Man of Steel #2 is in the books and Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Superman is looking pretty…great? Really, really good? Epic? Whatever adjective you’d care to use, Bendis is exceeding all the hype of his arrival on the Superman titles.
Bendis has a dense writing style that was sometimes frustrating to read as it frequently felt like he wasn’t getting to the point of his stories fast enough. That hasn’t been the case here as his pacing is just fine. There’s just enough breadcrumbs to keep the story moving and readers curious about the next developments. Bendis has worked in a comfortable amount of subplots from the Metropolis arsonist, the new reporter at the Daily Planet and the mystery with Lois Lane.
That mystery extends to Superman’s allies. He encounters one this issue who’s just as much in the dark as readers. I hope Bendis makes use of Superman’s ability to be anywhere in the blink of an eye to casually work in these super cameos.
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Newspapers are dying and their relevance might be on life support so it makes sense for Bendis to tackle that here right down to the attitude of Clark Kent’s younger colleagues. As a former editor at a newspaper that was forced to close shop, I’m very interested in the Daily Planet subplot and think Bendis has something.
While I was convinced Ivan Reis was the perfect artist to draw Superman — and anything else really – Doc Shaner quickly has me backtracking. Bendis is creating this homage to the past for today take on Superman and that sums up Shaner’s art style beautifully. Shaner’s pages has a streamlined, refined look that wonderfully captures that Silver Age Curt Swan tone.
Shaner doesn’t handle the entire issue as Jay Fabok knocks out a couple of pages followed by Steve Rude. This makes for some occasionally jarring transitions, but there’s no weak link among the three artists. Bendis has Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire and Adam Hughes lined up for the next three issues. Man of Steel won’t lack for quality art, but I kind of wish Bendis settled on one or two artists to create a consistent look for the series.
Bendis again finds a creative way to use display Superman’s powers in action. This time isn’t as cool as last issue, but there’s a real throwback manner in how clever Superman is utilizing his abilities.
There’s a lot to like about this book and Bendis is making DC execs look good for moving him over to one of their flagship titles.