By, Brian Michael Bendis
Art by, Kevin Maguire & Jason Fabok (pp12-13)
Colors by, Alex Sinclair
Letters by, Josh Reed
Last issue ends with Superman facing Rogol Zaar in downtown Metropolis. Kara, who came to Superman’s defense at the Fortress of Solitude, leaves to make sure her loved-ones are safe after learning of Kandor’s destruction. Superman believes that Rogol led him to Metropolis to gain an audience or to gain an advantage given Superman’s love for the people and his desire to keep them safe. But will Superman be safe?
In the present, Superman and Kara face off against Rogol together. Rogol tests them to learn their power set, or, to toy with them. Superman’s inner monologue tells us he feels overmatched, even with help. Rogol is fast, strong, and wields a destructive sword. It’s a melee; the tension is high. Bendis’ exposition exposes Superman’s inner angst, and the art portrays the battle as epic, destructive, and a sense of finality. And, although Superman recognizes that Rogol gains strength from the sun, which could over-stimulate Rogol’s senses, he cannot use his experience to gain the advantage. Green Lantern, Hal Jordan for sector 2814, responds, as the guardian of this sector of the galaxy, and finds Superman unconscious. Rescue crews arrive to investigate and sift through the rubble. Bendis adds a human element with the introduction of a female investigator, Captain Maggie Sawyer of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit.
The Green Lantern makes an interesting statement, “The Guardians of the Universe are going to want to know about this.” It seems to have more meaning than the GL realizes. Jimmy Olsen captures the battle and its aftermath in pictures under the tutelage of Perry White. Captain Sawyer orders all civilians off the street for their own safety. Meanwhile, the issue ends with Rogol and Superman in the Fortress of Solitude, where Superman finds him. Rogol asks Superman if he has children. He questions if he procreated with these feeble people. Then, he promises to find his children and kill them.
Bendis does a marvelous job pulling together multiple themes from his previous issues to make this story feel connected. For example, flashbacks to Action #1000, the reappearance of Rogol’s sword, and two women commenting on Superman’s red shorts. In addition, this issue revisits the scene first shown in Man of Steel #1, with Jason Fabok’s art depicting a bright light, and Clark stating, “Get behind me Lois.” The bright image and the person behind it are revealed! The art in this issue is amazing. At the start of the issue Superman’s eye is pictured with the reflection of Rogolo in the center- just gorgeous. More storylines remain to be explored. For example, What’s happened to Lois and is Jonathan impacted? Don’t pass up on this story that will feels like history in the making.