Review: Man of Steel #1

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

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils: Ivan Reis

Inks: Joe Prado

Colors: Alex Sinclair

 

Summary

In the time when Krypton was still alive, Rogol Zaar makes an appeal to the Gods of the Universe that the Kryptonians are a scourge to the universe and need to be destroyed.  Meanwhile in present day Metropolis, Superman takes readers on some of the routine situations he has to deal with.  During his routine, however, he hears something, and later that night, a routine day becomes anything but…

 

Positives

Think this comic does a good job incorporating a lot from Superman’s history while also bringing something new.  We have seen “slice of life” Superman comics in the past, and this one seems to pay homage to that.  We have also seen many writers try to use Superman’s thoughts to explain his powers and mindset during everyday situations, and this comic does that well too.

The best part by far for me is the villain.  It is very rare to be able to introduce something completely new to the Superman mythos that instantly becomes a classic, and that is what I feel with Rogol Zaar.  His anger and motivations are so clear and so defined through his dialogue, and I am already interested in how he s going to clash with Superman.

The art is also very good. Two particular scenes I really appreciated were the depictions of the Gods of the Universe, and of a Calm Superman.  It is very rare to see a completely relaxed, calm Superman mid-flight, but we see him here as he is listening to the song.  It reminds me a lot of Samaritan’s dreams of flight in Astro City.

 

Negatives

Perhaps this is because of all the hype surrounding Brian Michael Bendis, but this comic did not blow me away as I expected it to.  While I loved the villain, I thought that Superman was written at an average or slightly above average quality.  I appreciate the calm that Superman had in the moment, but there were also a lot of scenes that confused me.  Superman’s premonition was not set apart from the rest of the writing very well, Melody Moore was introduced as if she was an extremely important character, but I have no reason to feel that way about her, and the scene between Killer Moth and Firefly was kind of sloppy in my opinion.  Clearly we will see more of what this miniseries is all about very soon, but for now, I am uneasy to say the least.

 

Verdict

The villain feels like an instant classic, but some other aspects of the writing and storytelling definitely do not.  Maybe my expectations are unreasonably high for Bendis, but I hope to see some better Superman in the issues to come.

 

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Ari Bard

I am currently a Sophomore at Case Western Reserve University studying mechanical engineering. I have been in love with DC since I saw the animated series and movies in the early 2000s. I started reading comics regularly at the start of Rebirth. My favorite character is Martian Manhunter.