Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artists: Brandon Peterson and Ivan Reis / DC Comic
Being a relatively new Superman reader, I don’t know how much of this is a retcon, but it’s the grimiest comic I’ve read in my entire life. Superman #13 is a retelling of the Krypton’s demise from Jor El’s point of view. I think “The Science Council” is the body that is mostly used in this story but instead of a Kryptonian political group it’s a collection of representatives from other planets here. Jor El desperately tries to get them to recognize the peril that Krypton is in. When the signs of doom are no longer deniable, Jor El pleads for the council to assist relocating the Kryptonians to no avail. To intensify the shade, Jor El is suddenly attacked by a group of Thanagarians, crossbows blazing. Big daddy El is convinced as he recounts this to Superman that the Science Council is trying to assassinate him to cover up their criminal negligence. Supe doesn’t have the most sympathetic ear, blaming Jor El for his part in an unaccountable cabal responsible for Krypton’s destruction. Rogol Zaar is involved in some unclear way as well.
Back on Earth, a droid comes to Lois Lane with a package from Lex Luthor. I must not have been paying attention, because I have no idea where Lex has been since he tried on the Superman moniker a ways back. Lois is understandably skeptical of a present from her husband’s arch nemesis and refuses to open it. The comic, of course, ends with her opening it with a surprised look on her face.
Brandon Peterson and Ivan Reis are both powerhouses. It was great to have them both on the book. Their faces are impeccable. It was cute how Peterson’s baby Superman had the same front hair curl. Now, the most noticeable thing in this book are the parallels, climate change, and immigration. Krypton has often been a strong parallel for a Pompei-style disaster. This telling is interesting in that the Science Council claims that they have also looked at the “readings” of Krypton and found no merit to Jor El’s claims. It gave me anxiety not knowing whether the council was acting in earnest or if they were maliciously lying. I’m leaning towards malice, especially when the entire council refuses to offer sanctuary to the planet’s inhabitants. The last thing that caught my eye was how hard Superman came for Jor El. Supe’s dad was right to point out the hypocrisy of criticizing a handful of people making life and death decisions for countless people when he’s a part of the Justice League. For now, let’s give Kent the benefit of the doubt and say he’s upset about the trauma Jon went through on Jor El’s watch.
8 “Baby Super Curls” out of 10
Reading Superman? Find BNP’s other reviews here.