Monday, August 07, 2006

Superman: For Tomorrow

I went to see Superman Returns for a second time last night, and it inspired me to re-read the For Tomorrow series in the Superman comics. 12 of the best-looking Superman comics you'll ever read.
Brian Azzarello, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair. This was the line-up that got me back into buying Superman every month.

The story, which I am hoping everyone has read, has a whole lot going for it. A lot of my personal Superman turn-ons. Thanks to the miracle of scanners, I can illustrate those turn-ons.

Turn-On #1: Superman talking about his problems.

The main argument against Superman as a character is that he is boring. Virtually nothing can hurt him, and he can do pretty much anything, so there is no suspense. He can easily get out of any bad situation he gets himself into. Good writers get that the struggle for Superman comes from within. Superman Returns had this going for it as well.

For Tomorrow has a very introspective Superman. Lois is missing, along with hundreds of thousands of others, after a mysterious 'vanishing.' They are presumed dead. Superman is having a rotten time coping with this belief. He forms a friendship with a young priest who is dying of cancer. The priest listens to Superman's problems and questions, which he has a lot of. I think my favourite conversation is when Superman is asking if he even loves Lois, or if he is even capable of love. He wonders if he only feels what he believes to be love, because he's not even sure if he really has emotions that humans can understand. Stuff like that just really gets to me.

The relationship with the priest is really brilliant. And the church scenes really let Alex Sinclair give us some really nice lighting effects, too.

I love at the end of this page how Superman looks downright insulted that the priest suggested that he can't keep track of how many times he has flown over the church. He never even follows up that 'no' with a correction. Just, "No. I know how to count, ass."

Turn-On #2: Superman fighting with Batman

Oh, Batman. You keep trying to fight Superman, but it's just so pointless. And I love it when Superman points that out.

I love the dialogue between Batman and Superman. It's tense. They respect each other, they hate each other, they love each other. It's all there. Always good reading when those two are hanging out.

Sub-turn-on: I like it when Superman wants people to call him Kal-El. And I like it when people call him Kal-El to be mean and make him remember that he's an alien.

In both of the above pages, Superman maintains the 'don't even' face that I love.

Turn-On #3: Superman fighting with Wonder Woman

I'm not a Superman/Wonder Woman shipper, so I like watching them wail on each other. It's always exciting. They both have to use some creative moves. But this is crazy:

Wonder Woman cuts Superman with a magic blade. Superman takes a drop of his own blood and throws it at Wonder Woman!!! Sweet hell. That's awesome.

And check out this wicked backhand Superman gives her:

Ha! I love the look on his face. "Knife, eh? We'll just see about that."

Turn-On #4: Superman showing (or threatening to show) just how powerful he really is.

This requires a little set-up, but basically Superman is having a showdown against Earth itself, represented by four giants made up of each of the major elements. Whatever. 'Earth' is threatening to destroy all life on the planet so it can start over. Superman responds by making a crazy, crazy threat:

What do the giants do? They shut up and leave, that's what. Shit, dude. Superman could actually demolish the planet if he wanted. That's intense.

Turn-On #5: Sexy Superman

Hot damn! And once again, Superman makes my boyfriend look like a giant pile of crap.

What I am saying is, For Tomorrow is awesome and you should read it.


Anonymous said...

Poor Matt. Way to set the bar impossibly high.

So many people hated on this story when it came out that I sort of started liking it more in response. I think they were just mad that it wasn't "Hush" all over again. I wouldn't want EVERY Superman story to be so dark and introspective, but something different is cool every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Whoops. Forgot my signature.


rachelle said...

Oh yes. I wouldn't want Superman brooding in every issue. Then he would just be Batman. Part of Superman's charm is that he's a little oblivious to the fact that sometimes life is just shit.

But this was an interesting run, for sure. It gets really confusing in the second half, but still a good story.

As for Matt, he just has to work on his flying.

Anonymous said...

I feel soooo gay after reading about Superman turnons, but you convinced me to give it another shot- since being slower paced is what I liked so much about Superman Returns. Dave- is it still just two volumes or is there an absolute ed. coming out for it? (Maybe with Lee saying sorry for his Zod design in the afterward?)

-Pete273 or 278?

p.s. I hope you don't mind me posting the occasional thing here- I followed the link from Dave's blog site and hey reading about comics beats actually doing what I'm supposed to be doing at work. Feel free to check out my whopping two entry comic blog

rachelle said...

Comment away, Pete27something! We welcome everyone.

The Zod design was pretty over-the-top. But at that point pretty much everything was.

I would give the first 6 issues a higher score than the last 6.

Johnathan said...

Huh. That looks pretty good - I'll have to put it on my incredibly long list of things to read. Especially with a Superman/ Batman confrontation. No matter who beats the crap out of who, it's totally satisfying. Remember Dark Knight? Awesome.

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The For Tomorrow issues are great, the art is awesome, the story line is pretty good, and the fights with the other superheros is just outstanding. said...

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