Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
Superman #2 is comic that seems made simply to advance the title to the next part of the story. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it but nothing in the pages blew me away, other then the art. With the earth trapped in the Phantom Zone it’s up to Superman and his fellow Justice Leaguers to both protect humanity as well as figure out how to return the earth back to its regular place within the universe. It’s a bold concept, not just for the natural disasters that are going to occur due to the new environment but also the fact that the Phantom Zone is where Krypton’s and Superman have exiled their biggest threats, including the newest Superman man big bad Rogol Zaar. There’s also the concern that the longer Superman is in the Phantom Zone the longer he is away from earth’s yellow sun, the source of all his powers.
The main issue that I have with Superman #2 is that there is a lot going on but it all feels rushed to get Superman to the next big conflict of the story. At least half of the book deals with the threats facing the earth and how the Justice League is dealing with them but these threats are dealt with in a panel or two. Now these are beautiful panels and pages, as Ivan Reis may have been born to draw Superman, but little depth is given to the situation. We are told of the threat to earth and all the horrors that could occur but by moving so quickly through the story the weight of the threat doesn’t feel as dire as we are told it is. Rogol Zaar gets a nice moment as he deals with a threat left over from the film Superman 4: the Quest for Peace (yes, you read that right) and there’s a great opening sequence with the Tamaranean’s (Starfire of the Teen Titans people) and the Thanagarians but once again these two scenes serve a purpose, to allow Bendis to make Rogol Zaar a true threat to Superman. It feels forced, as it has since Bendis began his Superman run with the weekly Man of Steel earlier this summer.
With the hype around Brian Michael Bendis leaving Marvel for DC and then the announcement that he would be taking over the Superman books I was excited. I’m a Bendis fan and loved his time at Marvel, especially his runs with the Avengers and the X-Men. What I learned from those runs is patience is required when Bendis is at the wheel, as his books tend to be a long game so I’m not jumping off, especially with Ivan Reis on this book. As I said before, Ivan Reis was born to draw Superman, especially as the classic costume has returned and under Reis’ pencils Superman looks fantastic. I’m hoping the story picks up in the next issue, which it should if the last page is any indication it should and if the history of Bendis holds true then we will be off to the races for another great run.
Verdict: Although a bit of a let down after the first issue, Superman #2 has enough plot to keep me interested in going forward. Superman #2 advances the story with gorgeous artwork but a fast moving story that hopefully sets the stage for a more entertaining third issue.