Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: Action Comics #41

Action Comics #41 came out this week, the first released issue of 'The Truth', the latest big story to take over the Superman comics.

And I will admit that I came into this issue with a sense of dread. So much of what we know about this arc made me concerned. Lois revealing Superman's secret identity. Superman being depowered. Superman looking brutal in advanced images, with his crew cut and bloody fists. None of it sounded right or looked right.

So there I was with Action Comics #41 in my hands, ready to dislike it and continue what seems to be an ongoing rant about how DC is slowly destroying Superman.

Instead, creators Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder (with colors by Morey and Hi-Fi) ends up being a brilliant issue and very good 'first issue' in this arc. Because, despite the bloody fists on the cover, this was a very good Superman comic, riffing on his earliest stories and showing how even depowered he can be a symbol of hope.

And no big surprise, the art by Kuder is just mesmerizing. We get big moments and small moments and nice page construction and panel layouts. Simply beautiful.

Now there are some things that are a bit wonky. While this is the first released issue in the arc, it is apparently the third chapter. There are editorial references to Superman #41 (which hasn't been released) and Superman #42 (which comes out over a month from now). As a result, we are sort of dropped into this world where Superman has already been outed, is depowered, and seems to be on the run. For an arc this big and promoted, I would have hoped for something more streamlined.

And, of course, there isn't even a mention of Lois in the book.

But those things were speed bumps in an excellent book, steamrolling us into 'The Truth'.



We start out with a shirtless and seemingly battered Superman wandering the wilderness in Alaska of all places. How did we get here? What is going on? Well, it looks like things get pear-shaped in Superman #41, hence the flashback panel.

What we do know is that this is a much more human Superman. He is achy. He is thrilled to be in a warm convenience store. He savors a microwave burrito because he is hungry. I have read plenty of stories where Superman is depowered. I can't recall hearing him speak so 'down to Earth' before.

And, at least initially, he eschews the S-shield. Maybe he doesn't know if he wants to be recognized.

One customer comments that he 'forgot his sunscreen' which makes me think he is a bit red from the sunbath we know he takes in the Superman/Wonder Woman book.


 We also learn that Superman can't really fly anymore. He needs to get from point A to point B the old fashioned way. So we see him buy a used motorcycle. Again, the bike was initially part of my worries for this story. Putting a bloody fisted Superman on a motorbike stinks of 'street level grimness'.

After purchase, the biker he bought the motorcycle recognizes Clark as Superman. And just like that he wants to make a mark for himself as the guy who 'kicked Superman's ass!'

This is definitely going to be part of this story. Exposed and depowered, everyone is going to want to beat the Champ when he is down. But depowered isn't non-powered. Superman is able to thrash these goons.

There was just a whiff of the Donner Superman 2 diner scene or the drunk trucker in Man of Steel.


 With his vegetable t-shirt torn, Superman goes back and buys the S-shield t-shirt. Given we are at a different power level, the Fleischer Studio look is perfect.

Here is one of those great comic pages that Kuder gives us. I love us tracking Superman across the States back to Metropolis. The inset panels showing his trip across the country cluing us in on what the world is like. There is one anti-Superman sentiment.

This could have been a series of panels with caption boxes telling us where Superman is but this map approach is fresh and dynamic.


 Finally back in Metropolis, we hear about Superman's reality since his exposure. His credit cards are cancelled. He's been fired. He is named in lawsuits.

You know what this sounds like? Daredevil's "Born Again" by Frank Miller. In that arc, Matt is outed as Daredevil and the Kingpin destroys Murdock's personal life. That story is lauded and is the foundation of much of what has happened to Daredevil since.

Here, I don't necessarily think there is one villain behind all this. It is a more cynical world than it was back in Born Again. The whole world might be like that biker in Alaska, wanting to take a pop-shot at a hero to bring him low.


 And things get worse, the police have cordoned off Clark's neighborhood, are analyzing it for alien germs, and are ready to arrest Superman, even brandishing guns at him.

But before a fight with the police can happen, the head cop gets a radio communication to let Clark through.

You know, up to this point, even with the great art and the interesting human voice of Superman, I still wasn't sure where this was going. This is a pretty dark moment.


