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Superman #16 Review

Comic Books

Superman #16 Review

Multiplicity continues this week as Supermans of many Earths combine to fight a force that wants to eat up their powers! The stakes are high, every Earth is in danger… is it good?

Superman #16 (DC Comics)

Superman #16 Review

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So what’s it about? The summary reads:

“MULTIPLICITY” finale! Superman, New Super-Man and Justice Incarnate make their last stand against their multiverse-spanning foe, and the Man of Steel discovers another clue to the truth of his existence.

Why does this book matter?

This is the finale to a mini story arc that’s been fast paced and high in stakes. It’s hard to fault this event (can you even call it that) as it’s not dragging out, but instead revealing a major player in the bigger picture DC is pushing towards with the Watchmen storylines.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Superman #16 Review
Somebody needs a TicTac.

This issue is all about Superman putting all his chips on hope and having faith in the Justice League Incarnate. Superman’s trust in good prevailing over evil is the plan and for the most part it works. That evil isn’t so cut and dry though. Peter J. Tomasi and writer Patrick Gleason have essentially used this arc to build up the Superman swallowing villain who Superman butts heads with in this issue; the character is godlike and rather obtuse, but you get the sense they are complicated in a way that leaves you wanting more. Once again the message is, if you have friends and work together you’ll prevail, but by issue’s end you’ll feel a bit uneasy given this new villain’s purpose.

It’s not all about Superman waiting for his friends to show up however; the writing team does well to integrate Kenan Kong of New Super-Man fame into the story and you get a sense he’ll be important later. Key scenes between he and Superman show a mutual respect and a sense of a budding relationship. Meanwhile, the Justice League Incarnate works on a plan to save Superman, which ends up costing them a member, but also creating a new ship to enact some retribution. This all leads to a fine climax that integrates multiple Supermans including the fan favorite Captain Carrot cartoon rabbit.

The art by Clay Mann and and Tony S. Daniel’s maintains an event level quality that fans should enjoy. The detail is high and the actions of yet another Flash do not go in vain. There’s some iconic panel work going on that will remind you of events past as well as effective work in making the villains flaming head interesting to look at. The final full page spread is downright gorgeous as it captures the demonic presence well with a supernatural mood due to the glowing blue shackles.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The villain is confused as to how the tables are turned and so was I, which leaves the conclusion feeling a bit unearned. I suppose one could guess as to how it happens, though my guess leaves me wishing it was more complicated than sheer hope and will prevailing. Given how formidable and unstoppable the villain was made out to be over the last few issues it’s too bad more wasn’t made of how that formidability was reversed.

Superman #16 Review
Not the flying music ship!

Is It Good?

Superman #16 sees a fine conclusion to the story arc that ties well into the growing battle DC is forging via its The Watchmen connections. It’s nice to see a story arc end so quickly with little hubbub even though the stakes are worthy of an event caliber story.

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