Review: Superman #11
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Colours: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Superman #11: The Unity Saga continues! The drama of the House of El tears the galaxy in half as Superman and his son are forced to confront his father about the secrets of Krypton in front of the gathered heads of the galaxy. Superman makes a bold choice that will forever change his relationship to the Earth, the Justice League and his family! Witness one of the most important chapters in Superman history!
Superman #11 is something of a mixed bag. With this chapter, the House of El storyline fulfills the promise implied by its name, giving us a reunion of the El clan: Superman, Superboy, Jor-El, Supergirl, and even Krypto. The only absent member of the family. Such a gathering has been long overdue.
Also, Superman’s suspicions about Jor-El are growing. Jor-El is clearly acting very irrationally and very unlike the traditional depiction of the character. Clark realizes that Jor-El is not trustworthy and is hiding something. I expect that Jor-El’s secrets are going to be laid bare before long.
The teaming of Rogol Zaar and General Zod is a formidable threat to the Superman family – Krypton’s rogue defender and the planet’s apparent destroyer. Defeat either one alone would be a major undertaking , so the pair together poses an extreme challenge for the El clan.
Despite the massive threat posed by the alliance between Zod and Rogol Zaar, I find hard to accept that they would even entertain the idea of working together. Zod would never cooperate with Krypton’s destroyer and Zaar absolutely detests anyone and anything Kryptonian.
Bendis attempts to justify the alliance by using their shared motivations: to escape the Phantom Zone and to get revenge on Superman and the Superman family. Zod willingly entered the Phantom Zone to go after Zaar, so I don’t see escape as a common cause between the two.
As for joining Zaar to get revenge on Superman and family, I find it much more likely that Zod would join with Superman to deliver justice to Rogol Zaar for Krypton’s destruction.
As for Zaar himself, I have to admit that the character is not terribly interesting and is an unnecessary addition to the Superman mythos. Bendis needs to bring Zaar’s storyline to a conclusion and then consign the character to Limbo.
Also, I still don’t see how the Superman titles have benefitted any from Jon’s being instantly aged several years. It hasn’t served any real narrative purpose other than to deliver an emotional blow to Superman. Plus, Jon was a much more interesting character as a ten-year-old than as a teenager. And Bendis already has a teenage Superboy in his Young Justice series, so why create a second?
Despite a number of serious flaws, Superman #11 is still an exciting and enjoyable read. I quite like Bendis’ story, but once his tenure as the chief Superman writer comes to an end, his successors will likely need to do a continuity cleanup to undo the mess he leaves behind.