Superman #26 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ivan Reis, Penciller; Danny Miki, Inker; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: As Brian Michael Bendis begins his final arc on Superman, the new villain Synmar is headed for Earth with one purpose—to destroy Superman for what the explosion of Krypton did to him and his world. But while Ivan Reis gets to draw some excellent battle sequences at the start and end of the issue, the best parts of the script are the quieter ones as we see more of the fallout of Superman’s decision to reveal his secret identity. There’s a great scene with Lois and Clark expresses what their partnership means to him—it calls back to the best stories featuring this couple, although I kind of wish Jon was here too. Scenes with Jimmy Olsen at the fortress and Steve Lombard at the Daily Planet are lighter, but also very funny. Lombard, usually a one-dimensional bully in most portrayals, gets a few more layers in this issue as he shows how an ordinary guy would react to his coworker being Superman.
But Synmar waits for no one, and soon enough his spaceship is bearing down on Earth. This is a great example of how Superman thinks ahead—Batman isn’t the only hero who makes good use of prep time. Superman’s come up with some very clever ideas for how to protect his friends and family from the fallout of his identity reveal, including a desperate last-ditch measure to protect the Daily Planet that he uses at the end of the issue. That leaves Superman and Synmar alone—literally—to fight as Clark tries to figure out why this alien hates him so much. The problem is, Synmar right now doesn’t seem that different from Rogol Zaar—another implacable alien powerhouse who seems to only want to rip Superman apart. That was the weakest part of the Bendis run, and I’m not thrilled to see it essentially repeat itself in the last act. Hopefully Synmar has a few more surprises up his sleeve.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.