Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Superman #4 Review

Superman Vs. The Phantom Zone

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair, Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 10, 2018

Who wants to go back to the Phantom Zone to see how Superman is doing against Rogol Zaar and his army of Krypton's least wanted?  Yeah, I don't want to go back either, but it's something that we must do as Superman fans and just be cautiously optimistic.  Maybe you've loved this run though and I should just shut my, but for me this hasn't been the book I've wanted it to be, but with that, that means that every issue is an opportunity for that to change.  Let's jump into this issue and see if things are changin' yet.  Let's check it out.

I'll tell ya this, I like this issue way more than I thought I would.  Yeah, we're stuck in a Phantom Zone which is a physical place for some reason, which I hate, fighting a villain that I'm not a fan of, while the Justice League go back and forth between being poisoned and not being poisoned for no reason.  The thing is though, we really don't have to deal with much of these aspects.  I mean, yeah, it's there, but it's not overtly thrown in your face and what you get instead are awesome Ivan Reis visuals of Superman getting the fight of his life, while flashing back to a talk he had with Superboy (Jon Kent) and somehow this works so well together that I got really on board with this issue. 

Since Brian Michael Bendis has taken over Superman I've heard readers go on and on and talk about how he has Superman's voice perfect when all I really see is Brian Michael Bendis telling me that Superman is a good guy over and over again while doing something innocuous like getting a cat out of a tree.  In this issue though, I think for the most part that he hasn't gotten it better than when he has his flashback talks with Jon.  Yeah, there's some parts of it that feel off, but it's there for a little humor so I don't mind it.  What this part of the book really does is remind you about what you loved in the previous series and after seeing this I really hope that we get Jon back soon because Superman just isn't as "Super" when he isn't around his family anymore and it's his family that really bring out the best in the character and provides a great way to show you how good Superman really is without it feeling forced.

All in all, I loved the art in this book and even though there wasn't a lot of progression in the fight here and an ending that kind of came out of nowhere, I think that this issue of Superman is my favorite that we've had under this creative team and I hope that we get more like going forward because not only did we see the strength of our hero, but we also saw the love and it's this balance that keeps me coming back to this character.  I just really hope we get away from this Phantom Zone and Rogol Zaar nonsense because it's not really bringing anything great to the book.  It is what it is though right now and somehow Brian Michael Bendis took these terrible aspects and was able to write a decent issue around it.

Bits and Pieces:

While I haven't been a fan of this Superman book, I have to say that this issue is probably my favorite that we've gotten so far because it was able to balance a huge fight, while also showing us Superman's heart.  Yeah, there's a lot of nonsense in the background that's going on here, but for this issue I was able to see past that and get a decent issue of Superman that made me long for the days that he had his family by his side.  Also, some of the best art you'll see this week in comics showed up here so that didn't hurt either. 


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