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Review: War of the Supermen #1

This comic is a blockbuster.

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The 100 Minute War gets off to an explosive start as Supergirl confronts her mother over the torture of a captive and Superman fights through waves of Zod's army.

The Good

All of the build-up to this has been much better than I ever thought it would be and that has everything to do with Robinson and Gates' writing. They've crafted an event here that truly feels like a blockbuster. Drama, character, action, storytelling... it's all firing at once. And it really speaks to how well they've set the context (and to Igle's strengths as an artist) that some of the best sequences in this comic are actually silent. Sure, it makes sense scientifically for the silent vacuum of space (as does the fact that Supergirl's tears freeze on her face)... but, really, the lack of words sells the pathos better than any dramatic wailing could.  
As I mentioned, Igle (with masterful colorist Blond) creates a truly engrossing experience here. I was never stepping back to think about technical things like layouts and compositions because the storytelling was so intuitive. This was a true rollercoaster, with twists and turns and some truly jaw-dropping splashpages. Seriously, the space explosion alone could be a poster. Just wow...

The Bad

My only complaint has less to do with actual execution of the book and more to do with the direction of the Superman books, in general. I remember that one of the major points of Crisis of Infinite Earths was to specifically simplify Superman's corner of the DCU and it seems like all that's been reversed, now. Instead of Kal-El being the sole survivor of Krypton, you've got his extended family, Superwoman, Nightwing, Flamebird,  Zod and all the rogue Kryptonians and... the list goes on and I see a threat of it all getting way too complicated for its own good.

The Verdict - 4.5/5

Even if you didn't get the superb zero issue that DC put out for Free Comic Book Day last week, you really need to pick this up if you're a superhero fan. Seriously, "the bad" I talk about with things getting complicated is rather moot... because Robinson & Gates have crafted this so well that you don't need to have read a single issue before this (but without sacrificing the pay offs that long-term readers will enjoy). Seriously, pick this book up when you go to your LCS this week.