Let’s start with the obvious. Manapul is kicking some serious ass in this issue. Just when you thought that he could not surpass the quality of work that he was producing during his run on Flash, this talented man has found a way to partner his stunning visuals with a story that harkens back to Alan Moore’s classic Superman tale, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow”.
Clark, Bruce and Diana have been transported to the past and have come face to face with Jonathan Kent and a young Clark Kent. The trio has arrived at the very moment in history where Pa Kent was supposed to die of from a heart attack; instead Supes has a chance to save his father. The trauma of seeing his father lifeless the younger Clark runs away. However, this time Pa Kent lives thanks to the grown version of his son.
The story weaves in out of moments that have so much heart it hurts. Watching Clark walk with his father, trying not to identify himself, yet soak in this once in a lifetime moment is enough to bring tears to the eyes of anyone who has recently suffered a close loss.
There are also a few brief moments of action, but this entire issue hinges on the humanity on display. It’s the subtle nods of knowing that are shared between the heroes; from Diana reminding Clark to be gentle as he tries to give chest compressions to his dying father, to Bruce putting aside his own distrust of events to allow his friend to bask in the glow of his father’s love.
Final Thoughts: While all of this is too good to be true, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the warmth and charm that this issue brings to the table.
Final Grade: 4 ½ stars
Written by Francis Manapul
Art by Francis Manapul & Steve Wands
Published by DC Comics