Review – Superman #10: Superboy vs. Superwoman

Superman #10 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman #10 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson, Artists; Oclair Albert, Joe Prado, Inkers; Alex Sinclair, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 7/10

Corrina: Decompressed and Depressing

Ray: After last issue’s bizarre descent into years-long captivity and occasional torture for Jon Kent, Superman #10 is a definite step up – if still plagued by many of the series’ ongoing narrative issues. When we last left off, Jon was relating to his parents the part of the story where he encountered the crazed alternate Lois Lane who goes by Superwoman. Thankfully, this segment didn’t result in extended torture – it’s a lot less dramatic than that. Superwoman simply shows up, rambling incoherently and screaming threats at Jon until she’s blasted out of the sky by an older, wizened Jor-El. Thankfully, once the bizarre detour into the Crime Syndicate world is over, the issue gets much better. I do like the way Bendis writes Jor-El – the unpredictability and barely contained insanity is a great portrayal of what it’s like to live or travel with an unstable guardian. Unfortunately, Bendis still only slowly parcels out the information, constantly cutting back and forth between the flashback and present.

That narrative trick to drag out the story is a common problem in Young Justice as well, although that book is more compelling. When we zip back to the present day, the dialogue is stronger. Bendis does a good job of capturing the tight-wound panic of two parents trying to process what’s happened to their son. Jon having to be the grown-up at points and calm them down works nicely, and I’m glad Bendis hasn’t forgotten about Damian – that’s going to be an awkward conversation. But of course, Jor-El and Rogol Zaar are looming, and the plot soon dovetails back into space as Clark goes in search of his mad father. That’s going to lead into a major battle next issue – and into an upcoming crossover with Supergirl. There are glimmers of greatness in the dialogue in this series at times, but the first year of Bendis Superman has been bogged down in an overall plot that doesn’t really work.

Attack of the supermom? Via DC Comics.

Corrina: This story doesn’t work at all. It’s horrible. It suffers from a terrible premise–which we’ve been over numerous times–and it also suffers from the “Bendis gonna Bendis” aka decompression problem of hiding parts of the narrative to draw a lousy story out even longer.

Ray keeps hoping for better. It’s been over a year. It’s not ever going to get better.

I only hope the upcoming Lois Lane series, written by Greg Rucka, isn’t destroyed by the mess made of Jon Kent and the portrayal of Clark and Lois as the worst parents ever. (Though Jor-El comes in close in that category too.)

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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