 Clark turns the corner, runs into Jimmy, and discovers that his neighborhood has embraced the idea that they were Superman's home, making it a nightly mini-carnival. They are proud that Superman lived there. He's a hero.

And then all the kids come up and ask him if he is really depowered so he becomes a human playground apparatus.

Hard to be called dark and grim when Superman's smiling widely while kids are laughing and swinging from his arms. There is a sort of Populist feel to this, a sort of working class activism here. He is a hero of the people.


If that wasn't a sort of throwback feel, Pak one-ups it by introducing another L.L. character.

We meet Lee Lambert, a firefighter from the 202 who lived in the area.

She seems to walk a fine line. She loves the city. She doesn't seem outright anti-Superman. But she also says that many people are living in fear, afraid that the area will be leveled by someone looking for revenge.

In the end, I think she is going to be some sort of sounding board for the two sides of this argument. She'll see the good he can do. She'll see the backlash of his actions. And I hope in the end, she will be won over by his acts and inspiration.

But you know what I'd like? If Lois is forced to the sidelines, I'd love to see her be a love interest.


While talking, her walkie-talkie goes off. There is an incident going on nearby. And without any pause, Superman does what he is supposed to do. He runs to help.

This is a great panel showing Clark streaking to aid the police despite his being weaker, despite the cops brandishing their guns at him. I love it.

He leaps to the rescue ... not flies. Again, the Fleischer 'S' resonates.


Over on the docks, their is a massive shadow demon flinging around shipping storage bins. Here is where we learn that this isn't Superman's first run in with one of these demons. He fights them for the first time next month in Superman #42. Ugh ... that did sort of drag me out of the story.

But this splash page drew me right back in. Big moments deserve big art. So seeing this Superman, working on a sort of Gold Age power level, leap in and punch out this thing was just perfect.

It shows who he is as Superman. He isn't the invulnerable hero from a few months ago. This could be dangerous. He is definitely putting himself in harm's way. But he doesn't blink. He does what's right.

Finally, we get a little sense of the bigger evil in the background. That angry cop, Sergeant Binghamton, is communicating with someone. It seems as if this person sent the demon here, a way to get a gauge on the power level of this new Superman.

Interesting.

Shadow Demons, dirty cops, laughing kids, a new LL character and a heroic Superman all dressed up in beautiful art with great layouts. I don't know if I could ask for much more, especially in a storyline I was quite nervous about.

I have a lot of faith in Pak and Kuder. I have loved their time on Action. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they pulled this off. Now all I need is some good Lois!

Overall grade: B+

47 comments:

Martin Gray said...

Great review. I agree, DC should have ensured Superman #41 came out first. I did like that this was a continuation of the Sneak Peeks story. So it seems Jimmy is in this book with new girl Lee, Lana and Steel are in S/WW... maybe this is going to be such a defining piece for the Lois/Superman relationship that she'll be confined to the Superman title.

mark whitear said...

Since Pak and Kuder be on action it been great they are able to go from a big crossover to a horror story to this and it is still great so even if the other super books are rubbish, I know that this team can do great with a lame concept

Anonymous said...

Those aren't bloody fists on the cover. Superman is wrapping pieces of his invulnerable cape around his knuckles for protection. You can see him doing it in the panel you posted of him fighting the demon. It's quite a clever idea really. The eight page sneak peek goes into more detail (and shows how he got to Alaska).

Anonymous said...

Sorry Anj but I'm going to have to strongly disagree with your review for once. Truth is still the antithesis of everything I love about Superman comics, even in Pak's supposedly Holy Grail Action Comics. Clark's still acting way too bull headed and far too gritty for my tastes, he rushes at every action and every deed, not giving considerate thought or reflecting on his experience. I hate that the wisdom and maturity Superman was once known for has been scuppered by writers like Pak who seem more content to write Screw-Up Man than Superman. Moreover, his dialogue sounds so generic at this point that you could literally substitute any good guy into this comic and it would sound the same. Superman's distinctive voice was nowhere to be found from what I've seen.

