The threat of Rogol Zaar spreads from just the Kryptonians on Earth to effect even more people, as we learn more about the whereabouts of Lois Lane in the penultimate issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ debut miniseries.

The Man of Steel 5
Written by Brian Michael Bendis 
Pencils and Inks by Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok 
Colors by Adam Hughes and Alex Sinclair 

I love Adam Hughes’ art. I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there who doesn’t. It’s always a treat for the eyes when he’s working on a book. Getting him on interiors for this issue of Man of Steel feels like a treat. Not that the other artists who’ve worked with Bendis have been bad – they’ve been some of the best artists in DC Comics’ rotation, actually – but Hughes’ styles is so visually different from pretty much everything else being produced today that it stands out. I wonder how drastic the change will be when THE MAN OF STEEL gets put together into the (very likely) oversized collected edition down the line…

Here, in the penultimate chapter of Bendis’ introduction to the world of Superman, our hero continues to battle the mysterious alien Rogol Zaar, who claims to be the cause of Krypton’s destruction. Zaar leaves Superman bloody near the Fortress, and it’s up to Kara to bring him back to the HALL OF JUSTICE so he can be nursed back to health with the help of his Justice League teammates. It’s there that Batman understands something, and Superman picks up on it not long after: Zaar claims to have destroyed Krypton because Kryptonians infected it. Sure enough, the alien is planning on doing the same thing to Earth.

With that last page, Superman facing off against Zaar at the Earth’s core, it guarantees a pretty big battle for the miniseries’ final issue (coming out on Wednesday).

While I enjoyed the main story, especially with Hughes’ art, the more interesting part of the issue comes on four pages in the middle of the book, drawn by Jason Fabok. This is where we get more information on where Lois Lane and Jon Kent have been. Jor-El appears and tells the family he wants to take his grandson on a trip around the universe to show him things – conveniently taking him off the playing field as a threat to all Kryptonians arrives.

Did Jor-El know this was coming, and is trying to protect his family in his own cryptic way? Hopefully we find out on Wednesday, though I’m guessing that plot thread gets left to dangle a little longer…

Bendis is doing a great job with this story, and it should go down as an important book in Superman lore. I can’t wait to see how it ends.