Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Trevor Hairsine
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Song: Mad World by Michael Andrews
On the surface, the zombie trope is straightforward. A group of survivors against the insurmountable odds and a planet full of rage zombies. Easily can it be discarded as gore porn and get lost in the sea of zombie related titles that’s been around for decades. The zombie stories that stand out are always the ones with a deeper character core. In this case, these characters are ones that have been around longer than the zombie trope. Tom Taylor’s character driven story about meta-humans backed into a corner by an all-life consuming techno-virus is one that has me looking at one super in particular and my changed thoughts about him.
This issue bounces us right back to the aftermath of Captain Atom’s nuclear explosion. Ground Zero absolutely decimated save for Superman, Wonder Woman, the top half of a building and it’s inhabitants shielded by the Green Canary, and Lex friggin’ Luthor. Over the course of the issue, we see the remaining Justice League scramble across the globe establishing settlements, safe havens and refugee camps. They seemed to have gained some control over the situation, but sometimes control is just an illusion. They don’t account for the variables and in the case of meta-humans, variables could mean death or worse. This issue tore my heart apart and a major part of that has to do with the Man of Steel himself.
I’ll be the first to admit I was one of those guys that would say “Superman is overpowered. He’s a chump. Too much of a boy scout. He’s unbeatable and that’s lame. Yada Yada yada.” Never was I interested in many a Superman story. I never felt like there was anything I could relate to when it came to the all-American farm boy Kryptonian. Tom Taylor has achieved what I never even thought could happen and that’s make me feel something for the Man of Steel. Throughout this mini-series, Superman seems to be swimming in a sea of L’s. Bruce, his Pa, Washington D.C.. It’s strange that in order to connect to some characters, that character has to be put through pain. There has to be some kind of relatable trauma. It was easy for me to disregard a man who was damn near invincible because there wasn’t some kind of connection. This series gave us chaos and loss in such magnitude that I finally see the weakness in Clark Kent and by the time the Narrator’s identity is revealed, it definitely left me feeling a little less bulletproof. I hope I find more writers that can do to others what Tom Taylor did here for me. Change my mind about a character who is truly something special.