The New 52 chapter of the DC Universe is coming to a close. There is a
#Rebirth. There is a scrubbing away of the angst, hate, and dismal
nature of the characters. There is a return to a more classic feel,
leaning on legacy.
But such a change cannot happen without major upheavals. And one such seismic shift is in the Superman books. The New 52 Superman is 'dead'. And the Pre-Flashpoint Superman, stuck on this world, might have to pick up the mantle.
Superman:Lois and Clark by Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks was supposed to be a 12 issue maxi-series. Despite decent sales, the series was truncated to 8 issues. At the time I wondered if it was because DC didn't have faith in this version of the character. Now I wonder if it was done to synch up this series with the #Rebirth initiative.
Superman:Lois and Clark #8 came out last week and was the last issue of this title. How this Lois and Clark will amalgamate into the current DCU is still unknown. But we know that super-son Jon will be starring in his own title. These folks are here to stay.
But with the title suddenly ending, a bunch of plots that have been in this book are suddenly closed or left wide open. I don't know which irks me more.
The art is done by Weeks who brings a strength to the scenes and power. I can't quite name it, but it is both neat and gritty. And that has worked well here.
Plus this series starred Hyathis. That always makes me happy!
Last issue, Jon was confronted with the reality that his father is a version of Superman. After thinking he lives in a 'normal' family, the truth is out. And it is a lot for a school aged boy to tolerate.
Here, safe at home with Lois, he talks about how his life will never be the same.
I love how Lois talks about her life. She worries about Clark like the spouse of a police officer worries. But she trusts his skills.
My guess is, given her undercover work, that Clark could say the same thing to Jon about Lois.
The equal footing of Lois and Clark in this book has been refreshing.
Superman is battling Hyathis who is after the Oblivion Stone. It turn out that the stone Henshaw has is only half of the whole gem. The other half is in this Superman's Fortress.
But Hyathis isn't here for niceties. She has been killing her way across the galaxy to get this artifact. Why stop now?
And we really get the sense that this is a true version of Hyathis. We see her manipulating plants here!
My guess is the sword is magic. That's why it can hurt Superman. She isn't magical. But if she is after the Oblivion Stone why shouldn't she have mystical weapons.
The battle between the two rages on. Superman and Hyathis are so occupied with each other that they don't see Henshaw slip the stone into his pocket.
Unfortunately, that is the last we see of the stone. You would think Superman would follow up on where the thing was after this fight. But he doesn't.
The fight kicks up a notch and Hyathis' helmet is punched off revealing her purple locks. For old timey Hyathis fans like me, I needed to see this! Why hide her classic look in standard Spartan armor. This is my Hyathis!
Hyathis realizes that Superman is more of a challenge than she anticipated. She teleports away. That is the end of this plot line.
The agent who has been following Superman and Henshaw questions who Superman is. But Kal, rather than say something, flies away. This allows Henshaw to abscond the stone. And leaves the agent with a mystery to solve.
It is wrapped up way too fast. Hyathis is gone. Henshaw is free and has the stone. Just like that.
Maybe if he had more issues, Jurgens would have stretched this out or ended it in a better way.
All that's left is the wrap-up.
Superman flies back home and Jon is elated.
The Intergang threat is effectively ended when Lois announces her expose book as Author X is published.
I love how Lois is as much a hero in this book as Clark. Fantastic.
But again, the whole Intergang plot is wrapped up in two panels.
With the villainous plots tied up, all that is left is dealing with Jon and his feelings.
Lois and Clark admit that they hid their reality from Jon to protect him. And they understand why he is upset.
And then we get some old school Kent wisdom. Except this is Clark as Pa. It is hard to make sense of a crazy world. Even adults can't struggle. So we lean on our values and upbringing to guide us.
Clark had Pa and Ma. Jon has Lois and Clark.
As a symbol of Jon now understanding his place in the world, Clark gives Jon his red cape.
It is too big. But the sentiment is there. Jon is now Superboy. And he is here to help.
So how do I grade this?
I loved the series as a whole. I love how this Lois and Clark interact. I love this last scene, a very classic Smallville feel here.
But I felt a little short-changed here. This was the last issue because of #Rebirth. And, because of that, the stories introduced here are suddenly ended, with little feeling of closure. So I can only hope we see more in the main titles. Somehow, with the reshuffling, I doubt Hyathis is going to show up soon. I suppose it is a compliment that my complaint is that I want more.
Lee Weeks brings it in this issue. I love his take on Hyathis. The hair looks more like fern tendrils instead of the tentacles others drew it as. That makes sense given her powers. I hope Weeks works on some DC books soon.