Superman #8 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson, Artists; Joe Prado, Inker; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Premise Still Absurd
Ray: Bendis’ Superman run has taken a distinct upward swing with this new arc, which focuses on the space years of Jon Kent, newly returned as a 17-year-old. There’s still a lingering issue with this entire storyline, which is that Lois and Clark keep on putting way too much faith in their crazy dads (as we saw two weeks ago in Action Comics for Lois). I still don’t entirely buy that either of them would have let their son go with the deeply unstable Jor-El, but here we are – and Jon’s journey is pretty compelling so far. We saw the last issue that Jon was starting to have some doubts in his grandfather’s sanity, and Bendis does a good job with dialogue showing this. There’s something primally terrifying about this young boy trapped on a spaceship with a strange man who seems to be becoming more and more nihilistic by the hour. Even though there’s no violence in those scenes, Jor-El’s instability and Jon’s terror come across loud and clear and set the tone for the series very well.
From there, Jon begins to plan to make his way home, but it doesn’t work out particularly well when Jor-El observes him attempting to hitch a ride home from the Green Lantern Corps. Bendis never makes Jor-El slip over the line into directly abusive or threatening towards Jon, but him seemingly isolating himself away from his young charge is creepy enough. Bendis does seem to emphasize that in his own twisted way, Jor-El does care for his grandson, but in the same twisted way that made him attempt to sabotage his son’s adoptive planet back in “The Oz Effect”. Lois and Clark didn’t really have much to do this issue, as they mainly just freak out over Jon’s growth spurt and Clark randomly fights Mongul to get his frustrations out. But the ending, bringing back some iconic DCU villains last seen in a major DC event during the New 52, promises an exciting next chapter for Jon’s journey. This run still doesn’t work quite as well as Bendis’ other DC titles at the moment, but this is my favorite arc yet.
Corrina: The good-Jon’s essential sunny personality seems intact.
The bad: this whole stupid premise in the first place. Explaining it does not help.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.