Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Superman: Villains #1 Review

Where Are All The Villains?

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jody Houser
Art By: Michael Gaydos, Riley Rossmo, Scott Godlewski, Bryan Hitch, Cully Hamner, Steve Lieber, Jim Mahfood, Ivan Plascencia, Gabe Eltaeb, Alex Sinclair, Dave McCaig, Nathan Fairbairn, Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, Troy Peteri, Josh Reed
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: March 4, 2020

Ever since we found out that Superman was going to reveal his identity to the world (again), I've been waiting for the reactions from his villains because it feels like this could be the worst thing possible for Superman to do when he has friends and family that will constantly be in danger because of the choices he made.  Obviously then, this is the issue that I've wanted to see now that we've had Superman see the reactions from his friends and family, where they were way too okay with it in my mind, but now it's time to see what the villains think and what they're reaction to this bombshell will be.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

Like the Superman: Heroes issue, this one-shot follows the same structure, where we get a bunch of vignettes of people reacting, but the problem is....... We're still getting a lot of friends and family's reactions here and there are way too few villains showing up here......... and when we do have them show up, they don't make sense or they don't matter.  (pretty much the Lex Luthor and Bizarro parts).  Hell, the most exciting part of this in my mind was seeing how Toyman would react to this because we haven't really gotten a lot of Winslow Schott in a long time, but it seems his story has more to do with Leviathan Checkmate than anything else and the majority the stories we get here are tip-toeing around to try and figure out what they should do with the information that Leone is the head of the Invisible Mafia.

That's the most disappointing aspect of this whole thing.  We have some great Superman villains that have been around for a long time and while we do get some of them in this, they're really just played out as jokes or introduce a new concept that would have been cool if they were set up previously, but just come out of nowhere here (Mongul).  Instead, we have the majority of the book dealing with Brian Michael Bendis characters, who aren't here to react to Superman, but we're dealing with them here to continue stories for other titles and by the end of this all we really get is the information that the Invisible Mafia has been outed, but since they've barely done anything since Brian Michael Bendis introduced them, it doesn't really feel like it means that much.

All in all, we have a lot of writers and a lot of artists on this book and because of that, this issue is a mixed bag.  I can't say that I'm a huge fan of anything going on in this book besides for the appearance of people who are important to Superman showing up here and letting us know that things have changed in the DC Universe, but even that was a strange inclusion because it's the villain's issue.  There really isn't much here to be excited about unless you're really into the Invisible Mafia aspect of Action Comics because that's the majority of anything of substance here, everything else just kind of plays off like a random joke that does nothing for the reveal of Superman's identity.

Bits and Pieces:

The Villains one-shot was something that I was really looking for because there are so many great Superman villains that I wanted to see reactions from, but ultimately what we get is setup for Bendis stories, with Bendis characters and the classic villains that I was looking for here, are left behind or just used as jokes here.  The art is a mixed bag because of the number of artists here and by the end, I was just kind of shocked at how much everyone dropped the ball at making something fun out of this issue.



  1. The only thing I really liked about this book is the Kents being revealed to be alive but that just raises more questions like has Doomsday Clock already happened or is that even in continuity anymore?

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