This story starts with a flash of the future, a perfect world where there is no war, no conflict and yet Batman is still not happy because the price of that peace was too high. Back in the present we see Superman and Lois are so happy because she is pregnant and when Superman meets Batman later in the day his joy is overflowing.
While that happiness lasts a single night as Lois is kidnapped, rigged to a bomb and left for Superman to find. Calling in the whole JLA for help, Superman is directed towards a submarine where she is being held, but as he breaks in he is gassed by Scarecrow and all he can see is Doomsday. Grabbing is nemesis he flies them both out of the atmosphere only to get a message from Bruce telling him it was a trap from the Joker, and Superman’s entire world falls apart.
At the death of his city and his wife, Superman enlists the JLA as he seeks to prevent the deaths of any innocent anywhere in the world, be that Afghanistan or the USA, Dictators commands, or Presidents orders. However which of the JLA will join him, and will any actively oppose him?
One issue that becomes immediately apparent when reading this comic is the artwork. I know I have a preview review copy which helpfully states that it may contain uncorrected proofs, but I cannot see this as being markedly different to how it will go out. All the art in this comic looks out of focus; it is a very weird sensation when reading it. The text boxes and speech bubbles are neat and perfectly sharp, but all the art behind looks like a picture waiting to come into focus. It is real shame because the art at a quick glance looks fantastic, but the more you try to look at it the more you realise that it is not going to get any sharper. If this had been a reprint of a much older comic then I could understand it, but it is less than a year old so that offers no explanations.
This is not a perfect comic, it asks quite a few questions that it never answers. One question is; did it really just end that abruptly? Many comics end on a cliff-hanger I know, but this one simply ends mid action sequence with no indication it is coming. I am used to this sort of ending happening with a big splash page, something to let you know that this section is ending and to look out for the next, but this feels like someone simply turned the TV off in the middle of the film. It also asks some very silly questions such as; how does Superman shave? I personally always assumed that he simply did not grow a beard, but according to this comic he does, but it makes me question if he has some sort of high powered laser or a kryptonite Revlon because no steel blade is going to cut those invulnerable hairs.
What the comic does do well is show the likely outcome of giving a good person ultimate power. It is very similar to those points in Lord of the Rings where Frodo offers the One Ring to Gandalf and Galadriel and you get a moment, a brief echo, of what they would be like with that power to do good and no restraint. Well we have more than an echo here. Shorn of responsibility and compassion this is Superman unchained and unrestricted and I can only assume that in later volumes he simply falls further down this rabbit hole. But it is for me Wonder Woman who steals the comic. While Superman has fallen dramatically, he at least has a reason for his fall. She however has no such motivation other than what appears to be a lust for both power and Superman himself which I hope are more developed as this comic series progresses.