If you read my review of ‘Project Superman’ #1 , you know I was left feeling a bit confused by the issue. There was really no clear sense of the timing of things. I am happy to say my suspicions about an explanation coming in this issue came to fruition.
I have really enjoyed the ‘Flashpoint’ so far, but to be honest, if I weren’t writing reviews I would probably have skipped many of the tie-ins(The Outsider, Hal Jordan, Abin Sur, Deathstroke… just to name a few). Even if I were reading these books for the fun of it, Scott Snyder’s ‘Project Superman’ would have still been considered a must read.
In issue #2 we finally get an explanation of the timeline I so desperately needed last month. This issue also features quite a few familiar faces from the Superman mythos, and in true Flashpoint form, no one is safe and you need to expect the unexpected.
Before we get to the familiar faces, Lowell Francis and Gene Ha, did a brilliant job at capturing the tone of this story through their collaboration on the artwork. There is a lot of loneliness in this book, and for the most part it is heartbreaking.
Kal is lonely because he is trapped in an underground military testing facility, his only friend the alien dog from the ship that him to Earth (a.k.a. Krypto: the Super Dog). However, while they may have each other at times, they both live with the constant threat they will be ripped from each other’s lives at the whim of some doctor because it will give them a way to catalogue more data. Kal isn’t the only lonely soul in ‘Project Superman,’ Subject 0, the test subject from the previous issue is also alone and kept from any kind of human contact. In Subject 0’s case they go so far as to not even mention his name, that is a special kind of solitary confinement when you can see and hear everyone ignoring you.
In his solitude, Subject 0 has become more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. He is able to manipulate the energy around him to speak directly to Kal telepathically, guiding him on how to deal with the tests and his captors. Subject 0 is also able to store up energy and project it on to the Kryptonian visitors, juicing up their powers.
This was one of the cooler series of panels in Project Superman #2 as Lionel Luthor and his young son Lex are on the scene to visit Project Superman to get a first hand look at the visitors. While in the company of the Kryptonian K-9, Subject 0 amps up “Krypto’s” powers sending him into a rage that eventually ends with a dead Luthor (which one? I’ll never tell). This of course spells the end of Krypto, and Kal has lost his only friend. So it is time for Kal and Subject 0 to leave Project Superman behind and get out into the world to be the heroes they have been “breed” to be.
There are more familiar faces from the Superman Universe in this story, and you will have to read for yourself to find out who. I am very happy with the way this story is progressing. Of all the variations of characters so far, Superman is turning out to be the most interesting. ‘Project Superman’ is also showing the importance of the Kents to the DCU, without the guidance and protection Kal is a lab rat with very little hope of every escaping… or is there? Make sure to come back next month for the conclusion to this exciting tale, and to see what will become of the Project Superman test subjects, if they can escape the underground lab and to see if Kal-El of Krypton will be able to finally claim his birthright as Earth’s mightiest hero.