Mild Mannered Reviews – Superman #9

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Superman #9

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 13, 2019

Cover date: May 2019

“The House of El” – Part 3

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Brandon Peterson with Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Rob Liefield

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Superman #9Clark’s mind wanders to a possible future. One where Lois is Superwoman once more, Jon has lost an eye and he now has a younger sister.

During a ceremony seemingly bringing peace to the universe an attack happens that ends in destruction. Clark ponders as to whether it is a waking dream, but Lois gets him to focus and Jon continues his story.

Jon has been transported to Earth 3 and, for reasons known only to Ultraman, he was kept alive imprisoned in the mouth of a volcano. He reveals to Jon that Superman as a youth was ‘sent to another place’ to ‘reach his true potential’ and perhaps this is exactly why Jon appeared to him.

Ultraman visited the prison sporadically dishing out physical and mental punishment, which became less about Jon and more like therapy for the villain. After enduring the visits Jon carefully watched how Ultraman entered and exited the prison and used the same method to sneak away and hide amongst the local populace.

Jon theorizes that the base of the Crime Syndicate may have a way back to his Earth… or at least a way to send a signal. However, sneaking into the base forces Superboy to come face to face with his doppelgänger mother.

To Be Continued…

2Story – 2: Solid idea.

A warped version of his father delivers tougher, darker parenting which is contrary to everything Lois & Clark taught him. Jon finally realizes just how good a life he had but this experience forces him to grow up and become more resourceful and self sufficient.

Stilted execution.

The utopian future scene was out of place and awkward given its placement directly after Jon’s dark comment last issue. Then there was the chain of events and imprisonment, it was so odd.

“I’m rescuing you from the Syndicate to imprison you! Don’t ask me why because I don’t know!”

What followed made little to no sense and the escape plan was not foreshadowed in any way.

Then Jon knowing who the Crime Syndicate are – doesn’t try to find the good guys of Earth 3 but instead tries to sneak into the base of the man that has kept him captive for months of torture.

Awkward dialogue.

Here is an example of dialogue from Jon while Ultraman is literally crushing his skull:

“Listen, Jersey City version of my dad, I see you’re getting all ready to drop some big drama on me, but I am so not into it! Let go!”

Make your own judgement from that.

3Art – 3: The nerd in me liked scanning the artwork in the dream sequence to see what is ‘potentially’ in store, however aside from that and the opening splash with the Syndicate the bulk of the issue was by the numbers, mainly because the art team were given next to nothing to work with.

3Cover Art – 3: Jon is still ten at this point so I’m a bit weirded out by how muscular he is. I also feel a little disappointed that this scene didn’t actually happen as it would have been pretty epic.

3Variant Cover Art – 3: Another Liefield cover this month. This time a closer shot of the Man of Steel. It looks great but doesn’t look fully realized. I feel like it is more of a sketch cover compared to last month’s offering. I wish it was an action shot, as Liefield is famous for more energetic artwork.

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March 13, 2019 9:33 am

Can somebody please fire Bendis so we can get baby Jon back?
Thank you. 🙂

March 13, 2019 11:18 am

Why is Bendis doing this to Jon?
That poor kid.

March 13, 2019 1:20 pm

Why is Liefeld doing alternate covers? For the love of Rao, make it stop!

March 13, 2019 2:07 pm
Reply to  RAS

Yeah, I usually don’t buy variant covers. I mean why pay extra money for another copy of the same story? I just feel that unless if it’s a special variant cover, I just go with the one copy that I buy.

March 13, 2019 4:16 pm
Reply to  Superman2878

And—in the case of Liefield—these aren’t even *better* covers.

March 13, 2019 5:03 pm
Reply to  RAS

So I guess I’ll just save my money. Lol.

March 13, 2019 9:14 pm

Oh man, that dialogue sampling…

March 13, 2019 10:06 pm

Honestly, I just want him to finish a storyline. This is taking forever and it’s not very compelling. I feel like it’s when an uncharismatic person is telling you a really long and boring story with focus on the unimportant details.

March 15, 2019 2:14 pm
Reply to  sundevil82

I agree completely with you. You found the best example possible to explain his work in Action & Superman.

March 17, 2019 7:05 pm
Reply to  sundevil82

Looks like he’ll still be on Rogol Zarr through June of next year.