We have reached the end of Brian Michael Bendis‘ short run on The Man of Steel with The Man of Steel #6. Much like the rest of Bendis’ career, it has been an up and down ride. There were a few issues that were great and a few that left you scratching your head.
There have been 3 major plot points throughout the series as we reach the end. With that said, it feels as if we are leaving the book with more questions than answers. Let’s dive into the book and see what takes place in The Man of Steel #6.
The Man of Steel #6 picks up at the Kent house, with Jor-El asking Lois and Clark to allow him to show Jon the history of his Kryptonian side. Despite a firm refusal from the parents Jon abruptly interrupts. Jon begins speaking about another reality, in which he grows up to become Superman and kills millions of people.
This is met with a very touching scene where Clark explains to Jon that he can’t worry about what happens in other dimensions but only the one he is in. Clark continues to tell Jon that he can’t be responsible for everything other people do, including other versions of himself and how he shouldn’t worry about what takes place elsewhere.
This raises an interesting topic for a debate. In modern comics, there is so much space/time travel throughout the multiverse. So many stories revolve around fixing or protecting the multiverse, and here Clark is telling Jon not to worry about it. Which leads us to the famous quote we all know “with great power must also come great responsibility”. Granted this is not a Marvel or Spider-Man book, but most heroes tend to oblige by this rule. An argument could be made that Clark is not being responsible here, nevertheless, this is a discussion for another day.
After a long debate, Lois caves and approves on the condition, she goes as well. Clark tries to convince Lois and Jon to stay and is clearly skeptical of his father. The two have a tense discussion where Jor-El gives Clark a device to communicate with Lois and Jon. After one last failed attempt to get Lois and Jon to stay the two of them leave along with Jor-El.
Rogol Zaars Fate
Rogol Zaar has been built up by Bendis to be a great new villain who will change everything we know about Supermans past. And yet here we are in the final issue of the series, and we still don’t know who he is, or where he is from. Sure we know his goal, to destroy all Kryptonians, but we don’t know why that is his goal either.
Rogol Zaar has a rather anticlimactic ending to his story. After a brutal battle between Zaar and The Man of Steel, Supergirl arrives and throws him into the phantom zone. Though it is made clear Supergirl is leaving to find out more about Zaar and Kryptons destruction, some payoff about the character would have been nice. After the battle, Superman and Supergirl hold a funeral/send off for Kandor. Artist Jason Fabok gives us a beautiful splash page of the 2 Kryptonians and the Justice League.
Final Thoughts on The Man Of Steel #6
After all the hype of Brian Michael Bendis joining DC and working on The Man of Steel, the main take away is the inconsistency. The series misses a few attributes that make Superman a fan favorite. Clark is never really shown as the journalist he is. The Daily Planet isn’t incorporated all that much besides from the first 2 issues.
Combine that with taking away his family, all that is left is Superman. Don’t get me wrong, Superman is great, but without the Clark Kent part of his life, it takes away from the character as a whole. Give credit to Bendis for making it intriguing to read his coming Superman titles. We are sure to find out more about Rogol Zaar and who is really behind the Metropolis fires.
Artist Jason Fabok does a great job here in The Man of Steel #6, going back and forth between the different storylines. Also a good choice by DC to keep it at 1 artist on the book instead of multiple. Brian Michael Bendis’ debut for DC may have been a bit underwhelming with The Man Of Steel series.
The book did have its fair share of fun moments. I can’t say there isn’t a reason to keep reading for now. We can only hope that we will see more of the Clark Kent side of The Man of Steel then we have so far. To find out we will have to wait and see in Superman 1 and Action Comics 1001.