Review: Superman #5

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert

Colors: Alex Sinclair

Letters: Josh Reed

 

Summary

What could tempt Kryptonian criminal General Zod to reenter the Phantom Zone after years of imprisonment? As Superman tries to free himself from the Kryptonian jail and fight off the monster who destroyed Krypton, Zod returns to face Rogol Zaar and get vengeance for his dead world and its lost potential.

 

Positives

With Rogol Zaar apparently connected to the destruction of Krypton, it seems inevitable that General Zod would show up to confront Zaar. Usually we see Superman and Zod as mortal enemies, but it seems that for once Superman and Zod will fight side by side against a common foe.

The story opens with Zod having a strange vision. In the vision, Zod seems to be proposing that the House of El, the House of Zod, and the House of Kandor forge an alliance to establish a New Krypton. The makeup of the House of El seems especially odd. Lois is present in a Superwoman costume – could she be taking this identity on in the future?

If this vision is the future, it seems to be the very near future, as Superboy appears exactly as he did when we last saw him departing with Jor-El. Given that Jon is rumoured to have grown and will sport a different look when he returns, it doesn’t seem that this vision can happen exactly as Zod is seeing it.

In the vision, Rogol Zaar appears and slaughters everyone before Zod’s alliance can be realized. This vision prompts Zod to travel to Earth, where he has the Atom send him into the Phantom Zone after Superman and Zaar.

Superman and Zod allied together against Rogol Zaar, Jax-Ur, and other Phantom Zone criminals, the ensuing battle will be on an epic scale. Even together, Clark and Zod have their work cut out for them.

I also find the idea of Zod seeking to make an alliance with Superman intriguing. If Zod’s vision is prophetic, it should be interesting to see what events could lead to this, and whether such an alliance could actually occur, or if it would be doomed from the start.

I also have to admit that I found the Atom’s reaction to a Kryptonian supervillain appearing and demanding to be sent into the Phantom Zone priceless. :That was the right thing to do, right? That had to be the right thing to do.” It was clearly the right course of action, but was so unexpected as to completely flummox Ray.

Negatives

If the rumours about the changes ahead for Jon are true, then it’s a bit of a tease to show us how we last saw him. I like the character as he was and have reservations about these upcoming changes. However, I can understand that Bendis doesn’t want to give away his plans for Jon just yet. Hopefully, the changes will work to the betterment of the character, but I still have my doubts.

 

Verdict

Between Superman and Bendis’ other Superman book, Action Comics, I have much preferred this title so far. I have my doubts about Bendis’ direction for the Kent family, which is playing out in Action, but this book has so far proven to be a decent action-packed story, which is proving to be much more engaging than its sister title.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.