In last weeks issue of The Man of Steel, Superman got his first glimpse of Rogol Zaar – the warrior who destroyed Krypton, The Fortress and most importantly The Bottled City of Kandor. Not only that, but we saw the sudden but brief eruption of action as Rogol visited the city of Metropolis for the first time. Since then, I and many others been eagerly awaiting the next issue for the story to continue!
First off, the cover. To me it doesn’t really represent the story in this issue of The Man of Steel, which would have been a nice touch and a great teaser for what was to come. However, the artwork is still fantastic, and I suppose it does represent the flashbacks that Superman continues to have. It really shows the love that Superman and Lois have each other. It’s romantic and emotional and you can see that within the colouring and the dark tones that are used.
As for the issue itself, it picks up right where it left off. Rogol Zaar continues his attempt to ‘cleanse’ the galaxy of all Kryptonians as he attacks his biggest match – Superman. During this attack, Rogol reigns successful, due to yet more flashbacks which distract our Man of Steel. Superman retreats and seeks help from his father in The Fortress, but is met with an unexpected and unwanted visitor and he attempts to contain his rage.
I love the thought process that goes into Superman’s counter attack. He doesn’t just give full power to hurt the villain, he thinks about numerous options as there will be serious consequences for the city if he does. He has to hold back in some way to protect the city. Again his character is represented perfectly, whilst he is in battle, he is still saving people who are affected and injured, and that is Superman. Putting the people first. I also love that he uses other methods to defeat Rogol – he uses Batman’s thinking processes to figure out Rogol’s weaknesses. And to me that’s a fantastic nod to The Dark Knight and although he is one of the greatest Superheroes, he still learns and seeks help from others. But towards the end, we see a different side to Superman until we are introduced to yet another cliffhanger! We don’t see much, but if the art work is anything to go by, he is overtaken with blind rage as his emotions start to show.
As for the villain, the fact that Rogol wants the city of Metropolis to witness this cleanse is disturbing. Almost like he is making a point to them of the fall of Kryptonians, with him as the superior. But of course, Superman takes this personally as it ends with destruction and chaos to the city. Not to mention, Rogol has the audacity to reside to the Fortress – he is ruthless!
Within the flashbacks that distract our caped hero, more is revealed and it acts as a sign of relief – almost. The mysterious visitor is unveiled and it is not who you or I expected! It’s Jor-El! But what are his reasons for wanting Jon? Well, we are going to have to wait a little longer to find out what’s going on here.
One of my favourite panels is the one shown below. Amongst the destruction and chaos caused by Rogol Zaar, people are worrying about other things… In particular Superman’s trunks! This is a great nod to the re-introduction of Supes’ Trunks in Action Comics #1000 and it is actually quite refreshing agsinst the tones of this issue.
The main artist of this issue was Kevin Maguire. To me it wasn’t as well done as the previous issues. It introduced a more ‘cartoony’ feel to the issue and I don’t think that matched the tone very well. With that said the artwork on the faces showed personality and although cartoonistic, it almost brought some realism to it. You can really see the emotion, pain and struggle on Superman’s face in certain scenes with every crease and wrinkle visible, and that’s not something you always get with comic art.
With two more issue left of the series, it is clear that s**t is about to go down, and I cannot wait to see what happens next in The Man of Steel.