I failed to realize from the outset that Man of Steel was a 6-issue miniseries. I believed it was an ongoing title re-launched for the benefit of Brian Michael Bendis, as he laid the groundwork for upcoming issues. But since it is a limited narrative, I am flummoxed by some of the content, and can’t help but wonder if the sixth and final issue will be extra-sized, or will dovetail into another title or what.
One of the plot points that leaves me scratching my head is an alternate event, separate from the main story, in which Jor-El (as featured in recent issues of Action Comics) appears to Clark, Lois and Jonathan, seemingly intent on removing Jon from Earth and teaching him the ways of Krypton. What Bendis has presented over the past five issues is a series of repeating sequences in which Lois and Jon repeatedly ask Clark, “What is it?” as Jor-El coalesces before them. How this plays out in next issue’s conclusion is anyone’s guess. But if it’s intended to tease readers into picking up an ongoing series by Bendis, I’ll pass.
What Bendis has presented is a never-ending battle between Superman and Rogol Zaar, an extra-terrestrial monster seemingly intent on eradicating Kryptonians wherever they may be found. This chapter is illustrated by Adam Hughes, a cover artist whose interior work we rarely see these days. I remember his early work on Comico’s Maze Agency (look it up), and this is far removed from that, though the inking seems somewhat heavy. That could be due to the ambient lighting of outer space, where much of this segment is set.
I’m curious to see how the story ends (assuming it ends). Will it be a complete, self-contained story (doubtful), or will it dovetail into other Superman titles? Or will we end up with some sort of non-ending built on the flimsy premise of Clark’s mother’s name being Martha? Tune in next week.