Superman: For Tomorrow
By Brain Azzarello and Jim Lee
Reviewed by: Munawar Mobin
When it comes to these usually nine paneled animations on paper about interesting folks in latex, I am by all definitions of the term, a “purist”, and when it comes to men with superpowers, there's no one better in my eyes than the Man of Steel. Thus, a Superman title penned by legendary 100 bullets magician Azzarello and drawn for by none other than Batman: Hush's prolific Jim lee, is a title too precious to miss out on.
However, after the purchase of the two novels that make up this arc, the eye catching hardcover art and even Jim lee's attention to detail did little to make up for the disappointment that the book eventually turned out to be. The story concerns a disappearance of more than a 100 people all over the world, one that Supes can't do anything about considering he's out in space during that time. As the story unfolds, more and more details about the disappearance is revealed, and like truths about mysteries, this revelation about the cause of the disappearance was much less exciting than the disappearance itself.
In the pages, Superman sometimes appears too similar to Lee's previous work on Bruce Wayne in Hush and even though Wonder Woman and Lois Lane's beauty is portrayed through what can be easily identified as 'generic features', the artwork still manages to impress. There is not much that Lee does wrong, as compared to Azzarello.
It's obvious that Azzarello tries a new twist to the 70 year old icon and it's easy to appreciate his attempt as well, but in the end, it doesn't feel like a Superman novel. Azzarello isn't the type of author to spoon feed a story, and it shows in the novel, however, the story does get a little too confusing at times.
The only reason why anyone should buy this is the reason why Azzarello takes the blame for ruining a Superman arc. In trying to get another angle on Superman's adventures, Azzarello manages to create a completely new side of the man of steel. Superman is inevitably immortal to everything and so the character could be boring sometimes, but the Superman Azzarello writes up isn't just a man of steel with ultimate power and no weak points. This novel shows the readers the answer to the question “what happens when Superman fails?”
Although volume two gets progressively bad, the first few issues in volume one are golden. Reading about Superman flying into church to confess and find solace in a priest is something I personally found fresh and perfect. Rather than being the everyday superhero, Azzarello shows us that the man of steel is more human than alien.