Written by, Brian Michael Bendis
Art by, Doc Shaner (p.1-13), Steve Rude (p.16-24), and Jay Fabok (p.14-15)
Colors by, Alex Sinclair
Letters by, Josh Reed
In the previous issue, Rogol Zaar reveals that his motivation for destroying Krypton is due to his belief that Krypton is destroying planets that can’t defend themselves. Superman uncovers a string of fires in Metropolis that were caused by an arson. The issue ends while Clark is at home with Lois and Jonathan when a mysterious bright light appears. In between, we learn that things are different at the Daily Planet: Lois Lane is no longer employed, and nobody can say exactly what happened.
This issue begins as Appa Ali Apsa, one of the immortal Guardians of the Universe, has a conversation with Lord Gandelo, a member of the Galactic Circle. Gandelo questions Appa’s loyalty given the timing of Krypton’s destruction. He points out that Krypton’s destruction closely followed Appa informing Rogol of The Circle’s decision to stop him from destroying Krypton. Appa points out that Rogol is a warrior who destroys worlds; they should hope that he was killed in the blast. The conversation serves to highlight the fear Rogol Zaar instills in people and foreshadows his threat to Superman.
Present day, Robinson Goode, a new reporter at the Daily Planet, and Trisha Q, an Arts and Leisure reporter for the Daily Planet, discuss what might have occurred between Clark and Lois. As they speak, Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet, informs everybody that Lois’ corner office will remain empty until someone proves that they can investigate and report like Lois. Perry goes to his office to lament the demise of the paper, which is failing. Clark enters Perry’s office and informs him that he has a lead on the arsons in Metropolis and a quote from the Green Lantern. Robinson Goode enters and tells Perry that they have the biggest story at The Daily Planet: What happened between Clark and Lois? Robinson’s character adds some much-needed humanity to this Superman book while shining light on the obvious void caused by Lois Lane’s absence.
The issue ends with a mysterious encounter between a bartender and Rogol in the Vega System. She informs Rogol that Superman, the last Kryptonian, is alive on earth. Rogol takes a special interest. An image shows the symbol of Superman’s Kryptonian family of El. Rogol is shown riding on a motorcycle while TV monitors at the Daily Planet show someone attacking the city. I wasn’t excited to see this scene and hope that they don’t rush into a prolonged battle between Superman and Rogol. I want to see more of the Daily Planet and Lois Lane story arc developed beforehand.
Overall = 9/10
The art by Doc Shaner is gorgeous and supports the story throughout. I was especially impressed by the sequence involving the Green Lantern and The Toyman, where Superman gets a quote for the Daily Planet article. In addition, Green Lantern questions Superman asking if he’s O.K. This points to Superman’s relationship with other members of the Justice League and causes him to question whether he’s treated Green Lantern with respect. The human story arcs are more interesting to me than the interstellar, Appa Asa Ali and Rogol story. However, I’m highly anticipating how the conflict will resolve itself given Rogol’s power set and Superman’s seeming isolation from the Justice League. I highly recommend this book to fans of Superman. Bendis is developing a layered an complex story that will most likely end with a huge payoff.