Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #1


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Superman #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 11, 2018

Cover date: September 2018

“The Unity Saga”

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover #1: Adam Hughes
Variant Cover #2: David Mack

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Superman #1Please Note: Read Man of Steel #1-6 beforehand.

After the events of Man of Steel, Superman swears to find his family but as he leaves Earth’s atmosphere he happens upon an invasion of Dominators purely by chance and the distraction makes him realize he has no idea where to begin in his search. Returning home Clark’s mind wanders and he begins to feel the loneliness creeping in.

Superman retrieves the sunstone crystal that terraformed the Fortress from its shattered remains and decides on a new location to rebuild. Somewhere much harder to find than ever before.

Later at the Daily Planet Clark kicks himself for missing more of the mysterious fires due to his wallowing and his investigative skills kick in. The story has to wait as J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, has arrived for a heart to heart.

J’onn tells his teammate that due to Rogol Zaar’s revelations he feels closer to Clark and advises Superman to become more than a symbol of hope. As Superman ponders the advice he notices something strange. Clark makes a terrifying discovery, planet Earth is in the Phantom Zone!

To Be Continued…

Superman #14Story – 4: Where Man of Steel deconstructed Clark’s world piece by piece, Superman #1 begins rebuilding that world with some innovative moments. Clark’s first instinct is to save his family but he soon realizes Lois and Jon need his trust and though it is a bitter and lonely pill, Superman has faith that his wife and son are capable of looking after each other.

The moment with the Fortress being reconstructed is inspired. Where else would it be? It is one of the moments a reader kicks himself thinking ‘Why didn’t I ever think of that?’

I loved the moments that echoed the original Man of Steel miniseries with Superman racing from disaster to invasion to criminal act and back to the main narrative. It was also interesting to see Clark wrestling with his own ego when writing about himself.

The book was near perfection in its undertaking but for one scene, the interaction with J’onn J’onzz. It didn’t ring true to me at all. Superman made the right choices but I found J’onn very out of character. I liked the finale but I think I could have used a little break from Rogol to explore Superman’s new status quo a bit more. I’d only just gotten used to him being a husband and father, and though we touch upon it in some truly emotive scenes, it felt like we were only skimming the surface.


Superman #15Art – 5: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado deliver some spectacular visuals. It’s a rarity in comics to find the balance and I wasn’t sold on a three dimensional ‘S’ but I love it now. I think it’s great to see Superman smile and I’ll take that a million times over fiery glowing eyes. I feel like Goldilocks complimenting the art but it really is… just right. The visuals suit the writing style too, though it will be great to see much more of the Daily Planet.

5Cover Art – 5: As mentioned, a smiling Superman is a very welcome sight in a medium that has become more than a little overtaken by grim and gritty books, gritted teeth and ever increasing body counts. This has a great ‘classic’ feel to it, but much needed in a modern day at the same time.

5Adam Hughes Variant Cover Art – 5: A fun, atmospheric cover with a warm palette that gives a really arresting visual.

I am not sure about the property damage but it certainly grabs the attention! Adam Hughes certainly knows how to get those ‘snapshot in time’ moments.

3David Mack Variant Cover Art – 3: I like the image but it just feels like its unfinished. I know it is intentional but it feels unpolished compared to the rest of the book.

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Man-O-Steal
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Man-O-Steal

Thanks, I find your reviews very helpful.

car2nst
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car2nst

Ivan Reis has always been 1 of my favorite artists. His stuff just keeps getting better.

Kal L
Member
Kal L

I dont see why the series needed to be renumbered back to #1, we lose legacy every time this happens. Other than that, was a pretty good issue, though the “rescues” between the conversation with the Martian Manhunter were a little over the top.
Good to see Ivan Reis on the art once again. Hope he has a long run.

s-shield
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s-shield

I love that, in the flashbacks, Jon is dressed like Clark from SMALLVILLE.

MattComics
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MattComics

Just seems like Bendis showing what he can tear down. I mean did anybody have an actual problem with the Fortress being located in the Arctic? Or with Kandor existing? If these are toys Bendis isn’t interested in he doesn’t have to break them. He can just choose not to pick them up. On the positive I will say that Reis’s exterior design for the Fortress looked awesome. Though with all that rain and lightning jutting down on it, it gives a far more ominous appearance than I think really fits Superman. It’s the Fortress of Solitude, not a haunted… Read more »

SuperJMC79
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SuperJMC79

Huh… I hadn’t thought of J’Onn being a phantom trying to manipulate Supes. I was honestly disturbed by his suggestion that Superman should take control as I have always found our friendly Martian Manhunter to be one of the most ethical and grounded characters.

Superbearcub
Member

I’ve been holding off judgment on Bendis for a while, but while I really like some of his character moments and his hearkening back to classic features (Van Zee & Sylvia!!!!), this issue was just too much. First he shows Superman either actively killing the Dominators or at least leaving them for dead (that’s NOT Superman) and then he has J’onn advising Superman to take over the world (that’s NOT Martian Manhunter). It’s really bad when in one issue he manages to totally mischaracterize TWO main characters!