Review: SUPERMAN #1

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Alex Sinclair, and Josh Reed
Edited by Jessica Chen, Michael Cotton, Brian Cunningham
Published by DC Comics
Release date: July 11, 2018

Superman #1 launches readers into a series of new beginnings for the Man of Steel. It takes readers straight from the pages of the Man of Steel series and into this series very easily. The creative team continues theme of taking Superman back to basics and it works perfectly.

Brian Michael Bendis is making some big changes to Superman while at the same time bringing him back to basics. Throughout the Man of Steel series, we saw revealing changes to the status quo rear their head in Superman’s life. (Superman #1 is truly a direct continuation of the Man of Steel storyline and could have appeared in these pages instead of being a separate series.) We continue to see these changes happen in this new title along with a reaffirmation of who Superman is at his core. Bendis gives us lots of super heroic movements weaved in with Clark revisiting his memories of recent events. Just as we are being reminded of who Superman is; Clark seems to be getting the same message as we are. In a way it is an origin story without actually giving us the classic overused origin story. It’s very well done but the story may almost seem too quiet for a number one issue. There is a lot of big action going on but there is a quietness to the story as well. However, this tone and serious questions and answers being poised are the perfect foil to reveal the surprising ending. Bendis continues to give Superman a much-needed rebirth and return to the classic hero that he is.

Artist Ivan Reis gives Superman that classic look. The look that takes the fun super hero character Superman and elevates him to near godhood status. Superman is epic in the pages of Superman #1 but still retains his humanity. His expressions and eyes anchor his humanity to the reader and keep him relatable. Reis makes great use of camera angles throughout the story to give variety to the story and keeps the Man of Steel’s heroic acts looking brand new even though the reader may have seen a version of them done many times before. He also does some great detail work on alien technology and Kryptonian structures that appear in the story. It adds a lot to the epic feel of the scenes that are presented to the reader in two-page splashes. These splash pages are a nice addition in and of themselves.

Joe Prado provides beautiful contrasts to pages with his inks. They are solid, crisp and well balanced. They do not overpower the rest of the artwork and give everything a nice foundation to build off of. The shadows created by the inks giving the images a great depth and feeling of dimensionality that can be lost too often on the printed page. Alex Sinclair brings the images to life with bright happy colors that keep the mood upbeat even in serious scenes. These, after all, are super hero stories and are absolutely rendered as such in this issue. Light is rendered fantastically and adds to the overall feeling of hope springing from every corner. It’s a serious time in our world but also in the DC world. There are a lot of dangerous and bad things happening in all the books but the message of hope still survives. It’s a far cry from the darkness that sometimes seems to be associated with the DC Universe. Josh Reed does some really great work on the lettering. Everything is very readable and even has a friendly tone to it. There is some especially nice work done on the style for Jon’s exaggerated speech in a scene or too.

Overall this is a very solid issue. It continues the work that was begun in the Man of Steel limited series and seems to be launching us into a new era for Superman. Fortunately, it’s not something completely brand new but may a return to a golden age of Superman stories. If Bendis continues the work he has done so far then this will be a run long remembered.

The Verdict: 8.0/10

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