Updated: Jun 14, 2019
Written by Michael Bendis, Art and Cover by Ivan Reis, Inks by Joe Prado & Oclair Albert, Colors by Alex Sinclair
Supergirl and Krypto (!) arrive, to break up last issue's epic deep-space war in breathtaking style, and force the fleets of Thanagar, Trilium, and Khund to retreat, leaving only “The Phantom Zone Brigade” of Zod, Jax-Ur, and Rogol Zaar to battle “every living member of the House of El in one place,” as Superman proudly observes. Superman confronts Zod, asking WHY the most loyal Kryptonian ever would side with the monster who claims to be the Destroyer of Krypton. His answers are surprising and revealing. Since DC re-introduced Kara Zor-El into the Superman family, it has been stated repeatedly (even by her cousin Kal-El) that she is more powerful than Superman in many ways. The in-your-face full-page haymaker she lands on Rogol Zaar is further proof.
The art by Ivan Reis continues to be bold, dynamic, and detailed, aided by the shadowy, silky inking of Joe Prado, who I wish could have inked the entire issue. While Oclair Albert‘s inks are also solid, it was too obvious which pages Prado inked, and which he did not. From the very beginning and throughout this issue, many full-page splashes and double-page spreads provide extra impact and drama to the fight scenes.
The true motives, intent, and mere existence of Jor-El have been a complete mystery until this issue, as well as verifying whether Rogol Zaar is the Destroyer of Krypton. I had hoped since this was the conclusion to “The Unity Saga: The House of El,” that all these questions would be answered, but as Kal discovers, sometimes people are not what you want them to be, and things are not what they seem. Sometimes it can be very difficult who to believe, even your own father.
But no matter how hard it is to hear your father isn’t perfect and may have been involved in literally planet-shattering shady dealings, I believe Jor-El is still good at heart and only has the best intentions. For further proof, look no further than Krypto. If Bendis knows that dogs are great judges of character and expert sniffer-outers of evil, then Krypto’s warm greeting of Jor-El is telling. Did I mention I love Krypto?
Bendis’ character dialogue has been solid and consistent, but I did feel that no matter how upset Kal might be at his father, angrily calling him “Old Man” was disrespectful, and out of character.
Bendis has shaken up quite a bit of the Superman mythos, including the destruction of the bottled city of Kandor, and the revelation that the explosion of Krypton may not have been a natural disaster, but premeditated mass genocide. I, for one, do not like these drastic changes, even though I understand their drama was created to attract more readers and increase sales. I only hope the changes are worth it.
• how Kal and Kara communicate with each other in the vacuum of space with glances and smirks
• the joy of a dog seeing his long-lost boy again
• Krypto kicking Thanagarian butt