Sometimes slower issues are necessary, bridging between the big events of storylines. Sometimes they’re slogs. Others can be necessary places for character development.
In Superman #5, the team draws one of the most important supporting characters of the Superman mythos into the massive Unity Saga- General Dru-Zod. Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair, and Josh Reed slow down the action of the last few issues here. It results in a great study of Zod.
Superman finds himself trapped in the Phantom Zone with Rogol Zaar and the Phantom Zone criminals. Meanwhile, Zod has a vision that draws him to Earth. There he finds the planet rapidly growing after last issue’s last ditch attempt to return home, and demands the Atom send him into the Zone…
A little slower issue is to be expected after 4 issues of straight action. Because of that the Superman portions of the story are quite slow, and a little plodding. However, that’s more than made up for with the Zod scenes. Bendis’s version of Zod is a presence to be respected and awed by- a broadsword of a man.
Reis, Prado and Albert’s art is still a reason to buy this book month after month. Their Zod is a presence to match his place in the script–exuding power and personality. The sequence of Earth returning to full size is also a great highlight. It’s a bit scary and disorienting, and then perfectly takes a beat for a sigh of relief once things are back to normal.
Sinclair’s color art is a great compliment to Reis’s pencils and Prado & Albert’s inks. He shifts settings perfectly, and his work in the Phantom Zone truly makes it feel alien and strange.
This issue loses a little bit of the momentum of the previous four, but it’s still an exciting story, well worth it for any Superman fan.
Superman #5 is available now from DC Comics.