Superman (2018-) #8
Writer: Brian Micheal Bendis
Artists: Ivan Reis and Brandon Peterson
Superman #8 is the second issue of Bendis’ second arc on the title. Following a strong but flawed opening arc, Bendis is beginning to spread his wings. Fortunately, the book isn’t chained down by a lackluster villain anymore, and now Superman threatens to give Action Comics a run for its money.
Everyone’s biggest concern leading up to this issue stems from the cover, depicting Jon as angry and violent. Luckily, it’s a complete misdirection. Jon is back, and he just feels like Jon. He’s older and more mature, but underneath it all, it still sounds like the same lovable little boy he’s always been. Additionally, there’s some wonderful insight into his character that adds weight to his decision to take off into space. He very understandably feels overwhelmed by the expectations set upon him for being the son of Superman. It’s a strong bit of characterization that feels perfectly natural. While we don’t get much to justify Lois and Clark’s decision to send him away in the first place, the good news is that no one’s angrier about that than Clark himself.
The meat of the plot is delivered through Jon’s recollection of events. We hear more of his space adventure, and what prompted him to abandon the recently resurrected Jor-El. There are contrivances here and there, especially regarding the bit with the Green Lanterns, but it isn’t enough to hinder a well-told tale. Also, we have the Super-family in the present dealing with the ramifications of Jon’s return. It’s a chill story with no big-bad, but it’s fun to just hang around with this family again. They have a good dynamic, and it makes me look forward to more family stuff when before I could’ve taken or leaven it. Plus, it ends on an amazing cliffhanger.
There are two artists on this book. Ivan Reis does the present pages, and Brandon Peterson is on Jon’s story. Honestly, it’s a miracle that Reis has been on eight consecutive issues. How many years has it been since we’ve seen that? His pages are, as always, wonderful. Though, there are a few panels in which you can see the weight of the schedule getting to him, as they’re a bit loose. None of it looks bad, but his style is normally so clean that even slightly rushed panels tend to stand out. Brandon Peterson’s no slouch either. His style is not so far from Reis’ own that it feels like an entirely different book, but it’s different enough that it’s easy to distinguish the two plots.
Superman #8 easily steps above many of the issues in this run. Effortlessly blending two plots, Bendis, Reis, and Peterson delivers a very fun chapter of this Superman run. Unfortunately, the ending comes much too soon and leaves you itching for more. I anxiously await the next one.
Superman #8 easily steps above many of the issues in this run. Effortlessly blending two plots, Bendis, Reis, and Peterson deliver a very fun chapter of this Superman run.