As for the dark and cynical Metropolis, I really can't stand how suddenly and drastically the City of Tomorrow has changed. Practically moments after Clark got outed, he's been fired from the Daily Planet, lost all his money and can't operate in Metropolis without the people being afraid of him and spraying xenophobic graffiti degrading him and the police trying to arrest him. The children and Jimmy's moments were worthless fluff in an otherwise depressing downward spiral of a tone for the issue.

And on top of that, Pak dares to take away everything that makes Superman who he is. His dual identity, his human connections, his powers, his morality, his purity, to say nothing of how badly Lois comes off. And yet people just lap it up like cheese on a mousetrap. It does frustrate me that not enough people can see through this nonsensical gimmick for what it is. Not to mention that Lee Lambert is an obvious diversity for diversity's sake character that are all the rage in comics, just so Pak can get obvious royalties for her.

Bottom line for me is that Truth instantly proved it's not the Superman story for me. Heck it's not even a Superman story for classic Superman fans anymore, longtime readers who've invested more money and time than the frivolous and DC seems intent on degrading and disrespecting a character whom without existing would not have provided the company the status it has today. It's a sad time to be a Superman fan, especially when Truth is supposed to last a year.

Louis

rollo said...

Diversity for diversity sake as a minority myself I love when people use that term.Why create new minority characters so some people can see someone that looks like themselves but what's the point of that?

Anj said...

I figured this issue would have a lot of different opinions.

A couple of things-

1) I know that is his blanket around his fists. But no denying the blood splattered at his feet.

2) While the dynamic has changed, there was a 'man of the people' feel here that I felt accentuated his humanity for those people willing to still see the good in him. This is a cynical world. Of course there will be fear and ill will and negativity. The best Superman story would have him overcome that, bring people towards the light.

3)I wish there was more Lois. I do. I wish there were tons of Lois and she was treated right.

4) But if Lee Lambert is going to fit the role I think she is, as someone wavering between cynicism/realism and inspiration, I think she'll be a great addition.

Lastly, I think Pak/Kuder have been great on this book from the beginning. Will I like all of the Truth? Who knows. But this opening chapter was enjoyable to me.

mayak46 said...

Great review! It's no secret that I just can not stand the post flashpoint Superman world, especially how the company has treated Lois and her role in the mythology. I'm reading this Truth arc with every part of me braced for the worst.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself thinking "hey, not bad, not bad at all" when I read this. I think that is high praise indeed!

I agree with Louis with regards to Superman's personality however, I also think this is consistent with who he is in this universe, as is the world surrounding him. The reaction he's getting is also consistent to the grim post Flashpoint world. I don't blame Pak or any other writer for this. I put the blame squarely on the Publishers and their vision for this character and the world he lives in. I think this team is doing the best they can with a weak premise and a lot of interference from above.

I also have to agree with anon re "diversity for diversity sake". I don't know what that means. It's one of those no win situations. I'm a woman of color and have been reading these books for about 45 years. Introducing diversity to these stories can seem clunky as first (ex: re reading some of the clunky heavy handed bronze age issues as they tried to navigate women's lib and civil rights can be unintentionally funny) but they have to start somewhere or lose even more market share as the population they are drawing from becomes more diverse.

All that said? I am still bracing myself for the worst because we still haven't found out how/why Lois outs him. This plot point bothers me no end and I'm really wary of why and how it happens.

Meanwhile, the editoral note referencing events in Superman 41 really threw me off at first. I wondered if I missed something.

All in all though, I liked this issue much more than I thought I would.

Martin Gray said...

'Not to mention that Lee Lambert is an obvious diversity for diversity's sake character that are all the rage in comics, just so Pak can get obvious royalties for her.'

Aha, a psychic posts. Greg Pak outed as a money-grubbing opportunist!

Er, no. He's introduced a character who happens to be non-white, just as in the real world characters happen to be non-white. Why the heck assume white is the default? Superman is an alien. He's dated a mermaid. Lee is positively mundane.

GNoah said...

Just curious, are you ever going to review the other DC 8 page sneak peaks for Action, S/WW, and Batman/Superman?

Anonymous said...

Considering Pak has a history of introducing minority characters just for the sake of it e.g Hiro is basically written exactly the same as Amadeus Cho from his Hulk run and because of his own background, I wouldn't say my initial point can be changed that much. Especially when there are enough non white characters in Superman's cast to work with as it is. I'll concede it's better Pak is pursuing his agenda via a new character rather than replacing someone else. But the motivation and reasoning is so obvious whenever a non-white character appears in comics for the most part. Also, applying the fantasy argument is quite contradictory when Lori was a white mermaid, as were almost all the characters in that time.

