Superman Lois and Clark #1
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Art by: Lee Weeks, Scott Hanna, and Brad Anderson
Things have been looking rather dower for me and the DC universe. Convergence started off decently but quickly descended into meaningless nonsense. The only things worth reading in the bat family are Grayson and Batgirl. And to top it off, the public doesn’t trust Superman. Out of everyone in that universe, Superman should at least be the second most trustworthy person—right behind Ted Kord who is so good that even his evil mirror version bakes cookies for the poor and tips 25%. But “Superman Lois and Clark” is intriguing because it takes the Superman that I already liked from Convergence and makes him a secret hero.
It’s worth noting that despite the fact that I love the Dan Jurgens incarnation of Superman and Lois, continuity has had to bend over backward to accommodate them. First, let us remember that at the end of Convergence everyone had their worlds recreated and were sent home with “52 For Life” T-shirts. It was the reestablishment of the multiverse and everyone was back where they belong—except for Superman and Lois because, you know, reasons. It’s never properly explained. Was it their decision? Was it cosmic fate? Did an editor call in sick? They give a halfhearted explanation for why they’re misplaced from their own universe—and then time jumps forward ten years. So wait, is this an alternate universe story? Future timeline? A What If?
For all the weirdness involved to make this story possible, I think there needs to be a qualifier. As a comic book fan there is one rule to continuity that I adhere to: Is this an entertaining story? Because there are plenty of things in comic continuity that make no sense (Why did Magneto lose his powers from the Phoenix?) but sometimes it’s for the greater good. So where does that leave “Superman Lois and Clark”? I loved it. Yeah it’s not the hope inspiring icon I’m used to but there’s something about the way Jurgens writes Clark that makes him a tolerable human being. Perhaps it’s the way he’s genuinely a good person or that he’s madly in love with Lois.
One of the things that really paid off from Convergence was the use of Lois Lane. In regular continuity DC still insists on playing this “Will-They/Won’t-They” game that is as irritating as a sandpaper diaper. So for all of us who waited for decades for Lois and Clark to get together, we get a glimpse of things without all the New 52 rubbish. In this book, not only are they married but they have a ten year old son that they get to embarrass and keep secrets from. And while time is taking its toll on Big Blue, Lois is hitting the zenith of her journalism career. No spoilers but let me just say Lois is stirring a pot chalk full of Intergang. There’s this sense that both of them have found their perfect niche in this world that already has a Lois and Clark.
Perhaps the best part of this book is the artwork. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling of a Superman book. I’m not talking about him fighting Zod or Lex Luthor tormenting him with kryptonite. Instead, Superman is drawn like he is Hercules, using every ounce of his strength to avert certain catastrophe. There’s a struggle and in the struggle Clark is heroic. Not even just heroic, everything is drawn so beautifully that it almost becomes legendary in and of itself. Do I like the look of his costume—not really, the black and silver was bad the first time he tried it when he died… and the beard looks kinda dumb too. Sure there are story reasons: they’re incognito, hero in secret, don’t want anyone to see another Clark Kent. But all of that feels weak. Since primary continuity Superman can’t wear the cape and underoos, why can’t this Clark sport the red, yellow, and blue? That’s a petty grievance, I know. But everything in this Superman book is better so why not just give him the costume if it’s not in use?
Good golly, there are a lot of similarities between this book and “Invincible”. This book could practically be the prequel to Mark Grayson’s adventures—Clark and Nolan even have matching facial hair. Though there are some things that don’t quite measure up. Mark Grayson was told since he was little that his father was Omni-man and it made him revere his dad, made his dad more legendary than Neil Armstrong wrapped in Keith Richards. Clark’s son loves his dad but there isn’t that level of absolute awe. And there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason why they didn’t tell their son. You would think they’d want to warn him that one day he may wake up with laser eyes and be able to bench press a Corolla. Maybe they had planned on telling him until they found out he kept secrets about as well as Ashley Madison.