Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Ivan Reis / DC Comics

Let me just get the one thing I didn’t like about this book out of the way. I hate misleading comic covers. I feel sorry for any reader new enough to comics that opened this book and expected to see Superman try and kill someone. Now that I’m done with my soapbox of rage, let me get in my comfy armchair of admiration. Superman #12 is a fantastic reunion of the House of El. A gang of super-baddies, led by Rogol (if you don’t know who that is you’re honestly better off), is taking on Superman, Superboy, Jor-El, and now Supergirl and Krypto.

Superman really needed a win here. He’s spent the last few months hearing about Jon’s horrifying trials under the (supervision? protection?) of Jor-El. When he and Jon came to confront him they found themselves in the middle of a space battle. After playing diplomat, that’s when Rogol and the boys show up. Supergirl and Krypto’s appearance tilt the odds in Clark’s favor in the fight but also provide a couple of mid-battle moments of joy. Kara and he catch eyes and exchange a quick smile. Krypto gives Jon a superspeed welcome. These touching moments affect Superman and in turn, us.

Bendis and Reis do a great job conveying the action and love of the House of El (most of it, at least). This title continues to be at its best when following Superman’s thought process mid-fight. Not a lot of characters allow for Bendis’ tendency for the verbose during a fight while keeping realism in mind. Reis, as always, draws some amazing action shots. The creative team has designed a crisp, colorful, fun comic to behold. The MVP panel in this book is the post-fight shot of Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, and Krypto finally getting the chance to embrace warmly in an almost full-page spread. The accompanying panels capture Jor-El’s isolation from the family and a contrasting sadness. It was easily the most compelling page. Despite not really being into the “Real Death of Krypton” they keep coming back to, this creative team excels in storytelling so this is a comic I always look forward to.

9 “Interrupting ZOD!’s” out of 10

Reading Superman? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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