By Garrett Hanneken
The Man of Steel has been showcasing an array of all-star artists and issue number five is no exception as artist Adam Hughes steps up to the plate. Unfortunately, this is not one of Hughes’ best work and it is not one of the best issues either.
Fortunately, the beginning starts off with a bang as we see Rogol Zaar and Superman square off in a fight that takes place in outer space. However, once that fight is said and done with, the issue starts to dwindle down in both story and art.
First, I wanted to point out that the issue spends more time on the flashback sequence that we have been continuously teased with. My initial thoughts were that this issue was going to explain what exactly happened between Jor-El, Lois, and Jon. Now, you can kind of grasp what will happen, but an absolute answer will most likely occur in issue six. With that said, that makes this issue’s flashback sequence another filler which coincides with how I felt about the entire issue: an uneventful void.
Of course, you can’t have something significant happen in each issue, but I think the flashback sequence added insult to this issue’s injury. However, the stakes are raised higher after the final page but with things wrapping up in next issue’s conclusion, the newly added peril won’t last too long.
Now, there’s the addition of Adam Hughes’ artwork. First, I wanted to say that I believe Hughes draws some of the best comic book covers. Unfortunately, something was off with the interior art in this one which, in turn, makes this issue such a disappointment. It was almost as if Hughes was being rushed. Some of the facial expressions didn’t shine like they usually do and were instead covered in shadow. Not only that, but some of the linework and details looked incomplete. This was very noticeable during the emergency room scene and during the Justice League’s introduction. With all of that being noted, I am still a fan of Hughes but, like I said, things felt rushed and it showed.
As much as I’ve enjoyed this series so far, The Man of Steel #5 did not advance that enjoyment. However, I can see some people liking this penultimate issue since it does set things up for a conclusion. Albeit, I don’t think those that enjoyed it can ignore the unfinished artwork accompanied by the draggy story progression in this one.
The Man of Steel #5