Bendis’ first full issue of Man of Steel continues to shape mysteries and sets up an intriguing villain.
In November 2017, longtime Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis announced he would write for DC Comics. Shortly after, it was revealed that he would take over the Superman title after Tomasi and Gleason finished their run. When Action Comics #1000 came, it gave readers the first glimpse into Bendis’ story, which involves an axe-wielding monster that hunts Kryptonians. DC Nation #0 furthered that by hinting that the life of Clark Kent has changed in some way. With Superman being hunted and Clark being quiet, this reviewer asks, what has happened to our Man of Steel?
**Some Spoilers Below**
We see two storylines play out throughout the issue, following Superman and the villain, Rogol Zarr. In the past, Zarr observes the planet Krypton as they reach spacefaring technology. He speaks to a council of immortal beings with the belief the Kryptonians will begin to conquer the galaxy and asks to stop them. In the present, Superman has been investigating a slew of fires across Metropolis, noticing a pattern with all of them. He tries to report it as Clark Kent as an arson conspiracy but is shut down by the Planet.
While I was hoping to get more answers to Man of Steel’s current predicament, I can’t lie when I say I am intrigued by this new villain. There are plenty of stories that portray Krypton as unsavory, but this is the first time I’ve seen one where the villain sees himself as a hero. Rogol wants to end Krypton before they can control the galaxy, despite the council he answers by saying otherwise. There’s a backstory that is waiting to come out, and I can’t wait.
As for the present storyline, there is some mystery laid out by the arson, but I was left wanting more. It’s obvious that there is more to come, but after the mystery that was dropped in DC Nation #0, you’d expect some answers. There is a tease at the very end of the issue, but readers could have been given a little more than what we got.
Ivan Reis is the illustrator for the issue, and he does an overall good job. The design of the immortal council and Rogol himself are awesome, but it’s Superman stopping the fire that stands out. The detail in the fire and the way Superman puts it out is drawn fantastically. The only thing that could make it better is the masterful colorwork of Alex Sinclair. There are a few places that could have used some touching up, but it doesn’t detract from the book.
Overall, this first issue was good. Not a masterpiece, but I’m intrigued to see it go on. The villain of the story has me hooked for more, despite the lack of answers in Clark’s life. The art team does very well for the opening, and I hope the next team will do just as well. If you’re still on the fence on Bendis’ writing, give this book a shot, you might like it.