The Man of Steel: The Beginning of the Bendis Era


I might be a tad late on this review, but hey, better late than never right? Today’s review finds us in Brian Michael Bendis’ first DC Story that shares the same name as John Bryne’s story from 1986 (Which also was included on my Top Ten Superman Stories List.) The Man of Steel begins a new chapter for the Man of Steel and his family, an enemy from the earliest point of his past has come back to make Superman’s life a living hell, not only that, he has to deal with what has happened to his wife and his son, Readers have gotten a glimpse of this story in DC Nation #0 (which, that story was also included in this collected hardcover book.)


Image Credit: DC Comics

This isn’t exactly a reboot per se, it doesn’t ignore the groundwork that Rebirth laid out, but it does lay out what ideas that Bendis has in store for the reader when it comes to the Cosmic or Domestic sides of Superman’s World and Mythos. When we meet the villain known as Rogor Zaal, a ruthless killer who decided to take matters into his own hands and destroy Krypton (Which odd because at that time it brings up so many puzzling questions, such as, what happened to H’el? Were the events of the New 52’s Krypton Returns Story written out of existence? Or is it one of those Crossover events that didn’t matter, except for Batman’s Crossovers?) And takes his resentment of the Kryptonian Race to Earth after hearing the survival of Kryptonians living there and eventually began to live-out the Stereotype of a Muscular Brute, and that is being single-minded.


Let’s address the Kryptonian Elephant in the room, the idea of taking Superman’s family away from him (Including Supergirl being off on her own) was two steps backward for the Man of Steel (Both for DC and Bendis’ story.) I say this because fans loved seeing Superman finally having a family of his own, out of his (and Lois’s) entire 80-year history it looked like it was going to work, with Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s highly successful and talked about run on the Superman title, fans were hoping to see Jonathan come into his own, maybe have more adventures down the line with Damian, but that wasn’t in the cards. It’s clear to see Jor-El has become arrogant, pessimistic, too enamored in the old ways of Krypton but it gives fans one reason to see what drove Rogol Zaal to the decision of Krypton’s Destruction.

Another odd thing that was odd about the story was the change of artwork throughout the series, thirteen artists were involved for this six-issue mini-series, sometimes it is good to have for visual world-building, but sometimes it takes more than six issues to sustain the amount of story that Bendis is trying to introduce to readers. Overall this was a good story, something I would recommend for new Superman reader or a fan of Bendis, as for veteran Superman fans, however, you might not be pleased with some portions of this take on the Man of Streel.

DC Gallery Superman Comic Statue The popular line of PVC diorama statues from Diamond Select Toys expands into the world of DC Comics, starting with this superior sculpt of the Man of Steel! Sculpted in a 9-inch scale, this approximately 10-inch tall statue of Superman features detailed sculpting and paint, and comes packaged in a full-color window box.

Final Grade:

Rating: 6 out of 10.

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