Warning: SPOILERS for The Man of Steel #3
The newest Superman villain, Rogol Zaar is finally starting to act in Brian Michael Bendis' The Man of Steel series. In The Man of Steel #3, Rogol Zaar has properly made his introduction to Superman by murdering the entire Kryptonian city of Kandor.
Rogol Zaar first appeared in Action Comics #1000. It was in that landmark issue that Rogol Zaar claimed that he was the reason that Krypton died. While it was obvious that Zaar was going to be a huge part of Brian Michael Bendis' run on Superman, the new villain hasn't done much. In The Man of Steel #3, Zaar makes up for lost time by slaughtering the last citizens of Kyrpton and pushing Clark Kent dangerously over the edge.
For a villain that has done a whole lot of nothing since his first appearance, Rogol Zaar gets off to a raucous start in The Man of Steel #3. The issue opens with Rogol charging into the fortress of Solitude, ripping up Superman's robot Kelex and finally shattering the peace of lives of the citizens of Kandor.
It's a huge but welcome change from Bendis' The Man of Steel series so far which has consisted of Superman investigating and arsonist and suggestions that Lois Lane has left Clark Kent or that Lois and the couple's son Jon have died. (Even though there's no way that the either is true.)
The twist that Rogol Zaar is behind Krypton's destruction, in some way, doesn't have the impact the DC Comics wants but the killing of Kandor does make the monstrous villain slightly more interesting. At the very least, he's become a huge emotional and physical threat for Superman.
Kandor hasn't always been a huge part of the recent Superman canon. The city has drifted in out and of Superman's life and his protection. In the simplest terms, Kandor is a Kryptonian city that escaped the destruction of the planet by being shrunk into a bottle. All the residents survived, Supergirl has even come from Kandor in a few stoires, and Superman vowed to find a way to save the city. Now, thanks to Rogol Zaar, Clark will never have that chance.
The death of Kandor and its innocent citizens rocks Superman to his core. Superman is a complete mess when Supergirl, making her DC Rebirth debut in the Superman series, finds her cousin in front of the remains of Kandor. Together Superman and Supergirl vow to get revenge on Kandor. They use their super senses to locate Rogol Zaar and they finally meet the alien face-to-face.
The Man of Steel #3 ends before Kara and Clark are able to attack Rogol Zaar. Yet, considering the fact that the villain was waiting for them, the battle is probably not going to go in their favor. Rogol Zaar is going to destroy the man and girl of steel but at least Bendis' series will end up going somewhere other than vague teases and repeating the same few plot points.
Kandor probably isn't going to stay destroyed forever too. No death lasts in comics, not even that of a city. However, the destruction of Kandor does add some real emotional and compelling stakes to Superman's villain that hasn't been there before now. Rogol Zaar is nowhere near the villainous heights of Lex Luthor, Brainiac or even Doomsday.
Yet slaughtering an entire city of aliens, is a one helluva way to make an introduce yourself. It's up to the rest of the miniseries (and Bendis' run on Superman beyond The Man of Steel) to determine if Rogol Zaar lives up to the shocking first impression he make for Superman.
The Man of Steel #3 is available now from DC Comics.