Louis

Martin Gray said...

'...when there are enough non white characters in Superman's cast to work with as it is'

You really have no idea how racist you sound, do you?

Godzylla said...

I've hated the new Superman since he debuted and loathed even more the obvious editorial (publisher) interference in stories in the early 52. However, Pak is a good writer and the art here is excellent. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this.

I have to say that I do not think it is a scheduling snafu that this came out before the Superman issues with events preceding this. I think this was a (well-)calculated plan to generate curiosity (if not outright excitement) over the storyline. Action and Superman are not intertwined the way they were in the '90s, so they are separate explorations of the character and the overarcing storyline. Also, as with many stories, if you do consider it to all be one story, it's told in a non-linear fashion - again to generate curiosity and keep the reader turning pages and buying the books. I think they've succeeded.

The exploration of the world's reaction to this still-young version of Superman and the teases of the events leading up to his exposure are what have given me some hope that there is a solid reasoning behind Lois' outing him, and that rather than twisting her character around yet again, this is leading somewhere good for her. We'll have to wait and see.

And sorry, Louis, but you need to take a step back and reconsider your - face it - patently racist comments here.

rollo said...

Martin
Because there should only be a certain amount of non-white supporting characters in a comic.SIGH!

mayak46 said...

Ooops. I meant to say agree with what rollo said not anon. Yeesh. Sorry.

"Why the heck assume white is the default?" Right Martin? I don't understand that at all.

"I have to say that I do not think it is a scheduling snafu that this came out before the Superman issues with events preceding this. I think this was a (well-)calculated plan to generate curiosity" Good point Keith. I didn't even think past "huh?"

Anj said...

Interesting point about nonlinear storytelling. I also wonder if they opened with a Pak/Kuder issue as they are a bit more established in this mythos.

I don't know if I'll be covering the other free previews, although maybe I should ...

Anj said...

Might I refer you to blog friend Mart Gray's reviews of the 8 pagers.

http://dangermart.blogspot.com/2015/05/dc-sneak-peeks-omega-men-midnighter.html

http://dangermart.blogspot.com/2015/05/dc-sneak-peeks-reviewed-justice-league.html

http://dangermart.blogspot.com/2015/05/dc-sneak-peeks-previews-martian.html

http://dangermart.blogspot.com/2015/05/dc-sneak-peeks-reviews-justice-league.html

I think I got them all Mart but add more links if I missed some.

Martin Gray said...

That's really kind, Anj, thanks - people won't get your opinions, but opinions and overviews there are! And I did them in one post per week, so four links it is. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

So if you figure out the issues might "have a lot of different opinions", "Anj", how come you DELETE all that don´t conform to your mind-kontrolle -"DC" and you "oh, we´re such clean types here!" ?
Are you a coward?

Godzylla said...

"Coward?" Nice comment coming from an unsigned troll.

sailorkrypton said...

The more money spent on overall anti-Lois/ anti-Clark and Lois with shades if grimdark, the less chance we will ever see a classic Superman again. Yes, the initial social justices GA Kal-L may fit with this, but far longer is the Superman whose true love is Lois Lane and one who is above street-thug super life, swinging children around or not. I'm not against change but change that is not befitting the character. Even put out an all-ages book that isn't drawn in cartoony style and isn't watered down and I'll be happy. But, I guess I'm one of the few people who care for a Superman like that, since Adventures of Superman was canned. :(

Anj said...

Do I want this depleted Superman to be the reality forevermore? No way.

Was this a good opening chapter to a story I have reservations about? For me, yes.

And he still pinches out a huge demon. So it isn't a daredevil.

mayak46 said...

This version of Superman is tedious and the sales have been weak for some time now yet nothing changes.

For what it's worth, I read in store at my LCS, one of the perks of an almost 25 year relationship, when I dropped all the books from my pull post flashpoint they let me read at the rack to keep up and only buy what I want. For example the Lois Lane one shot.

