DC Comics reviews 12/11/19 – Detective Comics #1017, Superman #18

Superman #18

superman #18

During his heyday as the main creative content provider for DC, Geoff Johns would raise interesting questions about the DCU as a whole and explore new concepts.

That led to a marked shift in the presentation of Captain Cold and The Rogues, the expansion of the Rainbow Lantern Corps, the Sinestro Corps War, Infinite Crisis and Blackest Night. The key in Johns’ work was it expanded the DCU for the better without feeling like a shake up to leave his mark on books.

The first chapter of The Truth feels way too much like Brian Michael Bendis creating a forced conflict of Superman questioning the need for a secret identity just for the sake of disrupting something else with Superman.

Take into consideration what Bendis has done in less than two years on Superman:

  • Assigned the destruction of Krypton to his pet project Rogol Zaar
  • Made Jor-El a wildcard loose cannon quasi-villain whose efforts were never adequately explained before getting killed off again
  • Aged up Jonathan Kent just to throw him into Legion of Super Heroes eliminating the father/son dynamic of the Superman books that was one of the highlights of the Rebirth era
  • Awkwardly have Superman reveal his identity on a whim

Give Bendis credit for this much — hes absolutely making a super mess for future Superman writers to clean up when he leaves.

Superman consulting with Adam Strange on his decision seems amazingly out of character. Wouldn’t Superman talk this out with his best friends Wonder Woman and Batman first? It’s another case of Bendis rolling with his idea no matter how inconsistent it is to characters.

Most of the issue is Superman deciding and then revealing his identity. The chattering Bendis dialogue is kept to a minimum and plays out more like straightforward conversations, which was appreciated.

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More frustrating is Bendis’ lack of insight in terms of events occurring outside his title as the Legion of Doom are assembled and outraged at the news. Lex Luthor is in his Apex Predator mode but reverts to his regular state. None of this is consistent with events currently playing out in Justice League where the League and Legion are at war.

Ivan Reis’ pencils are phenomenal. He’s such a skilled artist and he knows how to milk the emotions out of monumental moments. One reveal plays out exceptionally over the course of one page thanks to Reis’ perspective choice.

I’m not a huge fan of this decision or Bendis’ loose understanding of DC continuity, but The Truth is at least taking the book in a unique direction. Long-term I’m not optimistic, but for now Bendis and Reis have my attention.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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