Superman #14 Reveals A New Beginning

by Tony Thornley

For fourteen issues, Superman has told a story called the Unity Saga. One question many readers have had is what is the “unity” of the title? Well, in Superman #14 we learn the answer, and it will change the DC Universe forever.

Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair, and Wes Abbott give us one of the biggest mythological leaps forward in DCU history.

Rogol Zaar is defeated, and arrested for his crimes. But the despot did not act alone. For that reason, the House of El and House of Zod- led by Superman and General Zod- stand united to propose an idea from their youngest member, Jon Kent. A coalition of worlds, united in purpose, order and goal- the United Planets…

There have been guesses that the Unity Saga has been leading to this moment for months, but it makes it no less exciting. Bendis makes the foundation of the UP, the governing body of the universe in the Legion of Superheroes, a grand and exciting moment, and giving the moment to Jon elevates the young Superboy into the A-list position he deserves. Even better, it’s the perfect set-up for the return of the Legion itself, who make their grand (and perfectly executed) return in the closing pages of the issue.

However, it’s not perfect. There was a lot of remaining story to cover from the last fourteen issues, and unfortunately that part of it is rushed. Zaar’s defeat in particular doesn’t quite land, turning simply into a lot of people punching him really hard. There’s also not much weight put into the Phantom Zone criminals, who end up as simply set dressing (although they could very well make a return after this arc is over).

Reis’s star turn continues here with consistently great inks by Prado and Albert. Though the opening feel a little rushed, Reis and team quickly recovers and turns in a grand issue. The action has a great sense of motion, as well as impact on the page, but the best sequence is Clark and family appealing to the soon-to-be United Planets.

There’s a range of emotions on the characters’ faces, from Zod’s anger to Jon’s hope, that really makes these pages sing. Sinclair’s colors elevate that, with bright light, and color choices to match. This series has just consistently looked amazing and this issue is no exception.

One adventure ends here, but another begins. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Superman #14 is available now from DC Comics.

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