The Man of Steel

The Man of Steel

Book - 2018
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A remorseless killer called Rogol Zaar has arrived on Earth, bringing wide-scale death and destruction in his wake. Only Superman and his cousin, Supergirl, stand between Zaar and the completion of his mission--the complete annihilation of the Kryptonian race -- adapted from cover description.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : DC Comics, 2018
ISBN: 9781401283483
Branch Call Number: 741.5973 Be
Description: 1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 27 cm


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May 27, 2019

Good but given all the hype and expectation not as good as I thought it would be.

Jan 11, 2019

In the history of the American comic book, the struggle between DC and Marvel continues to play an important role. Brian Bendis moving from a great string at Marvel to write for DC, and start with Supes himself, is a repeat in comic book history. Previously, some decades ago, John Byrne moved from X-Men at Maevel, where he helped propel it to become for a while the hottest item in comics, to write and draw guess who at DC - yes, Superman. So how will Bendis, who is known for turning the Marvel mythos upside down, do with this old icon? Well, he has some of the best artists in a field with many good ones, and he has created exciting new Superman books. He sends Lois...well, somewhere that we're not sure about. Also, he takes the most current hot character in the Supermn mythos, Tomasi's Superboy from Supersons, and sends him off across the universe. DC fans should relax and remember this is Bendis changing things up. His Superboy hardly ever smiles and Tomasi's is, except when fighting, nearly always smiling. Also, Bendis seems to be intent on offspring exploring the universe with newly found progenitors, as he did with Cyclops, Scott Summers, in X-Men. Still. it does seem a bit rude, and I am not sure what Tomasi has done or is doing bout it in Supersons. In the mean time, Superman and/or Clark have not changed that much, though it seems Bendis is exploring his (their) human side more deeply. I look forward to seeing where all this goes.

Jan 02, 2019

I am a big fan of Superman, a middling fan of Brian Michael Bendis.

Coming off a brilliant run on Superman by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason who repaired the damage wrought by the New 52, the series has been restarted by ace writer and Marvel exclusive for the last billion years, Brian Michael Bendis. A major coup for DC Comics, landing one of the architects of the Marvel turn around who had helped elevate the Avengers from their B-list status---impossible to imagine given the state of the movies, I know, but trust me the roles were inverted---X-Men being Marvel's premiere franchise all through the 80's, 90's. The author, when he hits it out of the ballpark makes amazing stories. This is the man who gave us Miles Morales, brought back the young X-Men, which a lot of people hated but was a brilliant, risky move to correct what has become a lost franchise. I'm sure the hope here was that he could do the same with Superman and revitalize their premiere hero, who constantly comes in second to Batman.

Sadly, Mr. Bendis suffers from the same pitfalls that have always befallen his work. There was the hope that DC Editorial could wrangle his more eccentric quirks and improve his writing. And there is noticeable improvement. Gone is some of the bloat of endless Bendis' speak. Things progress faster than they might have in a Marvel book, but Mr. Bendis hasn't stopped delivering his signature drawn out, mangaesque style of decompressed storytelling.
In a move undoing everything his predecessors had done, Bendis breaks up Superman's happy home. Sending off Lois and Jon. He introduces a very one dimensional character in the architect of Krypton's demise, Rogol Zaar. It still remains a mystery at the end of the book exactly why he found Krypton to be such an abomination. Religious zealotry? Jealousy? Racial bigotry? What? By the end of the six issue mini series I found myself not actually caring. This story is still dragging on in the main Superman book currently being published, which only recently sees the return of Lois and Jonathan. The dialogue in places is repetitive, his characterization of Superman is off, and there isn't much story, giving us a couple of fights and destroying classic Kryptonian artifacts. A repetitive trope meant to show the horrible monster Rogol is, but then didn't the fact that he destroyed Krypton and this ins't explained how either, already highlight that.

The writing is mediocre, and the art is all over the place. That being said, the artists are some of DC Comics best. This book is a pleasure to look at, but it fails to work because of the disparate art styles. Every artist here is a genius. Unfortunately as far as story consistency, their art styles are all over the place. The artistic changes happen by issue, so it isn't necessarily jarring, but it would have been nice to see artists who follow Ivan Reis, and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez's more realistic art style. Evan "Doc" Shaner, Jim Lee, as well as Ryan Sook are all masterful artists but their more stylized art does not mesh well.
It's a good start, I suppose for Bendis on Superman, the DC editors have been able to wrangle his drawn out writing style somewhat, but the dialogue still needs work. One scene, the spaceship appearing in Superman's apartment repeatedly appearing in the book was just bad, horrible writing and worse editing for allowing it. Seriously, how many times did you need to hammer that in? It's an important event merely for what it does, perhaps Mr. Bendis should have allowed it to have the impact it would naturally just for what it does than by repeatedly playing that tired scene again and again. A mediocre read at best, perhaps Mr. Bendis' work improves in his newer Superman tales. Here's hoping, because Brian Bendis has shown us he can be great, but what he's doing to Superman is maybe not so much. Can we get Mr. Tomasi back on the book to help, maybe.


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