Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: Superman Lois And Clark #6

Superman Lois and Clark #6 came out this week and this continues to be the most consistently well done Superman book being produced these days. Writer Dan Jurgens and artist Lee Weeks shine as they give us this story of Clark and Lois hiding out in this new world only to see their world collapse around them. Things are getting dangerous and leading an undercover life is becoming impossible.

If I recall correctly, this was initially supposed to be a 12 issue maxiseries but was truncated to 8, meaning we are nearing an ending. With #Rebirth around the corner, this could be a true ending, with these characters from the pre-Flashpoint world simply disappearing from all continuities. With only a couple of issues left, Jurgens is bringing all the plot threads together. I have been enjoying this book immensely. And outside of a couple of wonky moments, this issue does push this book closer to a finale. And yet, despite that push, we do get a couple of moments where Jurgens slows down to give the story time to breathe a bit.

I can't help but thank DC for giving Jurgens and Weeks this opportunity to give us this book. This was a good decision and good decisions are rare with DC these days.

The book has done a good job of nonlinear storytelling, giving us key moments in the past which show how difficult it has been for these displaced heroes to get accustomed to this new world.

Here we see the response to Clark's unmasking in 'The Truth'. This Lois and Clark are shocked that Lois would 'out' Clark. This Lois thinks that Lois destroyed Clark's life. But more importantly, this will ruin this couple's lives. With all this attention, will more be focused on 'The White's' and how much they look like Kent and Lane.

It is an interesting scene. We know that Lois 'outed' Clark to save him. In fact, Lois fans have been defending her since this story broke. Lois didn't betray Clark, she rescued him.

I do wonder how much of this is tinged by self-defense in this Lois. Of all people, she should know that this world's Lois must have had a good reason to do this. But as it endangers her and her family, this Lois is scared.

Clark is out to find Lois' publisher Cora who has been kidnapped by Intergang. Intergang is looking for the identity of Author X. Lois calls Cora's phone, allowing Clark to hone in on the ring tone.

This is one of those slow moments as we get a page or so seeing how Superman needs to concentrate to use his super-hearing to attune to a specific sound.

And I love ... love ... that the ring tone for Lois is 'Long cool woman in a black dress.'

All along, Clark and Lois's son Jon has been snooping. We have seen him researching and asking questions, trying to figure out what is his parents' secret.

The reveal of Superman's secret identity seems to be the last piece to the puzzle. Jon is writing a paper about Superman for school. And he begins asking hard questions of Lois. Why does Superman look like his father. Why does Lois look like his mother?

I initially didn't like the precocious Jon, thinking he was something of a brat. But I have softened in my opinion of him over time.

Superman makes short work of Cora's kidnappers, freeing her. But she couldn't hold out. Intergang knows who Author X is.

I love Weeks' work on the book as he varies angles and focus. Looking down on Superman as he flies out of the panel gives the illusion of space between him and the ground.

And having Cora be bigger than the borders also works.

Last issue, we met an ex-con hired by a reality TV show to act as a villain and demolish things due to be leveled. Unfortunately, the roads to the bridge 'Blackrock' is supposed to demolish haven't been closed. There is mayhem as cars fall of the bridge. And Blackrock thinks it is all part of the show, even when this Superman tries to stop him. But this means that a black-garbed Superman has been captured on film rescuing folks. My guess is Blackrock is just ignorant of what he is doing.

But this rescue delay Superman from finding Lois and Jon who have been taken by Intergang.

So here is my one problem with the book. The Intergang thugs want to send a message. So they tie up Lois and Jon in a shed and light it on fire. And then they walk away!! Seems like 'stupid criminal' thought. Wouldn't they just shoot them right away?

It might seem like odd timing, but with the shed ablaze, Jon begins to ask the tough questions of Lois. Who are they? Why don't they have relatives? Who is he?

I kind of like the heroic pose he strikes when he breaks his ropes. Like father, like son?

The other subplot which has been percolating along is Hank Henshaw and his possession of The Oblivion Stone. Since issue one, we have seen someone tracking it back to Earth. We finally meet them. And it is a new version of Hyathis!

There is something very Amazon about this design. I wish there was something more original or unique about her look.

I know I am one of a handful of fans of the original Hyathis.

But they could have incorporated some elements of the original in the new look. Why not make her helmet have tendrils or plumage like her Silver Age hair? Or add stripes to her armor.

Because this new Hyathis has pretty standard armor.

Hey, don't get me wrong! I love Hyathis and seeing an updated one makes me smile.

The issue ends with Jon unfazed by the flames and opening up the locked shed door with ease. He has powers.

I am surprised that Lois is surprised. Surely she should be expecting Jon to develop powers?

Look, my complaints are quibbles. This is a great book which is telling a great story. I have been pretty impressed  with the pace of this book, bringing together a lot of plot lines in a short time. And the art has been wonderful, bringing a classic feel to the proceedings.

I can't wait to see how it all wraps up.

Overall grade: B+

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Oh, you're right about the shed, I wondered about that too, but I let it pass. Maybe the thugs are parents and couldn't bear to shoot a kid. OK, burning one isn't any better, but with a fire they don't have to watch a child die. And, you know, criminals are idiots.

If my review of the issue over at Too Dangerous For a Girl, never too shameless for a plug, you'll know we agree on Hyathis. The new gal looks impressive, but generic.

Blackrock - what is this, the third or fourth?

I'm hopeful Lois and Superman will stay in this universe come Rebirth - or at least we get to follow them wherever they go... hey, we know Dan Jurgens is off to Action Comics after this.