One day later! What happens the day after Superman reveals his secret identity to the world? And what repercussions will his decision have across the entire DC Universe? Plus, Superman: president of Earth?
With the truth of Superman’s identiy revealed, Bendis and Reis split this issue’s focus between the aftermath of the reveal on Earth and galactic response to the newly formed United Planets. Each half of the issue, on their own, are very well executed but seem to lack connective tissue between the two to create any sense of… pardon the pun… unity in the overall narrative. In the first half, we see Clark/Kal/Superman (what will he go by in his everyday life now?) being fired and rehired to the Daily Planet and confronting his co-workers who welcome him back with open arms, despite the reservations from the legal team. From here, the creative team uses a two-page spread to essentially establish a new Standard Operating Procedure for the hero on Earth, assuring the reader (at least for now) that we won’t be subjected to a string of villains showing up at his door now that his identity is known.
Abruptly, the issue then shifts to Superman’s role as the Earth representive for the United Planets as a number of UP delegates discuss the future of an inhabitable planet only to be interupted by the villainous Mongul. Here, the story seems to lose (or at least shift) focus from the human side of Clark to the universal power that is Superman, leaving matters of the reveal for another day. Mongul cares not that Clark is Superman. Why should he? He merely wants Earth for a toilet so the happenings on that planet are of no consequence to him. Given the trajectory of Bendis’ Superman era, where Action Comics has been more Clark-centric, set on Earth while Superman has handled the more universal side of the story, the questions raised by the distinct divisions in this story are centered around how the two titles will move forward as the divisions between the character’s identities is disolved.
Ivan Reis and his army of inkers of course continue to provide gorgous settings for Bendis’ heavily dialogued work although a co-worker raised an interesting point about Reis’ work to me this week. Despite the heavy dialogue, Reis’ figures rarely look like they’re actually talking. Pursed lips or slightly parted lips abound, peppered with the occasional goofy smile, but the actual act of talking seems to elude the artist’s particular style. I can’t unsee it and now, neither can you.
Superman #19 (Bendis, Reis, Sinclair) explores the aftermath of the revelation while moving towards a new status quo for comics' oldest superhero as "The Truth" continues.
Superman #19: The Truth is Out There…
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 8.5/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 8.5/10
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