Brian Bendis has surprised me with his work on Superman. Bendis’ first few issues on Superman were pedestrian. However, Bendis has found his groove and has been turning out some fun reads on this title. What has really surprised me is how well Bendis has written Superman’s character. Bendis has also exceeded my expectations with the excellent work he has done with the chemistry between Clark, Lois, and Jon. Superman #7 should be another good read as we finally get the return of Jon. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.
Words: Brian Bendis
Artists: Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson, Jason Fabok, and Oclair Albert
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Superman hugging Superboy. Superboy is now 17 years old. Superman is stunned that Jon has aged seven years in just three weeks. Jon said that it was not the work of gold, blue, or indigo Kryptonite. Nor was it some amazing transformation. Jon said that it has literally been seven years.
Jon says that Jor-El’s ship got caught in a black hole. That Jon spent seven years trying to get back to Earth.
We then cut to Superman arriving outside of Lois’ apartment. Lois strikes a sexy pose and reveals her slinky bra to Superman. Superboy appears next to Superman and Superman quickly covers Superboy’s eyes. (Ha! I love it. This was a great little moment.)
Lois is stunned that Jon is back and now 17 years old. Lois wants hugs Jon and wants him to tell her everything.
Jon then tells his parents what happened since he last saw them. Jon talks how Lois and he joined Jor-El on a massive space ship. Jor-El gave Lois a special suit with the House of El crest on it to wear to help protect her body from the rigors of space.
That as they left Earth they came across some Dominators who were on their way to attack Earth. Superboy and Jor-El then attacked the Dominators and kicked their butts. Superboy and Jor-El returned to the space ship and Jor-El tells Lois that Jon did excellent out in the battle with the Dominators.
Jor-EL then said that they would go visit a planet nearby and get some food. We then cut to Jor-El, Superboy, and Lois arriving on an alien planet. Jor-El tells Jon to stay close to him and to not speak to anyone.
All of the aliens react suddenly to Lois and start crowding around her and treating her like she was royalty. Jor-El tells Lois that she is considered royalty because she is wearing the crest and because she is married to the Superman of Earth.
We see Jon trying to order some food from a street vendor. Suddenly, Lobo appears on the scene. Lobo calls Jon “little Superman.” Jon gets an attitude and says that Lobo can call him “Superboy.” Lobo gets in Jon’s face and says that he is a man when he decides to be one. Lobo then tells Jon to say “Hi” to Superman for him.
We see the locals swarming Lois and begging her to help them with their various problems. One of the locals says that there are Khunds on Daxam making the Daxamites their slaves.
We cut to Jor-El and Superboy arriving on Daxam. The Khunds have the Daxamites in slavery. Jor-El tells Superboy to handle this himself. We see Superboy kicking ass on all of the Khund slavers. Lois says that this was the point in their trip together that she realized that she was not needed here at all.
We cut to Lois getting on a small transport ship and leaving Jor-El and Jon. We cut to the present with Jon saying that the moment that Lois left that he got the first hint about Jor-El. Jon says that he has spent the last seven years trying to get back home to tell his parents that Jor-El is completely insane and that they have to do something about it. Jon then says, “Sorry, Pa.” End of issue.
The Good: Superman #7 was another fun read. This issue contines Bendis’ trend of delivering a modern mainstream super hero story with classic Silver Age themes and vibes. Bendis has found his comfort zone on this title and is consistently cranking out warm hearted and emotional reads that focus on a positive and fun super hero story.
Bendis also continues to make this title an all-ages comic. Superman #7 is written for readers of any age. What is so impressive is that Bendis makes Superman #7 friendly to all ages without ever making the issue feel like a kiddie story. This is exactly how a Superman title should be delivered. Superman is absolutely one of DC’s super hero titles that should always be accessible to as wide an age range of readers as possible.
The dialogue and character work is outstanding in Superman #7. This is an area where I often criticize Bendis as a chronic weakness. However, when Bendis consciously avoids giving every single character Bendis speak, he is able to crank out some quality dialogue and character work.
Superman, Lois, and Jon all have their own unique external voices. The character work is strong. Each of the three main characters have clearly defined and developed personalities. The dialogue feels so genuine and natural. This wonderfully crafted dialogue possesses so much real emotion and helps make Clark, Lois, and Jon come across as a real life family.
Bendis’ great effort in the character work and dialogue allows him to generate incredible chemistry between Clark, Lois, and Jon. I cannot get enough of these three characters together. And what makes so much of the character work successful are all of the little moments that Bendis adds into the scenes. These little moments feel so organic and add nuanced touches that make their relationship even more compelling.
These small moments are like when Lois greets her husband in a sexy style only to suddenly realize that their son is also present and Clark then quickly covering his son’s eyes. That is such a cheeky, yet very sweet, moment. I love seeing married people being written as still being smitten with each other even after all the years together.
Another small moment was when Superman is hugging Jon and Jon says “Dad?” and Superman responds, “Nope. Still hugging.” As a father of two boys I totally get this moment. Bendis just nails the little moments in being a parent.
These little moments are gently placed throughout the story. And these small moments are a large reason why the relationship between Clark, Lois, and Jon feels so real and genuine.
I like the new wrinkle of Jon now being 17 years old. This new development played nicely with the scene between Lobo and Jon where Lobo talked about how a boy becomes a man when he decides to be a man. This was some good foreshadowing. Jon’s character has clearly grown and matured. and I am looking forward to seeing how Bendis shows the reader Jon growth.
I also hope that Bendis delves into Jon’s lost seven years in much greater detail st some point. Those seven years with Jon on his own and learning to be a man should make for some excellent stories.
Bendis ends Superman #7 with a strong hook ending with Jon revealing that Jor-El is insane. I am Curious to see where Bendis goes with this. It certainly provide for some excellent family drama.
Superman #7 does not have tons of action but Bendis does give the reader just enough action to keep the story lively. I dig that Jon got to flex his muscles and some of ass in this issue. It was cool for Jon to get the spotlight rather than having to fight along the side of his father.
Superman #7 delivers some enjoyable artwork. Yes, it is art by committee, but the look of this issue is coherent and of good quality.
The Bad: The story in Superman #7 id a bit shallow. Everything is right on the surface. This is certainly more of the comic book version of bubble gum pop music.
Overall: Superman #7 is another entertaining issue. I will totally admit that I would have never thought that Bendis would be a good match for Superman. Well, I can admit that I was wrong. Bendis has found a nice home here with the Superman franchise. It is great to see Bendis subordinating his own ego and delivering a comic that is worthy of the Superman label rather than giving us a Bendis comic starring Superman.
If you like classic super hero stories that you definitely need to start reading Superman. This comic is an enjoyable blend of good character work and fun super hero action and adventure.