As an event, Convergence may have been a bust, but it managed to pull off quite a remarkable feat: it made tie-ins worth reading. In fact, it could be argued that the real joy in the event wasn’t the main title itself, but seeing beloved characters back on the page once more, having new adventures and in some cases tying up loose ends. The Justice Society got to have one last hurrah in a truly touching story, Captain Marvel wondered at the awesomness of Gotham by Gaslight Batman, and Nineties Superboy showed up in his sweet leather jacket to tell you about his tactile telekinesis.
Did you know Superboy had tactile telekinesis? Superboy will totally tell you about his tactile telekinesis.
Anyway, one of the best series and most welcome returns was that of Superman and Lois Lane, happily married and with a son on the way. It was great to see one of the longest lasting romances in comics make a comeback, especially after the treatment their relationship has received in the past few years. It was a heartfelt story that focused on relationship and love as much as it did action, and by itself it almost made the entire event worth it. If you’re a big softie like me and the ending of All-Star Superman just makes you go mushy, you’ll probably enjoy that book.
When it was announced that this Lois and Clark would make their way back into comics and be introduced into modern continuity, needless to say I was excited. It’s good seeing the couple together to begin with, but having a Superman who’s confident without being gruff and has the benefit of years of experience is always welcome. Combine that with the dramatic angle of the two having to raise a now ten-year-old Jonathan Kent, Lois’ personal investigations into a newly formed Intergang while trying to maintain anonymity, and Clark dealing with both decreased powers and attempting to avert events from his past before they happen on the younger New Earth and this book is not short on intriguing premises. It’s not just good ideas, though, as Dan Jurgens has kept the storytelling tight from day one and imbued the book with so much heart and action that it may very well be the best Superman book on the stands.
Now that Batman has entered the frame, I finally have an excuse to review it.
Let me get this out of the way, right up front: Batman is only in four pages, all up… front. Well that worked out.
Clark opens the issue by telling Lois about a time that he almost confronted this Earth’s Batman so at least one other person would know of his existence. His reasoning?
It’s a great scene for several reasons. It continues the “watching from afar without directly interacting” attitude that Clarl has had when observing this world’s heroes, and anything that focuses on the friendship and true camaraderie between Superman and Batman in this day and age is ok in my book.
Bruce is careless at one point and needs Clark’s assistance, which may bother some, but I think it’s fine. The scene takes place “several years ago,” so Batman was still early in his career, and really, he’s a man. Men make mistakes, even Batman. What makes Batman interesting is how he works through mistakes and trials, even if that means utilizing the help of his alien best friend.
There was also a pretty popular movie you may have seen where that was a theme, too, so you know.
After that brief flashback, there’s nary a mention of Bruce for the rest of the book, but by no means is that a bad thing. Jurgens, who wrote Superman #75‘s “The Death of Superman,” has done a wonderful job not only bringing the older, more mature Lois and Clark back into continuity, but also giving them stories worth telling.
Since arriving on this Earth, they’ve been in hiding with their son Jon in a farmhouse in Northern California. Taking on the assumed surname “White,” they’ve lived a relatively low-profile life for the better part of a decade. As mentioned before, Lois continues to make a living as a writer, using the pseudonym Author X, and has been investigating the now-emerging Intergang for her next book. Young Jon has no idea his father is Superman, and Clark himself has just recently averted the shuttle disaster that caused his world’s Hank Henshaw to become the Cyborg Superman.
That act of heroism attracted the attention of the murderous Blanque, a telepath who uses Clark’s nobility against him. When this issue picks up in the present, Clark escapes from the rubble Henshaw had buried him under and proceeds to subdue Blanque in a really great fight scene.
Neil Edwards’ pencils are mostly great, but, uh, there’s one panel that’s almost comical how off the proportions are.
That is a tiny window and a large man.
Lois also makes a few crazy faces, but she was distraught so I’ll give it a pass.
With a great cliffhanger, the issue is a great story that features Batman, not a great Batman story. But hey, good comics are good comics, and adding Batman is an extra treat.
BONUS: It’s “Neal Adams pays tribute to the genius of Neal Adams” month, so variants galore!
Still trying to track down the cover it pays tribute too. I know I’ve seen it, but can’t place it. Any help?
Thanks to Matt in the comments. It’s Detective Comics #407.
- You like Superman.
- You like Batman… even in small doses.
- The “main” Superman post-Flashpoint has his moments, but this Clark Kent is confident yet humble, a true symbol of hope, and a man you can look up to. In essence: he’s Superman.
- While you’re at it, if for some reason you haven’t, go read All-Star Superman. It exceeds the hype.
Overall: This is more for the series as a whole rather than this one issue, but it’s one of my favorite books right now. Lois and Clark belong together, and seeing them face the challenges of parenting while keeping secrets of their own makes for great storytelling. Batman only appears briefly, though the sequence is exciting, and Jurgens’ script really drives home how well Bruce and Clark work together. Pick it up from the beginning and enjoy.