Man Of Steel #5



ManOfSteel5Considering that this penultimate instalment to the American author’s “Man Of Steel” mini-series both shows Superman to be almost nonchalantly bested by his new nemesis and then disconcertingly left alive on the Moon despite the “religious zealot” making it abundantly clear that he wants to eradicate all Kryptonians, it is difficult to imagine that many within this twenty-three page periodical’s 62,468 readership actually believed that Brian Michael Bendis genuinely felt “the legacy of the [titular] character” when he first ‘hopped on’ to deliver the comic’s narrative.

Indeed, the logic behind this publication in particular doesn’t debatably make much sense when compared to what the Cleveland-born writer has penned before, with Rogol Zaar’s decision to permit his hated foe to be revived by the Justice League simply being the tip of the literary ice-berg. For one, considering the sheer cataclysmic confrontation which tears up great divots into the Moon’s surface, how come it takes Supergirl so long to realise that that is where her cousin is battling for his life? True, scientifically-speaking “you cannot hear any sounds in near-empty regions of space”, but surely that would be a clue in itself to one with super-hearing that just such a location was a possibility, and judging by the huge billows of dust previously being raised by the duo’s bout of fisticuffs it surely wouldn’t have been impossible for Kara Zor-El to have spotted what was taking place with her super-vision..?

Similarly, having been battered to near-death by the Phantom Zoner (for a second time in as many issues) and buried alive beneath the Moon’s surface, Kal-El supposedly just needs a moments bed-rest before being able to drill through the Earth’s crust at such an incredible speed that he quickly reaches the planet’s core. This incredible feat of recovery admittedly provides this comic with an awesome-looking conclusion, as Superman faces the “anti-Kryptonian mass-murderer” for presumably a final face-off, yet surely if the Metropolis Marvel’s constitution worked so fast such classic crossover event storylines like his near-fatal fight with Doomsday would have had remarkably different resolutions..?

Quite possibly this magazine’s least frustrating element therefore, is its focus upon Jor-El’s visit to the modern-day Earth-based House of El, and his arrogant offer “to take Jon across the galaxy and show him a side of his heritage Jon’s parents can’t teach him” without even discussing such a trip with the boy’s stunned parents. This infuriating haughtiness, superbly pencilled by Jason Fabok, must genuinely have irked those parents within the comic’s audience which have encountered similar attitudes from their own children’s grandparents, and Clark Kent’s ability not to punch Mister Oz in the face for such a suggestion does him proud, especially when a brattish Jon impudently declares “I’m going.”

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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