One of the most fun elements of the Superman mythos is the Fortress of Solitude, the safe space for the Last Son of Krypton to store and safeguard treasures from his lost homeworld as well as megafauna, wonders, and weapons too bizarre for the rest of the world. A simple security system protects all of this: the key to enter the fortress is too heavy for almost anyone to pick up, left outside the door as almost a warning, given its impossible heft. That's all well and good until a supervillain called The Key comes along, his whole shtick based on access, and suddenly Superman's home-court advantage turns the tables.
The first of many things to like about this succinct, thrilling Brandon Thomas script is his handling of the title character. Whether resolute or friendly, the idea that this is a man who grew up in Kansas trying to do right remains consistent through every unusual character interaction. That clear and effective characterization helps Superman negotiate situations that would have eviscerated lesser men because he took the time to get to know individuals, and that "power" overcame some pretty sizable challenges.
The imaginativeness of the Fortress almost TARDIS-like interior is well shown by the creative team of Christian Duce, Luis Guerrero, and Clayton Cowles as they take you on a visual travelogue through different biomes and climates held within the fortress, likewise giving the unusual inhabitants therein distinctiveness and personality.
Finally, the climactic conflict with the Key had fantastic stakes and show that Superman's pal from Gotham may have taught him a thing or two. The end game of the antagonist could not have looked like this, but it was a surprise for almost everyone and a clear conclusion of everything that happened.
To put this kind of silver age spin on a clearly modern tale and get it done in one issue is a real accomplishment worth lauding. RATING: BUY.
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #18
By Brandon Thomas, Christian Duce
The Fortress of Solitude turns against Superman! Stripped of his powers, the Last Son of Krypton will need to use every piece of technology and mystery within the fortress to stay alive and find the criminal who broke in and overtook it!
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.