The Man of Steel #4 Review

The Man of Steel #4
DC Comics

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Kevin Maguire, Jason Fabok (pp 12-13)
Colors by: Alex Sinclair
Letters by: Josh Reed

After Rogol Zaar destroyed the Fortress of Solitude, he leads Clark and Kara to the middle of Metropolis for a fight. Also, the mystery of where Lois and Jonathan are continues to unfold.

This has been a really refreshing start to Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman run. It’s like he has a very classic view of the heroes in the DC Universe. Something about the style and even cameos like Hal Jordan feels timeless. My guess is that current writers of DC Comics worry so much about changing and evolving their characters so much that they lose sight of who the character really was, to begin with. It has been a solid start but far from perfect. I was worried that the lack of explanation for Lois and Jonathan’s disappearance but that storyline has become the weak link of these issues, mostly due to how it’s being dragged out.

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This issue was mostly about the battle between Rogol Zaar and Superman/Supergirl. Not to spoil too much but there was a really need part where Clark tries to think like Batman and starts to break down what he knows about his mysterious opponent. Stuff like that reminded me of old school stories like the one where Bruce teaches Clark how to fight. It got a little cluttered in the second half of the issue and the flashbacks are more frustrating than anything else. It got a little confusing toward the end but it does seem obvious where this story is heading. It’s all pretty interesting.

The artwork was done by comic veteran Kevin Maguire. I’m not the biggest fan of his but he fit what Bendis is clearly going for, classic Superman. The action sequences were probably my favorite aspect of the art. There were some tricky movements going on during the battle and Maguire’s storytelling was executed quite well. I can’t really complain about anything going on in the art side of things.

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There are two issues left to go in this six-issue miniseries, and I’m enjoying what I’m reading for the most part. But it’s become quite clear that this series could have taken place in an oversized one shot. That would have helped the flashbacks feel like pulling teeth. Minor complaints aside, I’m really digging what Bendis is doing with the Man of Steel. It’s a nice homage to better times with the character and I look forward to a big long run on Superman. Batman has had plenty over the years and the last song of Krypton is definitely due.

The run is just getting started and it is already something Bendis should be proud of.

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