I liked this comic far more than I expected.
I didnât read a single issue of the "Tangent" event from a decade ago, and I didnât read the "Ion" issues that brought those characters back. I did read the "Justice League of America" Issue that led into this series, but that certainly didnât give me any confidence that this was going to be anything special.
And Iâve never been a fan of Dan Jurgens. Well, thatâs not exactly true. I was a big fan of his work on "Booster Gold" when I was a selfish, petulant teenager and I liked reading about a selfish, petulant superhero who wore white suit jackets with pastel shirts. But I associate his "Superman" run with the worst excesses of â90s comics, and I havenât recovered from that bias.
But "Tangent: Supermanâs Reign" #1 might help to snap me out of it, and if the rest of the series is as good as this first issue, I think Iâll be once again riding the train to Dan Jurgens-is-pretty-awesomeville.
It helps that heâs got Matthew Clark penciling this comic. Clarkâs the only reason I bothered to read the issue in the first place, honestly. I loved the expressive linework he brought to Sean McKeeverâs "Inhumans" series a few years back, and his issues of "The Outsiders" were the only ones worth reading. Heâs capable of raising the level of the most mediocre story, and one flip through this comic will tell you why. He can do superhero bombast with dynamic intensity and then switch to moody, ominous sadness within the space of a page flip. Itâs rare to see an artist so able to go so big and so subtle and keep a consistent look, but he does it well.
In "Tangent: Supermanâs Reign" #1, we see the twisted, dying vestiges of an alternate reality where heroes like the Atom, Green Lantern, Batman, and Flash exist, but not in any familiar form. These arenât parallel versions of the familiar DC characters, they are completely reimagined creations, similar in name only. Maybe Iâm a sucker for superhero deconstruction, but seeing these alternate reality heroes in disarrayďż˝"broken or deadďż˝"makes me want to keep reading. Jurgens doesnât seem to be writing any sort of commentary on the superhero genre, but the story of these sad, fallen heroes intrigues me.
Iâm curious to find out more about this Tangent universe, and I never thought Iâd say that.