Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Jeff Loveness, art by Brad Walker, with inks by Drew Hennessy and Norm Rapmund, colors by John Kalisz, and letters by Clayton Cowles. In a world that is a dark mirror of the one we know, Superman is dead. But in this world Lois Lane doesn’t simply morn her fallen love. Here her sorrow turns to anger. To anger, and to vengeance.
Following the formula of the previous Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse title, we are shown a twisted version of a classic DC Comics storyline. Beginning with the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 looks at how the subsequent events transpired on a far darker version of earth. On this Earth, driven by her grief, Lois Lane makes a deal with the Eradictor to gain Kryptonian powers. With these powers, she sets out to make a world worthy of Superman’s sacrifice. But Lois soon becomes consumed by the overwhelming pain and corruption she sees everywhere. Her new Kryptonian senses overwhelm her. And she begins to question the one person she never thought she would: Clark Kent.
Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 takes a harsh look at tragedy, grief, obsession and a superhero faced with the evils of the modern world. And, amidst its grim scenes of violence, it asks some hard questions about how far one should go to right the wrongs of the world. While it would’ve been easy to let this tale devolve into a brutal shock-fest, writer Loveness strives to transcend cheap shocks for harsh questions. Questions that Lois quickly finds herself confronted with upon being granted Superman-like powers.
Anyone who has read superhero comics has probably asked one of these obvious questions at some point: Why don’t the superheroes just stop all the bad people in the world?” Why permit governments to abuse their citizens? Why let the rich steal from, and impoverish the masses? What ideal is worth letting corporations pollute and kill the planet? Upon being gifted with the superhuman senses of Superman, Lois is suddenly confronted with just how much evil truly exists in our world. And most of it doesn’t come from alien invasions or threats to the world with doomsday weapons. With all this pain flooding her senses she begins to doubt even Superman’s devotion to justice. And decides she must right every wrong.
While the spiral of emotions in Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 eventually goes to places that can only be described as unforgivable, it is written with such poignancy that despite the bodies Lois stacks up, one cannot help but pity her. She is suddenly faced with a mission so gargantuan that not even a superhero can simply “fix” it. And in her grief-ridden state, she is particularly ill-suited to process it.
All the raw emotions delivered in the script are further brought to life through Walker’s art. Every step down the rabbit hole of rage is portrayed in close up detail. Each tear shed by Lois. Every rage-fueled scream that rocks the panels of this book resonates with the reader. Lois herself is constantly bathed in red. Her rage is further allowed to dominate the panels through colorist Kalisz’s excellent choice of color. They keep Lois as the most dominant thing in every panel she occupies. And the reader dare not look away.
Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 left me pleasantly surprised. While I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I first started reading this issue, I can assure you I got a lot more than what I bargained for. I am extremely intrigued by this version of Lois Lane and sincerely hope we may see more of her. If she were to continue to be written with the skill and quality she is here, she could easily be as potent an enemy to The Man of Steel as The Batman Who Laughs is to the Dark Knight.
Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 Is available now.
Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1
Tales from the DC Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 left me pleasantly surprised.