Superman #11 “The Unity Saga: The House of El Part 5″ is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Micheal Bendis, with art by Ivan Reis, inks by Joe Prado and Oclair Albert, colors by Alex Sinclair, and letters by Josh Reed.
Having completed Jon Kent’s retelling of his journey back to find his parents in the last issue, we see the story move forward as Superman and son take to space to locate Jor-El and determine what exactly the elder of the house of El has been up to. All the while forces are aligning against them, and some surprises are in store for this family reunion.
From the first pages, this book took the predictive narrative and flipped it on its head. I’m not the biggest Superman fan so not all the players are familiar to me, but I can tell where all the story cues say something big where something is being set up. I’m always a sucker for a shadowy conspiracy that brings several villains together, as it inherently raises the danger, and seeing as one of these individuals has been all Superman can handle from time to time the addition of more has me expecting Jon Kent to step into his own before this storyline is done.
From the setup scene, we are dropped into a space battle that is centered around Jor-El’s ship as Clark and Jon arrive. Bendis does a great job using this moment to run through the myriad of reasons beyond his Kryptonian heritage that makes Superman a world-class hero; brawn when necessary and brains when the option is available. What could’ve simply devolved into a superhero wading into a fight with fists flying ended up being much more for Superman. And all the time he is acutely aware of Jon’s presence and his need to set a good example. I loved seeing Superman making sure to show what true heroism is for his son. Superpowered parenting in the middle of an intergalactic space battle me tickled me in ways I hadn’t expected.
As the bulk of this issue takes place in the middle of a multi-faction confrontation in outer space the visuals can get very hectic. The art team tries hard to keep things clear, but I couldn’t help but get disoriented a time or two as so much imagery is vying for my attention. Happily, the biggest moments are all focused back in on one or two characters, allowing the reader to catch up so no significant harm is done to the story.
Just as the issue began with an unexpected appearance so did the ending, as a new party joins the fray, I look forward to seeing them in action as the story progresses. Bendis, Reis, Prado, Albert, Sinclair, and Reed continue to create a story that keeps me wanting more, as surprises, coupled with a bit of Kryptonian family drama are used expertly to bring another first-rate issue of comic storytelling to the shelves.
Bendis, Reis, Prado, Albert, Sinclair, and Reed continue to create a story that keeps me wanting more, as surprises, coupled with a bit of Kryptonian family drama are used to bring another first-rate issue of comic storytelling.