MAN OF STEEL #3/ Writer: Brain Michael Bendis /Artists: Ryan Sook and Jason Fabok / Letterer: Josh Reed / Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger / Colorists: Alex Sinclair/ Publisher: DC Comics/ June 8, 2018
Man of Steel #3 continues the storyline that serves as a pilot for Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman run. This series serves a purpose similar to John’s Byrne’s Man of Steel miniseries in 1986; setting up the Superman world sandbox for Bendis to play in, for the future. However, this current series is not a reboot, like Byrne’s was. The Superman titles were well received during the Rebirth era; there’s no need to reshuffle the deck.
The mysterious Rogol-Zaar arrives at the Fortress of Solitude. Zaar makes quick work of robot servant Kelex, before trashing the Fortress of Solitude and the bottled city of Kandor. Meanwhile, Batman arrives in Metropolis to help Clark and fire chief Melody Moore figure out the mysterious fires. That’s when the Fortress’ alarm go off and Supes zooms to the scene. He is devastated by the carnage, especially after seeing Kandor in pieces. Alerted by the same alarm, Supergirl comes to the Fortress and grieves with her cousin. With the last page, we’re promised a showdown in the streets of Metropolis.
Bendis’ handling of Clark works well. It’s important to show how human Clark is in his motivations and emotions. He pays attention to the important details of those around him, because he cares so much. Also, Bendis manages to keep Clark the star of his own story, even while introducing Batman. That’s something that many people have failed to do. This may be a nod to the original Man of Steel series, where Batman and Supes start their antagonistic relationship in the third issue.
Supes recounts the names of every Kandorian who was living in the bottle city, with tears in his eyes. The loss of Kandor causes him to reflect on the other personal tragedy he’s been keeping secret: the fate of Lois and Jon. Kara asks him about his family, but he only states that “they’re safe.” We see a bit more of what happened to Lois and Jon, courtesy of Jason Fabok’s pencils.
Bendis is giving us a good Superman story, with quality depiction of Superman at its center. We don’t know all of the details, but the suspense is enough to keep the reader engaged. However, it’s time to know Rogol-Zaar’s motivations. The fact that this series is weekly helps to keep the momentum going. But it’s time to see the implications of the new wrinkles in Supes’ world, to keep our interest.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 capes.