Superman #37 review

I always knew Ulysses was a stinker. Part five of the Men of Tomorrow story sees him admit to Superman that he doesn't want to save millions of discontented Earth people by transporting them to his adopted planet - he wants to feed them to his world's core, as fuel. His captive, Superman, is horrified, and bids to convince him to return everyone to Earth, and send the people of The Great World there too, removing the need for a power boost. 

Ulysses isn't having it; even though Earth is his home planet, he cares only for his adopted world. Everyone is going to die and that's it. Then Superman points out that his birth parents are on the ship...

So yes, Ulysses is as dodgy as his hairstyle. The fight with the alien Klerik which convinced Superman to trust him was a put-up job, Klerik is Ulysses' adopted father and co-conspirator. But Ulysses - otherwise known as Neil - doesn't want to kill Superman, and is willing to stand up to Klerik to keep him safe. And it's that bit of humanity Superman is able to manipulate to save the would-be Earth emigrants.

This is a decent chapter of the Geoff Johns/John Romita Jr/Klaus Janson storyline, fast-moving and nice looking. It could be the last, but sadly, it isn't, there's a big Ulysses/Superman slugfest coming next issue. I'm tired of this slow-moving storyline, whose best bits have been the moments involving Superman's supporting cast. Bar a single panel of Jimmy and Lois, they're absent this issue.

And there's not a sniff of the mystery person who's been snooping on Superman, one of the most intriguing aspects of this serial. 

Johns writes a good Superman, one able to put aside anger at Ulysses being a murderer several million times over long enough to get on with the job at hand - saving the Earth people. I do, though, hope that next issue we see Superman cry for justice - Ulysses does the right thing here, but for selfish reasons. He's not redeemed and I doubt he could be - the man has led hundreds of millions of souls to oblivion.

The art reached a consistent quality a couple of issues back and there's no slippage here; it's good, but not amazing. A spread of the Great World is obviously meant to inspire wonder, but really, looks more like New York's High Line gardening project than Paradise. I like Laura Martin's cool colouring throughout, and Sal Cipriano's lettering is appealing.

By the time this wraps we'll have had six issues for a story that could've been told in three, tops. Progress has been glacial, and the big revelation predictable. I hope DC's coming deck shuffle brings Superman something snappier and more exciting.