Superman: Mythological by Brian Michael Bendis

details
Title: Superman.
Volume: 4.
Story-Arc: Mythological.
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis.
Penciler (s): Ivan Reis, Kevin Maguire & John Timms.
Inker(s): Danny Miki, Kevin Maguire, John Timms, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert & Julio ferreira.
Colourist(s): Alex Sinclair.
Letterer(s): Dave Sharpe.
Publisher: DC Comics.

Format
:
Paperback.
Release Date: May 25th 2021.
Pages: 184.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779505729.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Previously in Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman/Action Comics universe:
The Man of Steel.
Superman (Vol. 1): The Unity Saga – Phantom Earth.
Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 1): Invisible Mafia.
Superman (Vol. 2): The Unity Saga: The House of El.
Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 2): Leviathan Rising.
Event Leviathan.
Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 3): Leviathan Hunt.
Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 4): Metropolis Burning.
Superman (Vol. 3): The Truth Revealed.

thoughts

With Superman sharing his secret identity as Clark Kent to the world, one could only imagine what was to happen next. With such a life-changing decision, it was only a matter of time before the consequences of his actions come sweeping in, putting all that has been done and is to come in perspective, leaving only one person to even know how to deal with it all: Superman. Unfortunately, many ideas were put into play and it was time for writer Brian Michael Bendis to bring it all to an end, but will it all take place as he envisioned it all? Collecting Superman issues #20-28, this volume closes up writer Brian Michael Bendis’ time on this canonical comic book series only to hand it over to writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson.

What is Superman: Mythological about? Now that Superman has unveiled his identity to the world and assumed the role as the leader of Earth amidst the congregation developed for the United Planets, the world is now shaken up by the repercussions of this truth. Unfortunately, the Man of Steel neglectfully leaves all the human trouble in the hands of his beloved wife while he swooshes away to protect this new united vision as an old enemy looks to ruin the trust and peace established by the United Planets. If he is to fail, the fall of the United Planets would be imminent. As if that wasn’t enough, new deadly warriors from the realm of magic and mayhem, known as Xanadoth and Synmar, come looking for more trouble as the world has yet to find any calm or stability with recent drama and chaos.

“I don’t see “pure evil” anymore. Even when I stare it in the face. Not like I used to. I see pain. I see fear. Ignorance. Confusion.”

— Brian Michael Bendis

As writer Brian Michael Bendis looks to put in his final word count for his Superman comic book run, he ends up, in this race to the finish line, delivering an amalgamation of his ideas that accumulates into a poor farewell to his time as the lead creator. With very little cohesion or any hint of an attempt to showcase a guideline that might justify the multiple ideas he ridiculously jumbles together, this volume ultimately touches upon too much in too little time. Not only does the story fall upon its knees under the pressure to cover all the gaping holes left behind by Superman’s untimely decision to reveal his secret identity to the world, but it also crudely introduces new characters that send Superman outside of Metropolis, far from home, and into uncharted galactic territory only for every little detail to be forgotten as quickly as they were shown.

Luckily, the artwork alleviates the numerous flaws displayed by the messy narrative, giving this volume a chance to somehow stand on two feet. With the occasional bombastic and electrifying action sequences, the story finds ways to give these moments the chance to display the brute force hidden within the gentle yet powerful superhero. Unfortunately, the narrative often centers around the importance of communication and the futility of violence yet barely backs the idea throughout the story at hand. Oddly enough, writer Brian Michael Bendis also shoehorns as many words as possible into the dialogue, sometimes also making certain speeches truly inauthentic, and creating highly-convoluted pages with meaningless noise instead of letting the artwork take over. From start to finish, it can be deduced that there was no thought or care put into the character’s journey as each controversy stacked up throughout Bendis’ time on this series.

Superman: Mythological is a jarring and insignificant finale to writer Brian Michael Bendis’ run on this series as he sends Superman left and right throughout the universe without a care in the world regarding his future.


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13 comments

    • Hahahaah it’s always delightful to hear your thoughts on these kinds of things as someone who has known “prime” Superman mythos.. What do you think about the recent and official reveal that Superman’s slogan will be changed to “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow”? 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • I had not heard about that change. But it was foreshadowed in that Superman movie starring Brandon Routh way back in 2006, so my only surprise is that it has taken this long.

        Liked by 2 people

  • That will make it harder for Phillip Kennedy Johnson to take over the reins. Bendis can be very hit or miss with his work- its either great or bad, no in-between.

    Liked by 2 people

  • This had me thinking about whether writers are sometimes given the opportunity to write for such an iconic character, one they’ve perhaps long had lots of ideas about, but this is their only opportunity so they have to somehow pack in all those ideas because they may not get another chance, and as a result they fumble their opportunity. It also had me wondering if some are given the opportunity but then see the state the character and world has been left in by the previous writer and think to themselves, “why did run have to fall to me?!?!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right? I do tend to think that when these writers are big names in the business, they won’t dare fumble and do all in their power to deliver something to be remembered by. When these big names are announced and they’re active on social media nowadays, you can tell that some of them really want to do something good that will have new and old fans super happy. But man… It’s rough when you notice that these writers are putting forth risky ideas or rushing through the gazillion ideas they’ve had for a while!

      Like

  • Ugh. Looks like fingers in too many pies, and an acute attack of scatterbrain finally got Bendis good. This whole run doesn’t seem to be worth the time. I actually feel sad for Bendis – he worked his ass off for years, and when he finally gets the flagship in recognition of his past work, he goes down with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meh… It has its highs and lows. I wouldn’t really think of recommending his run anymore but he handled things quite originally at first. Then.. it was just a downward slope into oblivion. I assumed fan retroaction, the numerous titles he’s been working on parallel (Wonder Comics and whatnot), and publisher deadlines didn’t help…

      Liked by 1 person

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