Reading Time: 3 minutes
Superman #7 Unity Saga: House of El Part 1 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Micheal Bendis, art by Ivan Reiss, Brandon Peterson, and Jason Fabok, inks by Oclair Albert, colors by Alex Sinclair, with letters by Josh Reed and Carlos M. Mangual. The story points to a hard struggle ahead for the Man of Steel, even as he is reunited with his son, as a lot of history begins to unfold.
The very first image we see within the book is the kind of warm/awkward embrace that generally results from parents welcoming their kids home. It is a nice human moment. I always love grounding the power and scale that Superman is known for with panels like this. Upon being further reunited with Lois, Superboy starts catching his parents up on the surprisingly long journey he’s been on, despite only been away for a few weeks.
Learning about the early adventures in space with Superboy, his grandfather, and Lois, was an interesting read. Seeing Lois in a version of the Superman suit was an unexpected treat. Being reminded of just how far Superman’s legend stretches beyond just earth is shown in a strong and emotional way. It is a great way to remind readers how much weight follows the “S” wherever it goes. By the end of the tale Lois has returned to earth feeling that her son is in good hands and there isn’t much need of her there. But clearly something has gone wrong and what that is the lure to keep the reader coming back.
Bendis writes a very fluid issue, that manages to keep a natural feel to the characters, despite the small time jumps making it easy to come off as a little broken narrative. However, when I saw the title page and read that there were three different artists on this book I was concerned that the look of the story would come off disjointed, as often happens when art styles switch mid-issue, but I was pleasantly surprised to not be pulled out of the story by any changing art styles. It compliments each other nicely and I didn’t even notice significant differences which allowed me to just take in the information that poured off the page.
The art also provided a solid assortment of character designs with the various aliens seen in this issue. Nothing truly unique, but a good variety of colors and designs make the settings feel vibrant and entertaining. While all the elements of the book come together well, it is the beginning of a setup for the ongoing arch, as such it is slower than I would’ve like, with presumably more setup to come next month. This feels necessary but would be better if there had been some way to accomplish this while breaking up all the background information that is given to the reader.
Ultimately though this setup issue doesn’t do anything too exciting but it is a good launch point for the story going forward that leaves a hook that has me hoping for an exciting story that could both challenge the House of El, as well as deliver a solid emotional pay off if Bendis and crew can deliver on the story they have laid the groundwork for.
Rating: 3.5/5 symbols of hope