Previously on SUPERMAN, the Man of Steel’s conflict with Rogol Zaar reached a head when General Zod entered the fray. Zod vowed to do what Superman could not, obtain revenge and ultimately kill Rogol Zaar as a result of the monster’s role in Krypton’s destruction. Now, in SUPERMAN #6, the conflict only escalates. Well, kind of.

In the latest installment of Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Superman, the Rogol Zaar conflict seems to reach an uncertain conclusion. The fight for Krypton’s legacy does not end in an epic, satisfying battle nor does it end in a bold demise. Rather, it ends in an unexpected anticlimax.

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SUPERMAN #6 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The War of Krypton

One of the more positive aspects of Bendis’ run on Superman has been his focus on an introspective Superman. We are continuously invested in his thoughts that monitor each and every action and reaction. Oftentimes, these introspections are positive, pulling us into the Man of Steel’s psyche.

Unfortunately, though, this issue pushes those introspective too far to the point where they have become dull. Ultimately, Superman gets quite invested in the fight involving Rogol Zaar and General Zod. He feels the need to stop it, yet he also desires to know why Rogol Zaar wanted to destroy Krypton. Thus, he remains in the fight, shouting “For Kandor!” as he lands a blow on Rogol Zaar. Suddenly though, Ray Palmer and Adam Strange pull Superman out of the battle and thus the Phantom Zone. Superman wishes to return to the fight but elects to clear his head.

To his surprise, he runs into a familiar face, his son in adult form. Based on this brief summary alone, it is apparent that this issue makes a great and sudden shift in its narrative. Firstly, the conflict regarding Rogol Zaar and Zod remains unresolved. Thus, the sudden inclusion of Jon and his mysterious adult form seems to be detracting from the unresolved arc. Therefore, I hope upcoming issues do not abandon the arc of “The Unity Saga” as to provide a more satisfying resolution.

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SUPERMAN #6 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #6

It is no surprise that the artistic team behind SUPERMAN #6 nailed the imagery of the series once again. The pencils from Ivan Reis are simply captivating. He exudes so much detail in every drawing, encompassing the scale a Superman story should exemplify. I particularly enjoy the brutality he implements into the fight between Rogol Zaar, General Zod, and Superman. There are three absolutely mighty beings fighting each other at full force.

That type of force is a unit of power we cannot fathom. However, Reis succeeds in capturing that terrifying power, that scale. Additionally, I enjoy the contrast Alex Sinclair’s colors provide the issue. I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of the white background with the issue’s opening action sequences, depicted below. This juxtaposition only emphasizes the brutality, vibrancy, and grandness of the battle itself. So, though the issue may detract in its narrative, its artwork is something worthy of awe.

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SUPERMAN #6 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

Bendis’ run on SUPERMAN has been something of a mixed bag thus far. Some issues shine in their characterization of Superman. Others lose sight of it. Some issues appear to be making dynamic movements in regard to the overarching narrative. Others lose sight of it. Unfortunately, this issue falls short in offering a cohesive resolution to Zod and Rogol Zaar’s battle. Of course, the resolution may very well lie ahead.

However, this issue fails to provide any development in regard to that specific arc. The issue brings us deep into Superman’s psyche, but with no benefits. Much of the narrative and Superman’s actions appear to simply be going through the motions rather than establishing any substance. Thus, this series has been a frustrating one so far. I only hope that upcoming issues build on the foundation that has been laid out simply because there is an abundance of potential present, it just has yet to be used properly.

SUPERMAN #6 by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair, & Josh Reed
SUPERMAN #6 seems to ditch its primary storyline in favor of bringing even more questions to the table, leaving us wondering if this series truly has direction.
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One Comment

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    December 16, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Why does anyone hire Bendis to write anything???


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