What am I talking about this time: Superman #1
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Joe Prado, Ivan Reis
Cover by: Joe Prado, Ivan Reis
Variant cover by: David Mack, Adam Hughes
Overall Review: 2 out of 5 Bendises (Bendisi? Bendis? What’s the plural of Bendis?)
Is it worth a $3.99? If you didn’t read the Man of Steel miniseries then this is an absolute yes, if you did then you’ll just wanna skim it while hanging out at the comic book store and put it back on the shelf- there’s a lot of recap so maybe just give the last few pages a quick peak so you can save a few bucks for something else
Spoiler Free Review: This is mainly a recap comic of everything that happened in the miniseries, there is some story movement, but not much. The book is really good at recapping, though, so that’s nice. The emotional beats hit home and work to reinforce where Superman is how he is handling things. However, in that vain, most of the action that happens either doesn’t really affect the story or the comic as a whole until the last few pages. For the most part, it feels like this series is just continuing where the MOS mini series left off, which is great because it was wonderful, with many threads left un-pulled, questions unanswered, and story to explore… I’m in and excited for this new arc. It’s just this introductory issue covers a lot of that series before finally taking it’s own step forward in the final few pages. The art is great, though.
We open on, literally, 5 paragraphs summing up the MOS series. Which is fine, except we then spend the next 20 pages doing the same thing. It’s a great summery… very accurate. After the short summery, we find Superman shooting through space looking for his family because they left with Jor-El for the summer to see the universe. This poses a couple of problems right off the bat.
1- Superman says he doesn’t have any idea of where he’s going so he’s just zooming around looking for them. This doesn’t seem like a solid plan… in fact, it’s kinda haphazard considering how big space is.
2-They are only gone for the summer. My kid is about to take a trip to Portland with her friend for a bit, than has sleep over camp, etc… I’ll miss her like crazy but summer is only like 3 months long… so, I’m not driving all over the North West calling her name out the window.
Anyway, out in space, he runs into a Dominator armada and takes them out really easily and then returns to Earth.
I’m not gonna lie, those pages kinda had me worried, they didn’t do much in almost every sense of that phrase.
But, thankfully here, we see what Bendis is great at, heart. We come back to Clark alone in his room flashing back to moments with his family and it’s just great. Bantering with Lois, teasing his son, you can feel Superman’s loneliness.
Next up, is a funny little page about Superman cleaning up the remains of the Fortress of Solitude with the Justice League. Superman digs down and finds the sun stone the originally built the fortress and, deciding to rebuild it, places it in… the Bermuda Triangle?!!?! I’m not sure why Bendis went here, but it’s a splash page that feels like it should have some significance, but that significance went right over my head and left me just shrugging my shoulders.
Now, we find Clark writing about the new fortress, only to remember that massive hanging plot thread from MOS, the multiple fires being set across Metropolis! He literally has a “oh yeah!” moment. He reaches for the phone to call the fire chief only to be interrupted by a telepathic request form Martian Manhunter. Superman flies to him outside where they talk. About Stuff. Every now and then Superman flies away to save someone or punch something, but he comes back and they keep talking.
Martian Manhunter is all, “So, you know how everyone thinks we’re similar cause we both are the last of a dead race from another planet? Well, I never felt that way cause your people blew up and mine died in a war, but now I know some crappy named villain blew up Krypton, I DO feel that way and so we’re bros now. Oh, also, I think you should rule the world.” Superman, and every other comic reader instantly knows something is up and creeps, this is a trick and not John, but Supes goes along with it for now and is all, “Yeah, cool, good info, let’s table this and not talk about it ever again, later WOOSH,”
Finally, we arrive at the last few pages… Still recapping, Superman flies real fast while reliving his last words with his crazy dad before he took Lois and Jon and vamoosed. Then he realizes, on the last page, that he’s in the phantom zone… but not just him… the WHOLE Earth!!! Not a bad turn, could be interesting, a little out of left field, but I’m already on the train, so excited to see where it’s going. Although, these last pages are the only real movement in the story, still I felt kinda cheated by the comic. Also, I still hate the name Rogol Zaar. But it’s Bendis and even he gets a throw away issue here and there, so let’s hope this picks back up, shall we?!!