Subway Shorts – The Man of Steel 1

Another new era for Superman begins here, with the first issue of Brian Bendis’ weekly miniseries introduces new characters and concepts. But how does he handle writing the Man of Steel?

The Man of Steel 1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis 
Pencils by Ivan Reis
Inks by Joe Prado 
Colors by Alex Sinclair 

I’m really glad this is a weekly miniseries, because I am very excited about seeing where Bendis is going with his debut full-length Superman story. I was definitely hoping for more in this first issue, but the main thing we got in the opener of THE MAN OF STEEL is a feel for how Bendis is going to handle Superman and his world. We also get a lot of questions that will hopefully be resolved in the next 5 weeks.

At the very least, anyone who was concerned with how Superman would be portrayed under the pen of Bendis should be relieved after the first issue. My favorite hero was at times awe-inspiring and funny here, breaking up an incident between Killer Moth and Firefly and then saving a child from a fire and putting it out.

The appearance of the new villain in the series – Rogol Zaar, who was introduced in ACTION COMICS 1000 – is solely in the past so far, petitioning a council that includes Guardian of the Universe Appa Ali Apsa for Krypton’s destruction. He’s not very pleased when the council denies his request, so we’ll have to see what he does next and how it ties in to the rest of the story.

Another important aspect of the series – and the one that has most fans up in arms without the chance to finish the story – is the missing members of Clark Kent’s family. Bendis established in the DC NATION special that Lois was mysteriously gone. Where she is still hasn’t been addressed, but the final page of the issue fading to white as Clark, Lois and their son Jon look at someone or something that appeared out of nowhere indicates we should be getting an answer soon.

The first issue of THE MAN OF STEEL is an interesting set-up to the new era of Superman, though nothing in the issue makes it either great or terrible. I have faith, though, that the follow-up should make for a fun story and a memorable DC Comics debut for Bendis.