I’m not against starting a comic over at #1 if it’s warranted. If there is an end of a “Crisis” like story arc that spans multiple comics: then I think most people won’t mind. That’s not really the case for Superman #1. It’s more of a epilogue of a story arc… or maybe even an outright continuation of a story arc. So, it’s not a #1 for that reason. No, I believe it’s because of the new creative team… which is kinda weird. Comics change creative teams all the time and they don’t restart numbering. The only reason I think DC has done this is because of the man heading it all up… the infamous BMB… Brian Michael Bendis.
*sigh* You can do this Sledge… you can do this…
My feelings on Mr. Bendis are well documented; be it in audio or typed. I have had no small sense of dread sense it was announced he would take over. The better angels of my nature told me to give it a chance… then a panel would leak and I would be induced to a rage filled coma filled with dad jokes and teenage angst. But the fateful day has arrived. I must stop all this needless exposition. I must review Superman #1 by Brian Michael Bendis.
Here I go.
Jor’ El has taken his grandson Jonathan Kent on a galactic tour in hopes that his son might learn some valuable life lessons, or what it means to be Krypotonian, or how to wear your undies on the outside of his torn up jeans or some such reason. Lois Lane Kent, Jon’s mom and fearless reporter, decided to go with them. Clark had his only communication device to them destroyed along with the Fortress of Solicitude and now he’s picking up the pieces.
Long (and pointless) story short, Superman decides he needs to protect Earth and save people instead of going off and finding his wife, kid, and estranged father. He builds a new Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle (not joking), and sets about keeping himself busy.
Then Martian Manhunter decides to have a “word” with Superman. What follows is a rambling mess of non-sequiturs, strange dialogue choices, and possibly a harbinger of things to come. J’onn J’onzz want’s Superman to take control of the Earth. Lead the planet into a bright future among the stars. There are other worlds out there and contact is inevitable. The whole scene is… here, just look at this panel.
This broke the comic for me. One of the most powerful and intelligent beings on Earth has a conversation with another one of the most powerful and intelligent beings on Earth, and we get jibber jabber.
What was the artists direction for these panels? I bet it went something like this.
Bendis: "Have these guys float in the air for a few panels."
Reis: "Like how many?"
Bendis: "Like six more than required. I'm gonna fill the speech bubbles with non-sense that I think is realistic banter."
Reis: "I miss working with Geoff Johns."
Sorry... had to get that out of me. The review isn't over.
Superman declines Martian Manhunter's invitation to take over the world and flies away. He get's lost in thought during the flight and begins to fly faster and faster. He breaks Earth orbit to find... well, this last page.
This is dumb for a number of reasons. At the start of the comic, Superman was out past Saturn and didn't see any of this. Therefore, if it's happening, it happened instantly. That would require a rather large projector. More likely it's J'ohn J'onzz messing with Supes mind. This could be possible I suppose, but Manchester Black couldn't even do that without Superman's permission. So... what the hell? I guess a nonsensical cliff hanger ending is still an ending.
This is a shame. I really like Ivan Reis's pencils and Joe Prado's Inks. The art is wonderful at times and jaw dropping in others. The scenes where Bendis has Superman jumping away from conversation to save people are truly great. Wallpaper worthy. It's the words that gets put on these images that I can't get past.
I've been accused of riding the "Bendis hate train" for too long. Perhaps I have. Once upon a time I loved him. I was eighteen and entering adulthood. I've changed my worldview, my priorities, and my passions sense then. I have outgrown many things other than just old leather belts. I have out grown BMB as well. And that's okay. Some things are worth leaving behind.
Rating: 5/10 Superman Cussing