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Superman: Infinite City
Review by James W. Powell

Story
Review — Superman: Infinite City cover image
Superman: Infinite City

Story
Mike Kennedy
 
art
Carlos Meglia
 
Letters
Rob Leigh

Publisher
DC Comics
 
Format
Hardcover Original
 
Publish Date
June 29, 2005
 
Cover Price
$24.99
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I have to admit, it's a bit tough writing about the Superman: Infinite City storyline when all I really want to do is tell you about the art. Man oh man, Carlos Meglia has created some of the best Superman images I've seen in some time, and his distinctive style definitely fits the tone set by Mike Kennedy's plot. Unfortunately, some of these story elements don't quite match the high quality level of the visuals, but that doesn't mean Superman: Infinite City isn't worth your attention.

Review — Superman: Infinite City interior imageI'll admit, I haven't read that many Superman comics in my day, but Infinite City is a bit more surreal and magical then the stories I'm used to when it comes to the Boy Scout in red and blue. When a powerful weapon finds its way to the streets of Metropolis, Clark Kent and Lois Lane head for an old, deserted town in California to find where the gun came from. What they find, however, it a portal to another world, a world filled with robots, flying monsters, and a super being with ties to Superman.

It sounds innocuous enough, but the story takes some bizarre turns along the way. Yet instead of focusing on the lighthearted, it also takes on an emotional note, so that in the end, the story is both lighthearted and emotional, but neither at the same time. First, Lois goes missing. Then Clark realizes that the superman known as The Warden and the robotic Mayor of Infinite City have ties to his past. Here, the story takes on a tense, quasi-emotinal quality. Although Superman comes off as being a bit naïve here, it feels as if the revelations should be pulling at my heart strings.

At the same time, however, Superman's powers fail in humorous ways, and certain characters have witty names like Jesden Tyme and Ruth Ordaire. These elements actually work on their own, but combined into a story with the other elements they seem misplaced. Sure, this humor mixed with the action scenes add the sense of fun required for any good superhero book, but it still feels like a oval peg trying to fit into a round hole. It's close, but it just doesn't work perfectly.

Still, there are some great moments in this book. The action is top notch, and there's actually a decent amount of mystery. And the 96-pages read pretty fast because of the superb pacing, so there's really never a dull moment to be had. There may be a few too many loose ends for my liking, but as a whole, I'd consider Superman: Infinite City a fun read. It might not be as emotional, mysterious, or as funny as it could've been, but it's certainly fun.

Art

Wow. Carlos Meglia's art is magnificent. It might be an acquired taste, but I love his exaggerated facial expressions, particularly the enraged eyes and diabolical grins. I've never seen Superman so stylishly rendered, and Lois Lane has never looked so sophisticated or as sexy.

Review — Superman: Infinite City interior image

But where Meglia really shines is in his ability to make the future look so nostalgic. While the characters all sport clothes and hairstyles straight out of old school black and white movies, the settings also feel like they were created during the same era. The technology, whether it be a flying car or a talking robot, all looks both classic and futuristic. The combination of bright colors and more somber tones really helps make these characteristics come to life.

Plus, Meglia's backgrounds are some of the most detailed and eye-catching I've seen. It definitely feels as if the characters and objects are in that world. They're a part of their surroundings. This sets the stage for more depth and a stronger environment, which in turn makes Infinite City a character of the story.

Final Words

Without a doubt, this is one of the more attractive books I've read in awhile. Meglia's art is just a feast for the eyes. I could soak in each page without even bothering with the story. But that wouldn't do the plot justice. While it does have its flaws, Infinite City is still a fun, entertaining read. And that's what you want out of a superhero book. I'm wary of recommending this one, with it's $25 price tag. So I'd suggest fans seriously consider saving the money and waiting for the paperback version of this book.

Mildly Recommended


James has written for such fine web sites as DVDtalk, Broken Frontier, and Paperback Reader. He lives in Denver with his lovely wife and two cats who wake him up at 3 a.m.
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