It appears that rumors of Superman: Man of Tomorrow’s demise were exaggerated! The DC Digital First returns with issue #16 on ComiXology and other digital platforms after the end of Robert Venditti’s tenure. It looks like #17 will be coming out later too, so the series is back on track. Unfortunately, it’s not without complications.
Kenny Porter takes over the writing duties and I’m not sure if it’s just for this issue or if he is taking over long-term. I can’t say that I liked Porter’s style after reading this issue. I’m not too familiar with him because I haven’t read a lot of DC’s anthology specials that have come out like Dog Days of Summer or Cursed Comic Cavalcade. That seems to be where Kenny Porter has gotten a lot of play from DC.
The story concerns Superman having bad dreams about the future and the world. There’s an absolute ton of internal monologue and it amounts to Clark being worried. The internal monologue just seems to go nowhere and is very generic. Porter relies on quantity instead of quality. Rather than figuring out the most poignant way to say something, he says it about ten times in a slightly different way.
Of course, it’s not as simple as that when Darkseid shows up, but honestly, it’s not much more complex than that. There is one really cool moment with a signature Darkseid catchphrase, but other than that, it’s really just a fight issue. But, I really don’t like it when Darkseid is used like this. I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Darkseid boom tubes in and starts killing everything in sight’ stories. I’d rather he have a grand plan like Final Crisis. The way Superman saves everyone is kind of neat, but not enough to save the story.
Scott Kolins is a really detailed artist. I’ve always liked pouring over his images to find all the little details. Like the scene where Lois is in bed with Clark, I love that she uses a pillow between her knees (it’s the only way to go for side sleepers!), that’s a level of commitment and detail that not a lot of superhero pencilers display. And, a shoutout to the lady holding her head and screaming like the cover of Action Comics #1
So, I’ve always been a fan, especially whenever he draws The Flash. I think the heavy lines can make some images muddy though, the scenes where Superman is saving people can be a bit busy. But, that comes with the territory of Scott Kolins’ art. The momentum is good and necessary for action stories, and the anatomy is good for the most part, although there are occasions where bodies look a bit stiff.
Luis Guerrero handles colors and I like the way scenes take on a bold coloring. You can see in the panels I have here that they are dripping in yellows, blues, and reds depending on the mood and what is happening in the scene. Scott Kolins’ art is very bold and striking, I like that the colors follow suit.
While I like Scott Kolins’ art, it’s not enough for me. The writing just isn’t there for me. It feels like someone who is writing what Superman is ‘supposed’ to feel or think, not what he does think. The comic is weighted down by excessive internal monologue that feels superfluous and not supported by a strong plot and shallow character work. There’s a lot to work towards in the future if Kenny Porter remains on Superman: Man of Tomorrow, but let’s hope this series turns it around. Since it’s an anthology, there’s a good chance of creative turnover.