Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #27

Superman #27

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Superman #27

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 10, 2020
Cover date: January 2021

“Mythological” – Part Three

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Danny Miki
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Tony Daniel, Danny Miki & Marcelo Maiolo

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

After seeing Clark, Lana drops in on a surprised Lois, out of the blue and after many years. Lois is straight to the point. Why after so long would Clark’s childhood sweetheart stop by for a hello. It must be, she theorizes, something to do with the impending interview in the Daily Star.

Lana tells Lois that something is not right with Clark from her point of view but that if Lois could provide insight perhaps they could figure out if something more is troubling Clark.

Lois interrupts with the first draft of her new book. Nobody has seen it, not even Clark. They aren’t the closest of friends and now Lois wants Lana to be the first to read it? Is there something more to this? Time will tell…

At the very same moment, in the Phantom Zone, Superman and Synmar are going toe to toe in combat. Superman tries every form of communication he knows to halt the battle with no luck. Their fighting alerts Zone residents and Xa-Du, The Phantom King, promptly tries to form an alliance with Synmar to escape. Unfortunately, he has just as much luck communicating with Synmar as Superman and pays the price.

Superman instructs Kelex to open a small portal back to our dimension as a show of peace with Synmar and it works, the aggression stops and the two peacefully exit. The two combatants are able to communicate on a basic level to trade names. Against the advice of Kelex, Superman has the idea that they should travel to Synmar’s homeworld.

The two soar beyond the reaches of the United Planets to unknown space. Kelex is unable to communicate with Superman as they reach Synmar’s homeworld. The planet orbits an orange sun and it has an immediate effect on Superman. His powers are dulled and so are his verbal skills, his mind is intact but he is under a dampening effect under this sun. Synmar however has experienced the opposite effect.

He recognizes Superman is no longer his equal and tells him that he has been granted audience with the collective Synmar population – in surrender and to suffer punishment.

Is this… the end?

To be continued…

1Story – 1: Perhaps the most off the wall Superman issue in this run.

First we’ll tackle Lois and Lana. A strange exchange where they address each other by their full names. ‘Hi Lois Lane,’ ‘Lana Lang would you like a coffee?’ ‘Lois Lane that would be lovely.’ I know they aren’t as close as the Lana and Lois that became Superwoman but I don’t know anyone that uses someone’s first and last name to address someone for every exchange. It was just, weird. Then there was the motivation that was puzzling. Lana didn’t seem concerned about Clark’s mental health, but her burgeoning feelings instead. Was she scoping out how bad their marriage had become or has that angle been abandoned between issues?

There is a pointless cameo by Xa-Du, neat to see him for sure but it wasn’t as neat as Nuclear Man the last time. It seemed to serve no purpose except to prove Superman was in control here.

Onto Superman reaching out to Synmar… I get that Kelex proved to be as useful as internet explorer this issue, but Superman just flew blindly into unknown space, with a foe he couldn’t communicate with beyond uttering ‘SOOO PER MANNN’ and that was a quote directly for Clark – not Synmar.

You know when an english speaker tries communicating with a person who doesn’t speak a word of english and they think speaking even louder and right in their face will somehow work? This is what was happening. It was wordier and more obnoxiously written, but the result was the same.

I cannot fathom why Superman would go to Synmar’s planet and his reasoning in the issue made absolutely no sense. This was not Superman to me, his actions had no thought, no planning, no contingency plans (eg. contacting the El family, the Green Lanterns, the Justice League, the United Planets?). I hope next issue works better than this one.

4Art – 4: Synmar’s powers not being defined makes this all show and brash, but leaving us as the reader confused as to what all the sparks and flares are actually doing? Other than that, which I blame in editorial, the art is excellent. Xa-Du looked cool, it was good to see the Phantom King again albeit fleetingly. I wish Reis had better material to work with because his Superman always looks great and he’s wasted here.

2Cover Art – 2: An allegory for the mess Superman finds himself in, in those final pages? I think its meant to be emotive, Superman does look fearful indeed, but the plain jet black background just comes across as a bit half hearted.

5Variant Cover Art – 5: In comparison to the main cover, this one is a vibrant and powerful image with a Superman that means business. The glowing eyes are forgivable only because I find it more emotive and compelling to pick up the issue than the main one.

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November 10, 2020 9:08 am

“Lana Lang would you like a coffee?’” This reminds of Smallville dialog where they would do that. It’s painfully CW. I don’t know if it’s a thing where they think that sounds more “comicbooky” somehow or what. 

Last edited 3 years ago by MattComics
November 10, 2020 8:39 pm

I haven’t read this issue yet because I’m pretty far behind since I switched to buying trades instead of single issues for all the Superman books. But pretty much every Bendis issue I have read so far has at least one bit of “quirky” dialogue. The Legion seems to have more of it than Superman, but I guess that could be because it takes place 1000 years in the future and the quirky dialogue is supposed to be the normal way they talk in the future. I’m sure some of Bendis’ dialogue sounds better in his head than it comes… Read more »

November 10, 2020 9:16 pm

Like so many things in life right now, I just keep telling myself, “Hang on, just little while longer… This is going to end…”

November 14, 2020 12:58 pm

Good Lord this issue was awful. I don’t know as to why post-Doomsday Clock, main DCU Metaverse continuity wise (where Ma and Pa Kent are alive again) Bendis has made Lana Lang into this now person who has a grudge against Lois as of late — and to the point where Bendis implies Lana wants to move in on Clark romantically — and while knowing full well that he and Lois are happily married, heck even having a son in the form of Jonathan Kent Jr at that. Superman was just written completely out of character, especially when ignoring Kelex’s… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by Anthony_Mage
November 16, 2020 8:55 am
Reply to  Anthony_Mage

Having Lana still pining for Clark seems to be a go-to move for either writers who want to create romantic tension despite the fact that Clark is married or for writers who hate Lois and feel like he should be with Lana because she’s a “nice girl” and Lois isn’t because she wasn’t as immediately into Clark as she was Superman. It doesn’t do either character any favors.