'Superman: Villains #1' Review: Character-driven short stories see villains process Superman's identity reveal
Spoiler alert for 'Superman: Villains #1
Call it a comic filled with character-driven short stories. 'Superman: Villains #1 is set in a universe which is still processing the fact that Clark Kent is Superman. The Man of Steel dropped a bombshell by announcing his secret identity and this edition deals with the wider consequences following the shocking reveal. The comic centers around the villains who Superman has fought over time and their reactions to the announcement.
'Superman: Villains #1 sets the tone for a riveting series. The decision splits the villains into those who are now bent on taking down Superman and those who find a sense of redemption. Mongul, for one, hopes to take the battle to Superman after learning the identity while Toyman and Lex Luthor take some space in the world. A classic example of a villain laying down the gun is Toyman. Alternatively, Brian Michael Bendis weaves in the storyline on The Daily Planet that has its own shocking secret that's out.
Lois Lane has documents that prove Marisol Leone is the kingpin behind Metropolis Invisible Mafia and this may also have a ramification on the Daily Planet. Perry White plays a crucial role as the issue captures his thoughts and struggles and that the reveal will essentially put a full stop to his decorated career as an editor.
The issue also manages to show Superman seamlessly balance his persona as a superhero and Clark. Fans of Lieber and Gaydos are in for a visual treat as the art is top-notch and strikingly different from their other works. It may be a bit too much on the eye at times. The lengthy and slow-burn script might purely be a conscious call, however, it makes sense as it goes into detail about the villain's reactions and thoughts about the news.
In all, this one sets the tone for a riveting second issue.
'Superman: Villains #1' credits
Writers: by Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, Jody Houser
Art: Steve Lieber, Mike Perkins, Bryan Hitch, Eduardo Pansica, Cully Hamner, Michael Gaydos
Cover: Bryan Hitch