The Restraint and the Rage of The Man of Steel 4

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Outside of certain movies, Superman is not a creature of rage. He does not fly blindly into a situation without tying to think of its ramifications. And most important of all: he does everything possible to ensure the safety of innocent bystanders. The Man of Steel 3 ended with an enraged Superman attacking Rogol Zaar in a rare instance of blind rage. In The Man of Steel 4 Superman quickly comes to his senses, as he regains that trademark composure, restraint and presence of thought.

Despite the way that Brian Michael Bendis has been nailing his portrayal of Superman, there is also something entirely unique about it. Superman’s inner monologue casually conveys a power set and language that Superman keeps to himself. The man knows the power of his punches on a scale of 1-10!

Bendis has been laying the groundwork very carefully in The Man of Steel, so the reintroduction of Hal Jordan in the midst of Rogol Zaar’s attack doesn’t seem out of place. Bendis has always had a filmic approach to his work, including The Man of Steel’s series runner of slowly revealing what happened to Lois and Jon Kent. This gradual reveal may be a tad drawn out but I like the effect that it has on Superman.

It pains him and is always in the back of his mind.

Kevin Maguire puts his best foot forward in The Man of Steel 4, drawing spreads that heighten and emphasize the action as well as those that service Bendis’ dialogue-driven scenes. However, nothing tops Maguire’s pages that bookend the issue.

Eye Boom

The issue opens with a fire in Superman’s eye, as the approaching Rogol Zaar is reflected off of it. Superman notes that Zaar has not spoken, despite his attempts. Compare that to the end of the issue, where Superman has spoken to him and decides that there is no reasoning with him, so ignites the whole circumference of the fortress with heat vision.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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