Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
For months DC has been advertising ‘Bendis is Coming’ as they flaunt their creative coup by luring Brian Michael Bendis away from Marvel. Beginning in June we saw the beginning of the Bendis era with the mini-series Man of Steel but this week saw the release of the new ongoing with Superman #1. Picking up in the wake of Man of Steel we find Superman in deep space searching for Lois and Jon, who decided to take a universe spanning sight seeing tour with a revived, or parallel dimension, or destroyed universe Jor El (I’m not sure where he’s from as I dropped Action Comics some time ago as I grew bored with the Mr. Oz storyline). Either way, Superman’s one way to communicate with his family was conveniently destroyed with his battle with new bad guy Rogol Zaar. Luckily as Superman is randomly searching the galaxy he runs into a Dominator fleet heading to earth to conquer it (I know, also convenient). Although a visually beautiful start it felt a jarring and contrived but the issue picked up quickly after this opening scene.
The remainder of the issue is solid set up for the future, and anyone who has ever read a Bendis knows that this is going to be a long future. We now have a ‘bachelor’ Superman who spends the majority of his time saving the world and writing for the Daily Planet. There’s a new Fortress of Solitude and a very interesting and intriguing conversation between Superman and the Martian Manhunter over earth and their place amongst the cosmos. It’s interesting in the fact of what J’onn is proposing and intriguing that it is J’onn doing the proposing and I’m hoping Bendis plays with this idea more going forward. By the end of the issue there’s a great cliffhanger and there was enough here that I want to come back for some more Bendis Superman.
Although an uneven issue there was still enough in Superman #1 to make me excited for the future. Anytime I start a new Bendis run on a title I know that I need to settle in for the long haul. I’m looking forward to the direction Bendis takes and am very interested in how the sister title, Action Comics, is going to play out. I’ve always enjoyed when Bendis had dual titles of a franchise such as the All-New X-Menand the Uncanny X-Menor Invincible Iron Manand International Iron Man. Ivan Reis and Joe Prado on art was a great choice by DC. Reis has really established himself as DC’s artist of record behind Jim Lee, but if you want a long run and a book on time you pick Reis since he is very consistent. His art has a classic feel to it with realism and beautiful action spreads. The new paper DC has chosen to go with is a bit different, although I like its classic feel as it reminds me of when I was buying books off the spinner racks in the ‘80s but the art and colors don’t pop off the page like it does on the glossy paper DChad been using. That being said all in all Superman #1 is a good start to the Bendis run that will hopefully grow in scope and magnitude over the next few years.
Verdict:A bit of an uneven start but still full of interesting ideas and potential for an incredible run Superman #1is a Buy in my opinion.