Review by Paul Bowler
Superman #14 kicks off the New Year in fine style with a multi-Earth epic! Multiplicity Part One is steeped in the legacy of the character and world of Superman, as writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason offer an action packed opening instalment to this adventure, with art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Marcelo Maiolo that sees Kal-El discovering a new threat that is collecting all the Supermen throughout Multiverse!
After inexplicably running into, well almost, the badly beaten Red Son Superman of Earth 30, Kal-El quickly learns of his counterpart’s plight. Namely, that something, or someone called Prophecy and his army of Gatherers have been hunting the Superman of Earth 30 and countless other Supermen from across the Multiverse. Now the Gatherers have a new target, Kenan Kong, the New Superman of China, and the Red Son Superman has managed to escape from captivity to bring this warning to the Superman of our Earth.
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason move the plot along at a cracking pace right from the start. Its heavy on exposition in parts, but not distractingly so, and once the Gatherers – strange gangly creatures that look like they’ve just scuttled out of Pans Labyrinth – arrive, we get to see Superman and Red Son Superman of Earth 30 fighting side by side against these seemingly indestructible monsters. This all exhilarating stuff, but things really notch up a gear in the excitement stakes (especially for Grant Morrison fans) during a brief respite from the Supermen’s battle with the Gatherers when the Justice League Incarnate arrive!
Yes, if you enjoyed Morrison’s sweeping Multiversity saga you are absolutely going to love this issue of Superman, and even if you are late to the party, there’s still plenty going on here to enjoy, and it’s explained in a way that won’t alienate or leave you scratching your head and wondering what on Earth is going on either.
Superman #14 is a great looking issue, with art by Ivan Reis (Layouts), Joe Prado (Finishes), and Marcelo Maiolo (Colorists), and they do a fantastic job of juggling the numerous characters involved in this issue. One thing I really liked about this issue was how it never felt cluttered or sacrificed the finer details in any way, which can sometimes be the case when a large roll call of characters and different locations are involved. The opening battle with the two Supermen battling the Gatherers is especially good, its awesome to see both Supe’s really cut loose like this, and the Gatherers relentless chanting of two phrases becomes quite disquieting after a time. The colors are also gloriously rich and vibrant throughout. Then of course we have the return of the JLI characters from Grant Morrison’s Multiversity to enjoy, with a quick who’s who to bring everyone up to speed, and some insight of their mission to save the Supermen on the Gatherers “list” from being kidnapped a taken to a processing facility.
The issue builds to a frenetic and exciting close with Superman, the Superman of Earth 30, and the Justice League Incarnate attempting to save the New Superman of China from the Gatherers, and the glimpse of the terrifying fate that awaits the captured Supermen of the Multiverse also provides us with one hell of a cliff-hanger to keep us on the edge of our seat until the next issue!
I’ve never followed Superman comics that much if I’m honest, most of the New 52 passed me by, so I’ve been reluctant to give the Rebirth Superman titles a go, until, that is, someone recommended Superman #14 to me to the other day. So, I thought I’d give it a whirl, and I’m sure glad that I did. Its been a long, long time since I’ve read a Superman comic that’s made me want to read the next issue right away, but Superman #14 certainly did! I’m a fan of Morrison’s Multiversity as well, so I think that was also a big factor in my enjoyment of this issue, but I was also very impressed by what Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have done with this issue, the story was so engaging, especially for newcomers (like me), and the art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Marcelo Maiolo was also exceptionally good. One thing is for sure, Superman #14 has got me interested in Superman comics again, and I’ll certainly be sticking around to see what happens next in this Multiplicity storyline.
Publisher DC Comics
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Ivan Reis (Layouts), Joe Prado (Finishes), Marcelo Maiolo (Colorist)
Letterer Rob Leigh / Cover Gleason / Gray / Kalisz