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Maquiavelo 2099

Subj: Looking back at Tomorrow
Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 at 11:45:08 pm EDT (Viewed 19 times)
Reply Subj: About the Crisis...
Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 at 11:56:07 pm EDT

For quite a while now, I've wanted to reread Brian Azzarello's "For Tomorrow" arc that ran from SUPERMAN #204 to #215. I didn't care for the story when it first came out. Like many readers, I found it boring with a pace that makes snails look impressively fast. But, with the delays the book suffered at the time of its publication, I wondered if that didn't have some effect on my view of the book and the pacing. So, over the last few days, I reread the arc in its entirety.

At the heart, I don't think the core plot of "For Tomorrow" is such a bad one. Superman using the Phantom Zone technology to create a fallback plan in case Krypton's fate should ever befall Earth sounds to me like something Superman would do. Plus, I like it because it is very much like the pre-Crisis Superman, who was often performing various experiments or creating things at the Fortress.

So, the story itself isn't bad.

But here's the problem: Azzarello took twelve issues to tell it.

As a result, the pacing is painfully slow. The story is far too drawn out. We get page after page after page of Superman standing around talking to a priest. The priest gets his own subplot that has nothing to do with the story. Oh, and there's a sorceress, too. Wha--?

"For Tomorrow" should have been edited down to four issues. Everything involving Father Daniel, Halcyon, the Earth Wind, and Fire monsters, the sentient Mount Rushmore, and the OMAC project should have been removed. None of it adds anything to the story, and instead just drags it down. With these changes, everything in issues #204 through #211 could have been compressed into one issue. Then, issues #212-215 (this is where 95% of the meat of the story happens) could been compressed to three issues.

I don't have a problem with dialogue-heavy books. In fact, I prefer it to superficial issue-long fight scenes. However, five consecutive issues of talking, which is what the first five parts of "For Tomorrow" are, isn't becoming of a Superman comic. Plus, this gloom and doom, self-doubting attitude is not Superman. Even worse, Azzarello's Superman comes off as arrogant. How Azzarello was able to write Superman as arrogant and self deprecating at the same time, I'll never know.

But getting back to the story itself, "For Tomorrow" is not an arc I would recommend. The core concept is great, but the story was just poorly done.

Next up in the reread stack: Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards's Question mini-series.

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