THE MAN OF STEEL (2018) #1-6 / DC Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Ivan Reis (#1), Doc Shaner (#2), Steve Rude (#2), Jay Fabok (#2, #3), Ryan Sook (#3), Wade Von Grawbadger (#3), Alex Sinclair (#4, #5, #6), Adam Huges (#5)
Comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis writing exclusively for DC Comics is a big deal. Him pretty much taking full control over the main SUPERMAN books, including this THE MAN OF STEEL mini-series, is a big deal. Being a big deal is a big deal. Big deal.
We first saw Bendis slip on his red underoos in ACTION COMICS #1000. While that issue was great, I wasn’t quite impressed and yearned for something more. Now, after reading the full 6-part mini-series THE MAN OF STEEL, I can safely say this is what I was looking for. This was equal parts epic, nostalgic, and fresh. I’m a fan.
If you haven’t read a Superman comic for a minute, and are looking to start, I highly recommend starting here. All you need to know going in is that Superman is a badass, he’s got a teenage kid, and he’s happily married to Lois Lane. Predictable I know. And I must admit, the whole Superman-being-a-father-thing sounds off-putting, but it actually works here.
This mini-series really sets the stage for what will come with Bendis’ ongoing SUPERMAN series (now 5+ issues strong when you read this). He establishes a cohesive world where Superman is in top iconic form, red undies and all, and introduces a compelling plot that has some deep ties to Superman, Supergirl, and Krypton’s past.
My only real gripe is that our new villain is a bit of a letdown. His motives and intensity are quite interesting, but visually he looks like Doomsday threw up a clone of himself and gave him some hand-me-down clothes. Part of me likes him because he is bathed in pure 90’s goodness, but the other 95% of me thinks the creative team could have done better, and should have been aware of this similarity. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
If you’re looking to get reintroduced to Superman, this is your best bet. Be prepared for a heavy dose of action, and more nostalgia than you can shake a Kryptonite-laced stick at. That made more sense in my head. Did I mention members of the Justice League show up a lot?
THE MAN OF STEEL is a fun ride and serves as an exciting segue into what is sure to be an epic ongoing series from Bendis and team. Highly recommended.