Thursday, June 1, 2017

Superman: Our Worlds at War Secret Files & Origins #1

Earth Allies

Written by Chuck Kim
Art by Ariel Olivetti
Color by Tom McCraw
Separations by Digital Chameleon

Cover art by Ed McGuinness and Cam Smith, color by Richard and Tanya Horie. Since this is a Superman event, it is nice to have the artist of Superman handle this cover. McGuinness has a big, beefy, explosive style that DC tried to make sure was matched on all the Superman titles, which helps add some consistency to events like this when you read it altogether in a trade. And speaking of trades, this cover was used on the Our Worlds at War: Book One trade paperback (although none of this issue's stories were included inside). Anyway, this is a pretty straightforward cover — Superman punching Imperiex with a handful of heroes knocked out below, including poor Superboy. I like this kind of art. Not much to complain about.

Like all Secret Files issues from this time, this issue is 64 pages, anchored by one main story and peppered with a couple of backup stories and a few profile pages. The main story shows Imperiex destroying several planets (just like we saw last issue), which leads to the formation of an alliance of several aliens who are normally enemies. We learn that Superman had previously battled who he had believed to be Imperiex, but that turned out to just be one of Imperiex's clones. The real Imperiex is much larger and more intimidating. The story ends with Liri Lee of the Linear Men observing Imperiex's quest to destroy the universe and deciding to allow this to happen. (The Linear Men really are big jerks!)

In one of the backup stories, Amanda Waller is gathering resources to face this threat, and she laments that she can't call on Lobo since Klarion turned him into a teenager. Another story shows a documentary about the old Justice Society of America's involvement in World War II, which includes the original Flash, Jay Garrick. And that's about all in this issue that concerns Impulse beside the profile page he appears on.

The text is presented as a news report by Lois Lane, detailing the JSA, JLA, this new Suicide Squad and, of course, Young Justice. Here's what she says about our favorite heroes:

"I'm a little worried about Young Justice. They're mostly protégés and sidekicks of the Justice League who formed their own group. Though formidable in their own right, I question Dad's (Secretary of Defense Sam Lane) judgment in drafting teens, super-powered or not, into the war effort. Their latest recruit, the newly teenaged Lobo, also has me worried, but for completely different reasons."

Also worth noting is that Cissie — not Arrowette — is shown with the team. Wonder Girl is oddly absent, and Secret is not colored correctly. On a whole, I am not a fan of this artwork at all. It feels rushed and sloppy. But I did like Lois Lane's concern about sending teenagers off to war. And we will find out exactly how and for what purpose Young Justice was drafted in the next issue of Young Justice.

Next time, we begin comics with a September 2001 publication date, starting with Impulse #76, which chronologically takes place before Our World at War.

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