What. A. Month! August really was an embarrassment of riches for DC Comics fans. From SUPERMAN #2 to ACTION #1002 to SUPERGIRL #21 and even ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER SONS #1, there was something for everyone. And while this is the second month of my Super Here For… column, this was actually the first time I had a literal stack of books to read, enjoy and pull from as I sat down to pick what I was digging this month. That was exciting in and of itself, and I didn't know where to start.
I really did love a lot! There were so many new developments in the Metropolis fires investigation that allowed Clark to prove that his Daily Planet persona is more than just a cover story—he's actually really good at his job, in case you've forgotten. Cracking that case wide open is only the start to what should be an exciting adventure with the mysterious new villain, Red Cloud.
But the discovery that the criminal underworld of Metropolis has gotten more clever and banded together to outsmart Superman is troubling. Not only have these normally dimwitted gangsters teamed up, they actually succeeded in figuring out a way to keep their crime gigs going without interference from Supes. By distracting him and getting him out of the city, they were free and clear to break all kinds of laws. Of course, they won't be able to anymore now that Clark's figured it all out.
And that leads me to what I'm Super Here For this month: Superman totally losing his $#!& after cracking the case wide open. Watching Clark deliver the news to Perry White about who was really lighting the fires, and then blaming Superman for it as the cherry on top, only to hear White wonder aloud why Superman even bothers with their city at all after this kind of treatment was so frustrating. After everything Superman does for Metropolis, this is the kind of "hero's reward" and thanks he gets?!
I honestly don't blame him for throwing a temper tantrum in space. And even more so, I absolutely loved it.
Ever since Brian Michael Bendis began his run for DC, Superman has really had his whole life together. From his happy family at home, to his stable job, to saving the world every few seconds, it's the most content and calm I've ever seen the iconic character. He reached a kind of peace within himself and the world that was exciting to see. But it also made him even more larger-than-life than normal.
So, with everything falling apart with his family, people getting suspicious of him at work and then finding out that the citizens he's constantly saving are screwing him over, it was the most relatable moment seeing him fly into space and angrily destroy a bunch of asteroids. Even the strongest of characters have their breaking point and falter. And once the anger gave way to exhaustion and despair, my heart broke for him. What an emotional roller coaster this month turned out to be for Superman!
Plus Supergirl #21 is finally giving us some insight into who Rogol Zaar is and how he's been able to commit genocides for so long—he definitely has had some help. And don't even get me started on the impending relationship drama between Clark and Lois now that he's discovered that she's back, working on a new book and living on Earth in a disguise, presumably to hide from her own husband. Why? How long has she been back? And where is Jon?!
As for that development in July's SUPERMAN #1 where we learned that somehow the entire planet Earth had been sucked into the Phantom Zone (yeah, that still gives me shivers), this isn't going to be an easy fix. The Justice League members are slowly going down as they're affected by the atmospheric shift, Rogol Zaar just caught sight of Superman in the Phantom Zone and we still don't know how this even happened in the first place.
But while I love all these stories going simultaneously in all the books, expanding the world and telling stories about other characters besides Superman in-depth, I am extremely confused as to how they all fit together and what it means for the stakes of the planet with Earth somehow being sucked into the Phantom Zone in Superman #2 and yet still being totally fine in Action #1002 and Supergirl #21 (Adventures of the Super Sons #1 takes place in the not-so-distant past between Super Sons #16 and Superman Special #1, so that one makes sense). I guess we'll have to wait and see in next month's issues to find out!
Sydney Bucksbaum covers the Superman family of books and the DC Universe as a whole for DCComics.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SydneyBucksbaum.