Review – Superman #11: The Els United

Comic Books DC This Week
Superman #11 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman #11 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ivan Reis, Penciller; Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Inkers; Alex Sinclair, Colorist


Ray – 7/10

Corrina: Not Exactly United

Ray: After almost a year to get here, the super-family unites for a massive final showdown for Krypton’s legacy in Superman #11, but the journey there starts with watching the villains gather. Rogol Zaar, having killed a dragon and chowed down within the Phantom Zone, forges an alliance with Jax-Ur and eventually General Zod – whose participation in this sort of puzzles me. For all of Zod’s crazy and evil, he views himself as a Kryptonian patriot and the man behind Krypton’s destruction is offering him a deal that he takes out of personal animus against Jor-El? Feels like flattening of a great villain, but it’s not long until it’s forgotten as the main story begins. When we last left off, Clark and Jon had headed to deep space to confront Jor-El – only to find Superman’s dad caught in the middle of a massive space battle. For any narrative flaws this run has had, Ivan Reis’ art has never been anything short of spectacular – the scope and scale of the battle segments is something to behold.

It’s also a rather thorny diplomatic situation, as Jor-El has somehow managed to get himself in between the Thanagarians, the Khunds, and Empress Gandelo’s army. Clark doesn’t know much about Kara’s mission yet, but the addition of crystal warriors to this story makes it clear that she’s coming to join the rest of her family. The best segment in the issue comes when Clark uses his diplomatic skills to approach each of the three armies with the tactic needed to pacify them. That, unfortunately, just leads to a lot of conversations with Jor-El that go in circles and the eventual arrival of the villainous trio that grind the story’s momentum to a halt. Now that we know Rogol Zaar is essentially just a hired gun for the real villains, he’s even less interesting. Kara’s arrival – magic axe in tow – does make me excited to see the final showdown, but I’m hoping that means we’ll be closing the book on this chapter of the Bendis run so Event Leviathan can kick off with no distractions.

Rogol Zaar’s hunt. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: It still seems odd that Clark would care about what happens to Jor-El after what happened to Jon in his grandfather’s custody. Surely, by now, Clark would know his father is an out-and-out villain. But, no, Clark still holds out hope for his father. I’d buy this better if what he wanted was answers from Jor-El.

And Clark drags Jon into this galactic war. Jon, who he’s just gotten back, Jon, who’s been traumatized from literally years of imprisonment. Sure, let’s drag Jon along and make this a teaching lesson about super-powers. :::throws up hands:: Who would have thought Clark would be one of DC’s worst parents? I guess he’s better than Jor-El, though.

It’s nice to see Kara but her entrance only reminds me of how ridiculous it is that she’s basically been artificially kept from the story. And there’s little mention of Zaar’s own genocide in the destruction of the bottle city of Kandor that kicked off his first appearance.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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1 thought on “Review – Superman #11: The Els United

  1. I don’t think that Jor-El is evil . He’s more like a mad scientist, probably due to what he’s been through since Krypton was destroyed.
    Still this story is taking one year to resolve ( maybe more ) , also it doesn’t make sense for Zod and Superman to be enemies at this point.
    I was just getting into the book when it abruptly ended with Kara showing up.
    Now another month waiting.
    Bendis is not a bad writer by any means. Just wish that he would move on from the Superman books and do something more suitable for his talents.

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