I personally don't think things will change unless there is a real life reboot in upper management. If and when that will happen is anybody's guess.

Anonymous said...

Ah the political correctness squad is out in full force I see. I can't say I'm pleased that my comments are being called racist as the de facto shaming tactic. My problem is not with Lee Lambert being a black woman appearing in a comic at all, it's that she's just shoe horned in their to fit the diversity for diversity's sake quotoa without serving a meaningful role in the story. I'd have hoped that more constructive criticism of my posts could be given, but if the only response people whose posts I actually respect on here can only call me racist instead, I'm displeased at the discourtesy and unfairness towards my comments to say the least.

Louis

Godzylla said...

I'll bite, Louis. What evidence do you have for your stance that she's a token character? Mentally change her out to a white woman (or, make her a white man if you prefer) - how does that change anything in her interaction with Superman?

We calls 'em as we sees 'em.

Libby said...

I neither appreciate the part of TRUTH's premise which uses Lois to uncharacteristically out Superman (it's more of a total mood killer than speed bump for me), nor do I understand the part which attempts to use the loss of secret identity and powers to have Superman be accountable and be revealed as a people's hero at his core.

First, if people had a problem with a superpowered alien and what he was doing as Superman, they didn't need to know he was Clark to realize they were unhappy with his presence on Earth and to say or do something about it. Look no further than the BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE trailer to see that it can be done without stripping the character. It's not as if we haven't seen glimpses of public displeasure in the New 52 before either.

Second, you say that there's "working class activism here" and he comes across as a "hero of the people," but how? He's not engaging in activism in this issue, and we certainly haven't seen Superman engaging with populist issues since Morrison's run--most of which Superman accomplished as journalist, Clark Kent. What you see here is people being excited to see Superman, but then there are scenes of Superman in LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, for example, where Superman is fully powered with his secret ID in action, yet he's talking to regular people and attending community and charity events perfectly at ease with people who are happy to see him.

That being the case, the message of this issue and TRUTH so far seems to be that Superman won't act or have the appearance of a man of the people unless he's forced into it by circumstance. It may even validate the criticism of Superman that he isn't relatable to readers and he is less capable of being grounded in-story because of his powers. Would it not be a more impressive and remarkable accomplishment to convey these same ideas about Superman yet with the so-called barriers and burdens that are traditionally associated with his character?

Anj said...

Wow! Very interesting discussion here. Thanks for all the comments.

I want to make things clear. I would rather be reading the pre-Flashpoint Superman again or any of the ones recently revisited in the Convergence minis.

But I have also enjoyed what Pak has done on this book. I think the a superman in this issue was very likable, something I haven't always been able to say about the New 52 Superman. And seeing him walk around that street fair ... Well I don't think the Lobdell Superman would ever do that.

He isn't forced into jumping to action and fighting that demon. He just goes.

And I'll say it one more time. I have reservations about this storyline. And I may end up hating the whole thing.

But I enjoyed this issue.

Jay said...

I thought this was utterly fantastic. A+ on every level. Art, characterization, plot, everything. This could be exactly what Superman needs if only DC lets this develop fully and resolve itself fully without getting weak knees and resetting things too soon. Do I want his powers back and his costume back? Yes. Especially the costume. But this is a concept really worth exploring, in my view. Ride this out, make me feel why he needs Clark Kent again. But most of all make me feel how he's the Man of Tomorrow and an inspiration for more reasons than just the abilities he has.

Literally the only reservation I have about this is probably Tomasi's characterization. At least in the SM/WW Sneak Peek, he missed the nuance of Superman's optimism in dealing with his new normal. But, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt for a moment that whatever cut him like a sliced ham might have something to do with his downtrodden behavior there.

Libby said...

Anj,

I wasn't debating or even discussing the issue of Superman's likability. I liked him in this issue, too, for the most part. Also, in my discussion of what Superman was forced to do, I made no reference to his heroism. You specifically referenced his "working class activism" and "people's hero" attributes as somehow being highlighted in this issue. Well, going to fight the demon isn't either of those things. It's a nice touch to show that he's still got that superhero spirit in him, but fighting off a "demon" isn't activism or populism. The things you liked, in other words, should and could have been featured in a story without the particular problematic premise these creators have opted to use.


