Superman brings in some help to deal with the arsons hitting Metropolis, but a larger threat looms in the Fortress of Solitude, as Brian Michael Bendis continues his first major DC Comics work.

The Man of Steel 3
Written by Brian Michael Bendis 
Pencils by Ryan Sook and Jason Fabok 
Inks by RYan Sook, Jason Fabok and Wade Von Grawbadger 
Colors by Alex Sinclair

Bendis is definitely making a good impression on this Superman fan with his introductory miniseries. The three major stories running through the book so far – an arsonist in Metropolis, the part Rogol Zaar played in Krypton’s destruction and the missing Lois Lane and Jon Kent – have both been moved just enough to keep everyone interested without giving too much away before the end of the 6-issue weekly miniseries.

The main focus of the issue is Zaar’s debut in the present day, as he appears outside Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, breaks in and starts destroying Superman’s home. Though he’s met with some resistance.

I assume that’s Kelex, but who knows in Bendis’ new world. Either way, the robot doesn’t go down without a fight, though Zaar does eventually destroy it. He does the same to other parts of the fortress, finally turning his rage to the Bottle City of Kandor, the Kryptonian metropolis shrunk down by Brainiac that Superman stores in the fortress until he can find a way to return them to normal size.

We just saw the Justice League restore a galaxy worth of bottled worlds to normal size in the NO JUSTICE miniseries, and their return to the galactic ecosystem will be the focus of one of the upcoming Justice League titles, but Kandor wasn’t that lucky.

The emotion, both in Bendis’ writing and in the art from Sook and Fabok, is gut-wrenching here as Superman realizes what the deaths of everyone in Kandor means to the lineage of Krypton. He sends Supergirl off to make sure her loved ones are safe, but his cousin is just as stubborn as he is and joins Superman for a standoff with Zaar in Metropolis. Zaar is no slouch, though, and manages to fight off the pair of Kryptonians.

Before Superman confronts Zaar, though, the issue starts off with our hero on the ground in Metropolis, helping the fire inspector investigate the arsons that have plagued the city. It’s rare we get to see Superman use his particular set of talents to try and investigate a crime, so it’s a treat to see how Bendis handles it here.

More importantly, though, Superman brings in someone who may be a little better at the detective work than he is.

Batman’s a bit of a dick. Just fantastic.

So far, Bendis is doing a great job balancing action with dialogue, which is something that I think a lot of people were concerned about coming in to this miniseries. The third issue, bringing us to the halfway point of the miniseries, keeps building, especially the teases about Lois and Jon. THE MAN OF STEEL so far has me completely in on Bendis’ upcoming run on both Superman and Action Comics if he can keep up this quality.