Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

This was the first ARC I got from NetGalley, before I understood how it worked. I didn't end up reading it.
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ARC from Netgalley.
Now here's Superman! I was worried about Bendis taking of Superman after reading Action Comics V1, but here we have a great book.
Beginning with Superman going off into space to look for Jon and Lois (who are travelling with Jor-El), who he doesn't find, we begin to change Superman already by rebuilding the Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle (Are we going to not even talk about the fact that Xebel is there? Superman builds his new home right near the area that is basically Atlantis' supermax prison?). Then, the driving force for the whole rest of the Volume: Earth has been transported inside the Phantom Zone! And who is there to make trouble? Rogol Zaar. 
The rest of the Volume is basically Superman teaming up with heroes and villains (even Zod!) alike to combat Rogol Zaar and his forces. The battle is intense at times, both with the Earth being poisoned by just being in the Phantom Zone, and Superman getting weaker by the moment because of a lack of the Sun.
The Volume ends and a few things have happened: 1) Earth is back where it is supposed to be. 2) Rogol Zaar has defeated Zod, yet both are still trapped in the Phantom Zone. and 3) Jon is back.... but he's a teen now?
Can't wait to see how that is explained....

Overall, a really good Volume. Recommend.
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Superman is still reeling from the Rogel Zaar fight when Earth and everyone is pulled into the Phantom Zone! The Justice League needs to figure out what happened and figure out a wild scheme to get the Earth out. And Rogel Zaar and all the rest of Krypton's criminals are out to take Earth down now. Can Superman and the Justice League do it? And where is Lois and Jon while all the excitement is going on?
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Superman Vol 1:The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth is a great follow up to Man Of Steel. So many unbelievable events occurred in this graphic novel. I think Superman didn't use his alter ego even once. There was too much chaos going on that needed to be stopped!
I liked that scientific curiosity almost caused the end of the world. The guys at S.T.A.R. Labs bit off more phantom zone than they could chew. These confident nerds caused the entire Earth to go into the nightmare called the phantom zone. That's the scariest mistake anybody could have make. All those alien baddies just waiting for the kill..
So once again! It's it to Superman and the Justice League to correct the wrongs of men. Too bad most of the members are poisoned from the atmosphere. Thanks again S.T.A.R. Lab techs!  
Hey isn't that Rogol Zasr, destroyer of Krypton? What's he doing with Jax ur, destroyer of Krypton's moon? Why are they together? Why do they have an army? Ah to beat Superman. Makes sense they'd want revenge for being banished to this wasteland. Then out of nowhere, Zod to the rescue!
It took the expertise of the Atom, but the Earth escaped the zone. I love how useful the Atom is in the comics compared to his Legends Of Tomorrow persona. Comic book Atom fights and cures cancer. I can't remember the last time legend atom fought or wore his suit. 
Superman did the usual self sacrificing thing but his friends got him out of the zone . The problem is that Superman left Zod in Phantom Zone. That was not very superhero like at all. Even if it you have a complicated relationship with your uncle(watch Man of Steel movie), the right thing to do is to save him. The tyrant tried to save his nephew after all.
The best part of this whole novel was the ending. A certain someone returns looking extra grown. I can't wait to read the next volume to find out why!
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This was a decent comic. I've read copious amounts of comics in the past week, and this did not stand out in any way, whether good or bad. 

The storyline was nice, I just think it could have been executed better. It's about Superman finding himself in the Phantom Zone yet again when all of Earth finds itself in it?? Superman has to fight Rogol Zaar and a bunch of other aliens in this volume. 

Superman was well written, though the story wholly felt choppy and all over the place. I know some people enjoyed it because it was character driven, but there wasn't much action. Take that how you will. 

Also, Martian Manhunter. What the heck? I've seen him out of character in many comics, but I think this was the most OOC I've ever read. (I won't spoil since I will be posting this review online, but yeah, no.)

I do appreciate the attempts to humanize Superman, because in the end, Clark Kent was raised by humans and his morals reflect that, so a character arc reflecting Superman's mental struggles versus the fact very little can take him down physically was a good way to show that Superman is not indestructible. 

Last thing: art. I'm an art student and I'm very critical of art, but I enjoyed the art in this. It was choppy, but the storyline itself felt choppy, so I guess they just went hand in hand. 

Overall, I enjoyed this a fair amount. 3/5.
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That was-- different. I sorta knew it would be with Brian Michael Bendis taking over. I didn't hate it, but, I now think twice about the Superman serieses before I choose to read them.