He isn't forced into jumping to action and fighting that demon. He just goes.

And I'll say it one more time. I have reservations about this storyline. And I may end up hating the whole thing.

Jay said...

And I think its worth mentioning once again that its completely unsubstantiated at this point that Lois is being out of character in her actions. One, the issue explaining what happens there is not out yet. And two, the only hint we have thus far about Lois's motivations (Superman #43 solicit) actually suggests a positive, deeper motivation of actually saving Superman somehow.
Third, even if she were to be revealed as revealing the secret just because she feels its her duty as a journalist...it wouldn't be out of character entirely, as earlier Superman tales has her trying to do just that: prove her suspicions that Clark is Superman so she can specifically out him. These are very old tales, and certainly not recent memory of what has become the norm for Lois, but all the same, they exist. All that said though, going back to my second point, I think the evidence we have thus far though points at something more going on anyway, having to do with her actually trying to protect Clark but not being able to say anything, thus she willingly plays pariah.

mayak46 said...

I don't want to hijack this review in to the weeds but I need to comment on the premise that Silver Age Lois was trying to prove her suspicions to out Clark. I disagree strongly that was her motivation.

This was the 1950s, her motivation was to marry Superman, and this fit in with the indoctrination of the time of what women should wish for. All one has to do is watch the 1950s shorts young girls were shown in high school. Mystery Science 3000 did riffs on them and can be found on youtube.

Then there were those good housekeeping articles and the like all put forth the idea that a woman should dream of husband, home and kids. Lois was no different.

Her reasons for proving Clark and Superman were the same had little to do with her professional career but her personal goals to marry him. She wanted to prove to herself and him that she wasn't "crazy" with these suspicions but instead they were partners and she'd never hurt him.

There was a story in Lois Lane 9 (1959) where she's supposedly fired for exposing Superman but it turned out to be a hoax and even there she said

"Even if the evidence had been true, I wouldn't print the story. I'd die before I'd betray Superman"

Her almost obsessive goal to marry Superman is hard to understand in today's world but it made sense in that environment.

As for how this current arc goes? I don't know. I hope she is trying to protect Clark and there is a reason behind this madness.

Veronica said...

"'Not to mention that Lee Lambert is an obvious diversity for diversity's sake character that are all the rage in comics, just so Pak can get obvious royalties for her.'"

to be fair this is the case, there already is some LL out there, no need to bring another. so why not a Woc? it is very valid, but it is for attract atention. days before Lee lamberth, there was already a preview with her on a blog about diversity. First LL woc, my butt. Lois lane on new 52 is halg latina and lana lang on SV was asian. Let's ignore that

if she becomes a love interest, well it will take a long time for me read any superman comic again.

the issue for me was meh, nothing really happened: superman punched some street thugs, police wanted to arrest him and then he got a bloc party. I didn't like how superman was written and this new hero of people. Like a poster said after Morrison got out of superman book no writer showed superman as working class hero, now he loses his power and turn to be that?
when he get his powers back, writers will forget about it again.

Jay said...

To clarify, I wasn't referring to Silver Age Lois as trying to out Superman. I'm referring to some of the earliest Golden Age tales. There, it came to a point where she began to suspect that Clark was Superman, and, upset that she now believes Clark uses his abilities for scoops, she wants to get proof of her suspicions, and out Clark as Superman to get the ultimate scoop over him.

None of this of course is meant to convince anyone who doesn't like the idea of Lois outing Superman in this day and age that its a good idea. Just pointing out that she has in fact been characterized this way in her earliest days, Further I'm quite confident spite has nothing to do with her revealing this secret here. There will be a really good reason. One Superman and the rest of the cast won't be privy to, and perhaps not the audience for a while either.

Veronica said...

That was one story I guess, and she did wanted to out Superman to get the scoop. I don't know why bring a 60+ old story to the discussion. why not bring the issue that wasn't published that siegel and shuster wrote with superman revealing his secret? much more construcive

mayak46 said...

Which story was that where she outs him? She never outs him for her professional gain or ultimate scoop over him. Lois said it best, she would never betray Superman.

Jay said...

