Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 8, 2020
Cover date: November 2020
“Mythological” – Part One
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Julio Ferreira & Danny Miki
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
The Synmar race have never witnessed the death of a planet and stare in horror as Krypton explodes. While they panic over the strange occurrence they are shocked to to see a rocket ship soar towards planet Earth. Whoever is on board will become a ‘Light God’ powered by the planet’s yellow sun. The Synmar are inspired by the concept of a super powered being and make one of their own, a soldier named Eisno Alkor into their own Light God.
As the child grows, the Kryptonian surprises the Synmar even further by not becoming the leader of the primitive planet but instead their guardian. The decision to become Superman, they feel, is a mistake and they discuss sending Eisno to become their ‘Synmar Utopica’ a superior Superman who may one day even have to defeat Superman to become the sole Light God.
As the years go by Eisno is forced into mission after mission against other races increasing the Synmar’s grip on the galaxies. Reduced to a weapon Eisno is forced into a life of aggression that he doesn’t want but due to the symbiotic nature of the Synmar race, he is powerless against their dictatorship.
When a distress call comes from his people Eisno races to help but arrives too late. Many of his population have been slaughtered and the words of his President echo in his ears.
“You should have been our Superman, you were not…”
Eisno is puzzled as to the message but discovers an archive video of his inspiration and now, nemesis.
Elsewhere, now that the Daily Planet is under scrutiny for being a mafia controlled media outlet, Clark has made the decision to reach out to his oldest friend, Lana Lang. He hopes that the Daily Star will cover his recent actions. It helps that Lana now works there.
Lana is perplexed by Clark’s life. He says he’s content with his life but he has no identity except ‘Superman’, an absentee son, parents forced into hiding and a workaholic wife.
Lana thinks back to when she was Superwoman and a rescue mission involving a sinking ocean liner. A young child comments that Superman and Superwoman would be the perfect couple, especially if they had super children. Awkward.
Lana mentions that though her powers burnt out in the battle with Lena Luthor she still feels them inside her, though they haven’t manifested.
Lana notices a yearbook and thumbs through it. She sees a photo of herself and in the background a forlorn Clark. Was he a missed opportunity?
To be continued…
Story – 3: I am torn by the Synmar. They start out in wonderment and allow jealousy to alter their fate. I wasn’t prepared for Eisno’s fate, I feel sorry for him. I was prepared to dislike him from the press materials DC released a few months back. To be honest he sounded like a terrible character but I’m genuinely interested to see where this will go. I thought it was a little weird that the Synmar had never seen a planet die, encountered The Circle or Rogol Zaar, especially as they were monitoring Krypton and Earth so closely, unless it was Zaar that destroyed their people.
In a similar fashion I’m torn by Lana Lang. She’s kept her ‘Rebirth’ status as a doctor and her career as Superwoman. This was good to see as that was a phenomenal run.
On the flip side, she now works at the Daily Star? What happened to her partnership in Steelworks? Her life with John Henry/Steel?
As the story went on and Lana began noting thins in Clark’s life, or specifically all that is wrong with it. The two scenes, focusing on the super ‘coupling’ and the other of Clark’s broken heart, set my alarm bells ringing. We already had a character obsessing about replacing Lois Lane, she was called Obsession. Please don’t make Lana into a home wrecking bunny boiler.
After ‘Rebirth’ worked so hard to make Lana a strong independent career woman, reducing her to a 1950s stereotype would be a massive disservice to her.
On balance, an entertaining anniversary issue. We’ll see where this goes!
Art – 4: The artwork is very bold, eye catching and bombastic where it needs to be. It’s a little tough to decipher some scenes because of how busy they are. I was puzzled by Lana reading the yearbook, was she squinting to see Clark or angry at the fashions of the 80’s? I jest but I kind of wish there was a little more action in the book for the artwork to shine.
Cover Art – 4: A great Synmar debut cover! Superman also looks great here, it’s certainly a powerful image. Though as an anniversary cover it would have been great to see Superman take centre stage.
Variant Cover Art – 4: I love scenes like this. I know there is a faction of fandom that prefers Superman to fight bigger and badder threats but I really like Superman taking on street crime. I miss him foiling robberies and suchlike. Really refreshing to see.
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