What am I talking about this time: THE MAN OF STEEL #5
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Adam Hughes
Cover by: Joe Prado, Ivan Reis
Overall Review: 4 out of 5 Axes that need grinding.
Is it worth a $3.99? Yep, this issue might not be the fastest train on the track, but it moves along.
Spoiler Free Review:
While there are a few plot holes in this issue, the art is bananas amazing, changing mood, lighting, and style for the various events throughout the comic. The art is what kept this review at a steady 5 as the story just kinda circles around, which is normal to do in a filler issue before the big final blowout fight. A lot happens in this issue without moving the story forward, so the art does the brunt of keeping your attention. There are a lot of storylines that have been set up that need paying off and a few of the dumber stuff I was hoping would turn around still has yet to turn.
Let’s talk some Man of Steel.
We open on another circular theme, an eye looking down on through the bottle of Kandor, while not as on-the-money as prev opening planet/circle pages, it still holds and on it’s own is actually a better visual, with doomed faces looking skyward around the pages edges. This artistic beat sets the stage for some more amazing stuff to come. From the art, not from the story.
Quick note about where we left off in the last issue, unless I’m mistaken it looked like Superman was using his silly new “flare” power to blow up the Fortress of Solitude and get the drop on ol’ Rogol. But, unless I’m wrong, I thought his “flare” power left him temp. powerless, but here we are soaring through space as an amazingly drawn Superman pulls Rogol Zaar to the moon for a brawl… so either it wasn’t a Flare or he can control the flare now or the writing is crap… we’ll see.
Anyway, Rogol turns the tables and the art here is Frank Miller/Dark Knight-esk and looks great, lots of shadows and muted colors on the moon really give the battle a vacuumey feel. I can’t fawn over this sequence enough, the art really does capture the mood and elements perfectly.
Sadly, this is where the comic makes a right turn onto worn territory on the way to Circleville.
The fight plays out just like it has in previous issues, in between punches Superman flashes back to the events that took Lois and John away from him without really revealing how and then Rogol gets the upper hand, beats Superman to inch of his life, than leaves.
So, the Lois/Jor-El/Clark/Jon standoff is still taking place. Shitty Recon Jor-El has dropped by the Kent home to take Jon on a tour of the galaxy to teach him things. As he is a villain who just tried to destroy the Earth, Lois and Clark say, “no”. Thn, out of character/nowhere, Jon says Yes. This part is so bad, Picasso couldn’t make this interesting. And that’s it for this issue on that. Feels like the wrap up is going to be Lois and Jon left with Jor… which is dumb as hell. Maybe Bendis will make it work? Prob not.
Moving on to our other side story that seems to be going no-where… the fire chief is still looking to fires. She made a map like Batman said when another alarm goes off, they arrive on the scene and Supergirl is helping out. The Justice League arrive and Supergirl goes off to save her cousin on the moon. She finds him and brings him back to the Hall of Justice.
There’s an odd art choice here, It’s Supergirl lying to the moon, framed with just her chest S and the moon, it’s something you’ve seen in Superman movies and comics do so it’s a call back of sorts… but it’s also a weird underboob shot?! I don’t know. I get the ref here, but it still makes me a bit uncomfortable. You’re call.
I can make heads or tails of this next beat. When we get back to the Hall of Justice, Superman is in a medical bed and all the heroes are around him. Than the Flash makes a “caca poopoo” joke for all the 5 year olds reading out there. For real, it’s embarrassing. From the bed, Superman asks the heroes if they know what this symbol means… and he basically draws the Flash symbol and everyone acts like they’ve never seen it before. Superman and Batman conclude that Rogol is going to destroy the world and Superman leaps out of bed, pulls on his cape and flies to the center of the Earth to fight Rogol… again.
Hope the next one gets better. Joe Montana Womens Jersey