Written by Tom King
Art by Andy Kubert
Published by DC Comics
The official description of this book says Superman is awaiting release from a prison planet and takes a “time travel detour” to the battlefields of World War II.
Well, the former has no mention of incarceration, and the latter says nothing about time travel. The so-called prison planet is an intergalactic collect calling station located millions of light-years away from Earth.
Tom King does a great job of augmenting Superman’s fear and frustration on two fronts. Superman is worried about Lois Lane to such a degree that he’s having visions of her death.Violent and torturous demises at the hands of his worst enemies make Superman desperate to hear from Lois.
However, the calling station he’s at operates like dysfunctional DMV, which is extremely frustrating for anyone.
Now, picture a Man of Steel who is too far away to fly home and can’t abandon his mission to rescue a kidnapped girl. Superman’s reactions are akin to watching an escalated customer service issue on YouTube. Administrative red tape coupled with procedural inconsistencies makes Superman a customer who is about to ask to speak with someone’s supervisor. Superman threatens to throw the entire station into the deepest black hole he could find gave me a chuckle because, well, he could do it.
The second story presents a weakened and partially amnesiac Superman who stumbles into the frontline of World War II next to Sgt. Rock. There is no explanation of how he got there.
The narrative is essentially an inspirational metaphor to never give up. The script is a frustrating read because it primarily deviates from the main story, which is the search for the missing girl. The missing information and the fact that Superman still has his powers brings about a lack of compelling material in the war-torn environment.
Andy Kubert’s artwork is busy in a good way, highlighting the peril of war with bullet-ridden fields and foxhole combat. The illustrations shine the most here, and I would be interested in seeing Kubert’s work in a Sgt. Rock on-going series.
Overall, the book has its moments, but it comes off as filler instead of the next chapter of a story involving a missing girl.
As I’ve stated before, Up In The Sky isn’t meant for the purveyors of the pull list. There is a lack of cohesion with the main story that wouldn’t fly as easily in a regular on-going series. It’s fun in parts, but it made me less invested in Superman’s search for the girl since the story apparently has, too.