[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Doc Shaner (pp1 – 13), Steve Rude (pp16-24), Jay Fabok (pp 14-15)
Colors: Alex Sinclair
After Krypton is destroyed, the Gods of the Universe ponder if Rogol Zaar went through with his plan. Years later, gossip is buzzing around the Daily Planet about where Lois Lane has gone off too, but Clark sure isn’t talking. Superman does have a lot on his mind as he fights crime today though.
Bendis does a great job with the issue’s supporting characters. I can tell now that Bendis is very deliberate in everything he writes and I really appreciate that. Perry White was never a character I felt for until this issue. Bendis did a great job of showing Perry White’s sadness and frustration at Lois Lane leaving and the questionable future of his own paper. The Gods of the Universe council is another group of supporting characters that I feel adds a lot to the DC Universe. Its nice to hear that some of the most powerful beings in the multiverse actually talk to one another sometimes. Finally, the Toyman was a really nice and unexpected return. I haven’t seen him in awhile, and his pathos and frustration shined through as Superman saved the day again.
The art was also very well done. The Gods of the Universe were vibrant, all of the emotions were portrayed well through detailed facial expressions on all of the characters, and while I noticed the different artists’ different styles, it didn’t take me out of the issue in any way. In fact, some of the more impersonal, zoomed out scenes in a lot of Steve Rude’s pages give more weight to Perry White’s crisis.
Superman’s internal thoughts are also very well done. It is great to know that Superman has an idea about how the world and his other league members perceive him. Superman thinking about his relationship with Hal was won of the most human moments I have ever seen from the character.
Unfortunately, this plot and Superman’s actions are a bit disappointing to me. I understand how talented a writer Bendis was at Marvel, but in my opinion, Bendis is being a little more coy about this than he has the right to be. I don’t really feel any anticipation from the mystery of Lois Lane or some of these new characters. I am simply frustrated by how slowly things are moving, and it might be my inner fan, but I simply find no suspense behind this mysterious white flash and a bunch of gossip. Clark Kent’s standoffishness because of Lois’s disappearance is equally disappointing. As a reader, I cannot get behind a tone that does nothing to push forward the story when I can’t even put myself in Clark’s shoes because I don’t know the whole story.
This is a strange one because its like a meal with some of the best side dishes I’ve ever had, but a lackluster main entrée.