Superman: Lois and Clark #3. Dan Jurgens- Writer, Lee Weeks- Penciller, Scott Hanna, Sergio Cariello & Lee Weeks- Inkers, Brad Anderson- Colorist.
It’s not often that an alternate version of a mainstream DC Character is more interesting and likable than the main version. However, this is the case with the Superman and Lois in Superman: Lois and Clark. While Superman is the classic and iconic superhero, he’s not in his normal milieu in this book. This not only makes this title unique and interesting, but it provides the reader with the continuing story of these pre- New 52 iterations. Some readers will find this Lois and Clark more familiar than their contemporary counterparts in the regular Superman books. This issue sees Clark face some familiar challenges, as well. It seems that his fears about Hank Henshaw may not be the biggest problem facing the Man of Steel, though Intergang is certainly gunning for Lois. For diversity, we’ve got a married couple with a child as the main characters. Since Animal Man got cancelled, this is the first time we’ve seen this in a DC book.
Blanque. There’s nothing like throwing a mindreading telekinetic who’s pure evil to give Superman a test. The issue opens with Clark facing of against this fellow a few years ago before he had to show himself to anyone. Blanque has so far wiped out a few whole towns, killing everyone in them. Clark seems ready to cross the line and kill to stop this guy, but he doesn’t. This encounter leads him to build a maximum security prison. So far, this solution has apparently worked.
Our story jumps to the present as we see Lois and Clark discussing Intergang’s attack on Lois and Jon. While all seems fine, there’s clearly a tension underlining everything. Clark thinks it’s dangerous just as Lois says the same thing about Clark’s lifestyle. It’s nice to see that Jon is their main concern. It’s hard to tell if they are kidding themselves about Jon’s safety or they really believe it. Either way, the ambiguity is there and it makes Lois and Clark seem like a very human couple, prone to denial of things they don’t want to believe and searching for confirmation of what they want to believe.
After seeing Jon safely to school, Clark heads to his Fortress/Prison to check in on Hank Henshaw. For all his concern about Henshaw, it is Blanque who again becomes trouble. Blanque is able to see into Henshaw’s mind and control him in order to gain his release and go after Lois and Jon. Meanwhile, in space, a Dominator is dominated as he confesses to losing the Oblivion Stone in the Sol system while being interrogated by the mysterious sword-wielding alien.
What stands out the most about this issue, is the accurate voice of the characters and their familiarity. It’s just feels so nice to hear Superman sound like Superman and enjoy Lois and Clark being married. Clark’s solution to the Blanque problem was an obvious one, but it seems like he’s going to be quite a bit of trouble that will require another solution. This seems like a true challenge for Superman since he is unwilling to kill and Blanque seems to want to push Superman to his limit. Lee Weeks is really showing his Joe Kubert influence in some spots and it is welcomed. Weeks’ work is usually beautiful, but the obvious influence is appreciated.
The Henshaw plot seems to be dragging a bit, but at this point it may be misdirection on Jurgens’ part with Henshaw playing the role of Blanque’s pawn on this Earth. The sub-plot with the Oblivion Stone and the Dominator is playing out slowly. One can only wonder if these two storylines will merge at some point or if they will remain separate challenges for Superman.
For a bit of diversity in character while staying inside DC’s top tier of characters, Superman: Lois and Clark is a different sort of book. There continue to be surprises and a fair amount of tension as the danger of their exposure is always there. This type of set up can be used for long time if utilized correctly. This book has the potential to stay around despite its solicitation as a 10 issue mini-series. No matter, this is a solid book with familiar characters and nice characterization, the perfect series for those readers who miss the pre- New 52 line and those who are looking for something a little different, but familiar.