REVIEW: Superman #6

Superman #6 is finally here! We’ve witnessed Superman take on Rogol Zaar, now its the turn of General Zod in what promises to be a battle for the ages, but before we take our seats at ringside lets check out the covers for this issue.

The regular cover for Superman #6 is by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair. Now I must say this cover is very enticing and promises much, including the unknown. Now as an ardent Superman fan I kind of knew who this mysterious character would be. But those eyes pulsating in such a manner along with Superman’ expression asks a lot of questions I can’t wait to get the answers too. But I can imagine this cover does an awful lot for the casual fan too. Just who could this character be, wearing the House of El emblem? Could this be the return of the long forgotten Superboy Prime? This cover really is thought provoking and I must say I’m a huge fan.

Superman Issue 6 Review - Brian Bendis

The variant cover is by legendary artist Adam Hughes and is a gorgeous pin-up piece that sees stylised bullets reach an abrupt halt as Superman’s torso proves to much for these projectiles. This cover has tonnes of character and really captures a more playful side to Superman. The caricature also resembles Dean Cain’s Superman from Lois & Clark.

Superman issue 6 variant cover

Superman #6 is absolutely incredible. Its panoramic, cinematic, and an absolute blockbuster of an issue. The action picks up directly on from the previous installment as General Zod takes up the fight with Rogol Zaar alongside Superman inside of the Phantom Zone. The majority of this issue is brutal as Zod and Rogol Zaar beat down on each other mercilessly, holding nothing back. Now its often said in comics, mostly via Superman’ inner monologue that he nearly always has to hold back when brawling, through fear of collateral damage or inflicting irrevocable damage to an opponent. Well that is completely thrown out the window in this issue as both Superman and General Zod give it their all against a seemingly unstoppable force of nature in Rogol Zaar. That power and intensity is totally amplified via Ivan Reis’ incredible art as the fight is chronically in splash page format. For me, this is totally reminiscent of Superman #75 which saw the Man of Steel face off against another engine of destruction in the form of Doomsday.

As the fight intensifies inside the confines of the Phantom Zone, the reader is transported back to Earth alongside Superman as The Atom uses the Phantom Zone projector to return the Man of Steel back to earth. This brings him back on the front-line as earth continues to suffer the after effects of its removal from the Phantom Zone. As the issue comes to a close we find out which combatant is left standing from the brawl that opened the issue as well as a shocking return that is sure to reverberate throughout the coming issues.

As I’ve touched upon earlier, the artwork in this issue is staggering and is some of Ivan Reis’ best work to date. To chronicle the combat via splash pages must have been a massive undertaking for the creative team, but it really paid off in my opinion. It felt like I was watching a movie. Alex Sinclair’ colours for this issue are incredible. From the heat radiating off of Zod’ seering heat vision, to the dark blue’s and purples that seethe out into white nothingness that really capture the barrenness of the Phantom zone.  In previous reviews I’ve spoken about what an incredible job Ivan Reis does of drawing Superman, well the same can definetly be said of his take on General Zod. I feel the artist has definitely bulked up the character and made him more of a contemporary of Superman, similar to what he did with Sinestro and Hal Jordon.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has captured Superman’ inner monologue perfectly as two of his deadliest foes go toe to toe. I love how the reader is exposed to Superman’ thoughts in such a highly charged situation. I really like the dialogue Bendis gives to Rogol Zaar. With each issue Rogol Zaar comes across more and more charismatic and articulate. This multifaceted character is more than capable of rallying beings to his cause and I can’t wait to see where that leads. There’s no telling what Rogol Zaar can achieve with the Phantom Zone inmates by his side.

Superman #6 is one of my favourite issues to come from the Bendis era on the character. The fight from this issue really took me back to the heavy hitting brawl that took place during the finale of ‘Man of Steel’, which to this very day is one of my favourite movies. If Superman #6 is any indicator Superman #7 will be something special and I can’t wait.

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