Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: Superman:Lois And Clark 7

Superman Lois and Clark #7 was released last week and marked the penultimate issue of this mini-series. Initially solicited as a 12 issue run, the book was truncated early on leaving me to wonder why. After all, it was selling pretty decently for a book spun out of the aimless Cnvergence event.

As the book progressed, I wondered how it would wrap up in a meaningful way. Writer Dan Jurgens was bringing in new subplots and characters while the main threads of Intergang and Henshaw/Hyathis chugged along. Could this all be finished in the time allotted? Was the loss of 4 issues forcing Jurgens to rush things along?

Well, with #Rebirth, we know that this Superman and Lois aren't disappearing into a multiversal rabbit hole. They are sticking around. And Jurgens is leading the charge on one of the Superman books. So there is time now. And because of that, I suddenly don't have to read this issue wondering how everything will be tied up next month. Instead I could relax and just enjoy it as simply another chapter. And that made this a much more enjoyable read.

The art on the book is a hodge lodge of Lee Weeks, Art Thibert, Scott Hanna and others. It is a shame that Weeks couldn't seem to stay up on the deadlines. He brought a sensibility to the book I enjoyed. These others are no slouches. I love Thibert. But, call me old fashioned, a book just reads better with one art team doing all the pages.

Jurgens has been doing a good job throughout this series, flashing back to see how this displaced Lois and Clark have transitioned to this new world. There is only so long that two personalities like them could line in small town anonymity.

We have seen Lois give this Clark his black costume in the past. Here we see the moment Lois becomes an author on two worlds. 

But it is Jon that concerns Lois. How long can they keep him out of the loop? How long can they remain so anonymous that he is safe.

It is an interesting theme running through this book. When does Jon get to know? 

Last issue, Intergang left Lois and Jon in a burning shed, assuming their slowly developing death trap would simply do the job. 

It's clear that Jon's powers are starting to manifest themselves. He's unphased by the fire, grabbing the hot doorknob and leading them out. 

That decision on letting Jon in on the secret is being forced on them.

Bye those Intergang killers regret just putting a bullet in their targets right now.

Clark is temporarily delayed because he needs to stop the new Blackrock. Remember, this guy is a mostly clueless ex-con sent to demolish a bridge he thought had been closed. Meanwhile the reality TV cameras are rolling.

This Superman doesn't suffer fools lightly. Clark is dumbfounded that this Blackrock would o this for ratings. And when Blackrock claims ignorance, Superman takes it out on the video crew, melting their film.

Still, this is a pretty public rescue. I don't think this black garbed Supes can stay in the shadow any more. This marks a big change for the tone of this book. But Jurgens isn't done yet.

Nice art here on this sequence, a looser, more pencil-y feel to the proceedings.

Long time readers will know my love for Hyathis. While I don't particularly like the mundane centurion look this new Hyathis sports, it has been fun to see her reintroduced to the DCU. She is still the High Panala of Alstair. She still can control plants. So at least I got that gong for me.

Her quest for the Oblivion Stone has led her to Hank Henshaw. He must have stolen it on his deep space mission.

But it turns out he only has half the stone! Given what we have seen him do ( or what I think we have seen him do), that makes this an even bigger threat.

I do hope we get some back story on all this.

The bulk of the remaining pages is spent on the family dynamic of the Whites. Superman had swooped in and grabbed Lois and Jon from outside that burning shed. Now Jon knows for sure that he and his dad and his mother are different, more than what they seem.

I love Lois monologue here. She talks about now having to deal with this false narrative in a forced way. This won't be the Kents showing Clark the Kryptonian rocket when he is a teen, when he is ready. This is thrust upon them, and at a young age.

It doesn't seem like Lois or Clark had a clear plan for when she was going to do this.

But it turns into a nice discussion. Of course, Jon feels they have been lying to him. He's upset.

Instead of anger or dismay, Clark and Lois just tell him the truth. They talk of how much they love each other, how proud they are of the work they do, how they came from another world. It shows how nurturing and caring Lois and Clark are. This has been missing from the DCU for too long. This was my favorite scene and favorite panels, small but packing an emotional punch.

I don't know if a 10-ish year old kid can easily handle all this information. But there is no turning back now.

But the quality time is interrupted by a vision.

Superman suddenly sees alien warriors firing weapons and spreading all sorts of carnage.

Hard to know this is happening. I'm assuming those are Hyathis' troops. So maybe Henshaw is using the stone to relay a message to Superman? Again, I'll need to learn more to judge this. But with such a threat apparently imminent, Clark takes off.

Nicely colored here, reds and purples, giving it a violent feel.

And we learn that the second half of the Oblivion Stone is in this Superman's Fortress of Solitude.

That's a decent hook. Will we learn where he found it? Will we get some of Henshaw's story? 

And just how much of these plots needs to end here as opposed to continue in the main books? Jurgens has laid a lot of ground here. Intergang, Hyathis, Henshaw, Blackrock, the secret life ... somehow this has to conclude here as well as go on in the main book. Hopefully these threads aren't simply cut when Rebirth officially happens.

Overall grade: B

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

And yet another great issue, I can't wait to see how the story progresses next issue – and what comes afterwards. Now, if only Hyathis would pop to Paul Gambi's...