The Creators – Brian Michael Bendis – Writer, Ivan Reis – Artist, Joe Prado – Inker, Alex Sinclair – Colours, Josh Reed – Letters
The Players – Clark Kent (Superman), Martian Manhunter, Lois Lane, Dominators, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman
The Story – Superman reflects on recent events in his life, does a little saving, makes a new fortress and wonders how Lois and Jon are doing out in the universe without him.
The Take – Having taken the reins of Superman in both the newly re-launched Superman title and the forthcoming Action Comics #1001, not to mention the recently released Man of Steel miniseries, there was a slight fear that the quality of the books would not be maintained, especially considering they have currently been the best that they have been in many years. Brian Michael Bendis surprises though and continues on from the previous runs without missing a single beat. Promising the biggest storylines, the biggest villains and so on, the book is off to a great start, picking right up from the aforementioned Man of Steel miniseries and if finds Superman missing his family as they have been taken on a trip across the universe by his father. On top of that and because of that loneliness he now feels, work at the Daily Planet is not quite as fun as it once was and there is the mystery of all those massive fires taking place in Metropolis, whether the work of an arsonist or something worse. What is nice to see is that Superman is not the supremely confidant, untouchable being that he is normally portrayed as because here, Bendis shows him as a man that is conflicted, a man that has to deal with the everyday just like everyone else, with all the doubts and fears and emotions that readers can easily identify with. In addition to all of that, Rogol Zaar and the destruction of the Fortress of Solitude, the murder of the inhabitants of the Bottle City of Kandor and the grief and the shame over failing in his responsibility to protect them, tears at the Kryptonian like nothing else. Artist Ivan Reis does a great at portraying Superman weaker than his usual self and by bringing the book to life as the hero battles for those that need his help including the decimation of a Dominator fleet. one of the more interesting moments finds Clark creating a new Fortress where the possibility of anyone finding it, much less reaching it is nigh to impossible – the Bermuda Triangle. It will be quite intriguing to see how this plays into future storylines, but it is something that perhaps should have been done long ago and makes far more sense than having it in the Arctic. There is also a very frank conversation between Superman and the Martian Manhunter over their shared experience of losing all of their peoples with a suggestion that Superman think about taking the reins of the human race and leading them into a better future. That in itself is seems both in and out of character for the Martian, but it does make sense and if Clark decides to go down this path, it should make for some very entertaining stories. Superman is already seen as a saviour by many, what if he decides to really start living up to that reputation? As of right now, Bendis and company come out of the gates swinging and they do son on the right track with a good amount of drama, action, intrigue and mystery to get readers hooked and coming back for more.
Worth it? – Yes.