Review – Superman #17: Coming Clean?

Comic Books DC This Week
Superman #17
Superman #17 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman #17 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Kevin Maguire, Artist; Paul Mounts, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 8/10

Ray: Coming off the events of Event Leviathan, the next big Superman story is going to deal with Superman revealing his secret identity to the public. What’s bringing this on isn’t quite clear yet, but I imagine it has something to do with a highly powerful criminal mastermind threatening to reveal everyone’s secret.

The big event doesn’t happen in Superman #17, but the pieces are being set into motion with Superman talking to the most important people in his life and sort of dancing around the issue. Kevin Maguire is the guest artist on this issue, and I wish he’d do more big scale superhero work because his opening segment – featuring Superman mediating a dispute between two alien monsters in a trade war – is visually stunning. Superman and Lois, back on Earth, are decompressing from the battle with Rogol Zaar, Jor-El AND Sam Lane dying, and Jon leaving for the future. These two have been through a LOT, and Clark’s not picking the best time to upend their lives.

Mediation in space. Via DC Comics.

Bendis overall writes a good Lois, although I suspect he doesn’t really know how to write Lois and Clark as parents. The dialogue between them feels a lot more genuine with Jon off on an extended vacation. The segments in Superman #17 that I enjoyed the most, though, has to do with Clark and his fellow Kryptonians. It seems like Clark wants Kara to be heavily involved in his decision to unmask – bad time for her to get Jokerized, which doesn’t factor in this issue.

But the most fascinating subplot of Bendis’ run has been the redemption of General Zod, who worked with the heroes against Rogol Zaar and seems to have found peace as a father, husband, and leader of a colony of Phantom Zone prisoners. The awkwardness between him and his former enemies is enjoyable, but it’s been a slow-burn growth for the character that I hope is allowed to stick for a while before the factory reset. Very little happens in this issue, but it feels like no scene is wasted. It’s a good start to a wildly risky storyline.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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