Rogol Zaar has made contact with the Kryptonian presence on Earth in a big way, now Superman and Supergirl have brought the fight to him! Well, technically they’ve brought him to the moon, and now they’re bringing the fight to him…
Title: The Man of Steel #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok
Colors: Adam Hughes and Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
Rogol Zaar has arrived on Earth to finish his cleansing of the Kryptonian race to find them thriving under the Earth’s yellow sun. After destroying the fortress of solitude and it’s inhabitants, including the bottle city of Kandor, Superman and his cousin tracked him back to Metropolis and were more than outmatched. Recognizing they needed to get Zaar away from civilization Superman is currently rocketing him clear out of the Earth’s atmosphere, time for the penultimate showdown!
What You’ll Find Out:
We open on Superman lifting Zaar out of the atmosphere, suddenly Zaar somehow gets the upper hand and hit’s Superman in a fantastic rockesque shot (pictured below), and blasts Superman clear to the moon Alice! Once on the Moon Zaar gives Superman a pretty insanely brutal beatdown, leaving him and headed back to Earth.
After a brief interlude with our firelady friend which I will leave for you to discover, we find Supergirl rescuing a bunch of kids from another fire. (darn arsonist is at it again! Is this related?) Suddenly the Justice League shows up to help, asking questions about Rogol Zaar, and asking where Superman is, suddenly Kara looks up and sees him on the Moon beat into the ground, she flies up and brings him to the Hall of Justice.
As they talk Superman realizes what Zaar meant by exterminate, you’ll have to find out for yourself pick up a copy of Man of Steel #5 today!
What Just Happened?
Kind of a borderline fluff issue, About half of the issue was this big one-sided fight with no dialogue and a small amount of internal Superman monologue that didn’t add any info. Once the fight was over we did get a bit more character from the new Deputy Fire Chief, I have a feeling she’ll be Bendis’, Maggie Sawyer. (police chief popular in the late 80s/ early 90s Superman comics in a similar capacity, later in Gotham Central, famously barred from marrying Kate Kane by DC higher-ups) Deputy Chief Moore is looking at the map of fires for a pattern, I’m trying to see if I can spot it early let me know if you see anything I don’t.
I will say it might just be a face value judgment but the characterization of the Justice League, a few of whom have shown up in this mini so far but the majority of whom Bendis has never written before. In one panel you have boastful Cyborg (boo ya!) Space Cop Hal, Detective Bruce, conflicted star sapphire/ avatar of rage Diana, and polite helpful Barry. Weirdly insightful for one panel. Of course, it’s just one page, but I felt like if I was gonna make a snap judgment that was the page to do it on. Perfect.
We did finally get some leads on Lois and Jon’s whereabouts, we’ll see how that turns out, I have a feeling Lois’ book deal might be involved…
The realization of Zaar’s endgame was pretty cool, and I loved the tidbit (“star labs made me promise I wouldn’t do this anymore, but it’s an emergency”) of info from Superman. I think next issue is going to tie up nicely, maybe Superman will have to do a Superman the moviesque fly backward in time? It seems hokey by today’s standards but pre-crisis he used to do it all the time, food for thought, as Bendis’ Superman does very much feel like a bronze age story.
The art by Adam Hughes is fantastic, with several panels being almost poster worthy, the panel I described above as Rockyesque I will be making a printout of to paste to my sledgehammer handle. I’m a carpenter in real life haha. Not unlike the writing, the artistic rendering of the Justice League is pretty flawless and amazing, I wish Adam Hughes would do more interior work, he mostly does covers it seems.
A little bit of a step down from previous issues solely because it’s a bit light on content (basically 3 things happen in the entire issue) but visuals and pitch-perfect character work more than make up for it, I’m really excited for the finale.
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