As soon as The Man of Steel #5 came out, there were tonnes of reviews online and on social media. A lot were disappointed in Bendis’ take on Clark Kent, which I was not expecting. With that, I had lowered my expectations of the issue, but I wasn’t disappointed. Although there were aspects that I did not like, there is some good.
First off, the cover. Like the last issue, the cover didn’t really represent the story, or the mini-series at all. Which is a shame, I have to say I do like to see some resemblance, a teaser if you will, on the cover. With that being said, it does represent an ICONIC Superman scene and moment – the famous fight with Doomsday. All in all, I do love the cover artwork in this issue and throughout the mini series. The artwork is striking and the colouring is so effective. Just look at that Kryptonite glow from the tiny glimpse we have of Doomsday. Bravo to Reis, Prado and Sinclair on this one, it is stunning.
In this issue, Superman takes his revenge for Kandor. In a destructive fight with Rogol Zaar, he realises that it will take more than a pair of fists to defeat him. In a flashback Jor-El explains his reason for visiting Jon, along with where he wants to take him and why, whilst Lois & Clark play the stern parents. And there is yet another fire in Metropolis, which Supergirl and the fire department attend to in Superman’s absence. Supergirl seeks help for Superman from The Justice League, and something they say lead Superman to where Rogol is hiding.
With Superman’s actions as the issue starts, you can tell that he has taken Rogol’s attack personally and it has clearly affected him. Throughout the scene he is asking himself tonnes of questions to try and unravel Rogol’s motive and overall plan. It’s almost as if he keeps taking control and then losing it, due to these distractions and flashbacks. It seems that we have seen this in every issue so far (except the first), it’s like we are yo-yoing back to the starting point, again and again and it’s starting to get repetitive now.
In the scene where Jor-El appears and explains the reasons for his visit, Bendis really insults Lois, and by the sounds of the response – a lot of female readers too. In a line to Jon, Jor-El claims “the effort to produce you should have killed your mother for trying.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t really like this or the way he said it. He is basically suggesting that Lois would have been killed whilst having sex with The Man of Steel because of his strength and capabilities. Superman has been restraining and muting his powers for years to fit in with the people of Earth, and still does even with his enemies. Not to mention, Lois is one of the strongest female characters written, she may not have powers but she is still fierce. I feel that this is so degrading to her, and to be honest it’s unnecessary and doesn’t add anything to the story.
However, every other female character is represented women so well, which is why I find this statement odd. From Melody Moore the Fire Chief, to Supergirl, to Wonder Woman, they are all strong and powerful. The women in this issue and in general build Superman up. Supergirl saves him from the Moon, and Wonder Woman is busy trying to understand war tactics against Rogol. And Lois, Superman would be not be the man he is without Lois Lane.
Although Bendis gets Superman right, I feel that he needs to work on his Lois Lane a little. Admittedly we haven’t seen much of her, which is a shame, but what we have seen so far, sometimes doesn’t portray the Lois Lane I know and love. And she is as much as a main character in Superman as the Man of Steel himself.
In addition to this, I feel the issue takes it down a notch. In comparison to the previous issue of The Man of Steel, I feel that this slows it down a little. Although we do see more to the whole flashback story, we still haven’t gotten the whole story yet, and it seems like there are three different ones rolled into one mini-series that still haven’t yet been explained. Taking this into account, I’m sure all will be explained in the finale issue.
The art in this issue is by Adam Hughes & Jason Fabok, both fantastic artists. But, in ways it’s almost like you are reading two different comics. It seems to get less detailed in parts, for example in the below scene Superman is just a blob in a hospital bed. There’s not much detail in these panels at all , and its very cartoonistic compared to the rest of the issue. That may be the style they are going for, but it is such a contrast to the previous panels.
The difference between him in this scene and then Clark Kent in the previous scene is almost unrecognizable and even looks like two completely different people. For me this breaks up the story and is a little distracting.
With that said, the artwork in the final scene is absolutely stunning. Although it represents YET another cliffhanger, it really adds a lot to this issue of The Man of Steel. It’s almost cinematic, and reminds me of Batman Vs Superman when Doomsday comes in to play. So beautiful, especially the colours!
With just one issue left in the mini-series of The Man of Steel, there are still a lot of ends to be tied. The final battle, Jor-El, Lois and Jon, and the fires in Metropolis! But, that could make for a very explosive finale!