Writer: Peter Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Layouts: Ivan Reis
Finishes: Joe Prado
Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 4th, 2017
Browsing the new book releases wall at my local comic book shop, my eye caught a book that I have not had much interest in until now… Superman #14: Multiplicity Part One.
Rebirth Has been very rewarding as a reboot/event for the DC universe, primarily in the fact that despite each series’ own stories there is an over-arching mystery that connect them all involving The Watchmen universe somehow, and the apparent manipulation of the current DC universe. While I have my favourite series’ that I follow (Batman, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing etc..), Superman barely does it for me (the last Superman series I picked up and enjoyed in the past years have been Superman Doomed and The J.R.J. Ulysses story). Not being a character or series I am particularly interested in, this issue sold me hook line and sinker for a couple reasons.
This story has a lot of relation to my favourite mini-series of 2016 ‘The Multiversity’ written by Grant Morrison; the elaborate, mind bending and in one issue in particular, “HAUNTED” story that told of a problem rippling through all 52 dimensions in the DC universe featuring alternate dimension versions of all your favourite superheroes and villains (this series outshined all other DC books being released at the time including the Convergence event). Superman #14 is the first book to bring that concept back into ongoing story since Rebirth and it seems that this multiversal crisis might involve the Watchmen.
The story begins with Clark Kent Superman driving through the woods at night when a bloodied and beaten Red Son Superman appears out of nowhere in need of his help in escaping & fighting these para-demon looking beings that are trying to complete some “Lyst” by capturing Red Son Superman. Questioning the demon, Superman discovers that Red Son Superman as well as Kenan Kong the Chinese Superman are on this “lyst”, and yet ALSO discovers that this Superman HIMSELF is not on the “lyst”. As the two Supermen fight they blast the demons away and out of a rift in space-time appears the Justice League Incarnate from the House of Heroes as appeared in ‘The Multiversity’. As the Justice League Incarnate introduce themselves (for fun’s sake Batman of Earth 17 [Batman], Mary Marvel of Earth 5 [Shazam!], Aquawoman of Earth 11 [Aquaman], Red Racer of Earth 36 [Flash], Green Lantern of Earth 20 [Green Lantern], Machinehead of Earth 8 [Red Tornado/Cyborg?], and the leader Superman of Earth 23 [Superman]) the story shifts to Kenan Kong, Superman of China visiting ancient ruins in China.
Kenan Kong is ambushed by the demons who proceed to capture Kenan with black goo as they chant “CONSUME“. We see the Justice League Incarnate teleport with the new Supermen additions to the team and just as Clark Kent Superman goes to save him from being taken away, he accidentally grabs a demon out of the warp hole instead. Clark Kent is informed that they have no way of tracing their location once they teleport away and disappear leaving them to regroup and develop a plan. ‘ELSEWHERE‘ we are shown a great two-page spread showing us Supermen of many different Earths all placed in containment units as Captain Carrot (the Zoo Crew Superman of Earth 26) is plucked from his containment…. and changed from a cartoon bunny into a literal animal bunny in a Captain Carrot costume! To be continued!!!
Since Discovering Superman #14, I have been going through back issues at the local shops, looking for all the Superman Rebirth books that I missed involving the weird occurrences with Clark Kent Superman (such as Superman Annual #1 where Swamp Thing had to root out the strange power embodying Superman, or going even further to Superman #1 where Superman’s hand print left at a grave was left fluorescent blue), as well as the Rebirth issues featuring mysterious hooded character Mr.Oz who has been extracting characters from the world (such as Tim Drake before he was gunned down in Detective Comics) and appearing since issue Superman #34 from the New 52 universe. While I own all the Detective Comics and late Superman New 52 issues, the fact that I hunted down these pivotal Rebirth issues is a testament to how captivating the Rebirth/Geoff Johns universe, and more importantly Superman #14 have been.
If after reading my review of this issue, or my passion for these books have sold you on reading DC Comis’ Rebirth books, visit your local comic shop and dive into a copy of Superman #14 and this subscribe to this Multiplicity story today!
~ T.J Head