By Garrett Hanneken
A midpoint of a 6 issue miniseries needs to pick up the pace because after issue #3 we should be headed towards the main conflict. Luckily, the end of issue #3 tells us that the next issue will make good on that conflict.
This issue of The Man of Steel appeared to be the shortest so far. There isn’t too much dialogue compared to previous issues which actually turned out to be beneficial. Instead, we get a lot of distressful moments and distraught situations. To sum up issue #3, it read like a race against time. A race that Superman stumbled to the finish line.
First off, the fact that this issue read as one of the quickest so far worked tremendously well. This issue was a mere set up for the next but not only was it quick, it was filled with tension. As a reader, we are introduced to Rogol Zaar landing on Earth, but the comic cuts away before we know if Zaar committed the horrendous act he was enticed into doing. After this happened I couldn’t help but think if Superman was going to make it in time.
Another positive from this story is the inclusion of the fires that have been set ablaze since issue #1 and the Fire Chief we were introduced to in the same issue. I know there is more to the occurrences of the fires and I can see Bendis tying things up that he put in place. It is just more enjoyable and satisfying when a writer puts things in place and reminds the reader about it throughout the story rather than reminding them at the end. On a side note, I grinned when Batman’s first words in this story and for Bendis were, “I am Batman”. As a writer who wouldn’t want that to be their very first choice of dialogue for Batman.
As for the art, it maintains its height of excellence. The panels are simple when they need to be simple and are more complex when they show tension. The facial features were also a highlight of this issue. We are shown an array of emotions by Superman and each is enhanced by the art. The only downside I can see is the inclusion of Fabok’s same panels with the addition of a few more yet again. I can see some readers getting tiresome of this little tease since it has yet to really go anywhere.
With that in mind, we have been strung along for two issues in this mini-series. Although Issue #3 may be guilty of continuing this habit, it did so in a suspenseful fashion that has me yearning to read the next installment.
The Man of Steel #3