I'll give you the horror show
Written by: Dan Jurgens
Art by: Lee Weeks, Scott Hanna, Sergio Cariello and Lee Weeks
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 30, 2015
This book may have only arrived a couple of months ago, but it is already my favorite Superman book on the shelves. That could be taken as an indictment on the state of affairs at DC lately, but instead I want to remain positive and say it's because Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks are just that darn good. This book is making things right and not just with Superman, but also with Lois Lane. I'd argue that Lois fans have suffered more than any others since the New 52 began and I hope they haven't given up and gone home because they'd be missing their favorite character acting like...their favorite character. Imagine that. So, does all of this goodness continue this month or did I jump the gun with my praise? Let's find out...
The issue starts with a flashback and it really brings into focus that while Lois and Clark haven't been on our Earth for a long time, they already have some history. This is a history lesson that Superman probably wishes never happened. We are introduced to Blanque and if he isn't Superman's toughest villain since arriving, he has to the most arrogant. My guess is he is both. We see him waltzing through his own destruction and while he boasts that he's killed everyone in the small town he's in, at least one person is alive...Superman!
The biggest issue with writing Superman has to be presenting a threat to someone so super powered. The guy can just pick a villain up and throw him into the Sun, for crying out loud. While Blanque may seem like hot air at first, Dan Jurgens has presented the Man of Steel with a bad guy who can take advantage of Superman's biggest weakness...I'm not talking about kryptonite, but his identity.
The minute that Blanque faces Superman he asks some questions that had to make Clark shake in his underwear. "Who are you, anyway? His older brother? A cousin?" You see, Blanque is a telepath and there might not be anything more dangerous to a superhero desperately trying to stay out of sight. So, Superman does what I said he usually does...he flies Blanque into space and...decides that isn't what he should do after all. We all know that decision is going to bite him in the ass, but it seems to have lead to him building his Fortress of Solitude so it's a win-lose situation, for the reader at least.
Back in the present, the whole secret identity problem continues. The thing that makes this book so unique is that it's not just Superman's identity at risk, but Lois' as well. In fact, it's not just their identities, but the plain fact that they even exist in this Universe. So, you would think that they would just hide away and try to live "normal" lives, right? Well, that wouldn't make a good book now would it?
The issue continues with Lois and Clark discussing their recent run in with Intergang and what it means going forward. While Clark wishes Lois would cool it a little as "Author X", we all know that has the same chance of happening as Clark hanging up the tights. It seems that their identities are safe for now, but there is someone else snooping around a little too much...Jon!
Little Jon is the wild card of this book. Will he get powers (or does he already?!?), what will he do when he figures out who his parents really are, will he become a target for his parent's enemies? Every time he pops up in an issue I think those things and more. I also can't help but smile...he's such a combination of his parents that it's hard not to fall in love with him. He isn't in this issue much, but he continues wondering why things are so crazy in their lives.
The issue then shift back to Clark and we get to see that he does indeed have a Fortress of Solitude. His monologue might say it's not impressive, but I beg to differ. It's awesome! It's no shock that he has Hank Henshaw there and that he is monitoring him to make sure he doesn't become Cyborg Superman. And then it happens...Hank Henshaw wakes up. Oh shit!
I have loved this book since it debuted, but Dan Jurgens turns it up to eleven here. I'm not sure if this is a new origin of Cyborg Superman, an amalgam or something completely different, but it is amazing. Tying into the beginning of the issue, we see the (kind of) return of Blanque and what he does is so fucked up...he enters Hank Henshaw's mind and we have an instant super villain. The most disturbing (but awesome) things for fans are he mentions Coast City and knows about Lois and Jon. I can't tell you how excited I am about this book!
After such a great scene, the issue ends a little down with Bruno Mannheim taking care of business and a little more progression of the Oblivion Stone story. I don't know about you, but neither of those things interest me at all right now...I want more of Blanque and Hank Henshaw!!!
Guess what? I love this book and I love this issue. I love it so much I would marry it if that was allowed in Pennsylvania. I know that my wife and five kids would be a little upset (or would they?), but true love does what true love wants. Dan Jurgens arrived just in time to give fans a Superman they can fall in love with again and a Lois Lane that is head and shoulders above anything else that the New 52 gave them. The only negatives of this issue is the continuing "Oblivion Stone" non-story and the setup nature of this issue. However, I'm sure the sooner will pay off soon enough and I didn't mind the later because I was having too much fun.
As much as I kissed Dan Jurgens' ass. I would be remiss if I didn't pucker up for Lee Weeks as well. The art in this book has a clean, classic look that is a perfect for the story. The character models are excellent, the backgrounds are great and the simple panel layout doesn't distract from the story or the art on display. Plain and simple, this is a damn fine looking book!
Bits and Pieces:
Superman: Lois and Clark may only be three issues in, but it is already my favorite Superman book and may just be my favorite book, period. It really is that good. Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks are giving fans the characters they want and deserve and while this series is still in the setup phase, this issue pushes things forward so well. Everything that Superman wanted to avoid is happening and I can't wait to see how he gets himself and his family out of this brewing trouble. Issue #4 can't come soon enough. Highly recommended.