Bendis continues his highly anticipated Superman run with a story that ties back into his first miniseries titled ‘Man of Steel’. With Earth transported to the Phantom Zone, Superman struggles to save everyone he loves and get back to finding his family!
Title: Superman #2
Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ivan Reis
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
Recap: The world quakes and shakes as it begins to succumb to the effects of the entire planet being moved into the lifeless realm known as the Phantom Zone. As Superman works with the World’s Greatest Heroes, an old enemy trapped in the same prison returns to stop the Man of Steel and escape.
Review: Bendis continues his story from the Man of Steel miniseries featuring Rogol Zaar, who claims to be responsible for destroying Krypton. After invading Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and destroying Kandor, the battle began between the Kryptonians Superman and Supergirl against their new adversary Rogol Zaar. This resulted in Supergirl banishing Rogol Zaar to the Phantom Zone against Superman’s advice. Now, with the Earth transported into the Phantom Zone, Superman’s words to Supergirl are truer than ever. You can’t just banish all of your problems to the Phantom Zone. It is a striking narrative continuation from Bendis that delves into the seemingly perpetual struggles of Superman. He knew the quick solution would come back to haunt him, and now their problem is exponentially worse.
The weight of Superman’s actions is obvious in this issue as he struggles to maintain composure despite his literal world crumbling around him. We are only two issues into the Superman run and Bendis has wasted no time in putting Superman through a lot of emotional turmoil and physical conflict. To know that Superman has lost connection with his family through these dire circumstances only makes the stakes that much higher. It is good to see Rogol Zaar continue to be developed through this as well, given the supposed role he could have had in Krypton’s destruction, he is definitely a character that deserves to be fleshed out. Seeing him lead an army could put him in a place of power that will help to distinguish him as a villain who is more than just their strength.
While the story is nothing short of epic, the true highlight has to be the artwork from Ivan Reis and the creative team. There are so many magnificent depictions of Superman that emphasize the devastating results of their conflict against Rogol Zaar which make for a beautiful reading experience. And Superman himself is quickly becoming a defining take on the character. His trunks are a great representation of the classic interpretation Bendis and Reis are bringing to Superman, and this issue spotlights that vision on many different occasions.
For those following since the Man of Steel miniseries where Bendis first took on the character, Superman #2 is a great follow up that expands on the lore being established. It highlights the cost of Kal’s role as Superman and offers a unique look into the hope that drives him when all seems lost. This issue also was the debut of Nuclear Man from the film Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Bendis made headlines when he announced he would be bringing the character to comics, and although his presence was brief, it was certainly memorable.
Now that the Earth has been put into the Phantom Zone and Rogol Zaar is on the loose, can Superman and a weakened Flash use the Phantom Zone Projector to somehow restore Earth? As Justice League members begin to fall, it looks like Superman will have to figure it out himself if he hopes to see his family again.
Final Thoughts: Superman #2 is a powerful story of foretold consequences that expands on the Kryptonian lore introduced by Bendis. It also features some of the best artwork in a DC ongoing series right now from Reis and the creative team. The stakes are high for Superman, and his feud with Rogol Zaar will only worsen as the horrors in the Phantom Zone wreak havoc on Earth!
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