Review: SUPERMAN #15
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Colours: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Superman #15: At last, it’s the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes! The greatest super heroes of the 31st century have traveled back in time not just to meet the heroes who inspired them, but to make an offer”, but to which hero? And why will that choice tear Superman’s life apart?
Superman #15, and Brian Michael Bendis’ run as writer, has left me with mixed feelings. Bendis is a talented writer, and there is much that I enjoy about this issue, but there are also parts of it that I’m not so sure about. But I don’t have mixed feelings about the art, which was fantastic.
I love the idea to put Superman and Superboy at the centre of the formation of the United Planets. This establishes a historical link between the present DCU and the DCU of the 31st Century, marking the Legion’s future as something more than just one of a number of possible future timelines.
I also feel that Bendis made good use of Adam Strange in this issue. It makes sense for Rann’s protector to make an appearance, considering that Rann is one of the foremost worlds among the United Planets’ founders. Plus, the interaction between Superman and Adam make it clear that they are old, dear friends.
I also like what Bendis is doing with Zod. Instead of playing him as a complete villain. Zod states that he wishes to establish a New Krypton outpost. Superman gives his assent to this idea, clearly not trusting Zod completely, but willing to make peace.
We also see the final fate of Jor-El. It’s sad, but a fitting sentence for him to be returned to the moment he should have died. But he does get the chance to tell his earlier self that Kal-El will grow up to bring the Universe together.
I also loved the nod to Superman: The Movie: a council of disembodied heads pronouncing sentence on Jor-El, much as the Science Council did with Zod and his accomplices in that movie.
It was also great to see a bit more of the Legion. I had been wondering why they would risk altering the future by intruding so obviously on the very moment that the United Planets is formed. Given the snippets of their conversation, it seems that the moment of their arrival may have been accidental.
Isn’t it somewhat presumptuous of Superman to declare that he will speak for Earth to the initial negotiations to form the United Planets? I understand that there’s no one else to represent Earth present, but I don’t recall the United Nations or any government on Earth granting him ambassador status and the authority to make agreements with other worlds on behalf of Earth.
Also, while we got a bit longer look at the Legion of Super-Heroes, it still was little more than a teaser. While the cover seems to portray their appearance as the major focus of the issue, their actual contribution to the story appears to be little more than a promotional appearance to plug their own upcoming title.
While Jor-El met a fitting end, being returned back to the time and place that should have been his death, I still feel that he never should have been taken from there in the first place. Also, how did they manage to return him to Krypton’s destruction anyway? Who amongst the worlds in the fledgling United Planets has access to time travel?
I find myself very conflicted with Bendis’ Unity Saga storyline. I hate many of the decisions that Bendis made to set this story in motion, such as aging Jon and shoehorning Rogol Zaar into the story of Krypton’s destruction. But given the questionable start, he has managed to bring it to a somewhat satisfying conclusion. I have to conclude that I enjoyed reading the story, but I look forward to the next major retcon that wipes away the parts of the Superman mythos that Bendis broke to produce this story.