Superman 26: More Beginning of the End?

SPOILERS!!!

WARNING:  SOME OF THE PICTURES MAY NOT BE CONDUCIVE TO GOOD MENTAL OR EYE HEALTH!

(Click on the pics if you need to enlarge them)

First let me state, IMO, Scott Lobdell needs to be immediately removed from writing Superman.  I don’t think he understands females very well.  Or perhaps it is editorial that doesn’t and he’s just getting the writer’s cred.  There may have been sexual harassers or other despicables writing Superman previously, but Lobdell has been publicly outted and that is horrible for the character and bad for business.  Readers, especially female readers, won’t be comfortable in purchasing any Superman story.

If you have been reading this blog, you know that I believe DCE is starting to show us the demise of the fauxmance.  How it was never meant to work.  And in this issue, Superman 26, we see more evidence of it.

Remember Lois Lane now has psionic powers and she can read people’s minds.  If you think about what kind of perspective that would give her, then you will definitely understand what is going in this ‘chapter’.  People say one thing but think another.  That’s important.  And perhaps like Batman or Sherlock Holmes we can SEE what is truly going on by the clues in the art.

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Lobdell gives us omniscient narrative boxes . . . again.  Apparently the Jurgens effect is gone from Superman Annual #2, and Mike Johnson is no longer on this storyline of Lois with psionic powers.  No, Lobdell has just returned Superman from his Return to Krypton H’El arc.  Supergirl is somewhere in the future and Kon, Superboy is dead.  This first panel of Superman 26 pretty much sets the tone for the book.

Clark is not dismayed by the events of Return to Krypton.  Is this guy under some kind of influence?  Like the azuras or Mongul?  Never mentions his fellow kryptonians to Wonder Woman, who has met both of them.  Not crying on her shoulder for emotional support since she’s his girlfriend now?  Really?   These weren’t ‘mere humans’.  These were Kryptonians.  You’d think a story that was in the planning since before Superman #0 was published would have Superman mourning his relatives.  But no.  The fauxmance must be addressed at all costs.  Exposing Clark’s mourning would probably be showing too much of his heart and what he truly holds dear.

Wonder Woman (she’s wearing her ‘armor’) is having dinner with farmboy cook, Clark Kent, at his apartment in Metropolis.  We know she can change into her battle fatigues in a blink of an eye, so what are we really seeing here?  Clark has cooked rhubarb soup for her.  She refuses seconds as well as the conventional dessert because she has a Demon Horde to fight.  Was her comment about ‘not having to’ but she did anyway — was that Lobdell’s attempt at showing Diana’s regalness?  It sounded a bit haughty.  Almost as if she were correcting Clark.  If WW were truly on a date with Clark Kent, wouldn’t she be wearing civilian garb especially at his apartment?  And by wearing her armor, what does that say about what she thinks of Clark or his civilian life?  What if a neighbor decides to borrow a cup of sugar?

Plus Johns, Diggle and Soule have all had Diana in her civilian clothes when it was appropriate.  Why not this time?  Lobdell?  Or is editorial throwing Wonder Woman under the bus? The fauxmance is their baby afterall.  This match.com-up was a HORRIBLE idea in the first place and I’ve written ad infinitum about what damage it would do to the characters.  This issue is just another example.

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Di?  Really? Clark makes an attempt at humor which Diana doesn’t understand.  Not exactly witty banter here.  She insists again she can’t stay but she can be tempted.  Wonder Woman puts off saving people for a snog session?  Not exactly the Diana we know, right?  So the snogging commences.  Cause that’s what these two do when they’re together.  No thinking about loved ones recently gone or the dire situation at hand, just snog.  Yes, I am rolling my eyes. And did Lobdell bring back the Lester’s amnesia kiss, cause Diana completely forgets about the Demon Horde for the rest of the issue.

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Diana detects a disturbance in the force and Lo and behold it is LOIS LANE!  Look at Clark’s reaction at WW saying her name.  Guilt much.  I wonder what other fetishes he has in that toolbox of his, besides Lois’ black catsuit.

