Review by Ian Keogh
Spoilers in review
Until now Brian Michael Bendis has been producing Superman stories while dancing around the edge of the accepted mythology. Sure, the revelations about Krypton in The House of El changed the background, but not the fundamental of Superman being sent to Earth as a child when Krypton exploded. The Truth Revealed brings a sea change, what will become the defining moment of Bendis’ Superman, and it requires spoilers to review properly.
One viewpoint would be that it’s possible to produce a good Superman story without messing with anything of established consequence. The equal and opposite argument would be that change also results in a good story, but it unpicks a lock and can spark a lot other good stories. Some online comments would suggest it’s a matter of right and wrong, whereas it’s a difference of opinion. Bendis has Superman decide that there’s no reason to maintain a separate identity as Clark Kent. It’s solid reasoning, as Clark is a limiting factor, yet he’s also the means by which Superman remains connected to ordinary people. The reasons pro and con are discussed and Superman comes clean to the world. ‘The Truth’ is a very good story, although it doesn’t deal with the idea of Superman having a secret identity to prevent villains targeting those close to him, which is a considerable lapse. Still, not everything has to be dealt with at once.
Superman’s revelation is the core story in what’s otherwise a good, but very bitty collection featuring many different artists. David Lafuente using varying styles on the opener of Jon Kent updating Robin on his past few years is interesting on a well-considered meditation on friendship. Kevin Maguire (sample art left) works on a less substantial prelude piece, but fans of a certain age will rejoice at a few pages of him drawing the Justice League again.
Finally, a whole army of writers and artists deal with Superman’s revelation to the world over two chapters focusing on DC’s heroes and villains respectively. The different artists mesh together well as each deals with a separate moment or conversation. All the art is good, though. Just the names of credited artists on this page is in effect a guarantee, with Reis spectacular as usual on the title story (sample right). The writing credits aren’t broken down, so there’s no knowing who’s responsible for the sweet Booster Gold moment, the great Mr McKay sequence and the even better Joker cameo, but while there are some lesser snippets, that everything is only a few pages dampens the pain.
Where the wider story goes features in Mythological.