Guest-starring the Justice League! Locked inside the Phantom Zone, the Earth stands poisoned and its heroes lie dying, with no idea how to escape the deadly Kryptonian trap. But an even deadlier threat invades as Rogol Zaar teams with those who have been imprisoned inside the Phantom Zone to use Earth to escape, not caring if they destroy the planet to do it.
Bendis continues his story of Rogol Zaar in Superman #3 where the Justice League must deal with the Earth being trapped in the Phantom Zone while the Man of Steel attempts to defend the planet from hordes of invaders. Unfortunately, this issue falls prey to the lull in action and development that often plagues series at this point early on. The first issue or two is generally loaded with developments that capture the reader’s attention, then the third issue begins the build-up to a finale. It’s a formula that happens surprisingly often, but Superman #3 does have some very interesting sequences supported by a top-notch artistic direction.
While Superman is steady at work protecting Earth, Rogol Zaar is busy with his own preparations…for war. He meets with Jax-Ur, an infamous criminal locked in the Phantom Zone from Krypton after destroying their moon. Although there is a brief scuffle between Jax-Ur’s forces and Rogol Zaar, their shared interest in causing the Earth to suffer unites the two. This results in not only an army at Rogol Zaar’s command but also a general to help lead his new forces.
Setting up an upcoming war was essentially the main point of this narrative, with a side plot involving a poisonous impact on the Justice League helping to keep things moving. While it isn’t groundbreaking, it does lay the foundation to create a grand story and helps to once again develop Rogol Zaar, bringing the character deeper into Kryptonian lore.
The artistic direction with pencils from Ivan Reis and inks from Joe Prado and Oclair Albert continues to amaze. Josh Reed also brings in some really great lettering by distinguishing Rogol Zaar’s dialogue in an interesting way. The overall issue is beautiful from start to finish and helps to make for an interesting read because it’s just so nice to look at!
Superman #3 expands on an increasingly epic story with beautiful artwork and a growing threat of war. Although it requires an understanding of events in both the Man of Steel miniseries as well as the Superman ongoing, it’s well worth the read for those following this large-scale story.
Superman #3: Preparations for War
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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