Superman #1/ Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/ Penciller: Ivan Reis/ Inker: Joe Prado/ Colorist: Alex Sinclair/ Publisher: DC Comics/ Release Date: July 11th, 2018
After his uneven, yet promising, debut with The Man of Steel miniseries, Brian Michael Bendis begins his Superman run in earnest with Superman #1. If you missed my last Superman-related review, Clark Kent is not in the best place. But being Superman, he resolves to fix it-even if life throws him a curve ball or two.
Bendis takes to Kent like a fish to water. Whether it’s punching through a Dominator armada or typing up an article at the Daily Planet, Superman #1 feels like a Superman story. Which is important-I’ve always said the most important thing when writing these characters is to get to the core of who they are.
Joining the book on art duties is Ivan Reis. Reis proves he is born to draw DC characters, and Bendis’ script gives him the chance to flex his artistic muscle. Superman saves people from a burning building, KO’s a dinosaur, and knocks out a gorilla on the moon-and that’s all within the space of four pages!
But where Bendis and Reis really excel are the quiet moments. An example of this is when Clark talks to J’onn J’onzz, aka the Martian Manhunter, about Earth’s place in the galactic community. The readers get to see that although Clark and J’onn have similar backgrounds, they do differ on their approach to things. This conversation also brings up one of the more interesting Superman ideas I’ve heard over the years-“Why doesn’t Superman use his powers to fix the government?” The discussion is cut short by a last minute revelation that ends the issue, but I’m sure Bendis plans to return to this in future issues.
Another example is a pair of pages, Clark reflects on happier times with his wife and son. Inker Joe Prado and colorist Alex Sinclair give these scenes an eerie, almost dream like look that makes them stand out from the rest of the book, and help underline the loneliness that Clark is feeling.
Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair deliver an excellent first issue, not only picking up on plot threads from The Man of Steel, but also never losing sight of who Superman is. Hopefully Superman #1 is a start to an epic Superman run!
VERDICT: 5 out of 5 Fortresses of Solitude.