The art was perfection (really wish i could have scanned this baby). Okay, I’m not quite sure how else to review this book, so I’ll just make a list.
Things I know or think I know after reading Final Crisis: Superman Beyond:
• Sometime next issue, Superman dons “Cosmic Armor” and fights what I can only assume is the “Echo of Midnight”.
• Zillo Vallo, the female Monitor that recruits Superman invented the “Chrono Paralyzer” that is keeping Lois Lane alive.
• “Ultramenstruum” is the proper name for the “Bleed”.
• The Bleed is the arteries between the universes… could this be why the skies always turn red during a Crisis, because the Multiverse is bleeding?
• The Bleed “medicine” promised to Superman has the power to heal or annihilate.
• Superman’s comrades consist of alternate versions of himself: The Nazi Overman from Earth 10 (he’s looking for his cousin, the Nazi Supergirl from Final Crisis #3), Ultraman from the Anti-Matter Universe, Captain Marvel from Earth-5, and the “Quantum Superman” from Earth-4 (this is obviously a reference to Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen).
• The Carrier the Supermen are piloting through the Bleed looks like a Yellow Submarine.
• The Carrier from Authority appears prominently, with no reference made to it, in one of the “Multiverse” panels.
• Earth-51 is referred to as the “Graveyard Universe” where no life exists. Did this happen in Countdown?
• Zillo Vallo tells Overman that she needs blood to survive, and at first, he gives his blood freely. Later, when this is revealed to Superman, it appears that Zillo Vallo has drained Overman dry. She’s some kind of vampire, what does this mean? How does this tie into the Bleed?
• Apparently, if you come into contact with a version of yourself from another world, you both spontaneously explode. Where was this established in the DC Universe?
• We aren’t supposed to remember any of the characters in Limbo because that is the nature of Limbo. Interesting…
• Anyone speak German? What the hell is Overman saying on Page 20, Panel 2?
• Grant Morrison reveals to Superman the nature of his existence… which I doubt he can understand at this point… and that nature is this: Story continuity is the fatal flaw of creation. Um, wow. Shit just got weird… will Final Crisis end with Superman shaking hands with Grant Morrison? meeting Shuster and Siegel?
• …are we the “Conscious Living Void”described by The Book, or the descendants of that Void? Does that make us “The Monitors”?
• The “Superman” idea, the archetypal superhero, is a contagion that spreads throughout the Multiverse, infecting everything with the concept of “story” and “hero”.
• Upon seeing the concept of Superman, one of the Monitors says, “It can only be a weapon. A doomsday machine engineered by genius to defend us against some ultimate enemy.” What I think he’s talking about here, is the idea that stories serve as the instruction manuals for a civilization. Stories help society understand itself and its place in creation, and stories also act as a defense against oblivion.
• While trapped in Limbo, Billy Batson forgets his magic word. Perhaps it’s already too late; perhaps they’ve stayed too long.
• The Mandrakk is the Ultimate Evil, it controls the Evil in all its forms throughout the Multiverse, even Darkseid.
• At the end of the issue, Ultraman, holding the book that “contains every book possible”, declares, “Evil wins in the end!”
There’s so much more going on here, but my brain is too small and exhausted to handle it all tonight. I look forward to anyone else’s comments on the subject of Superman Beyond, I’m anxious to figure out this little mystery since, more than any of the other tie-ins, the outcome of this mini will surely play a pivotal role in the outcome of Final Crisis.