Brian Michael Bendis makes his exclusive DC Comics debut with The Man of Steel #1 Part 1! Teaming up with Bendis is Ivan Reis on pencils, Joe Prado on inks, Alex Sinclair on colors, and Cory Petit on letters. Bendis dives head first into Man of Steel by bringing us back to Krypton long ago. There, Rogol pleads with his superiors to allow the cleansing of the Kryptonian people, as he believes they will destroy the galaxy with their relentless consumption of resources for the sake of science.
Reis' pencilwork, Prado’s inks, and Sinclair’s colors create a refined artistic style that is dynamic, energetic, and vivid. Our story features many changes in location and their artistic teamwork displays a wide variety of color palettes, perspectives, and panel techniques to flawlessly execute Bendis’ story. Cory Petit’s lettering is lighthearted and fun, but comes off as excessively cartoony at times. Our modern-day story begins with a sprawling Metropolis at dusk that feels European and high cultured. We are then taken to the apartment of C-list villains Firefly and Killer Moth who are arguing amongst themselves. The postures Reis’ gives these characters show the tension in the room as these characters quibble.
Bendis whisks us and the villains away as quickly as they came, as Superman arrives on the scene to escort our villains to the proper authorities. Bendis portrays Superman in his traditional style, with a playful attitude and composed elegance. As our story continues, Superman patrols Metropolis and discovers a raging fire, which he puts out with ease. He then learns that the city has been having a string of fires as he meets the first member of the supporting cast, Melody Moore, the new Deputy Fire Chief of Metropolis. Bendis scripting of the event is thoughtful and brimming with personality.
This issue sets up a past in Krypton and present in Metropolis that are sure to collide. Bendis makes clear he is in no hurry to connect all the dots, but adds light foreshadowing to our story. The artistic team of Reis, Prado, and Sinclair is one of the best in league and brings out extra dimensions from Bendis’ script. From panels of Superman inhaling a skyscraper’s flames, to using his X-Ray vision, to the change in color palette and shading as Superman enters a charred building, all showcase a deep attention to detail.
The Man of Steel #1 is a showcase of everything that makes comic books great! It’s a promising start for Brian Michael Bendis and deserves serious consideration on your pull list. The only bad thing I have to say is that the issues cover art displays the Justice League, which is entirely absent from the issue.