Parasite has his sights set on Lois Lane’s Psionic abilities in Superman #27!
Superman has confronted the Parasite, although he assumed the beast was after him, he was not. After the events of “Psi-War” Lois Lane was left with Psychic abilities. Parasite senses the immense power that the coma-ridden Lois exudes and begins to feed off of it. Superman is tested in this issue on not only a physical level, but also an emotional one when he is forced to make difficult decisions for not only Lois but also his secret identity.
The dynamic between Lois and Clark has changed. Now that she is aware that Clark is Superman, their conversations have become more personal and engaging, albeit through telepathy. It is an interesting scenario but it will not last long as Parasite not only feeds off her energy, but also takes it away. Scott Lobdell finds a way to keep the story moving and adding interesting subplots. He gives Lois’ boyfriend Jonathon Carroll a larger role in this issue and it finally gives the character a believable personality. Superman struggles as he must tackle new strategies in facing Parasite and Lobdell weaves these moments rather well.
The artwork is a large step up from last month’s issue. Ed Benes takes over as Ken Lashley only works on the cover this month. The direction leaves a developed and researched style that was absent from Superman #26. Superman and Parasite are both given impressive amounts of detail as the comic remains consistent from start to finish. Parasite is still a revolting flesh beast, but a well-drawn revolting flesh beast.
The final page of the comic really stands out. It is a bit of a preview as to whom the next villain will be in Superman and it is a powerful one. The villain will likely bring the story into new places and breathe a bit of life into the book.
Parasite is poorly written. The character feels more like a caricature of himself. Parasite makes awful puns, terrible jokes, and terrible dialogue throughout the issue. For readers that have only looked into the New 52 DCU, they will notice an alarming difference between the Parasite from the villains month issue and the Parasite from this one. They speak, react, and act completely differently. Although one would assume they were not the same person, they established that it is, and the result is not only confusing, but lazy.
The villains month issue of Parasite painted a grizzly vision of a pitiful person that became a monster. The character was likeable at first before turning into the Parasite, and now all shreds of that personality have not only been cleared but forgotten in Superman #27. Parasite already had an introduction in Superman and it doesn’t explain why his personality would change so drastically in a small period of time.
The other glaring problem with the book is that Superman feels out of character. There are moments where he has to make tough decisions and rather than find a way to do it in the Superman-esque fashion, he makes selfish ones. The argument can be made that it was warranted and served its purpose but it did not read as something Superman would do.
Superman #27 is an overall better issue than its predecessor, but not by much. With dialogue that harkens back to 90’s animated puns, sloppy handling of multiple characters, and a topic thoroughly beaten to death, Superman is having a difficult start to the New Year. Although the artwork has improved, nothing else makes this issue shine on the comic stands.