously worked on projects such as Supernatural and Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, reinvents the Black Racer as a revolutionary of sorts and explores her inability to die as well as her distaste of Warworld. Oum and Hi-Fi provide an anime-inspired redesign for the Racer and even give her a giant robot that she uses to race in a sport that looks ripped from Alita: Battle Angel.

Future State-Superman: Worlds of War #1 pays tribute to the Man of Steel’s legacy and offers new takes on elements from the DC Universe including the Fourth World and Wildstorm. With Johnson set to board Superman and Action Comics as the main writer after Future State, the Man of Steel is in great hands.

Future State-Superman: Worlds of War #1 is available wherever comics are sold and through Comixology using our affiliate link.

Future State Superman World of War #1
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TL;DR

Future State-Superman: Worlds of War #1 pays tribute to the Man of Steel’s legacy and offers new takes on elements from the DC Universe including the Fourth World and Wildstorm. With Johnson set to board Superman and Action Comics as the main writer after Future State, the Man of Steel is in great hands.