I’m really not sure what to make of Superman Beyond. Dealing with the Monitors and the subplot of Lois being near death, this 2-part series has basically filled in the gap of where Superman was while everything was going to Apokalyps in a handbasket back on Earth.
My immediate thought is that, as this is the first 3d comic I’ve bought. I’m not overly thrilled with the gimmick. I didn’t really feel it added anything to the book, and for me it just made the art distracting, and at times I was struggling to follow what was going on. There was quite a lot of story going on in these two issues, and I really didn’t feel the 3d stuff helped make it any easier to digest.
As for the story. I kind of followed what was going on, but I’m really not sure I really got that into it. The stuff with the monitors being vampires and Superman’s essence possessing a giant statue of himself just really seemed a bit too out-there for me. I can’t help but wonder if there was maybe enough going on here to make it a three part story?
Out of the tie-ins so far, this is undoubtedly the one that’s worked for me the least (a pity, as I usually enjoy Morrison’s stuff). However, its also the one that leaves me the most worried.
I’m really concerned that this 2-parter is actually going to be required reading for Final Crisis #7. There were hints in Final Crisis #6 about a great threat if mankind pierced the bleed, and this series seems to indicate its Mandraak. If Mandraak does turn out to be the main villain in Final Crisis, I’m going to feel a bit cheated by the FC mini-series, as he’s not been mentioned at all. However, I still hold out hope that its mis-direction. I’m not convinced Darkseid was defeated by Batman last issue, as Barry says that he holds the key to defeating Darkseid. Since Barry hasn’t really done anything yet, there’s obviously still stuff to come.
My key problem is that Final Crisis should tell its own story. Take the upcoming hardcover in the April solicits. All it contains is Final Crisis #1-7. Now, there’s already a gap in that story, as Lois goes from blown up in FC #2 (I think), to walked around without a scratch in FC #6. No explanation within those issues. I’m really worried that Superman Beyond is going to cover ground that’s going to lead to much bigger gaps in the FC #1-7 story.
Heck, as it stands, I really think Final Crisis: Submit should be included in that hardcover.
So, I await issue 7 of Final Crisis with baited breath. I’ve been outspoken in my love of the story so far, but will Mandraak ruin it all? Or will my worry be for nothing, and it’ll all be presented in a way that makes sense, without bothering with the Superman Beyond backstory?