For Tomorrow - Volume 2 (Hardback)

Author: Brian Azzarello
Artists: Jim Lee and Scott Williams
Titan Books
RRP: 19.99
ISBN 1 84576 184 7
Available 23 September 2005

The Man of Steel comes closer to uncovering the mystery of the Vanishing, in which millions of people disappeared without trace, and comes face-to-face with the being behind it all. But what desperate measures will our hero take to make things right again - and does Wonder Woman have the power to stop him? Just how far is Superman willing to go "for tomorrow"...?

The concluding volume of this saga doesn't quite match the previous one in terms of its art. This is probably because Scott Williams doesn't complete all of the inking chores, instead sharing the task with a veritable committee of nine other inkers.

That said, the art is still superior to that of the majority of mainstream comics I have seen in recent years. The renditions of the world to which the Vanished have, um, vanished are suitably alien-looking and magical. And you can see the influence of Danger Girl veteran Williams in some of the more revealing and curvaceous poses struck by Wonder Woman and Lois Lane. Meanwhile, colourist Alex Sinclair continues his sterling airbrush work.

Writer Brian Azzarello throws in a ton of elements that will appeal to fans of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, including the Phantom Zone, an apparent meeting between Superman and Clark Kent (don't worry, this is explained - eventually) and a certain powerful arch-villain.

However, Azzarello's sentence structures occasionally leave something to be desired. When Superman wonders, "What does it mean when a man whose life is built on faith sacrifices it by saving his own life?", I had to read that again, because at first it didn't seem to make sense. Only upon my second reading did I realise that "it" referred to the faith, not the life. A better sentence would have been, "What does it mean when a man whose life is built on faith sacrifices that faith by saving his own life?"

The superhero's disagreements with other members of the Justice League in the previous volume, his battle with Wonder Woman in this one and his confrontation with Batman on a Gotham City rooftop could explain the hostility that exists between Superman and the Dark Knight in Azzarello's Lex Luthor: Man of Steel. This volume also establishes the new Fortress of Solitude in a South American rainforest.

If you don't already own this book, which also includes an afterword and sketches by penciller Jim Lee, then you might want to add it to your list of things to do... for tomorrow.

Richard McGinlay

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