Friday, June 22, 2018

The Man of Steel #1

Imagine trying to get fans rabidly excited about a new Superman event and the only adjective you can come up with is "weekly."

I've never read anything by Bendis (aside from that Superman advertisement in that twenty-five cent comic book). I'm only saying that because if Bendis Googles for reviews of this comic book, I wanted to warn him right up front that some writers haven't been able to handle my comic book reviews. Some reactions have been "I'm Cullen Bunn and you're terrible!" and "You're the meanest jerk and I should know because I'm Cullen Bunn!" and "You have no right to say those things about me, Cullen Bunn!" On the other hand, I have had some positive reactions like these: "I want to take you out behind the handball court and get you pregnant with my Gail Simone babies," and "Yeah, security? This is Tom King and that guy offering to suck my dick is bothering me again," and "I don't know who this guy is but I, Scott Lobdell, like him a lot!" In other words, there's a fifty percent chance that I'm about to forever ruin any chance of becoming Brian Michael Bendis's new best friend.

Maybe I should change that from a fifty percent chance to a ninety percent chance because before I even read this comic, I'm already biased against it. I can't stand any comic by a hot shot creator comes on the scene and knocks all the pieces onto the floor before shitting on Dan DiDio's desk and saying, "I'm going to do whatever I want!" Don't get me wrong! I like that scenario a lot! But it definitely biases me on the comic. I mean, are we really going to get yet another comic book by a writer who says, "You thought you knew everything there was to know about Superman's past! But you were wrong! Now eat it, DiDio!"?

Remember when Krypton exploded for reasons that weren't due to a genocidal cosmic maniac insisting that all Kryptonians needed to be wiped out to save the universe? That was before the first four pages of this comic book were published. We're in a new era now: the Brian Michael Bendis Era! Tell me how it really went down, Mister Bendis! I never did like the pansy ass passive way the world blew up due to whatever the Kryptonians did wrong. Too much fracking or sodomy or whatever. This is so much more exciting to make one monster behind it all! It'll finally give Superman somebody he can punch in the face to relieve him of his pain from the loss of his family! Not that he really focuses on that pain much. But he will once he hears the name "Rogol Zaar" and also about three or four hours of new Kryptonian history which should really get him wound up!

Rogol Zaar is a combination of Lobo, Battalion, and Perry White.

The part of the story we all still know because I'm assuming it's the same is that Superman escaped the death of Krypton. That means Rogol Zarr is probably about to learn that a baby survived and he's going to blow his frontal lobe. He's going to have such a murder boner going to complete his act of genocide that Superman is going to be all, "Whoa, dude. I think you have the wrong idea about me and my sexy body," when they finally meet.

In the opening scene in Metropolis, Superman makes friends with Killer Moth and Firefly. Then when he deals with a fire in a high rise, he imparts some of his mother's wisdom on the reader: "Fire is fire." So I guess in Bendis's retelling of the Superman myth, Ma Kent was a simple woman.

At the scene of the fire, Superman meets a female firefighter with whom he flirts. He's all, "You should call Clark Kent and tell him all about this tomorrow. Don't call Lois though! Lois can't find out Clark is talking to you and probably having lunch with you maybe?" Then he flies off and female firefighter Melody Moore causes more water damage to the smoldering building.

You understood that was a filthy joke, right?!

I'm beginning to see why people like Bendis. He has characters talk a lot. Talking a lot is always good. It's much better than characters shouting shallow one liners at one another in an attempt to fool the reader into thinking the writer knows what they're doing. In this brief post-fire scene, we see that Superman is kind and thoughtful and not averse to stepping out on Lois Lane.

Most of the issue is Superman and Clark Kent going about their day to day business. It's really all I ask of a comic book! Especially when those things are filled with conversations that build characters rather than first person omniscient narration boxes which tell the reader exactly what's going on and leave no room for ambiguity. Like if this were written by Scott Lobdell, Superman would have thought, upon meeting the firefighter, "She really wants to lick my butthole! But I would never let her because I love Lois Lane so much!" But without the narration boxes, the reader simply gets knowing looks and crooked little smiles and I think I might have noticed a slightly larger bulge in Superman's red underwear. Bendis allows me to jump to the awful conclusions I want to jump to rather than reining me in and telling me exactly what's going on so I can't have any dirty fun.

Filling in the negative spaces of Superman's life is the story of Rogol Zaar and how he wanted to destroy Krypton but the Council of Eternal Elders tells him he can't. He probably still will but that's for another issue. By the end of this issue, Lois says something that's actually funny and then Superman, Lois, and Jon all disappear in a fade to white. That's supposed to keep you excited for the next weekly installment of this weekly Superman event. So week!

Rating: I so wanted to shit all over Bendis's writing the way Bendis shit all over DiDio's desk but instead I wound up enjoying this story. I sincerely appreciate when Superman is written as a kind person with a subtle sense of humor and a raging hard on for redheads. Hopefully Issue #2 will suck so I can let loose this shit that I now have to hold in! Quick! Somebody get me an Ann Nocenti comic book so I can relieve myself!

P.S. For more terribly vulgar comic book reviews, subscribe to the E!TACT Newsletter!. It's terrific!

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