Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 15, 2019
Cover date: June 2019
“The House of El” – Part 5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Adam Hughes
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Clark and Jon stare in horror at the ambush of Jor-El’s ship. The attack is being helmed by the Thanagarian Black Order Squad, Gandelo’s Trilium Collective and the Khunds. Amongst them Clark spots Rogol Zara escaping in a small craft and decides to use the opportunity to orchestrate a truce. They agree to stand down temporarily for the mighty Man of Steel to use his sway with his own father.
Jor evades every question Clark asks and the truce is at an end. As conflict begins anew Clark realizes Rogol wasn’t escaping but bringing an ally to the fray. Jor-El’s craft needs time to self repair so Clark and Jon try to buy him time. Clark attacks Zaar while Jon takes the fight to Dru Zod. The Triliums, Thanagarians & Khunds join the attack but neither side seems to be able to gain the upper hand.
What the House of El needs now is a miracle… luckily one is just about to arrive.
To Be Continued…
Story – 4: Although I don’t buy Zod and Rogol Zaar joining forces, even with Jax Ur’s recommendation, nor why three races would risk attacking an El family member (especially with how fast they back down when Clark flexes his reputation and muscles). I’m also curious as to how Clark knows Kara is dealing with Gandelo.
Still aside from these issues, you can’t deny that we are getting a pretty epic battle.
I like that Superman, by reputation alone, was powerful enough to make the factions think twice.
Rogol and Zod seem to be significantly weaker than before, Zod’s sluggishness is explained but it’s only explained in the Supergirl title as to why things are playing out the way they are. That’s a minor issue that perhaps would have been good for readers who only follow a specific title.
Now that pieces of the puzzle are coming together, the storyline is becoming more rounded and engaging. How memorable it will be in few years time? The jury is still out on that one.
Art – 4: It is undeniable how strong the art is on the title, however in this issue it’s very noticeable that the scale of the battle takes its toll on the page. Where there is a moment to capture a pose, Reis delivers some utterly incredible scenes. The same cannot be said, however, when it comes to a scene where there is a lot going on at one moment. The details get lost in the moment and sometimes you have to scrutinize a panel to see what is going on. These scenes are few and far between and don’t spoil the issue in the slightest. The splash pages are cool but there doesn’t need to be so many of them.
Cover Art – 3: A not unfamiliar cover to be honest. It is really eye-catching and sells Rogol Zaar as a deadly foe.
Sadly whenever I see him lately, I don’t see a mass of rage and muscle. I see Regina George rolling her eyes at how ‘fetch’ a foe he is. We’ve seen this pose so many times before and it feels a bit stale compared to what could have been.
Variant Cover Art – 5: This variant is what could have been.
A truly inspired piece that combines so many homages to Superman’s history in one place and in a modern setting. I love the nod to the Mechanical Monsters. This variant cover is next level in epic.
Could Hughes do a Superman or Supergirl miniseries please!?
Check out the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.