Warning: SPOILERS for Superman #1
Brian Bendis's Superman #1 sees the Man of Steel create a new Fortress of Solitude - and this time, he's based himself in the Bermuda Triangle.
The Fortress of Solitude is an important part of Superman's mythology. On the one hand, it serves as a shrine to his doomed homeworld of Krypton. On the other, though, it's the place where Superman stores all his most precious artifacts and most dangerous technology. It contains everything from Kryptonite samples to portals to other dimensions and realities. That's why it was so shocking to see Brian Bendis have the Fortress destroyed in his first Man of Steel arc.
This week's Superman #1 sees the Man of Steel move on from the past, mourning everything he's lost with the destruction of his old Fortress - and creating a new one. This time round, he plants a Kryptonian crystal in the ocean of the Bermuda Triangle, which forms a stunning crystalline home.
Amusingly, Clark Kent then considers writing a news article explaining what the Fortress of Solitude is and why Superman needs it. "Formed with Kryptonian crystal technology created light-years from Earth and its yellow sun," he writes, "the Fortress of Solitude offers Superman a unique place of solace and meditation." Clark reconsiders, choosing not to write the article after all, dismissing his ego with a wry smile.
Brian Bendis is determined to make his mark on the Superman mythos. In November last year, it was announced that he was jumping ship and moving from Marvel to rival publisher DC. The publisher initially kept quiet about just what books he'd be working on, only revealing that he'd be running the Superman franchise in January this year. The first arc of Man of Steel was fundamentally flawed, but realistically should be seen as little more than Bendis setting the scene for what he'll do throughout his Superman run. The destruction of the Fortress of Solitude, for example, is clearly intended as an excuse to relocate Superman's base.
Comics have often tended to assume that the Bermuda Triangle is one of the most inhospitable places in the world, and Superman #1 shows the Fortress emerging from the storm-tossed waves. It's a stunningly bleak image, lovingly rendered by artist Ivan Reis, inker Joe Prado, and colorist Alex Sinclair. It's true that the Bermuda Triangle often suffers from Atlantic tropical storms, but it's actually not quite as distant and remote as most comic book writers tend to think.
For one thing, the emergence of a new island would most definitely be picked up on satellites. There's no way this particular Fortress of Solitude should realistically remain a secret for long.
Superman #1 is on sale now from DC Comics.
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