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Tangent: Superman's Reign #3

Posted: Monday, May 26, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Dan Jurgens
Jamal Igle, Robin Riggs (i)
DC Comics
"History Lesson" (part 3)

Plot: Things go south quickly for Flash and Green Lantern in the Tangent-verse, while Guy Gardner continues to expound on Superman lore.

Comments: Has Superman discovered our intruding heroes too soon? Things look pretty dark when an omnipotent despot can best Green Lantern’s ring, not to mention send Flash into hiding. The Tangent heroes live in fear of Superman, but it takes John and Wally a lazy while to realize the sort of dystopia they’ve stumbled into.

We see a few more creatively changed Tangent versions of the supposedly familiar: A spooky but clearly human Spectre, Chinese-iconic villains known as Jade and Obsidian, the athletic Manhunter. There’s also some confusing business with The Joker (who’s apparently a kind of zombie) and the Atom (“the closest thing we have to your Superman” says Tangent Flash), who may or may not have been rescued.

Superman is annoyingly over-confident, but our doomed heroes have one glimmer of hope: the JLA on our Earth knows they’re missing, and is working to find them. Batman, Black Lightning, Black Canary and another Green Lantern are a pretty formidable foursome, so I’m hoping someone will really bring a smackdown to this dictator masquerading as Superman. As Wally says earlier in the issue, “since when isn’t a despot bent on world domination our business?”

The back-up story with the amusingly geeky Gardner continues to be more interesting than the upfront action tale, as he recounts the Tangent Earth’s alternate history, which includes Superman saving the world from a Galactus-class Ultra-Humanite. It’s blatant exposition, but that’s part of the point of Jurgens’ Tangent alternate reality. What we don’t see this issue is the Tangent Batman indicated on the cover.



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