Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #22

Superman #22

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Superman #22

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 16, 2020
Cover date: August 2020

“The Truth” – Finale

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


An angry Superman soars into space to intercept Warworld and the new Mongul from destroying Earth. Remembering how Kara was able to change the path of Rogol Zaar’s axe, Superman uses a similar technique to force Warworld from its collision course with Earth.

With all his might Superman is able to crash Mongul’s vessel into Venus where the two go toe to toe in combat. Almost pushed to his limit Clark is able to beat Mongul and with revenge on his mind Superman sentences his foe to a fate worse than death.

Later with the help of the Justice League, Superman is able to round up the surviving United Planet founders and gives them a promise that Mongul and his ilk will never break them.

On Earth, Lois is reeling from the the paparazzi ambush, the announcement Superman is ‘King of Earth’ and FBI Cameron Chase forcing her way into Lois’ room.

Chase is in fact there to speak to both Lois & Clark. She reveals the United Nations has agreed to honour the new title for Superman, albeit it as ‘Sanctioned Intergalactic Representational Authority’ on the condition Superman tows the line from now on and makes no mistakes – unaware of his vicious decision with Mongul.

In the late hours Clark returns home and exhausted, he and his wife finally fall into a well deserved sleep.

The End

2Story – 2: I have several issues with this finale. Since when does the United Nations send a single FBI agent to issue a statement of intergalactic importance? No debates, no discussion, no public address…

Mongul Jr is a buffoon, especially in comparison to all the shenanigans Rogol Zaar spent two years of comics inflicting on Superman and Earth. Rogol Zaar languishes in a prison cell on Thanagar but Superman decides Mongul should be issued a death sentence after 3 issues…

The only mercy is this storyline is over. A LOT is still unresolved but as that heavy-handed ultimatum from Chase illustrates, there will be consequences.

I can’t decide whether that final scene discussing Jon was deliberately written to mock fans of Tomasi and Gleason or was it another heavy handed foreshadowing?

5Art – 5: Maguire gives his all to make something of what must have been a difficult script to illustrate. I love the intricate work of Clark’s royal barb, the fight scenes and slow motion expressions. A highlight of an otherwise unremarkable finale.

3Cover Art – 3: Fairly generic cover this issue and given how poorly Mongul’s ‘return’ has been handled it was fairly uninspiring. I can’t fault the art but the concept felt a little tired.

3Variant Cover Art – 3: With all the interplanetary storylines Superman has been going through, its nice to see Superman going back to his roots as he is here. Hitch gives us a cover that makes you really feel in the core of your being – This. Is. Superman!

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Kal L
June 20, 2020 5:15 pm

Does anyone even care about Bendis run at this point, or are they just waiting for it to be over?

June 20, 2020 6:49 pm
Reply to  Kal L

To me this story arc was fantastic honestly. We have had a perfect characterization for Clark, amazing art, space politics and epic space battles. Seeing Superman battling Mongul (Senior and not Junior) while disposing of Warworld at the same time was epic. After two years of Tomasi and Gleason the Superman title really needed some action finally. I get that some people miss the family dynamic, but we are getting a much needed cosmic story for Superman: having Metropolis and Smallville as a background for his adventures is great but sometimes he just needs more scope.

Adam Dechanel
June 21, 2020 5:31 am
Reply to  Zandalf

Mongul murders his father in an earlier issue to take up his mantle. It is Junior that Superman sentences to death here.

June 21, 2020 1:09 pm
Reply to  Adam Dechanel

So do you believe that Superman sentences Mongul to death here?Please. I suppose everyone just see what they want to see. However the dude just survived Warworld exploding to his face, so i doubt that they could even hurt him, they will just lock him somewhere. Superman isn’t a killer, you are putting him into this light simply because you don’t like what Bendis is doing with the character,in my opinion.

Last edited 24 days ago by Zandalf
Adam Dechanel
June 22, 2020 8:47 pm
Reply to  Zandalf

Superman himself doesn’t ‘sentence’ him in that sense. However as already established in this arc Mongul’s race kill their weak. Mongul & Mongal were always keen followers of their father, until now. When Mongul Jr killed his father to take his mantle it was a show of rising above his father’s failures. Superman KNOWS Mongul’s race kill their weak. He hurls a remaining turbine with Mongul Jnr attached and leaves him to his fate. So although Superman doesn’t say ‘I sentence you to death!’ he knows in the least, that the planet Warzoon’s warrior populace ‘feared across the universe for… Read more »