Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Man of Steel #4 Review and **SPOILERS**

My Assassin, My Friend

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Kevin Maguire & Jason Fabok
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Sinclair
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editor: Michael Cotton
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: June 20, 2018


Here it is, folks, Superman (and Supergirl) face off against Rogol Zaar! So let's not fiddle around with an introduction, and instead jump right into the action! And by that, I mean my review of Man of Steel #4, which commences below.

Explain It!

In case I forget to mention it later, it's so good to see Kevin Maguire back at DC, rendering Superman in the sweet way that only he can. Which is not to denigrate Jason Fabok, mind you. It's just been a while since Kevin was back at DC for interior pages, and they are super sweet to see. It's especially nice to see in this action-forward issue, which begins with Supers -man and -girl beating Rogol Zaar around Metropolis, and getting some lumps in the process, until Superman realizes that part of the plan is to wreck Clark's adopted home city. It looks about ready to happen, too, until Rogol Zaar has trouble with the absorption rate of Earth's yellow sun--and takes off. To some shady place, I imagine. Superman scans with his X-ray vision, finding nothing--then Rogol Zaar comes back for a second to knock Clark for a loop before leaving entirely.
Clark awakens to Hal Jordan doing his hero thing for Metropolis, holding Superman aloft in a construct bubble. There, Clark suddenly remembers a conversation he had with Rogol Zaar before it was lights out--even though that scene happened a couple of pages ago. In that talk, Superman learned Rogol Zaar's name, and that he's "cleansing" the universe of Kryptonians--just like he promised Jor-El when he destroyed the planet Krypton. So there's the smoking gun, folks! In the form of a confession: Rogol Zaar destroyed Krypton. That's sure to piss off any number of fans who prefer the story remaining in whatever stasis they've designated as "true." After a nice double-page spread of random dialogue, Superman takes off at Supergirl's insistence, to the Fortress of Solitude. Rogol Zaar is there, and he and Clark have a nice little heart-to-heart, Rogol prodding Superman for information. And then the conversation ends abruptly when Superman goes all supernova! Or whatever the heck that power was called, the mega-burst thing that leaves him temporarily powerless. Sure hope it took out Rogol Zaar, I can say that much.
We get some really great action here, but while Clark learns a lot of the ministrations behind Rogol Zaar and his destructive mission, it wasn't anything we didn't already know. It's also tough to brook some of these slow, talky scenes when Metropolis is crumbling around the people involved. We did learn that Lois and Jon were taken away by Jor-El--likely to keep them safe from Rogol Zaar--but it seems too little information when Rogol is already here, a present threat. Overall, the biggest thrill was to see Kevin Maguire's rendering of Superman and Supergirl, which should not be understated. It would be fine with me if he was a regular artist on either Action Comics or Superman come July.

Bits and Pieces:

Some terrific punch-em-up action and some slivers of story progression don't elevate this past the other issues in the series so far. Indeed, much of this issue is given over to Superman learning things we already know. The mystery of the whereabouts of Jon and Lois deepens, but not by much as we do learn who took them away in Clark's successive flashbacks. Still a fun book, but it's definitely starting to feel like a placeholder now.



  1. If Bendis tries to make super flare a thing again, kills the marriage of Clark and Lois and Jon as extent of his story I'd be really pissed off. Haven't we read enough rehash tales of Krypton's destruction. The latest was in new 52 with H'el. To hell with that!

  2. I usually like Kevin Maguire's art, but I'm not sure his goofy faces and gestures fit the tone this comic is trying to set.
    Also, surprise, surprise, a comic book where Bendis is wasting time by repeating scenes and dialogues to the point where there is almost no forward momentum.

    1. I agree totally on the art not fitting. And yea, Bendis has passed his quick grace period and is going full...him

  3. the dialog made me think Steve Orlando had taken over.