This was a kick-ass issue – finally, the rematch with Rogal Zarr.
We hit the ground running with Superman and Rogal meeting head-to-head above Earth’s atmosphere. Rogal has an army of freaks at his call along with Jax-Ur. The fighting gets intense for Supes as he’s knocked back down to Earth and beaten into the ground.
Meanwhile, the Atom devises a plan to save Earth – by shrinking it down in order to pull it out of the Phantom Zone. It all goes well, even though Superman remains trapped in the Zone in order to keep all the prisoners off of Earth.
There’s a cool scene laced in during Superman’s struggle on Earth where we flashback to him and Jon in a junkyard. Jon’s angry about all the gossip and negative press against him and his father and feels the urge to take extreme actions against them, but Superman being the great dad that he is talks the boy down. He talks about having the urge to “pop Batman’s head off” from time to time, but the fact remains that Batman ends up alright and doing the right thing.
It’s all a lesson in being smart and not just throwing your fists at someone just because you’re angry or emotional. It’s an interesting parallel to Superman battling Rogal, which is arguably a fight born of hatred, and you have to wonder if Superman will cross that line with him, but I think as long as he holds on to his family he’ll always steer right.
TL;DR Score: Bendis can sure as hell write a convincing, fast-paced, thriller of an issue. Seriously.