Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Doc Shaner, Steve Rude, Jay Fabok
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Cory Petit
What They Say:
With an arsonist loose in Metropolis, Superman’s powers are almost useless in finding the culprit. And back at the Daily Planet, everyone wants to know what’s going on with Lois Lane. How can Clark hold on to the secret of what happened to Lois and Jon much longer?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this weekly miniseries got things underway well with the two-track approach t will eventually come together. Brian Michael Bendis is certainly capturing some interesting aspects of our title character here in a way that reminds us that he did spend his formative years as human more than anything else and that colors how he views everything. This installment has Doc Shaner illustrating the first half with some good results and Steve Rude the back half, which just delights me as I’ve long enjoyed his work.The two mesh together well so that it’s not a huge shift in style and that makes it easy to just enjoy the book without trying to dig into that aspect of it.
We don’t get as much time with what’s happened out in space in the past with Rogol Zaal but we do see the impact of the destruction of Krypton. This comes from a being that rules over 42 star systems and wants answers from the Guardian that’s there, Apsa, about where the Green Lantern was. It doesn’t get deep but we see the strain that this event is placing on both of them and what kind of bad things can still come. I really like how both are presented and the nature of what they’re facing but it’s the Guardian that really brings some good emotional stakes to it. And, admittedly, I do want to know who the Green Lantern of that sector was at the time and why they weren’t involved in trying to help and apparently not following up either. I hope that thread gets pulled in some more.
The present day storyline has some material with Perry dealing with the changing nature of news, the Daily Planet being bought out, and a new gossip reporter named Goode that’s looking for a scoop that must involve Clark and Lois. It’s all crammed in there when each piece should be its own issue with time for exploration so that feels very frustrating here. What I did like in the present day side of things is seeing Superman dealing with The Toyman outside of Coast City, which has a problematic interlude with Hal that has Clark reminding himself not to use his being Superman as a way to engage his friends. But what I really like here is seeing him trying to get Toyman to understand he could be doing so much good and bringing so much happiness instead of this. But Toyman is pretty much frothing at the mouth and gives us an idea of the kind of things that the villains deal with as well as he looks like he’s really struggling to hold onto reality.
Man of Steel is feeling a bit overstuffed and even as I like the artwork I’ll say that I dislike books that double up on artists like this with an issue and changes from issue to issue. It just doesn’t feel as cohesive as it should be when that happens. This issue gives us some really good stuff with what happened in the past, leaving me wanting a lot more, and it does tie into the present briefly. Superman’s time in Coast City is the winner for me but I’m frustrated by both the Daily Planet material and the whiplash the pages with Lois and events there made me feel. It’s kind of all over the place with some really good stuff and some that I’m hoping clicks better when read in full.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: June 6th, 2018