Lois and Jon are still gone, and Superman has a big problem. Save the Earth before the guy that nearly destroyed Earth just a little while before tries again. Oh, and Zod gets involved too.

There were fun parts. I love that he stumbles into an invasion and the aliens are like 'WTF' (paraphrased). His new fortress is in the Bermuda Triangle as well, and that was fun. Not to mention, dude, Nuclear Man!!

Unfortunately I didn't love the grand/humongous-ness of the story. The Superman story was finally getting back to its good days (in my opinion, the stuff that was friends/family centric and looked at characters not big battles), and now BMB has dragged it all back into the gigantic, not to mention Supes musing about taking over the Earth. Ugh.

I received this book via Netgalley thanks to DC Entertainment.
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Brain Michael Bendis writes the Superman I love .  Looking at the world with a different view Superman must decide what he can do for Planet Earth .a fresh voice for the hero we all know and love Bendis delivers
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This, unfortunately, was just inconsequential mush.  One and a half stars.

This, unfortunately, was just inconsequential mush.  One and a half stars.
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Bendis has a clear grasp on the character and his history of writing large scale events is evident here. While the pacing at the beginning is a tad slow, it picks up well enough. Reis’ art is beautiful and complimented well by the inking of Prado and Albert. Sinclair’s colors are vibrant and feel alive.

Overall, this feels like a Superman book and while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, I also don’t want it to. I like my Superman stories to focus on Clark and his inspiring message of love and hope above all.
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The Unity Saga does a nice job of throwing a major problem at Superman to see how he handles it. It's not every day that you find the Earth in the Phantom Zone. I've been a big fan of Brian Michael Bendis and was excited to see what he'd accomplish at DC. While this isn't my favorite Superman story ever, it's not a bad one, either. Bendis instantly gives Superman a purpose, but one that comes with a struggle down the line. 

The art from Ivan Reis is solid throughout the series. There are moments where it looks a little rushed, but not enough to detract from the story. Overall, this is a decent story arc and I look forward to what comes next from Bendis as he continues to flesh out more Superman stories.
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I was curious to see how Brian Michael Bendis’ transition to DC Comics would go. I wouldn’t necessarily say I am a huge fan, but I think of solo titles he does do mostly enjoyable work. I found this volume to be pretty mediocre, and far from Bendis’ best. Superman flies around and beats up bad guys and lots of very improbable things happen. Whenever the root cause of the entire planet being shunted into the Phantom Zone is seemingly introduced as an aside, there might be problems with the plot.

This review will be featured in the Quick Hits! section of Graphic Novel Weekly, and will be available online at the provided link on April 4, 2019.
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'Superman, Vol. 1: The Unity Saga' by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ivan Reis picks up right after the events of the 'Man of Steel' graphic novel.

Lois and Jon are off with Jor-El, which is leaving Superman feeling a bit lonely.  When his only way to communicate with them breaks, he becomes a bit frantic, but that's not the only thing that is about to break.  The Earth ends up in the Phantom Zone and Superman finds himself facing Rogol Zaar again. 

I liked the preceding volume and this was a decent finish.  The art is pretty solid, and the story is big like a Superman story should be.  The reasons that Superman gets left without help seem plausible, but his willingness to ask for help are too.   

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from DC Entertainment and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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Superman is on a mission. He needs to find his family who have been incommunicado ever since his estranged father, Jor-El, returned and decided to take Superman’s son Jon on a galactic walkabout to ‘find himself as a man’. Lois Lane, Superman’s partner, and Jon’s mother, decided to join them. Now, they’re AWOL, and the Man of Steel has no way to contact them.

But soon, his family are going to be the last people on his mind in Superman Vol. 1 The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth. The villainous Rogol-Zaar re-appears with one sole intent—to rid the universe of the Kryptonian plague. While Superman is distracted by his missing family, how will he fight this scourge, and protect the world he loves so much?

Superman, the One Superhero Army

Kal-El. Clark Kent. Superman. All these names make up one superhero—the Man of Steel from Krypton, protector of Earth and occasional reporter for the Daily Planet. The story of Superman is beloved by all comic book fans, but with DC Comics’ Rebirth arc, the backstories of almost all the superheroes were re-written with slight updates. Under Brian Michael Bendis’ penmanship, Superman’s home planet was not destroyed by the Kryptonians’ hubris, but by something else. A corporeal being that Superman can punch—but can he defeat it?

