Sunday, July 8, 2018

Rock of Love With Brutus Thornapple

I finally went by my local comic shop and picked up the new The Man of Steel miniseries. I've been caught up on everything Superman that's happened over the last couple of years. It's been really good and I'm glad that the Superman that dozens of people worked so hard on over the course of 20 years is back. I made the goal of starting back up reading Superman with Action Comics #1000. That led into Brian Michael Bendis' miniseries The Man of Steel.

Even casual readers of Superman may remember the title The Man of Steel as the name of the 1986 miniseries by John Byrne reinventing Superman for the modern age. While this The Man of Steel doesn't quite do that, it still sets up a lot of storylines that will continue in the regular series Action Comics and Superman. So what happens? Not a lot but yet, quite a bit. So let's go over it and see what happens. This review will have spoilers but I will try to be as vague as I can. Also, there are some things I have not gotten to in the collected editions so if I seem like I don't know what's happening, that's probably the reason.

We open on Rogol Zaar saying that Kryptonians need to be eradicated, that they are a virus. I'm not a huge fan of being retold Superman's origin and this doesn't necessarily go back over but adds the additional detail of Rogol Zaar being the reason Krypton exploded. I understand that you are writing Superman but it's getting a little tiring seeing these over-muscled creatures try their hand at defeating the Man of Steel. Since Lois and Jon aren't even around, it doesn't even create the drama of them being in Zaar's path. What happened to Lois and Jon? We'll get to that in minute.

Superman is also dealing with a string of arsons that have been happening around Metropolis. It's dealing with one of these fires that Superman meets the new deputy fire chief, Melody Moore. It's one letter more than LL so I'm guessing Bendis is trying to make this new character more important in Superman's now family-less life. Melody, who I like as a character, is helped by Superman and Batman in figuring out who is starting the fires. It's revealed at the end of miniseries, at least through a witness, a young boy, that Superman has been setting the fires. This may seem a bit strange but we've seen before that Superman can't handle extreme stress as well as one would think. Shortly after Superman executed the Kryptonian criminals, he suffered a mental breakdown where he took the name Gangbuster and fought crime and after that exiled himself from Earth. After the battle with Rogol Zaar, the death of all the Kandorians, the destruction of his Fortress of Solitude, the possible shut-down of the Daily Planet, and the loss of Lois and Jon could be taking its toll on old Clarky making him act differently. Maybe Deputy Fire Chief Melody Moore can help comfort him.

Rogol Zaar wants to rid the universe of anything Kryptonian. As I mentioned, Zaar has destroyed the Fortress of Solitude and murdered everyone in the bottle city of Kandor. His next target is Superman, Supergirl, and the Earth itself. The Supers are able to distract Zaar just enough to send him into the Phantom Zone but we don't actually get any answers as to why Zaar hates the Kryptonians so much or how he is responsible for Krypton's destruction. Supergirl is going to find out but for now, we'll have to wait until the regular series. But what happened to Lois and Jon?

Lois and Clark got married way back in 1996 and, despite all odds, remained married that whole time. Sure, the New 52 Superman wasn't married or even dating Lois Lane, but somewhere out there they were still married. They even had a son together, Jonathan Samuel, after Clark and Lois' fathers, who is now exhibiting powers of his own and fighting crime as Superboy. Going through the past issues, I really love how Jon is written. Both Dan Jurgens and Peter Tomasi did an excellent job with this character and I do think that Bendis also did a good job, what little we see of him. Mr. Oz, Jor-El, Superman's father, has returned and wants to take Jon in order to educate him on the universe. While Lois and Clark, rightfully, say no, Jon speaks up and says that he needs to learn about the universe, himself, and his powers because of a future he saw where he killed millions of people. Lois and Clark acquiesce and Lois even goes with Jor-El and Jon. The three of them leave and Clark is left all alone. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal but fans of the supermarriage are worried this is Bendis' way of getting rid of the marriage and Lois and Clark's child. Numerous writers are on the record saying that the marriage between Lois and Clark doesn't work. Maybe Bendis just doesn't want to deal with that aspect of Superman which is fine but surely Bendis understands that lots of people are invested in these three characters and want them back together. I'm sure it will pay off in the end and I'm excited to continue reading because The Man of Steel did leave me wanting more.

Brian Michael Bendis was originally a Marvel boy. He had runs on Daredevil and Alias (you may know it as Jessica Jones) and both of his runs on those series were amazing and both I consider my favorite runs on a series. I'm hoping that Action Comics and Superman continue the page-turning stories that I felt The Man of Steel did wonderfully and that we see Lois, Clark, and Jon reunited soon.
The six-part miniseries The Man of Steel, is by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Jay Fabok, Joe Prado, Doc Shaner, Steve Rude, Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, and Alex Sinclair and is on sale now. Superman #1, by Bendis, Reis, and Prado is on sale July 11th. Action Comics #1001, by Bendis and Patrick Gleason is on sale July 25th. Published by DC Comics. To locate a local comic book shop, call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK (1-888-266-4226).

I don't know what modern TVs are like. The TV I have I bought back in 2010 or 2011 and it still has buttons to manually change the channel. Is that something that TVs don't have anymore? If Brutus' TV has buttons then keep the remote and change it to something you want to watch because I get that Mother Gargle is a guest in your home but it is still your home.
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You may have noticed a bit more content this week. I was bringing attention to Ko-Fi and that there are no longer ads but also giving just a bit more than just the comics and stories. If you contributed to Ko-Fi then thank you very much. If you would like to contribute and support my writing and research then you can still and always buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi. Feel free to Like the Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I'm taking next week off to focus on some writing. So until next Sunday, I remain...
~Brian

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