Superman’s new Fortress of Solitude sits in the most remote corner of the Bermuda Triangle. Constructed using Kryptonian technology far beyond anything our world knows, filled with intergalactic, pan-dimensional secrets from all over the Multiverse…how could it possibly be missing?
Bendis’ run on Superman has had a great many ups and downs along the way. So many that it becomes difficult to suss out which direction any given story is trending with any given issue. This issue marks the start of a story-arc in which Superman is intended to give up his dual identity for a singular life, a move that seems fraught with perils we have seen in the past attempts to execute similar ideas. How Bendis handles this story could very well become a landmark for his run as a whole.
Joining Bendis on this journey is artist Kevin Maguire, a gentleman who’s place in DC History is already cemented. The master of facial expressions surprisingly pairs exceptionally well with Bendis in this issue. Because of Bendis’ proclivity to dialogue, the balance of Maguire’s faces actually helps soften the dialogue overload in a way that is fun rather than tedious.
Positioning this narrative in the greater ongoings of the current DC Universe proves a challenge for line-wide readers. Given the massive impact of the “Year of the Villain” storyline happening across 75% of DC’s books, this story is definitively late. While Lois struggles with how to deal with Luthor’s “gift” in these pages, Justice League and many other books have moved well beyond this early stage of the “Justice/Doom War” being helmed by Scott Snyder. Much in the way the Batman family of books have felt isolated from the rest of the DC canon, there is also some of that happening here in Superman (and in fact, all of the Bendis-written books) where it feels more like it is a time for insulating these titles. These scattered timelines and chaotic order of events may, in the end, prove to be nothing consequential, but in the moment of consuming these stories, the progression feels somewhat off.
Superman #17 (Bendis, Maguire, Mounts, Sharpe) begins a new story arc with the potential to have massive consequences for the Man of Steel if the execution can hold up.
Superman #17: Double Lives
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 6/10
Art - 8.5/10
Color - 9/10
Cover Art - 7.5/10
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