Man of Steel #1

Written by, Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by, Ivan Reis
Inks by, Joe Prado
Art (pp21-22) by, Jay Fabok
Colors by, Alex Sinclair
Letters by, Cory Petit


The introductory panels introduce the reader to the larger narrative: Rogol Zaar works to convince The Circle, a group of elders in the DC, that the people of Krypton deserve to die. Rogol believes that Krypton is destroying less powerful worlds to meet its demand for resources. His argument lies in the criticism of capitalism: supply increases demand without regard to the cost incurred on human life. Simply put, Krypton takes advantage of the poor to feed the greedy. Later in the book, The Circle sends a representative, Appa Ali Asa, to inform Rogol Zaar that his request to destroy Krypton has been denied because of Rogol’s biased judgment. Rogol accuses The Circle of having been bought off by Krypton. The truth is not revealed and remains an interesting narrative that Bendis will be sure to revisit later in this story arc.

Bendis uses a minor story arc to reassure longtime fans that he is aware of Superman’s values, his powerset, and his relationship with the human race. Superman uses super hearing to catch a couple of class B thieves, Killer Moth and Firefly, and then to locate a burning building and save a group of people. Superman uses cold breath to stop the fire from advancing, x-ray vision to see through walls and locate the origin of the fire, and “staccato inhales” to inhale a fire putting it out. The sequence pays much-needed attention to the basics: Superman is powerful, he saves people, and he listens to the perspectives of others.  

Again, Superman has a conversation with Melody Moore, who’s on her first day as the new deputy fire chief. The conversation cements the reader’s view of Superman as compassionate and humble. Deputy Moore corrects Superman informing him of the origin and cause of the fire. Superman accepts the correction with grace and offers to pass the information on to a reporter he knows at the Daily Planet. Melody comments to herself how good it was to meet Superman as he flies away. The exchange shows the humanity of the relationship. Melody was gloating over Superman, who catches her comment with his super hearing. She realizes that she’s been caught, blushing a bit but grateful for the exchange.

Overall = 9/10

Final Impressions

The art is gorgeous, capturing the facial expressions and stature of the characters with great detail when needed. The artist creatively displays Superman flying from angles that I don’t often see in books, which makes the book feel fresh and new. Bendis appears to be calming the nerves of fans by establishing his knowledge of the character. However, he’s setting up the long game. Rogol Zaar’s motivation for destroying Krypton is believable and will garner sympathy from many. In addition, Superman’s appearance as an unstoppable force appears to have the venire which writer’s like Bendis love to tarnish – or I read Action #1000 and see where this is going. Either way, this is a nice start for Bendis and I am very intrigued where this is going.

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