After a massive introductory arc to Action Comics, the series takes a pause on the events of Prime Earth to introduce a Superman of a new Earth – Earth 23.
By all accounts, the Superman title had never really put much focus on extradimensional affairs and storylines which was why I was a little surprised when I picked up this issue. The concept of multiple dimensions and realities is not news to most seasoned readers and even the newer readers are more than aware of multi-dimensionality. But as it turns out, the story runs deeper than just the introduction of a parallel universe.
Starting off with an invasion by Superdoomsday from a different universe has to be one of the most unexpected additions to the series. While the story was rather elaborate, it manages to stand its ground. In fact, despite the massive threat from Superdoomsday, Calvin’s fight with the beast was overshadowed by the Calvin’s personality. There is so much about this character than is really different from the Clark that we know even though at their core, they are both very similar. This odd difference is pretty appealing.
The swapping of race of most of the popular characters such as just THE Justice League and even Dr John Irons could make this story be perceived as nothing more than a racial stunt. Kal El of Earth 23 goes by Calvin Ellis in this Earth and leads the United States as her president which allowed this story to go into the political aspects of being a superhero. Being a superhero requires going against some of government laws. They is a profound need for these heroes because the government isn’t able to handle certain situations.
The star of The Curse of Superman was surprisingly the Earth 23 Wonder Woman. During the League’s action against Qurac, Wonder Woman confronted Calvin on him breaking the laws that he has sworn to upkeep since he has become the president. Being in the Justice League, Superman is required to set himself outside the law. Wonder Woman even brought up the obvious fact that Calvin was not born on Earth and yet he leads one of the biggest nations. There is so much depth to the way she said it that you can’t help but start to ask yourself these questions. She ended off with posing a rather compelling question to Calvin: “What happens when, one day, you do what you think is the “greater good” but the world see it differently?”
Taking a more political approach than majority of the other DC titles, Morrison crafted one of the most compelling and thought-provoking stories that could play out in the future.