The Man of Steel #2

The Man of Steel #2

The Man of Steel #2

Pros

  • The missing Lois Lane mystery continues!
  • Doc Shaner's art is great!

Brian Michael Bendis continues his weekly adventure and exploration of Superman with today’s issue number two, and just like his stellar first offering, this book delivers.

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The Man of Steel is an interesting entry into the current comic book marketplace. It’s another weekly comic, and it’s another limited-series weekly comic. We seem to have lots of those lately, but Bendis’ series seems fresh and new and worthy of a weekly shipping schedule.

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To ensure that the book hits that weekly shipping schedule, Bendis has recruited a team of rotating artists to take on the visual chores. Issue two welcomes Doc Shaner to the fold. Shaner’s retro art style is the perfect fit for Bendis’ classic-yet-contemporary Superman story, and there are panels that feel almost Golden Age-y.

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And that’s the perfect tone for the story Bendis is telling–a mixing of the new and the old in shaping Superman’s life story.

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We get a bit more from the (fairly generic and kind of Doomsday-ish) villain of the month that Bendis introduced previously, but the real story is the story of what’s going on with Lois and Clark. There’s mystery there, and that’s where I’m as intrigued as Perry White is worried.

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Lois has gone missing, and seemingly no one knows where to find her. Perry, her boss, is understandably panicked that his top reporter–and one of the most famous reporters in the country–is MIA.

As a result, there’s something just off enough with Clark, and that’s making for some interesting interpersonal storytelling. It’s awesome and human, and exactly the kind of Superman story I want to read.

Because, yes, he’s going to punch things through the moon, and yes, he’s going to prove that he’s faster than a speeding bullet. The Superman-ing part of the deal is usually pretty good, no matter who’s telling the tale. It’s the Clark-ing that always seems to confound writers and, frankly, lose readers.

I’ve been one of those lost readers.

Tomasi and Gleason’s Rebirth run on the characters changed that, mostly because of the utterly human story they told about the Man of Steel. Bendis is doing a nice job joining the big, superhero-y stuff with the small, every day things. His back-room, old-school newspaper reporter vs. the up-to-the-second smartphone news cycle doesn’t feel forced, and the voices all ring true.

So, yeah. The Superman-ing is good, but the Clark-ing is great.

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