Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artists: Ivan Reis, Jay Fabok / DC Comics
Bendis is here.
After debuting his take on Superman in Action Comics #1000, Bendis has taken charge of the Man of Steel. Here is our first glimpse into the new status quo, the six week mini-series that will take us into a soft reboot of the Superman‘s main line and a continuation of Action Comics.
The issue starts out with an interesting spread and a monologue from Rogol Zaar. In his very lengthy speech, Rogol Zaar makes some interesting parallels between old-school Krypton and the current-day America of rampant colonizers dependent on exploration and exploitation that ultimately doom the civilizations they interact with in the name of progress. Yet, as sensible as Rogol Zaar’s anger is, his solution is rampant genocide so this all balances out.
We then quickly transition to Superman doing his typical go-around in Metropolis. It should be stated right now that Reis’ Superman artwork is drop-dead gorgeous, red trunks and all. This is as classic and as iconic a take on the character as you could ask for, and every detail from the signature curl to knowing smirk is present. And Bendis, to his credit, keeps pace with the script. Superman’s compassion and superpowers are front and center.
But Man of Steel #1 also has to deal with Rogol Zaar and Clark Kent’s side of things. The few glimpses we get are just teases of the rest of the arc. This issue, like most #1, does a good job at setting the tone and starts spinning all of the wheels, but the story feels so stretched with its scope that these hints are more frustrating than compelling.
This is definitely a different take on Superman than I am used to. This is a story where Clark/Superman are isolated and online, and his interactions with the auxiliary cast are a little more stilted than usual. I’ll go ahead and reserve judgement on what this means for the future. Right now, I’m just glad the next issue is next week.
7.8 “Kryptonian Cleanses” out of 10