SUPERMAN 13 – “United Against Rogol Zaar”
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Brandon Peterson, Ivan Reis
While Jor-El attempts to save Krypton, Bendis practices his stand-up jokes.
Is Superman 13 Worth$3.99
Nope, not unless you like this kind of thing…
Alright, let’s get into this… Superman 13 is fine. It’s not bad but a few things; #1 at no point does anyone “Unite Against Rogol Zaar”. The entire comic follows Jor-El begging people as he tries to save Krypton. Spoiler warning- he fails and Krypton blows up- TWIST!!!! Wait, no. #2 The only other part of this comic is in “the Present” where Superman argues with his father about going back to where Krypton was and Lois gets a present from Lex.
Now let’s get into the “jokes” and why I’m writing this….
First off, let’s talk about the Torah in the room. On page 5 of Superman 13, Jor-El is pleading with The circle, a cabal of the universe’s most important figures, to save Krypton. A bothered Myand’r (king of Tamaran and Father of Starfire) proclaims “I had my Cheif Sceince officer leave his cousin’s Bar Mitzvah to come check your solar system’s Radiation Calibrations.”
In my mind, Bendis is sitting back in his posh office laughing his ass off at this glorious joke. Also, this joke is unfunny and lame. Is the comedy here that Tamaran has Judaism? Is it the incongruity of an C-level character being tangentially related to a Jewish guy the laugh?!!? I don’t know.
The problem with Bendis and Superman
This is pretty much the problem with Bendis and Superman right now. The humor isn’t landing and the story is incoherent. Rogol Zaar is supposed to have destroyed Krypton in some way, but no one knows how… and no one reading this comic seems to care. Good comics, weither they be Superman, Batman, or Wolverine rely on interesting characters doing interesting things. That’s the basics. We have neither of those here.
Jor-El and Rogol Zaar are flat and hollow, their drives unclear, unfun, and too unfocused to relate to. Bendis needs to either wrap up these year(s) long story beats and focus down on a ground level story. Bendis, when he is focused, is a fantastic writer capable of the brilliance we all want him to bring to Superman. But until then, there are some open mic nights that he can test out his material at all across LA.