Convergence Superman #1 came out last week and was the hit of the week for me. Writer Dan Jurgens and artist Lee Weeks have the luxury of going back to the pre-Flashpoint Superman, a more classic interpretation of the Man of Steel, one in love with Lois and trying his best to fight the never-ending battle.
While I enjoyed Morrison's Action Comics, and have seen glimpses of greatness in Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder's run with the character, I feel as if the New 52 Superman isn't the Superman I need. It seemed that the places that had a classic Superman were the out-of-continuity places - Superman Unchained, Adventures of Superman, and Smallville. Heck, even The New Avengers over at Marvel had a more traditional Superman analogue than the New 52.
So when I heard that Convergence was bringing back this Superman, I was thrilled. And Dan Jurgens, one of the main creators surrounding Superman in the 90s and 00s, doesn't disappoint. I'm not surprised. Lee Weeks on art brings a more classic appearing Superman as well, a big brawny guy without a steroid bulk and definition so popular in comics these days.
But no introduction to this book could be complete without mentioning how big a part Lois is in this book. Here she is brave, smart, devoted ... a true partner to Superman. And she's pregnant!
Much like all the other Convergence books, we start in Gotham City. Clark and Lois just happened to be there attending a journalism convention when the dome dropped. Given the timeline we saw in Convergence Justice League, we are probably a year into captivity. And crime seems just as prevalent in Gotham even in the dome.
With a deadly drug trade sweeping the streets, a depowered Superman decides to go all Gangbuster, dressing up like a ninja and fighting crime. Even without powers, Superman feels the need to right wrongs, even if he is at risk.
But even better than that is the fact that Lois is 'Oracle', on line with him and talking to him throughout the encounter.
Of course, he isn't Batman. Taking on a gang armed to the teeth is dangerous.
As luck would have it, Telos drops the dome at the exact time that one of the crooks blasts Clark with a flame thrower. With his powers back, the ninja suit burns away revealing the Big Red S.
Yes! And he's back!
See what I mean about Week's Superman? He looks thick and strong but not musclebound.
With his powers back, Superman is able to fly home for the first time in months.
And there is Lois, quite pregnant, ready to great him.
For those of us waiting for Lois to return to a place of prominence in the Superman mythos, this was wonderful. Seeing her greet him as 'my Superman' and hugging him was great.
And while the dropping of the dome and Telos' monologue about cities battling cities is a pressing matter, even Superman knows that it can wait a moment.
Instead, he decides to just enjoy a quiet moment with Lois.
Fantastic. Just fantastic.
But this is tournament is a fight for ultimate survival. Of course some of the darker Earths might decide to be proactive about this whole thing.
And one of the darkest universes is the Flashpoint universe. That Earth's League decides to strike first.
Now I didn't like much of Flashpoint but the Scott Snyder/Gene Ha Project Superman was a highpoint. So I liked that this scrawny Clark is present, a dissenting view. And even though he was hidden away for years, he still saw 'plenty of bad'. That war torn world is an abattoir. And remember he fought a Super-Doom himself.
That said, I don't like this universe. So I can't believe I have to read about them in two of the Convergence mini-series I am buying.
Superman decides he needs to investigate this crazy planet with its other cities. While flying over the barren landscape between cities, Captain Thunder and the Flashpoint League ambush him.
But this is old school Superman and he isn't easily vanquished.
I love this panel. You can feel that punch delivered by Superman. There is a sort of Wayne Boring barrel-chest look to Superman as he rocks Thunder.
And despite being attacked, he doesn't want to fight these versions of his friends. He doesn't want to take part in this arena-style death match. And that is completely consistent with what I want in my Superman. He shouldn't be punching first. He should be trying to reason things without violence.
I love this Superman.
This is the Superman I want to read.
But there is one more interesting wrinkle in this story.
The Flashpoint Superman loved and lost his Lois. That Lois died in the battle with Doomsday. Much like the Flashpoint Aquaman wants to be reunited with any version of Mera in Convergence Justice League, this Superman wants to be with any Lois. But unlike the creepy Aquaman, this Superman just wants to be with Lois and protect her.
Still, this is creepy ...
And the pre-Flashpoint Superman is too busy in battle to fly here to intercede.
I very much felt sympathy for Project:Superman so I hope he isn't portrayed to badly here. I think the ethics of Superman exist in this guy. He is just hurting, emotionally fragile, and immature. He hasn't had a lifetime of interactions to help guide him. He might not realize that this could seem threatening.
I loved this issue ... every part of it. So far, this is the winner of Convergence in my mind!
Overall grade: A