Ulysses gives humanity an offer it can’t possibly refuse, can they? Superman #36 by Geoff Johns, art by John Romita Jr, inks by Klaus Janson, coloring by Laura Martin, continues the “Men of Tomorrow storyline”.
The superpowered and Fabio haired Neil Quinn, otherwise known as Ulysses has made an offer; anyone who wishes to come with him to “The Great World” can, and he’s dispatched spaceships to pick them up. Clark demands that he can’t make them do that, and Ulysses comments on the nature of Earth and giving them the option to leave isn’t that bad of an idea. Ulysses seems to think the Earth cannot be saved, but Clark believes it can be, that “there’s always hope for a better tomorrow”. Ulysses flies off. Lois and Jimmy try to get footage as people rush the spaceship to go with him, but noodly entities deny access to those who do any form of violence and bickering. Meanwhile, supposedly on the ship, Ulysses meets with an alien bound and contained in some sort of prison or bondage. They talk, briefly, then Neil returns to talk to his parents who are preparing to leave. He says they can’t come with him- in order to keep them safe. Clark, already there in the next room, interrupts. Something is not being fully revealed here, there’s something nefarious afoot and thus Ulysses attacks Clark.
I like the quandary that both Lois and Jimmy face when they see Ulysses proposal, if someone like Superman offered a place for people to go to get away from the burdens of life on Earth (and let’s face it, right now, especially considering the news, a lot of people would most likely volunteer), would you go? This entire thing isn’t terribly original; you’ve had lots of pseudo-messiah like characters and or seemingly perfect heroes (JSA Gog and Magog?) offering a really good deal so there’s probably a catch. If you like classic narratives, which Johns seems to overall do well, then this will be for you. It’s also a bit topical, this sort of ark symbolism going on too.
Clark’s optimism and idealism is something I always, always admire. But I almost think he really doesn’t have a say if people want to leave. The world may be improving but there are people who are certainly being screwed by society and to say they shouldn’t just leave if they want to, is a bit awful in his own right. I get what Johns is trying to do, as Ulysses promise is very suspicious, and most likely for good reason, but if a situation like that arises that is 100% earnest, you really cannot control people if they want to leave. Not even Superman can dictate that. You’d be no less than Ulysses.
Whatever strangely worked for the art last issue is not working here. The art just looks bad. It’s not particularly well drawn. I’m really shocked actually, because while wonky something was working okay the previous issue and now it’s just gone.
This is pretty safe superhero comics. It’s dynamic but not stylish enough to be that memorable. Clark is Clark and is always trying to do the right thing, which is good because I dislike when DC decides to have Clark doubting things or himself. Pick it up, check it out. I think they really good do a lot better with visual presentation here. I’d probably score it higher accordingly. This doesn’t mean it’s bad per se, the art just comes off as a little lazy, and I do not like Ulysses’ design at all. I was unsure last issue and now it’s really irritating.