Superman #214 Review

Title : “For Tomorrow” Part 11 (of 12)
Writer : Brian Azzarello
Artist : Jim Lee
Inks : Richard Friend & Sandra Hope
Colors : Alex Sinclair
Letters : Rob Leigh
Editors : Will Dennis & Eddie Berganza
Publisher : DC Comics

I can taste the disappointment in my mouth like ashes. As a huge fan of the labyrinthine complexities of 100 Bullets, and also one of the admirers of the Broken City story-line in Batman, I had high hopes for the much-hyped team of Azzarello and Lee on Superman.

Over the last eleven issues, we have been subjected to what can only be described as a series of willfully obscure and deliberately confusing plot points, which have built to what is clearly meant to be a shocking and exciting conclusion.

I am, in theory, the exact target audience for this storyline. Someone who has not historically collected Superman, but who gave this story-line a try due to the talents involved.

Through the preceding months, I have been repeatedly reassured that the conclusion would make this entire story-line worthwhile. That all the seemingly disparate plot threads would properly come together.

I cannot help but think that I have been hoping in vain.

Although there are certain explanations in this issue, the need to have this whole tangled mess make some kind of sense vastly diminishes any enjoyment which I may have drawn from what has been, on occasion, brilliant writing.

Azzarello certainly knows how to write an individual scene, and his plotting on 100 Bullets has been, usually, a joy to behold. However, his judgement has been off on this storyline, and it is clear from opinions generally that he is in the process of reaping the whirlwind.

I have been deliberately vague about the plot specifics of this issue, because I think different people are going to take different amounts of comprehension from this story, and I don’t want to colour anyone’s perceptions with my opinion. Feel free to send me e-mails regarding any requests for my thoughts.

As always, Jim Lee’s art is breath-taking. The fight scene in this issue is superbly rendered, communication both the strength and power of Superman, as well as his fatigue and weariness in the face of his opponent.

I will be buying the conclusion, and it may well be that my enjoyment of the series is improved by reading all twelve issues in one reading. But that’s not what should be required in a monthly series.

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