Superman #1

Written by, Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils by, Ivan Reis
Inks by, Joe Prado
Colors by, Alexa Sinclair
Letters by, Josh Reed

This story takes place after the events of the Man of Steel 6 part mini. Superman is alone. He searches the galaxy to find his wife and son, who went with Jor-El while also searching for a sign. Superman is rewarded when he locates an armada with plans to attack earth and the battle helps him refocus on his mission: to protect the earth. Superman returns to the planet that needs him but he is flooded by memories of his family. However, with the help of the Justice League, he rebuilds his home, which was destroyed by Rogol, and reaffirms his role on the team after a discussion with The Martian Manhunter.

The art by Ivan Reis, the expansive views of the galaxy mixed with intimate and detailed portrayals of characters, is the highlight of this issue.  The story flows and makes sense with how it tracks Superman’s adjustment to his family leaving while learning lessons about his character. A scene in the middle of the issue captures Clark as he writes a story for the Daily Planet justifying Superman’s rebuilding of his home, the word “ego” and the picture of the delete key on his keyboard says it all. In fact, the entertainment value of this issue is found in these intimate moments and not in fighting monsters.

The story is supported by strong underlying themes that drive the story forward: Superman’s worry and missing his family and his decision to trust that Lois will keep Jonathan safe. And, along with these familial themes, Superman is faced with the notion that he wastes his time putting out fires instead of being a leader. This point is driven home by a flashback showing Jor-El telling him this fact and him resisting J’onn J’onzz attempts to install him as the leader of the Justice League and a light for the planet.

Art = 9
Story = 7
Overall = 8

Final Impressions

This issue has incredible depth but doesn’t get bogged down by emotional themes. The writer keeps this balance by infusing light-hearted dialogue and fluffy action sequences to lighten the tensions. However, the importance of the underlying themes are not lost and stick with you as a reader. The opening epilogue is almost boastful in its description of Superman, I feel, intentionally. The cracks in the Man of Steel are widening; I’m not sure that Superman is aware of them yet. I highly recommend this book to those who love Superman and the DC.

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