Krypton Must Die in Man of Steel #1
A new chapter for Superman begins as fan-favorite writer Brian Michael Bendis debuts his first series for DC Comics, Man of Steel. Before Krypton’s destruction, a council of powerful beings denies Rogol Zaar permission to destroy it. Rogol is convinced that the Kryptonians will lead the universe into a catastrophic war.
Bendis has promised a game-changing story in Man of Steel. From this premiere issue, it looks like he might deliver on that promise. Bendis is fast becoming a god in the comic book industry. His work isn’t infallible but he has proven he can handle multi-point storylines. Man of Steel is shaping up to be a crown jewel for DC Comics and Bendis.
While it is difficult to follow everything from the beginning, the reader must accept that this is intended. Bendis is telling a story that could have lasting repercussions not only for Superman but the entire DC universe. That kind of epic tale requires not only great care but patience as well.
Superman has been detached from the kind of “street-level” story he so desperately needs. This issue allows him to appear more relatable as he takes on some low-level villains and a building fire. Superman is great at stopping world-ending events, but it’s nice to see him interacting with average citizens. Bendis does a great job at bringing Superman down to Earth.
Great writing needs great artwork. In this case, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Jay Fabok and Alex Sinclair prove that too many cooks don’t always ruin the stew. Reis and Prado are already a powerhouse duo. Their past work on Aquaman helped make that series a success. There is no doubt that their talents, along with Fabok and Sinclair can keep Man of Steel performing at a high level.
Normally having a book split between different artists can be a sign of problems. It can also be distracting for the art style to change in a single issue. During the first read of Man of Steel #1, it was hardly noticeable. It does bode well that no matter which combination of artists stays with the book, the art will maintain its quality.
Although this appears to be a slow start for Man of Steel, it is still very promising. Those who were expecting “knock your socks off action” will, of course, be disappointed. Here’s hoping that Bendis has something grand in store for readers. Superman can do more than punch asteroids to dust with his bare hands. While some see him as a two-dimensional character, it’s stories like this that show he is so much more. Bendis certainly didn’t score a home run his first time out for DC but things are pointing to an overall strategy that goes well beyond the first issue. This issue is well thought out and executed nicely. A great story, surprising twists, and mixed with fantastic art, Man of Steel #1 is a fun and satisfying read.
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