REVIEW: ‘Future State: Superman: Worlds of War,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Future State Superman Worlds of War #2 - But Why Tho?Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2 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 the second half of “Midnighter,” written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming, colored by Bellaire, and lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham; the second half of  “Mister Miracle” written by Brandon Easton, illustrated by Valentine De Landro, colored by Marissa Louise, and lettered by Sharpe; and finally, the second half of  “Black Racer” written by Jeremy Adams, illustrated by Siya Oum, colored by Hi-Fi, and lettered by Gabriela Downie.

“The Many Deaths of Superman” features Superman locked in neverending combat against the hordes of Warworld, with Mongul resurrecting the Man of Steel every time he falls in battle. “Midnighter” pits the Authority’s #1 bruiser against a megalomaniac with designs on immortality, while “Mister Miracle” features the escape artist attempting to send a distress message to Superman’s son Jon. Finally, the Black Racer breaks through several of Warworld’s levels, igniting a revolution in the process.

“The Many Deaths of Superman” acts as the perfect complement to “The Many Lives of Clark Kent” from the first issue, juxtaposing Superman’s battles with an article he wrote as Clark Kent. I said before that Johnson has a handle on why Superman continues to be a major figure in pop culture, and it’s evident here: even though he’s powerless, even though he’s died God knows how many times, he continues to fight because he feels he can inspire the other gladiators to rise up. Janin’s artwork will sear itself into the readers’ brains, with every cut and punch landing with immense weight. Bellaire continues to apply the blood red filter from last issue, which takes a more sinister turn given all the wounds that Superman suffers.

Of the three backup stories, “Mister Miracle” feels like the most intriguing as it has the biggest twist and Easton’s scripting of Miracle’s inner monologue is delightful. Here’s a guy who is the world’s greatest escape artist, essentially stuck in what is the galaxy’s greatest death trap. De Landro continues to hew extremely close to Kirby’s original Fourth World concepts and this is backed up by Louise’s bright color palette.

Though “Midnighter” features an artist change (Oeming takes over from Gleb Melnikov, who illustrated part one) Oeming’s cartoony style is a strangely perfect fit for the bloody violence that Midnighter engages in. “Black Racer” also features amazing anime-influenced art from Oum, who gives the new Black Racer a suit reminiscent of mecha such as Mobile Suit Gundam.

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2 continues to explore why Superman matters and the influence his imprisonment on Warworld has on other heroes. With several stories being set up, including Future State: Superman-House of El and Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom, this book acts as the perfect launching pad for the upcoming Infinite Frontier initiative in March.

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2
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TL;DR

Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2 continues to explore why Superman matters and the influence his imprisonment on Warworld has on other heroes. With several stories being set up, including Future State: Superman-House of El and Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom, this book acts as the perfect launching pad for the upcoming Infinite Frontier initiative in March.