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I personally believe that the coming of Superman may one day be looked back on as one of the most significant events in human history.  As will our response.

These words, spoken by Senator Finch and no doubt read in Elastigirl’s voice, serve as a perfect thesis statement in regards to the public’s perception of Superman after the events of Man of Steel.  For better or worse, the world will never be the same, and how humanity copes with the dawn of heroes says just as much about mankind as it does the heroes themselves.

Serving as a prelude to the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (or “Bevis,” for short), Senator Finch’s installment takes place in a single room focusing on a single conversation, and it is absolutely gripping.  Massive credit to Christos Gage for taking a dry concept (politicians and military personnel talking) and making it a genuinely engaging story.

After viewing a kind of hilariously over-the-top simulation of what would happen if Superman lost control, Finch and a small group of members of the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities (or SSETC, which doesn’t actually spell anything cool) discuss the repercussions of Superman’s involvement in world affairs.

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And take shots at politicians, which is always welcome.

It’s well-trod ground, but Gage looks beyond the simple paranoia of “he’s not one of us” and the perceived naïveté of “he’s just trying to help” and digs a little deeper into Superman’s psyche.

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Instead of falling back on the now cliche mentality of being an alien and leaving it at that, Gage brings up excellent points on both sides: what if he’s unstable?  How do we respond if he doesn’t have our best interests at heart?  Conversely, he’s done so much good that people ask him to save cats and cure cancer.  Where do we draw the line on our expectations?  There aren’t any answers, but I’m glad it’s asking the questions.

Finch herself isn’t so much the spotlight as part of an ensemble, but there are some revelations into her character: she seems to be more open-minded towards Superman than early looks would lead us to believe, as she doesn’t fall squarely on either side of the argument.  There may be some hidden agenda she has that will come to light later, but right now she’s more curious than anything.

For a freebie comic offered by Dr Pepper™, the Mightiest of Soft Drinks (Patent Pending), there’s surprising depth to the storytelling.  It’s not bad to look at either, though the lack of action means Joe Bennett doesn’t get much to do.  But hey, that opening sequence was pretty great.

Oddly enough, it reminds me a bit of Jeph Loeb and Time Sale’s classic A Superman For All Seasons, if not in form and execution than in intent.  While All Seasons is hands down one of the greatest Superman stories of all time and this is a pleasant enough diversion, they both focus less on Superman himself than on a particular person’s view of him.  The Loeb/Sale story centers around different narrators for each represented season and this issue has multiple points of view in a short amount of time, but the meaning is still there: some are in awe, some are afraid, and still others are angry at his presence, but everybody at least feels something about Superman.  A tenuous connection, maybe, but anything that makes me think about great Superman stories for a good reason is ok enough with me.

BONUS: I decided to record a video to detail further thoughts on the promotion.

Recommended if: 

  • You’re looking forward to Bevis Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • You like free comics.
  • You love Dr Pepper™, Beverage of Justice®
  • You like depth, especially surprising depth, to your comics.

Overall: Much better than it really deserves to be, and that’s hardly faint praise.  We’re given a surprisingly even-handed look at Superman in this universe, with criticisms addressed intelligently and hopes raised expectantly, and neither side being shown as the right one.  If the film is written and characterized as well as this then we’ll have a great time come March, and also Dr Pepper is awesome.  It’s a win-win!

SCORE: 8/10