Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Comics

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Superman #21

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 11, 2020

Cover date: May 2020

"The Truth" - Part 4

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

Superman has saved Mongul from certain death. The warlord impetuously challenged the United Planets and if it not for Superman he would be dead.

Bethany Snow from the Daily Star has tracked Lois down to her hideout in the Drake Hotel and tries forcing an interview. When Lois asks for professional courtesy Snow is understandably furious given how Lois and Clark have seemingly abused the journalism genre. Snow's cameraman reveals to Lois that the video footage was delivered anonymously and seemingly untraceable. In it Superman proclaims himself King of Earth.

Lois is now Queen of Earth, a title she thinks Superman might have discussed with her first.

Back in space Mongul mocks Superman for having the United Planets fight him and in turn, fight amongst themselves. Mongul makes a quick exit while Superman fights to keep the United Planet founders apart.

Almost admitting defeat, Superman is surprised when some long term allies appear and help him calm things down to a point where negotiations can begin again.

As Superman prepares to return to Metropolis he sees Warworld appear far above the Earth. He realizes Mongul was counting on the United Planets to be a distraction for the Man of Steel while he attacked Earth!

Lois is being tailed by paparazzi and tries to head back to the Daily Planet. An FBI Agent, Cameron Chase, has other ideas and wants to speak to the self appointed Royals of Earth.

To Be Continued….

1Story - 1: An extremely convoluted ploy by Mongul to get Superman out of the way, with no guarantee it would work. Extremely bizarre also, for Superman to be doubting his unity plan after the United Planets have only existed for 15 minutes.

The summation of Mongul's plan: Attack the United Planet founder negotiations in a distant galaxy to distract Superman. While he's busy stopping the fighting, sneak to Earth and attack it. Okay. So why not, just go and attack Earth without attracting Superman's attention as he's halfway across the universe busy with negotiations already? I know this is the new, stupider Mongul (as revealed in Villains #1) but this was pretty high on the stupid meter. Worse still was the Lois Lane segment. If anyone argues about the trunks, the glasses, the secret identity I'm going to bring up the fact a writer in 2020 made Lois Lane 'Queen of Planet Earth'. Even worse this issue had no story development whatsoever.

3Art - 3: The art continues to be a high point, but this went to an extreme. There was no story, just excuse after excuse to showcase fights. That's fine, except the art is so good and an expected high, that it is now becoming boring. Nineteen pages of Mongul punches Superman, Superman punches Mongul and so on and so forth. As I said it's beautiful art, but because the writing is so up and down, the art is carrying the book and the pattern the writing follows is actually suffocating the art.

2Cover Art - 2: A pretty dull cover to be honest. Nicely illustrated but a tired format and despite the text proclaiming Mongul as a threat, this cover doesn't in any way say 'Superman v Mongul'. It doesn't showcase the story, it doesn't elevate the threat. It just... is. Pretty underwhelmed.

4Variant Cover Art - 4: It's always nice to see Superman's super heroics and no glowing red eyes in sight. I really like this cover as it's an action shot. Wish Superman's face was a little more expressive but that's a real nitpick. Great art and color palette.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 July 2020 August 2020 September 2020 October 2020 November 2020 December 2020

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