I brought it into the discussion to show that its not completely against everything the character of Lois Lane has ever stood for to at least entertain ideas regarding the possibility of her being willing to outing the identity. Its certainly not the norm but she's been characterized as willing before in her long history so its far from as taboo as some fans think it is, is all.

As far her actually doing it, to answer your question mayak, in those early Golden Age tales she never actually succeeds of course. That was the whole point really, Superman was able to give her the slip, she never could prove her suspicions.

mayak46 said...

Jay: She never outed him and her motivations were personal for trying to prove he was one and the same, not professional. Even in the unpublished k-metal when she found out she never thought to publish it. As she said herself, she'd "die" before she betrayed Superman.

What happens here is anybody's guess but to put forward the idea that she ever outed him for professional gain is to not understand Lois Lane and is not supported by the text.

rollo said...

I'm starting to think people might feel strongly about this storyline. ;)

Anj said...

Yes. We are an 8 page preview and one issue in! Lines have been drawn!

I will stand by my underlying point.

I enjoyed this issue. I still have reservations about this arc. I hope Lois is treated well and want her to have a bigger role in these books.

Jay said...

Her line about dying before outing Superman is from a Silver Age story further down the line, when the character changed. So its irrelevant to the particular early stories I'm referring to. It just supports that her characterization has differed a lot through the years, just like all the oldest comic book characters. If one were to ask, "Do you understand Lois Lane?", a follow-up question must be asked: "What incarnation?" They're not all the same, and not all would "die" before outing Superman.

mayak46 said...

Thanks for the explanation.

The Lois Lane title ended in 1974, the bronze age. I was 10 and remember it well.

The Lois Lane title was my first comic book back in 1969. I strongly disagree with you in your "what incarnation" comment. There are some core qualities which has not changed even as attitudes towards women have and how people write them. She does not betray Superman for example. You keep making unsubstantiated claims based on vague "stories out there".

Also, here is a plug for Martin's panel piece which also explores this issue. http://panels.net/2015/05/22/whose-lois-anyway/

Anonymous said...

Lois outing Superman wouldn't make sense even in this continuity. We saw how much Superman means to her in both "Doomed" and "B/S", both wrote by Pak himself.

I obviously don't believe it's the case here. But if they use the "because she's a reporter" argument? OOC, yes.

Godzylla said...

The point is, Jay, that you've provided no evidence that Lois has ever even attempted to expose Superman to the public, Golden Age or ever. Provide a source or concede the point.

Anj said...

42 comments!
I think it is a record for my site.

That said, I think we all know where we stand.

So I think it's enough .... Unless something new is brought to the table.

Jay said...

A source was asked for, so I'll post it then leave well enough alone as well.

http://www.comicbookbin.com/Superman_Early_Golden_Age002.html

Scroll down aways till you get to around Superman #11. Its there that Lois first begins to suspect. By #17, she's actively trying to prove it, and it would remain a plot point for a long time thereafter.

Jay said...

Gah, got cut off early, sorry. My final thought was going to be that these sample pages on that link don't provide pages of Lois's claims that she plans to use the knowledge to scoop Clark, once she does prove it. I'll try and find it but I'm certainly not trying to lie to anyone, it exists.

mayak46 said...

Yes, I have those issues. Superman 17 ends with this :"But are Lois's suspicions of Clark's identity completely allayed? Only Future releases of your favorite strip will tell..."

Yes, she tries to prove his identity for her own peace of mind and curiosity. She does not do this to out him or betray him because she wouldn't hurt him.

Hopefully whatever happens in this Truth arc will respect this core quality of Lois's.

Now, I'm going to honor Anj's request and step back. Thanks again Anj for the review.

alesmajer said...

I dunno. I'm getting a bit tired of the USA Vs. Superman-schtick that seems to be so mandatory these days. I quit reading Superman Unchained when the US declared war on Superman and now we got the Metropolis Police as the bad guys burning down a block of buildings because Superman lived there... I know that in this day and age is the norm to, in order not to offend anybody, the choice of bad guys is limited but it's getting tired to always go with the 'Down with Us!'-option like a friggin' mantra. *Sigh* Well, we're stuck with the nice-and-safe-sl 'Truth for the next couple of months in all Super-titles. Thankfully I don't have subsriptions to all of them... :-(