Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #3

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Superman #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 12, 2018

Cover date: November 2018

“The Unity Saga” – Part 3

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover #1: Adam Hughes
Variant Cover #2: David Mack

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Superman #3
S.T.A.R. Labs is in chaos and an attack by Livewire isn’t helping.

Superman arrives and puts a stop to it, quickly discovering that it was an accident in the laboratory that sent Earth to the Phantom Zone. The scientists are horrified when Superman reveals the magnitude of their error but the damage is done. Reversing the mistake is all that matters now, except on a planetoid surface miles below Rogol Zaar has already seen its arrival.

A mysterious stranger approaches the warrior and warns him off wearing the House of El shield and revels himself to be Jax-Ur. Of course Rogol is well versed on Kryptonian history and is far from surprised to be ambushed by Jax and his prison comrades.

On Earth the toll of the planet being in a dimension it was never meant to be in begins taking its toll. All life on Earth is being slowly poisoned. Even the League aren’t immune to the toxic atmosphere.

Rogol reaches out to Jax-Ur and his cohorts and points out he could have easily killed them, but didn’t. Instead Rogol proposes a partnership to take out Kal-El and his beloved new home, a war is coming and he intends to win it.

At the Hall of Justice Superman is in a race against time. He summons all the scientific minds that are still physically able and begs them to help S.T.A.R. to save the Earth before the planet dies.

In the meantime as Superman soars into the Zone’s atmosphere he sees something that could make things a million times worse.

To Be Continued…

Superman #34Story – 4: Last issue was not the best, it played to my inner fanboy and got a high rating on the showmanship and spectacle rather than a solid narrative. This issue, Bendis shifted the writing to the forefront, explaining the confusing finale and putting everything Superman holds dear in peril.

S.T.A.R. Is always a deus ex machina to science dilemmas for writers, so it’s good to see they aren’t always so. The poisonous atmosphere gives the fantastical plot a realistic quality while staying fully entrenched in science fiction. The Rogol Zaar/Jax-Ur team up played out a bit too fast but that is more the fault of the padding and retreading last issue that forced its immediacy.

Superman fighting alone is a great climax but given Earth’s alien hero populace I’m surprises he was forced to do so.

Still, despite the story arcs overall faults, this issue was fantastic, lacking in character development but definitely upping the action stakes. A worthy rating of 4.

4Art – 4: These issues never seem to disappoint in visuals. The art is always consistently strong but this issue it is the art that does what the writing did last issue. Despite the panel composition, the intricate details on the figural pencils and the high quality, I felt there was no one scene that stood out for me. I kept hoping for the stunning splash page Reis had spoiled us with in issues past.

3Cover Art – 3: A cover bursting with energy but lacking in gravitas.

The white background really dulls the impact of the art. I feel if there was something, anything, in the background it could have been such a powerful image.

5Adam Hughes Variant Cover Art – 5: The image of Clark getting ready to face danger will never get old. Hughes is creating some of DC’s most stunning covers and this is no exception. More please!

5David Mack Variant Cover Art – 5: When these covers by Mack first appeared I didn’t ‘get’ them but the more I see the more I can see and feel their iconic nature. Absolute dynamite.

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I’m basically buying the book for the art at this point. I’m already tired of Rogol Zar who hasn’t even made any impression on me, Lois and Jon not being present, and the molasses pacing.