Hey, remember after Convergence when the OG Superman got stranded with his wife and his son on the new New Earth? If not read this and this. You will recall that the new old Superman seems to have a strange new power. His hand seemed to glow and left imprints on certain things. He also seemed to be totally unaware of it too. Over the past few months, us readers have had little information as to what that was and wild theories abounded. Superman's got a new power! Can he raise the dead? Can feel the forests pain? Can he make day-glow pajamas? What can this new power be?
Well, turns out it isn't a power at all, but a side effect from playing multiverse hopscotch.
Clark Smith (Kent) has been a pretty bad farmer. All his crops are failing and it would seem that a shortage of water was to blame. So the farmer ditches his overalls and flies around looking for... something.... a reason.... the source of the Nile.... who knows? Instead he finds Swamp Thing whose got a bit of a beef with the Man of Steel.
Apparently Superman has been drawing more solar energy to him than the last Superman. Now before you say to yourself, "that doesn't make any sense because solar radiation doesn't work like that" we get a reason why. It's because he's from another universe. Now before you you say, "that still doesn't make any sense," Superman touches Swamp Thing and makes him all glowy and speaking Kryptonian. Swamp Thing attacks Superman, but Superman knows that he must have infected the leafy king of gardens and determines that pushing him further underground will cure him... which it does.
Now before you say, "I'm totally at a loss as to how the characters in this story are making the decisions that they are making," Swamp thing wants to do a "fusion" with Superman. Now before you think, "sweet, I'm down for a DBZ style fusion dance," Superman and Swamp Thing have to battle one more time before Superman decides to let Swamp Thing get intimate with him.
And just like that Superman is cured of the thing we didn't know was a problem until the start of this issue. Swamp Thing attuned Superman's "vibrations" (I'm not kidding, that is what it says) and now it shouldn't be a problem any more. Probably. Maybe. So Supes flies away and starts farming again. The End.
Now before you say, "what the holy @#$! did I just read," you'll be happy to know I don't really know either. I guess this is what annual comics are for: telling stories that shed light on the continuing continuity. However this more or less reads like "Hey, we made a mistake showing Superman having some weird glowy power a few months back so now we are getting rid of it.... ok bye."
I expected better of Tomasi and Gleason. If you don't me read this or this. I HAVE LOVED REBIRTH SUPERMAN! I love superhero battles as much as the next guy, but Swamp Things battle with Superman had a hentai tentacle porn motif going on. It's just so damn disappointing.
What aggravates me further is that the art is astounding. I MEAN LOOK AT THOSE PANELS! Jimenez and Sanchez kill it! It detailed, it's evocative, it.... has a little hentai going on... but it's still really well done. Why couldn't they have given you a better story to depict?
So in the end, I can't give this book a terrible grade because I loved the art so much, but I really was expecting more from DC for the first annual of Superman Rebirth.