I’ve speculated on how Mr. Bendis would do on writing Superman for DC in the past. Honestly, I wasn’t very sure how he’d handle one of the company’s biggest guns.
Well, if the fourth issue of Superman is any indication, I think the Man of Steel is in good hands.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ivan Reis
Published by: DC
Cover price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: As Superman fights to protect the world from Rogol Zaar and the Kryptonian convicts trapped inside the Phantom Zone, the greatest minds on Earth devise a risky plan to return the planet from the deadly prison. With the Earth continuing to crack and crumble and its greatest heroes fall, can the Man of Steel hold the line and give his adopted world a chance to escape?
BOTH DRAMA AND ACTION WORK
Do I really need to point out who Brian Michael Bendis is? For those who may not have read Marvel much over the past several years, he was likely their best-known scripter, taking on many of the House of Ideas’ most popular characters with flourish!
When he came to DC, I was skeptical. After all, both Marvel and DC have their own ways of doing things, of telling stories. Could Bendis work his magic in a new home?
After his Man of Steel miniseries and the first four issues of Superman, I must say he can and has!
The introduction of a new villain who can challenge Supes was a big, important move, and Bendis has worked amazing things into the legend of the Big Blue. Having Earth transported into the Phantom Zone? That was also a big challenge!
But what has impressed me the most has been Bendis’ ability to understand and communicate the differences between both Superman and Batman. In this issue, for example, there’s a wonderful and dramatic conversation between Clark and his son Jonathan about Batman. It laid out how Superman sees Batman’s role and interaction with him in great, emotional detail. I was touched, and that’s saying something after reading these two work together for decades!
Bendis also integrated several of the other big names in DC into this storyline, including Flash, The Atom and Adam Strange. It doesn’t take the Justice League to bring these heroes together, and this issue proved that!
Ivan Reis is one of the best artists at DC, and he’s truly strutting his stuff in Superman. The action sequences are strong, and he’s communicating the emotions of many of DC’s heroes in these comics.
He’s complementing Bendis’ scripts perfectly, and I hope the two work on Superman for a long time to come!
BOTTOM LINE: A Super Beginning
I’m sorry to keep using the “super” adjective all the time, but it seems so perfectly appropriate considering how difficult it has been to breathe life into the Man of Steel for so long. After all, someone that moral has been predictable to a fault. Now, Bendis and company are making Superman gripping reading again!
Again I say that I hope this creative team will be together for quite a while. It’s a perfect blend of script and art, and Superman deserves the best!