Spoiler Review: Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1

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!”

Whoa…

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.

9 thoughts on “Spoiler Review: Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1

  1. Two quick things…

    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?

    This isn’t because they’re alternate versions, but because one is matter and the other is anti-matter – as established in Green Lantern/Corps, that’ll blow shit up.

    We aren’t supposed to remember any of the characters in Limbo because that is the nature of Limbo. Interesting…

    If you haven’t read Animal Man, this is a nod to a huge concept from that. I wish I had been able to fit my Animal Man trades into my car.

    I’ll have more in-depth thoughts on this issue this weekend, after I re-read it 10 more times.

  2. “This isn’t because they’re alternate versions, but because one is matter and the other is anti-matter – as established in Green Lantern/Corps, that’ll blow shit up.”

    this is recent then?

    “If you haven’t read Animal Man, this is a nod to a huge concept from that. I wish I had been able to fit my Animal Man trades into my car.”

    yeah, i just started reading it. still on the first trade.

    ah, and i’m totally looking forward to your thoughts on this. 🙂

  3. I’ve only had a chance to go through this one once, and very quickly just this morning, just to get a general idea of the tone before I settle in for an in depth reading. But I love it already.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the ship looked like the Yellow Submarine. Somehow that seems like a perfectly Morrison thing to do. 🙂

    I love stories that analyze the nature of “story” (Jack of Fables, Animal Man, the Thursday Next series of novels by Jasper Fforde, and Fantastic Four: True Story seems to be shaping up in a similar way) so this is pure awesome for me, but I imagine it’s going to drive a LOT of people batty!

    I’m really sad that I didn’t pick this book to talk about on next week’s podcast… 😦

  4. man, you guys definitely need to call an audible and review this book on your cast. it’s very rare that one gets to talk about a comic with as much depth as Superman Beyond.

  5. Yeah, especially since TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE was a bit of a let down… Hmm… I think Sean may have actually bought SUPERMAN BEYOND… <_<

  6. This is kind of interesting, and I thought it bore pointing out.

    As they go from Earth to Earth, as we hear more throughout the book, we learn that the ‘Crisis’ is manifesting in other ways on EVERY Earth. The most interesting one…?

    Earth 6. Hero fighting hero, including a man in chain-mail with a circular shield fighting a high-tech armor guy – and the high-tech armor guy is actually a pointy-eared shape-shifting alien under the armor!

    That’s right – Morrison is saying that even Civil War and Secret Invasion are only relatively minor ‘spin-offs’ of the Rise of Mandrakk.

  7. hah, yeah, i noticed that that Earth’s heroes looked very Marvel in nature, but i didn’t notice that bit. good catch.

    and yes, besides the obvious poke at the competition, this is directly relevant to the themes behind Final Crisis. Superman Beyond has given FC a scope that is almost to enormous to easily grasp. how do you talk about a story that is literally talking about all stories? great stuff.

  8. Could the Nazi Supergirl from Final Crisis #3 actually be Power Girl? She already knows she’s not from the current Earth-2, since there was already a version of her there. Might her having such memories be some type of fluke, and could she be Overman’s cousin? Didn’t someone say his cousin had ended up on New Earth? We haven’t seen any new versions of Kara show up, and we don’t really know how long ago (for the characters) Power Girl arrived on New Earth. (And with what’s going on, who knows what type of temporal hiccups might have been involved?)

  9. I didn’t see if this was mentioned, but your review notes: “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?” It wasn’t. In the DC Universe, there are two kinds of reality matter can be in: matter (obviously) and anti-matter. Versions of any character from various worlds can certainly come in contact with one another, but Ultraman isn’t just from another world, he’s anti-matter and from a different plane of existence itself entirely.

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