Superman: What Price Tomorrow (Volume 1)


Superman #1 New 52 What Price Tomorrow Cover

After Flashpoint, The New 52 was launched by DC Comics.  The New 52 would be an gargantuan endeavor to institute a company-wide reboot of all of DC Comic’s franchises.  What Price Tomorrow would be the story line that would throw Superman into the Post-Flashpoint continuity.  This undertaking would be headed up by George Perez, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen.  The New 52 Superman would issue in a new era of the DC continuum, for better or worse. 

In this new universe we find that The Daily Planet was scooped up in a buy out by Galaxy Communications.  Morgan Edge, the new owner of the Daily Planet, upgrades the Daily Planet into a type of CNN.  Print journalism is basically dead and Superman (Clark Kent) has to deal with this reality.

The old gang from the Superman mythos is still around however their roles have been modernized and updated to the times.  Lois Lane becomes the executive producer of the nightly news, William McCoy replaces Lois in her old position, while Perry White remains in his spot as the editor-in-chief. Our ol’ pal Jimmy Olsen is a street reporter and has a partner Miko Ogawa.

Jimmy and Miko’s first big story erupts on the scene as Superman ends up in a slugging match with a monster of living fire!  The art work begins to pick up here as the emphasis on the story line is clearly the action.

After the battle we see a new development in the Superman story.  Loyal Clark Kent becomes upset and clearly angry over what happened to the Daily Planet.  He doesn’t trust Morgan Edge’s integrity and after an argument with Lois he resigns from the Daily Planet.

I for one, enjoyed this change.  I was glad to see that Superman wasn’t going to become apart of a huge corporate news regime and retained his journalist integrity.  Even though it cost him his job.

Later Clark goes to apologizes to Lois, and we expect Clark and Lois to make up but NO!  SNAP!  She’s totally sleeping with that loser Jonathan Carroll, a reporter.

The drama is almost something out of a day time soap opera but I think the franchise needed something like this.  How many times can Superman beat up the alien of the week and save the world?  It becomes old and even though Superman is uber powerful, we is exploited in ways in which he is vulnerable.  A good strategy, DC.  /applause.

Through the rest of the book Superman continues to be attacked by these super powerful monsters who somehow speak Kryptonian.  Not only does our favorite hero have to deal with the mystery of where the hell these monsters are coming from, he has to deal with society blaming him for all the monsters coming to try and kick his ass and of course, he is being blamed for the property damage.

Also, this story makes other notable changes to the DC Universe.  For instance, Clark and Lois have never been married or either involved in any sort of relationship.  Superman and Lois have been married since 1996 so this long time marriage was erased.  But before you hate on this, don’t.  They make it work and in the end it’s for the best.  Gone are the days where Superman arrives just in time to save Lois.  I for one, am glad that has ended.

Morgan Edge is now African-American.  Race swapping is popular these days and it’s fine.  Another HUGE change to the Superman universe is that Johathan and Martha Kent have died a long time ago, where in the previous universe they were alive well into Clark’s adult life.  I wasn’t sure why they made this change until way later in the series I found myself agreeing with the decision.  Though it had to have been a hard one to make.

You also see it start to tie in other stories as the new universe was getting ready to debut.  Most notably would be the Stormwatch series.  Makes little sense until later when you see it tied together in other issues.

Overall I for one thought it was time for a reboot of the entire universe.  I’m glad DC had the balls to do it.  For what it is, the entire reboot was such a huge move that it is hard to look at every bit of the DC franchise separately.

I’m not sure if Perez was the guy for the job of Superman but it was a good try.  Some of the writing was flat and even some of the artwork a bit hokey.  However, it’s not the battles that draw you into this story line it’s the drama that surrounds Superman’s life.  I found myself loving that he was angry with world, upset about decisions in his life, and you can’t help but relate to how he feels.

What Price Tomorrow? is an OK story.  It could have been way better and was definitely a missed opportunity.  Still however, the book is worth the grab to start your collection of the New 52 universe.

The C E Scoresheet (1-5)

Writing: 3

Artwork & Color: 3

Cover Art:  4

Re-Readability:  2

C E Meta-score:  3 (Eff it!  It’s Superman!  COLLECT IT!)