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Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? (The New 52)

Superman, Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? - George Pérez, Jesús Merino Another ho-hum Superman yarn that tries to cover up shallow character development issues with plot, plot and more plot. This arc re-envisions the Eradicator for the New 52. I'm really confused by the continuity and timeline of this reboot. I thought the whole point of rebooting franchises was to RESOLVE plot problems, anachronisms and whacky paradoxes that don't make sense. 6 months into the reboot shows DC is about as mixed up as it ever was pre-Flashpoint. The idea of simultaneously running Superman titles that take place five years apart and still having them referencing one another seems cumbersome to begin with. I think DC wanted to have their cake and eat it to by re-doing the origin story while still being able to tell veteran Superman stories that require him to be part of the Justice League and more or less established.

Anyway, What Price Tomorrow? is the "present" storyline and Superman has "returned" from an absence to a city that's still unsure whether he's friend or foe. I can tell the underlying theme of belonging and acceptance (classics of great Superman stories) is there, but in the hands of Pérez and crew it just seems trite instead of emotionally meaningful. That's not to say that Pérez doesn't have his moments. The dynamic between Lois and Clark has never been more awkward and I rather like going back to the pre-identity reveal relationship. It heightens that lonely aura that seems to surround Clark as he pines for someone who doesn't belong to him and wishes he could just lead a normal life. Except we don't get any of that in this volume. There's no Ma and Pa to console him and to act as a foil for his emotions and as a result we get a sometimes surly and reserved Clark that it's kind of hard to feel sorry for and identify with. I mean really, making him an orphan wasn't enough? Taking Jonathan wasn't enough? You had to take Martha too? That means all we're left with is "Dear Krytonian computer diary, today was a bad day...." (And yes, they went there too.)

Full of melodrama and lacking in any genuine moments.