Superman is always busy, but it’s hard to think of a time when he’s had more on his plate than right now. He’s revealed his civilian identity to the world, opening a massive can of worms that complicates his life in endless ways, and he’s also spearheading the intergalactic effort to create the United Planets, which requires navigating a lot of different alien egos to create bridges between formerly warring species. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Ivan Reis have done spectacular work on year two of Superman, simultaneously expanding on both Superman’s cosmic adventures and Clark Kent’s challenges at home. (Read more about it in this Big Issues from last year.) The fallout of the big identity reveal gives Bendis loads to explore in regards to the current state of journalism, with Clark Kent sticking around as a full-time employee and the Daily Planet publicly promoting Superman as one of their writers.
It’s fitting that the Daily Planet would become a bigger part of the Superman title once the line between journalist and superhero is erased, and bringing more of Clark Kent to the title provides balance for the explosive space opera. The arrival of the planet-conquering Mongul takes the sci-fi action to even greater extremes, and this exclusive preview of next week’s Superman #20 shows the representatives of the United Planets trying and failing to stop Mongul’s rampage. The excerpt opens with a quick look at how Daily Planet competitors are reacting to the Clark Kent news, then jumps to space to show Mongul’s brutal attack, highlighting how well Reis depicts action on a massive scale. Working with inkers Joe Prado and Oclair Albert and colorist Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper, Reis captures the full might of these superpowered fighters, using double-page panel layouts to reinforce the grandiosity of their showdown.