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Superman #38 - The Men of Tomorrow, Chapter Seven: Friends and Enemies

5

The battle between Superman and Ulysses comes to a close

The Good

This is the final issue The Men of Tomorrow storyline, which runs seven issues, so if you're new to the book, this isn't the best place to start; however, it's one heck of an ending. This issue does not miss a beat and picks up right where issue #37 left off.

The issue really delivers when it comes to the action. The battles between Superman and Ulysses are intense and very thrilling. There's a great moment where their reentry into the normal world causes a building to get sliced in half and it begins falling on a group of pedestrians. Superman swoops down and saves them all, but the way it's paced out really lends to enhance the reader's emotions and breathe a sigh of relief.

The thing writer Geoff Johns really nails on the head here is that Superman is more than just a hero. He inspires people. Sure, he saves them from bad guys left and right, but he also provides this outsider perspective on life, even though he's spent most of his life on Earth. But his words hold a sort of wisdom and he actually gets through to people, even in this issue, a couple times. I'm really enjoying how Johns is writing his dialogue. I've complained in the past that he's just a boy scout, but for some reason or another, I really empathize with the character here.

The big thing everyone is talking about is the new Superman power. Yes, as many people on the net are saying, he goes super-saiyan. Well, not really. The explanation behind it all is really cool and makes sense for his alien anatomy, as much sense as it can for a comic book. What's most interesting about this new power is that it leaves him vulnerable, so using it is a last-ditch effort type of deal. It's a really cool addition to this series and it leads to a great conversation with Batman and Superman, where you feel like Batman isn't helping as much as he is studying and preparing.

John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson do a great job on the art here. The action sequences look spectacular, especially the overhead shots where we see Superman's solar flare go off,and that whole sequence, which has no words, is spectacular looking. The art is consistent and never gets confusing even in the most chaotic moments of the book.

The Bad

The ending with Jimmy giving a long speech about giving away his money and everything about his parents felt unnatural and a bit forced. This wasn't the only head scratching moment in the issue though. The final page has left me trying to figure out if I like the idea that Clark told Jimmy he's Superman or if I hated it. I keep thinking back to my issues of SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN in hopes we'll maybe get at least one wacky story like that but I'm not sure if it fits the New 52.

The Verdict

Superman and I have never really been the best of friends, but I found the Men of Tomorrow story to be a wonderful arc that has roped me back into reading the book full time. The issues comes to a natural conclusion and while this issue really feels like it's pushing a new Superman power on the reader, at least it's surrounded by a pretty awesome story that is well-executed. I highly suggest checking this issue and arc out.