Current Reviews


Tangent: Superman's Reign #2

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Dan Jurgens, Ron Marz
Jamal Igle, Fernando Pasarin
DC Comics
Plot: Flash and Green Lantern visit their alternates in a disturbing graveyard, while a computer hacker is recruited by a subversive organization.

Comments: This trip back to the Tangent-verse may have been debuted rather awkwardly back in the disappointing current JLA run, but it's been diverting entertainment thus far as a series. These are Jurgens' ideas, and he develops them from the fun and quirky first Tangent issues into a dark (if somewhat familiar) dystopia. The overall plot (evil overlord dominates and outlaws all other supers) we've seen before, like in every other Exiles arc, but the surprises come in how very off-concept the alternate versions with familiar names turn out to be.

As in the opening, when John Stewart and Wally West meet the Tangent Green Lantern (who's a mystic with a magic lamp) and Flash (who's an exuberant adolescent in the Supergirl mold). It's fun that things are so very different in the Tangent-verse, because it shows just how flexible some of the standard concepts can be, how far you can stretch things and still live up to the legacy (if not the crucial details) of a name.

This issue revives the Joker, who was like an upbeat version of the Joker's Daughter (well, not quite revives, because we see only her shade), and spins out some of that alternate history in full-on exposition, but it's well-told with clear (if not always elegant) visuals by Igle.

The back-up story is actually more interesting, with an intriguing alternate take on the Metal Men and a very funny new version of Guy Gardner. His story also mentions Power Girl, who was one of the cleverest re-imaginings from the initial story. Tangent's biggest idea may be that Superman is evil, but its best ideas are the inspired differences of the smaller characters. I'm willing to keep reading the standard model plots to meet more.

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