Touted by DC Comics as a “new villain alert,” the story told in this issue is far more complex than an origin of a villain. “Mythological” part one introduces a previously unknown planet, Synmar, and it’s denizens to readers. Seeing to result of Kal’s time on Earth, the Synmar decide they need a Superman of their own and go about the process of creating one. Bendis and Reis crammed a lot of information into this book but a clear direction has not quite emerged.
In fact, I would say that my biggest criticism here is the lack of clarity. The Synmar all have distinct features and should be easy to differentiate but try as I might, I had an incredibly difficult time keeping track of who was who and that, in turn, kept the motivations of the Synmar from solidifying into a cohesive narrative. The return of Lana Lang feels crucial as well although her behaviors and speech patterns also felt like intentional techniques to reveal something but it was incredibly difficult to track.
There is, perhaps, a residual effect after reading a well-contained 2-part story that kicked my ’60s-era Superman nostalgia into high gear that makes me personally resistant to returning to a longer, more decompressed arc. While I emerge from Superman #25 somewhat confused, I am nevertheless intrigued. Strong art, colors, inks, and letters across the board help this series to live in the details so that, while the story may take some time to coalesce, the journey to that point will at least be aesthetically pleasing.
Perhaps less of a villain that originally announced, Synmar is introduced in Superman #25 (Bendis, Reis, Ferreira, Miki, Sinclair, Sharpe) and it is clearly poised to be a complex threat moving forward.
Superman #25: Intergalactic Misunderstandings
Writing - 8/10
Storyline - 8.5/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 8.5/10
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