In this volume, Superman is left to his own devices to fight evil in the Phantom Zone while the rest of the universe’s superheroes are incapacitated or missing. He has to do all the heavy lifting, which seems like a long-shot, even for this alien hero. Panels upon panels concentrate on his unwavering determination and stamina.

But what I loved about his characterisation in Superman Vol. 1 The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth is that Superman knows he can’t be everywhere at once. He turns down an offer to be a galactic leader, while later he needs the conscious members of Justice League to save Earth while he fights his enemy. All the while, it’s the memory of the people he knows and loves most that keep him going.

This tactic works for the majority of the book, though I would have liked to see Superman interact with the rest of the Justice League a little more than he does. Also, where’s Supergirl? She fought the same enemy in the previous volume, but she’s all but forgotten in this one.

Is there such a thing as a perfect superhero?

Superman holds his own against a formidable opponent in this volume. At times, it seems impossible to fathom how he’s able to keep going despite his depleting energy. But the stakes never feel that out of reach. Bendis writes Superman with a great deal of reverence—he is a god among men in Bendis’ rendition. This makes Superman super-perfect in every way, and that is to the detriment of the book.

Never does Superman have a stray bad thought, or a moment of selfishness. He is goodness and light, and thereby perceives the world that way as well. It’s all a bit too twee. We get that he’s an alien, but not all Kryptonians were paragons of virtue, so what makes Superman so special?

What would have worked in this book’s favour would have been a story about emotional turmoil rather than brute force. Superman is powerful, everyone knows that, but there has to be more to keep the reader at the edge of their seats. There is hardly any human interaction at all for the Man of Steel, and this leads to several pages just being verbose with no heart.


I received an advanced Netgalley copy of Superman Vol. 1 The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth from DC Comics for review purposes. Even for a reader who is unfamiliar with Bendis’ previous volume The Man of Steel, this book easily catches you up with what has been happening in Superman’s life. I appreciated the touches of humour, especially early on in the volume when Superman and Martian Manhunter meet. We could have done with more of that.

However, despite the grandiloquent art by Ivan Reis, and at times uninspiring text, the denouement sets up that much needed emotional anticipation that was missing for most of this volume. How will this play out in Action Comics Vol. 1: Invisible Mafia, we will have to wait and find out in April.
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This story follows Superman as he tries to save Earth from being in the Phantom Zone. This was a well-written and well-illustrated story that made it easy to understand Superman as a new DC reader. I appreciated the creativity of using the Phantom Zone along with cameos from other members of the Justice League. I found the story engaging to read, and I am excited to read the next one.
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I go off on little tangents where I prefer certain characters for a while.  I might devour a Flash run (hello Rebirth) or sit in a circle of trades reading a Green Lantern run in chronological order (looking at you Blackest Night), but Superman transcends these whims. I'm always in the mood for Superman.

I have to admit that it is exciting to see the OG Superman back in the trunks going on an adventure.  It took me a while to get into the Rebirth era, but by the Truth run I was all in. Now that we are beyond that, I have been looking forward to this Bendis run and was eager to get started.  I was hoping to love it, but only clocked in at liking it. 

I have to say upfront, my problems with this book come down to personal preference.  I have never been a fan of Zod or "Krypton is back!" plotlines. It's just not the way I prefer my Superman.  I like simple stories that allow Superman's goodness to shine through. (See Grounded)

But let's put that aside and focus on the story at hand. In a nutshell Superman finds out what really happened to Krypton and when Supergirl attempts to capture the villain using the Phantom Zone projector a little more than she intended gets sucked into it.  With Lois and Jon off with Jor-el, a lonely Superman has to tackle this issue with the aid of the Justice League.  There's some great stuff in here between Superman and the Martian Manhunter.  Everything with Flash cracked me up. We end on an intriguing note which was a pretty successful cliffhanger.  

The dialogue is quippy without being cute and the book looks great. The story feels a little 90s throwback, but I assume that's intentional.  While I would have preferred a different kind of Superman story, there's a lot a good here and I'm ready for more.
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Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth by Brian Michael Bendis (illustrated by Ivan Reis) is a graphic novel which makes Superman look at his role in a different light. This graphic novel collects Superman #1 – 6.

STAR Labs were screwing around and caused a mess by beaming the Earth into The Phantom Zone. The Phantom Zone is dimensional prison used on Krypton.

