Superman: Lois and Clark #6. Dan Jurgens- Writer, Lee Weeks- Penciller, Scott Hanna- Inker, Jeromy Cox- Colorist.
Sometimes there are clichés that grate on one’s sensibilities and completely deter one from enjoying and entertainment experience. Despite some clichés, Superman: Lois and Clark #6 is just the opposite. It’s immensely fun. Additionally, there’s a nod to the disappointing Superman Returns. This comic isn’t the first story to depict Lois and Clark as parents, but it perhaps is the most satisfying.
A one page flashback opens the issue, as Lois and Clark learn that this world’s Superman’s secret identity has been revealed to the world by this world’s Lois Lane. (See the “Truth” storyline in this past year’s Superman titles.) This event creates a little panic in Lois, but only gets the firm resolve that Superman is know for.
Back to the present, Clark is trying to locate Lois’ publisher- Cora. Using his super-hearing he listens for her cell phone ring as Lois calls it. “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” is the ring tone he is listening for. Clark concentrates extremely hard to block out everything and is able to locate the phone. He saves Cora from a couple of Intergang thugs, but not before she gave up Lois’ identity as Author X. Meanwhile, Jon has missed the bus home from school and Lois has to go retrieve him. She a bit surprised when she finds him in the computer lab researching Superman. As they leave, a couple of other Intergang henchmen abduct them. At this point the tension is rising and the old “Lois is in danger” cliché appears to be rearing its head. The inclusion of their son recalls a similar scene in Superman Returns.
Clark is racing his way to Lois and Jon, but on the way is derailed by the reality TV Show, Bad Ass Nation. The stunt gone awry has the villain destroying a bridge. But the producers failed to block the road and the situation has turned into a job for Superman, which Clark has to stop and address. This is cliché number two, Superman must decide between Lois and the greater good. And while it is a cliché, at the same time it is in some ways the quintessential dilemma for Superman. These are the situations that get right at the heart of the character. He saves everyone, right? Oh, no he actually doesn’t. And he doesn’t save Lois and Jon.
Just like Chris White in Superman Returns, Jon White saves the day for Lois. He’s figured out something’s not right. He confronts Lois after the two have been tied to chairs and left to die in a burning shack. “Why does dad look so much like the guy they say is Superman?” he queries. “Who am I?” he exclaims as he breaks his bonds. He’s able to brave the flames and get to the door of the shack to get them out. Through it all Lois goes through the range of emotions- fear, surprise, shame, and relief, all delineated by Weeks.
In other news, Hyathis has shown up demanding the Oblivion Stone at Hank Henshaw’s interrogation. Next issue should be a doozie!
This issue really did a great job of building suspense and excitement through familiar Superman tropes. While this could be seen as a reliance on past stories, it just felt right and familiar. Superman is a character that is expected to act a certain way and face certain challenges. This title is delivering on those expectations. The Lois and Clark as parents bring a different human element to the character and that is the innovation in this series, and it is a welcome innovation. It was also a pleasure to finally get eyes on Hyathis. She looks more like an Amazon than her in her previous plant based incarnations. You’ve got to go all the way back to Justice League of America Vol.1 #3 for her first appearance.
This issue as always may not appeal to those readers who didn’t care about the pre-Flashpoint Superman. As a story it’s constructed well, so there’s not much to be said here. Move along.
The Oblivion Stone- as I thought about what powers this object might contain, it occurred to me that this may play into DC Universe: Rebirth which is fast approaching. Oblivion might be the fate of some of the characters during the event. If you check out June’s Superman solicits it may reveal who that is…. It might be a good idea to stick around Lois and Clark to see what it’s all about. 4 1/2.