The second issue to Bendis’ Superman trips over itself with bizarre dialogue.
Just when Clark Kent’s life couldn’t get any worse, the first issue of his new series has him hit rock bottom. After the events of the Man of Steel miniseries, Superman has been trying to get back to his normal life. His wife and son are off in deep space; meanwhile, his cousin left the planet to investigate their attacker. All of this puts a strain on Superman emotionally, then the unthinkable happens. The entire world is pulled into the Phantom Zone; the dimension Kryptonians used as a prison. Superman must now stand against the threats of this planet while figuring out how they even got there.
**Some Spoilers Below**
After being absorbed into the Phantom Zone, Superman works around the clock to protect the Earth. Satellites and asteroids fall from the sky as Clark begins to worry about the threats that hide within the zone. One such threat is Rogol Zaar, who sees a chance at revenge. Before he can execute an attack, however, he resolves to build an army first. Back on earth, the Justice League work around the clock to figure out who sent the planet into the Phantom zone. Unfortunately, it becomes apparent that there is a side effect to earthlings, causing the League to fall. Superman is all alone to protect Earth.
My biggest problem with this issue is the dialogue. Not the lettering of the dialogue, but the dialogue itself. Some of the things that are said in this issue are so bizarre for the League to say. One could argue that it is the Phantom zone affecting their speech, but it’s really hard to ignore it. During the opening of Superman working to save the Earth, he says that this day sucks. He says he can think of a better word, as he is a journalist, but why not say it then? Was this Bendis’ attempt at humor?
What about the rest of the comic? How is the story itself? Well dialogue aside, the story is just okay. The pacing is average, the action is awesome, but its just a run-of-the-mill story. If it wasn’t for the dialogue, this story could have been a passable comic.
While the story might not impress, the artwork certainly will. Ivan Reis masterfully illustrates the issue with cinematic vision. Most of these panels would look fantastic on the big screen, from massive battles on strange planets to Superman speeding off to stop falling satellites. Reis even brings back an old villain from Superman’s cinematic past and makes him look amazing! The only problem art has, however, would be in the colors. Not that they’re terrible, but occasionally there are color inconsistencies that stand out. Other than that hiccup, the comic looks pretty damn great.
This was not a good second issue to this series. The dialogue takes what would be a passable story and drags it down. The art does a fantastic job, but even that isn’t enough to save this comic. Hopefully, this was just a bump in the road, but so far, this story already looks like a flop.