REVIEW: ‘Superman,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Superman #9

Superman #9 – The Unity Saga: The House of El Part 3 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Micheal Bendis, with art by Brandon Peterson, pencils by Ivan Reis, inks by Joe Prado and Oclair Albert, colors by Alex Sinclair, and letters by Josh Reed.

Jon Kent continues to explain what transpired during his journey home during his weeks, or years as his increased age seems to suggest, away to his mother and father. This issue picks up right where the previous issue left off with him at the feet of the alternate universe Crime Syndicate and his troubles are just beginning.

Jon’s story in Superman #9 finds himself taken prisoner by the Crime Syndicate’s Ultraman. I have to give Bendis a lot of credit here. This story did not at all go where I expected. And I’m very happy about it. We are given a fairly deep dive into the mind of Ultraman and the feelings and motivations that drive him. Added to it we see this from the lens of the son of Ultraman, further adding to the emotional quagmire.

As with previous issues in the arc, Jon’s story is interwoven with the current day as Clark and Lois come to terms with all that has happened. And it seems to be taking its toll on Clark as we begin to see his struggles coming to the forefront.

Bendis continues to work wonders with Superman #9  he humanizes these larger than life characters. Villain and hero alike feel real and authentic. Which is a bit of a trick when dealing with characters that so often fall into the decades-deep clichés of comic book storytelling.

The artwork continues to be a further strong spot of the narrative as the multiple talents lending their skills to the visual presentation of the book keep everything distinct and clear. Brandon Peterson’s pencils lend such stark vivid emotion in the pages, while the present setting, penciled by Ivan Reis, brings out the somber mood within the Fortress of Solitude perfectly. And while lettering often goes unnoticed, there is a page where its use enhances the narrative in a very noticeable way. I always love it when this particular discipline gets a chance to shine.

Jon’s struggles are brought to the reader through this combination of the multiple disciplines in a manner that I would describe as nothing short of textbook worthy. I find myself with no complaints with this book. The back story has never been handled better.

With this book stopping on another cliffhanger, which I’m sure will put poor Jon through even more trouble, I am eagerly anticipating the next issue. What’s more, my enthusiasm is equally pulled by my desire to find out what lies beyond the “at the moment” struggles Jon is dealing with, to the greater threat that has been hinted at. And here lies the only danger this book has going forward. While I’m excited for now, I do hope Bendis doesn’t overplay his hand or get too bogged down with side adventures, but this concern remains to be seen.

Superman #9 – The Unity Saga: The House of El Part 3 is available in comic book stores everywhere now

Superman #9
5

TL;DR

While I’m excited for now, I do hope Bendis doesn’t overplay his hand or get too bogged down with side adventures, but this concern remains to be seen.