It wasn't until I went to Austin and visited a comic shop there that I realized this series was even out yet. I bought the first four issues and decided to review them here as I read them.
The Man of Steel #1
This starts the Brian Michael Bendis era of Superman. I know a lot of fans, myself included, were wary of him taking over. For me that had less to do with his track record and more with the fact that I felt the current creative teams had done an amazing job with the books and had righted the character after years of New 52 debacle. Still, I went in with an open mind.
The new villain, Rogol Zaar, is seen only in flashbacks as he petitions the Circle, made of of beings like Guardian Appa Ali Appsa, to destroy Krypton. He says it is because they are starting to travel to other worlds and will conquer them and take their resources, though it is hinted that he has a more personal motive. The Circle denies his request.
In the present Superman is doing his thing. We see him take down villains, rescue people from fires, and write articles for the Daily Planet. This really is Superman at his best. There is just a lot to love about his characterization here.
There are actually two Gotham villains in Metropolis. One if Firefly, who has fled to the Big Apricot to hide and the other is Killer Moth, who is hunting Firefly down.
Moth yells at Firefly, saying he wants his money or he will kill Firefly. Firefly tells Moth to shut up, because Superman listens for raised voices and certain words. A few seconds later Superman swoops in and hauls both villains to jail. I thought it was a good sequence showing how Superman uses his powers and why some criminals are just stupid.
One thread that seems like it might be on going is a rash of fires in Metropolis. Superman has yet to find the arsonist, and hasn't found out how the fires are being started. He meets Melody Moore, the new deputy fire chief. She seems like a good character.
One mystery is what has happened to Lois and Jon. In a short flashback we see Jon complaining that he has had a growth spurt and his pants and jacket don't fit him anymore. All of a sudden a bright white light appears and then the issue ends.
The art by Ivan Reis is amazing. It fits the book quite well. Unfortunately, he is only drawing this one issue. Every issue will have a different artist. While I understand the reasoning behind that, I'm not a fan of that approach. I'd rather have the same artist for the entire mini-series because too many artists can lead to it feeling disconnected from itself.
Overall I'd say this was a great first issue. It sets up an amazing Superman who uses all his powers. New villain Rogol Zaar is introduced and we learn at least one reason why he wants Krypton dead. A few good mysteries are set up in the form of the fires and what has happened to Lois and Jon. I'm excited to see where this goes from here.