Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1
Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Mikel Janin
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Based on the title of this comic, one might guess that we would get an action packed story with our titular hero, once again, fighting to save the world — or at least a world.
That was not the case with Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1. Instead, this issue is all about reflection, where exactly is Superman — Clark Kent, specifically.
With this only being a two-book arc and “Worlds of War” being in the title, it would make perfect sense for this story to be uptempo from the jump. Instead, readers only get a glimpse of what’s going on — and that doesn’t come until the very end, with zero explanation as to why. We do get mention of the events from Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1 and the fallout of Jon Kent’s decision in that issue, but that neither adds nor explains the events taking place.
Where is Clark Kent and why did he seemingly abandon Earth?
The biggest issue with Future State Superman: Worlds of War #1 is it’s one half of the entire story — it’s frustrating that we weren’t given more in this issue. There are a lot of unanswered questions, all of which need to be answered in a very dense second issue. It feels as though more time could, and should, have been spent giving readers a better understanding of why Clark is where he is.
All that being said, when we finally do see what Clark is up to, it looks badass. Mikel Janin’s art is tremendous and gives off a Planet Hulk vibe that I would have loved to see more of — and it’s the last several pages that give me hope for what’s to come in the next issue. As frustrated as I am with this Future State Superman: Worlds of War #1, those last several panels show the type of action that the first issue lacked throughout most of the chapter —and what the next issue needs to provide in abundance.
I understand that most of the books in Future state are only a few issues long. But it’s because of that, that readers need to be pulled in right away. From what I’ve read so far from Future State, several books have done a great job of this, and it’s a shame we didn’t get that here.
In addition to Future State Superman: Worlds of War we get three short stories: Time and Effect Part 1 written by Brandon Easton, art by Valentine Delandro, Colors by Marissa Louise, and letters by Dave Sharpe. Midnighter: Future State Part 1 written by Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad, art by Gleb Melnikov, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Travis Lanham. Finally there is Black Racer Part 1 written by Jeremy Adams, art by Siya Oum, colors by Hi-Fi, and letters by Gabriella Downie.
With Time and Effect Part 1 we are told right from the start that this story takes place immediately following the events of Superman of Metropolis #2, which hasn’t come out yet. Midnighter: Future State part 1 and Black Racer part 1 were both interesting stories that I’m sure will somehow connect to other Future State books down the line.