In The Phantom Zone, Superman meets General Zod and Rogol Zaar who wants to kill every Kryptonian he meets since they destroyed his planet.

I had no idea what to expect from Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth by Brian Michael Bendis (illustrated by Ivan Reis), I enjoyed the Rebirth series and was curious about where DC Comics is going to take my favorite superhero to. Right off the bat I started to enjoy this graphic novel, the story was easy to follow and not too convoluted.

The writer managed to tell an interesting story, allow the characters to grow as well as a rounded supporting cast. The story is cool, but I thought the main reason the villains are there is just to allow Superman to punch something.

There are many characters from the DC comic book universe appearing all over the book, from Adam Strange to Martian Manhunter. I haven’t read many of the stories the past few years, but it seemed to me that Martian Manhunter is action totally out of characters (trying to push Superman towards fascism by taking control of Earth).

The art was good, I don’t always enjoy the representation of my favorite hero, and actually I’m quite critical. Some of the pages were choppy, but I have no real issues with it.

I always maintained that Superman is not an easy character to write. A superhero that has very little physical challenges, writing a viable villain is difficult and he always does the right thing. Mr. Bendis gets the character, concentrating on the “man” and little on the “super, putting together a strong and entertaining arc.
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Brian Michael Bendis' Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth is an interesting take on the Man of Steel, at times bold, at times irreverent. In using a wide swath of the DC Universe, Bendis doubles-down on his Man of Steel miniseries, demonstrating that the scope of that story wasn't just for the "pilot," but rather is what we can expect from the Superman title month in and month out. 

Bendis' triumph is the operatic final issue in which Superman's narrations hang eerily in the air and he considers whether Zaar deserves death, even by proxy, for his crimes. Masterfully, and jarringly, Bendis undercuts this by snatching Superman and the reader out of the fray mid-fight, returning to regular storytelling and leaving both Superman and the audience without a clear sense of what happens next. That's a brave, smart narrative trick, allowing the audience to feel the same discombobulation that Superman does. 

Brian Michael Bendis' Superman Vol. 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth is captivating and controversial. There's a sense of excitement here on Bendis' part and good positioning of Superman at the head of the DC Universe, and much of that improves on where Superman was a decade or so ago.
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I was looking forward to reading this, but my reading app wouldn't open the book.  This is a shame.  Sorry.
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This is a continuation from the Man of Steel event so if you haven’t read that you are going to be a little bit lost reading this one.

There was... quite a lot going on in this book. It felt like nothing was quite solved before something else was going on and then the ending was kind of abrupt. I really liked the way Bendis showed Superman’s internal struggle (is he doing enough? Is he good? Etc) and that it didn’t come off too preachy or fake. Honestly, the characterization of Superman was the best part of this book because I felt the plot was all over the place and kind of convoluted. 

The scene with Martian Manhunter was really bizarre. No spoilers but wow where did that come from? It seemed highly out of character and I guess it was supposed to give Superman a push to be good but it was really weird. There were other random things that happened as well that really made the overall story lose its flow. 

Other than Superman’s characterization the best part of the book was the art. It made it very clear if it was a flashback, a battle, or a different scene. I really enjoyed how the art portrayed a mood or a scene and it really added depth to the book. I just wish the story did the art justice
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Superman Volume 1: The Unity Saga: Phantom Earth is a new series for our favorite out-of-this-world crimefighter, filled with epic fight scenes and monsters straight out of Kryptonian nightmares. There’s also a large cast of supporting DC characters which made for an exciting read.

There were many facets of the story, from life lessons to good versus evil to saving the planet from doom. I was surprised at how well the story flowed, given the many plot directions and the back and forth between past and present day amidst the explosive action. I haven’t read the previous Superman series and had no trouble following the action throughout. There were a number of villains, to be sure, but their stories were well described. On a side note, I was surprised at how funny the heroes were with each other. There were a few jokes that took me by surprise and it made for a great break in the action.

I was especially impressed with the art in this series. There are a lot of battle scenes between especially grotesque monsters and the artist filled every inch of the panels with delicately drawn details. It’s the kind of art that requires examination to take in everything hiding in the corners. 

In the end, this was an extremely entertaining volume, one that promises an intriguing new series. We’re sure to see the phantom zone again, and I look forward to seeing our heroes defend Earth against the powers that would destroy it.

Review will publish on 3/5/19:
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