DC makes a strong case for an anthologized future in Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1, a packed 4-story issue chronicling Clark Kent, Mister Miracle, Midnighter, and Black Racer's adventures on Mongul's Warworld.
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Brandon Easton, Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, and Jeremy Adams
Art by Mikel JanÍn, Jordie Bellaire, Valentine De Landro, Marissa Louise, Gleb Melnikov, Siya Oum and HI-FI
Lettering by Dave Sharpe, Travis Lanham, and Gabriela Downie
Published by DC
'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10
Philip Kennedy Johnson kicks things off with a thoughtful piece centered around Smallville's community. Struggling with Superman's sudden disappearance, his hometown has become a tourist hotspot, filled with grifters and a new religion. Johnson leans hard into Superman as a savior here, aided by Mikel JanÍn's clean lines and emotive portraits. Janin's Superman is the ideal of the man, so quick to the scene of the crime that he's nothing but a cape in one inspired panel. Finishing up with John Carter-esque action on Warworld, Johnson and JanÍn make a powerful statement on Superman's impact.
Valentine De Landro's minimalist pencils and bold, thick inks efficiently tell Brandon Easton's 'Time and Effect: Part One.' Mister Miracle struggles through the bowels of Warworld, daisy-chaining effectively on to Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, and Gleb Melnikov's Midnighter.
Angular and violent, Melnikov slips seamlessly into that early Image Comics style. Cloonan and Conrad provide a quip-heavy, action-packed script that features the surprise return of another member of the Authority.
Finishing things up, Jeremy Adams and Siya Oum's Black Racer shows us a little glimpse into day-to-day life for Warworld's prisoners as they unwittingly try to sort the new Black Racer from the chum. Adams' script plays with themes of vengeance and freedom, aided by Oum's wide-eyed characters.
Superman: Worlds of War #1 offers a patchwork picture of Mongul's Warworld in the time of 'Future State', with strong scripts and memorable artwork across the board. Well worth the hefty cover price.
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