Saturday, December 21, 2019

Superman #18

What's so interesting to me about Superman #18 isn't how it fundamentally changes the character going forward in a major way but how well writer Brian Michael Bendis presents the idea as a natural evolution for Superman. While the issue jumps around a bit here and there, including nice moments of Clark Kent's separate conversations with Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, the main focus in a press conference Superman calls in front of The Daily Planet revealing his dual identity to the world. That isn't to say Clark Kent is going away, he's remaining at The Daily Planet, it's just now his co-workers (and the entire world) know that he's also Superman.

A staple of the super-hero genre since it's inception, the alter-ego has been used to allow heroes to lead something of a normal life while not in tights and to protect their loved ones who might become targets from their enemies. Let's face it, Lois Lane is already getting into life-threatening situations and the realization that she's married to Superman should actually make her safer. As for a normal life, that's the interesting twist which Bendis delivers here centering on the character's internal moral compass and the first word in his slogan "Truth, Justice, and the American Way."

The reveal is a smart, calculated move by a hero led as much by his internal struggle of the split in his life as what he views is best for all concerned going forward. There will obviously be ramifications to the events both in large and small ways across the entire DCU (and you have to wonder if Clark's admission accidentally outs any other characters accidentally through his connection to them). If anything, Bendis underplays events (rather than make an event comic out of the story). I'm curious to see what happens next. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]

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