Home > DC Comics > Superman: Our Worlds at War-The Complete Collection TPB

Superman: Our Worlds at War-The Complete Collection TPB

April 17, 2011

Title: Our Worlds at War

Writers: Jeph Loeb, Joe Casey, Mark Schultz, Joe Kelly, Peter David, Phil Jimenez, Todd DeZago
Phil Jimenez, Mike Wieringo, Doug Mahnke, Ed McGuinness, Pascual Ferry, Carlo Barberi, Kano, Todd Nauck, Mark Buckingham, Duncan Rouleau, Yvel Guichet, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ron Garney, Leonard Kirk
Marlo Alquiza, Andy Lanning, Jose Marzan Jr., Cam Smith, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Juan Vlasco, Wayne Faucher, Walden Wong, Duncan Rouleau, Mark Morales, Lary Stucker, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dexter Vines, Robin Riggs
Wildstorm FX, Patricia Mulvihill, Jason Wright, Zylonol Studios, Tanya Horie, Richard Horie, Tom McCraw, Rob Schwager, Gene D’Angelo
Richard Starkings, Comicraft, Ken Lopez, Janice Chiang, Bill Oakley
Ed McGuinness
Eddie Berganza, Mike McAvennie, Bob Joy       
DC Comics

Comic book crossovers have been a staple of the form since the 1980s, and there have been more misses than hits. Sometimes, though, time passes and you forget how good a particular storyline was. That’s the case for me with the 2001 crossover Our Worlds at War.

In this storyline Imperiex, an alien Superman had fought some months before, was making Earth the target of his latest assault. It turns out Superman hadn’t fought the real Imperiex, but rather a “probe” sent out by a much more powerful biend, who had the intention of destroying Earth in part of an ongoing quest to wipe out… well… the universe. Superman, the Justice League, and pretty much every other hero on the planet assembled to go to war against the forces of Imperiex, and to do so they had to make some strange allies… Lex Luthor, then-President of the United States, and the dark god himself, Darkseid.

Although this book is labeled The Complete Collection, that isn’t strictly true. There are several crossover chapters and specials that were released in 2001 that aren’t part of this already-hefty omnibus. This book does collect all of the pieces vital to the main story, including the chapters of the assorted Superman titles, Wonder Woman’s book, those starring the members of Young Justice, and a few more for good measure. Not every chapter is that great, but a lot of them are. The story packs a surprising emotional punch, as we see Superman and his allies run ragged fighting a foe more powerful than they’ve ever fought before. Granted, that’s the tagline for virtually every crossover that’s published, but this time we really feel the stress, the strain they have to go under. We see heroes brought to the breaking point and several significant, meaningful deaths. (Unfortunately, virtually all of those deaths have been reversed in the decade since this story first saw publication, but it’s unfair to hold that against this volume, I think.)

The book does lean heavily on characters that were important to the Superman mythos at the time, such as Strange Visitor, who more recent readers won’t recognize at all. The changes that Steel goes through, as well, make for a strange little time capsule, and Supergirl is virtually unrecognizable from the current version. But the story as a whole is still engaging, exciting, and powerful. I’m really glad I picked up this monster omnibus and read this story again.

Rating: 8/10

For the record, this book collects the following individual issues: Action Comics #780-782, Adventures of Superman #593-595, Impulse #77, JLA: Our Worlds at War #1, Superboy (1994 Series) #91, Supergirl (1996 Series) #59, Superman (1987 Series) #171-173, Superman: The Man of Steel #115-117, Wonder Woman (1987 Series) #172-173, World’s Finest: Our Worlds at War #1, and Young Justice (1998 Series) #36.

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