Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #17

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Superman #17

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 13, 2019
Cover date: January 2020

“The Truth” – Prologue

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

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Superman #17Superman is helming interstellar trade negotiations between alien races. When he returns to Earth, he drops in on Lois Lane’s hideout. Lois is annoyed that she can’t report on the United Planets while in hiding and that Clark Kent was free to scoop her.

Lois shows Clark the lead box given to her by Lex Luthor. She explains that besides herself, several villains also received a box. Clark asks if the contents of the box is something that needs ‘super’ attention, but when Lois declines Superman decides to find Luthor himself with his super senses.

Lois asks Clark what he thought the contents were and why he thought she couldn’t handle it herself. When Clark explains everything he’s been through and why he’s so concerned Lois explains it contains something that will lead to the biggest story in her career.

Clark apologizes for not being around to support Lois during the death of Sam Lane but Lois explains the box is something Lex gave Lois that would catapult her career and end Superman’s in one motion.

As Lois and Clark fly for perhaps the last time Clark tells Lois that perhaps Clark and Superman are a luxury that they can no longer afford.

Elsewhere Dr. Glory is addressing a mysterious board of directors from STAR Labs, called The Constellation. She explains to them that every time Superman is incapacitated or off planet their profits soar and that their recent discovery that the Earth of Multiverse they had previously believed they were the centre of was nothing of the sort. In fact every Earth in the Multiverse was part of its own multiverse. Meaning a seeming limitless area of research for them to plunder.

Investigating a tip off from Conner and Young Justice, Superman shuts them down and Clark exposes their activities in a story for the Daily Planet. Not before, Dr Glory escapes through a dimensional portal.

Later, Kara arrives at the Bermuda Triangle Fortress and Superman takes his cousin to see Zod, Ursa and Lor to see the construction on New Krypton. It is a thing of beauty and though Zod is cordial he points out that their animosities are something that won’t disappear overnight.

Superman tells Kara he wanted to show her that New Krypton was nearly fully realized and due to the United Planets formation he needs a favor from his cousin.

The scene from the recent issue of Supergirl plays out once more but this time we see Lor Zod is watching Superman ask Kara to be Earth’s protector.

To Be Continued…

1Story – 1: This issue was less a story and more a collection of cut scenes. It felt a little like a clip show montage from a sitcom. “Remember that time Lex Luthor gave you a life changing lead box honey?” [Canned laughter] Clip rolls. “What about that time you wanted to leave the planet forever and asked your cousin to be your replacement?” [Canned gasps] Clip rolls.

Lois and Clark skirted around the contents of the box and it lead to a very awkward and implausible conversation where Superman decided to give up his life as Clark Kent.

The cutscene where Superman shuts down The Constellation was something that belonged in “Young Justice” as it felt out of place. It’s great that Superman shuts them down but it really came out of nowhere in the narrative. Especially given Clark’s conversation literally two pages back.

The visit to New Krypton felt odd and out of place and the only revelation is that Lor Zod overhears the conversation.

A poorly written issue. This isn’t because I know what is about to happen, it’s assessing the issue by itself. What was the beginning, middle and end of this story, you know the rules of a story you’re taught in school? This felt like they put several unrelated scene ideas into a hat, pulled them out and forced them together.

Although I’ve mentioned this before, Lois seems unfazed by Jon disappearing to the future but this time the news that one of Superman’s deadliest foes is dead is brushed aside as nothing. Is it me or is the death of Sam Lane something that deserved a bigger spotlight than one speech bubble?

5Art – 5: What a bitter pill. An absolutely diabolically written issue with some breathtaking visuals. A special mention should be given to Paul Mounts as his coloring really gives Maguire’s art a boost. Some of the splashes and larger panels look amazing. The page showing Clark scanning the DCU is a thing of beauty. I just wish the writing was up to par.

4Cover Art – 4: I like this cover but I’m not sure of its significance. I’m not sure his decisions this issue would leaving him smiling. Still it is a powerful visual and one of those iconic images that is revisited from time to time. I must confess to really loving that yellow ‘S’ on the cape.

4Variant Cover Art – 4: The trinity look great here. I love the color palette shifting from light to dark. I hope we see many more Adam Hughes cover art. The art is the only thing keeping me hooked on the Super books right now. I can only hope that the writing will get stronger now we’re moving into another story arc.

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November 13, 2019 9:11 am

Well, at least the cover was nice.

November 13, 2019 9:56 am

IMO Ivan Reis’s Superman art is being totally wasted on Bendis.

November 14, 2019 3:24 pm

What an unbelievably stupid issue. Worse since that Super Sons solo one,

The story was sadly weak sauce, but the art was thankfully kickass, and some.

November 16, 2019 6:48 am

This issue was like puking on a pile of crap. The art was also horrible, too. X(