Superman #22 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Kevin Maguire, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Superman is the last major DC title to come back, and Brian Bendis’ flagship book had the misfortune of being in the middle of two major cliffhangers when the industry shut down. With the United Planets up and running, Superman faces a challenge from the genocidal warlord Mongul, who has brought his mobile planet-tank to attack Earth. That kicks off a massive battle that shows Superman working far more brutally and far more threateningly than he usually does. There’s a strong bit of dialogue where he talks about how while Brainiac and Luthor are his arch-enemies, there’s something about Mongul that pushes him further – I think it’s because Mongul has no reason to do what he does besides pure hate. It’s impossible to reason with him, and we see that in the way Superman approaches the fight. There are some spectacular action segments, and a great resolution to how he neutralizes Mongul – not that it lasts, as we saw in Superman: Heroes.
Meanwhile, Lois Lane is dealing with her own crisis caused by Superman, as his announcement that he’s a representative of Earth has led her to get a visit from Cameron Chase. The tough DEO agent wants to know exactly what Superman’s plans for Earth are, and it’s fun watching the two of them play off each other – even if it feels a little too much like Jessica Jones and Maria Hill. The fun thing is just how different the DCU is from the Marvel Universe, though, which means a very different resolution from the government. The feds here know that Superman is an ally, but he still winds up with an unexpected new responsibility that he maybe didn’t ask for. Bendis’ Superman run seems to be pushing hard to the future, which makes me wonder what will happen to this status quo once he mic-drops. Right now, though, it’s a fun ride that’s getting stronger as it heads for the finish line.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.