Lois is an astral projection.  Not a physical presence per se.  Remember physical compatibility was lauded as the reason the power twins should be together.  Lois currently has psionic powers which are tearing her apart.  She’s less and yet more than human.  This will make her meta & identifies her as Jonathan Lane Kent’s mother as well as Kon’s.  Maybe that’s why Clark isn’t mourning because that would bring up too much of his future with Lois Lane.  And it’s all about the fauxmance right now.  See how damaging this crap is?

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Lois apologizes for intruding on their date.  Since she can read minds, she realizes Diana is Wonder Woman.  That’s why the question mark.  So she knows 2 secret identities now.  Diana nobly gives them some space . . .  or does she?  Some fauxmance fans praised Diana for not being jealous.  Did they not notice the clenched fists?

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The ladies comment about each other in a respectful way.  The Superman #26 preview ended with Diana leaving the room.  I thought we were seeing the Diana of old who believed in sisterhood, but I was wrong.  How sad that this aspect of Marston’s vision has not been brought into the main continuity of the new 52.  Guess the boys’ club sees it differently.  Much to the detriment of Wonder Woman.

Clark had hoped Lois’ powers would just fade away.  (Really?)  But she explains they haven’t even in her catatonic state.  She calls him Superman (because Superman is the only person who can help her (not Jonathan Carroll, get real now)).  We are also reminded she knows Clark’s secret.

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Ken Lashley brings the heat and underlying sexual tension in this panel.  Unlike Diana, Lois KNOWS Clark.  Even before this issue, Superman fans were privy to Lois Lane’s understanding of who Clark Kent was.  Clark’s statement of wanting to tell Lois may have more bearing in the future.  Lois knowing the secret was part of George Perez’s concept for the new 52 Superman story.  “She knew from the beginning,” stated at the Metropolis Superman Celebration, 2012.  DCE may have us believe that Lois doesn’t remember the secret after this story arc — but will she truly forget?  It could be a “does she, doesn’t she” theme with hints along the way for a while.  Then Clark can tell her in his own time and under his own compunction.  Keeping his secret will be important to him when he finds out she knew all along.

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We get to ‘see’ what Lois is experiencing.  The seeker of Truth is being driven a little mad by the enormity of her powers.  The guy on the left next to Clark & Jimmy playing video games, I thought he might be Zod.  Still a possibility.  Zod is currently imprisoned at the Fortress of Solitude in the Fauxmance book.  Why wouldn’t Lois have read his mind, too?  That tatoo probably should say Faora.  And what is with the hands holding glasses attached to no one?  Last minute change?  The Iceberg (who has made 22 appearances in the new 52 in various books) picture may be another clue as to when this is taking place.   I’m guessing this book has now coincided with the fauxmance book in timeline, so it is pre-Trinity War or at least pre-the JL knew the JLA existed.  So by the time Forever Evil ends (March), the fauxmance could be well over.

And despite the fauxmance interrupted snog we had to endure, Chris reminded me Clois fans got the credit splash page.

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Clark holding a non-physical Lois.  Why make the effort if he doesn’t truly care or love her?

Remember what Lois said in the panel about there was no closed door or wall that she can’t see through.  I present always polite boyfriend, Clark.

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So did Diana go save the people threatened by the Demon Horde?  No.  How much space did she give her boyfriend and his female best friend to talk?  Not much.  Even nil with Lois’ current power set.  Little insecure there, Wonder Woman?  This was absolutely ludicrous.  This is not Diana.  Adjusting her tiara in Clark’s bathroom while he talks to Lois.  Yea, sure, she’s not jealous, just highly suspicious.  Damage!

So Diana makes sure Lois knows she has a key to Clark’s apartment and that she’ll lock up.  (Clark would already know she has a key.)   How menacing can the Demon Horde be?  Just a trifle?  I hope Batman didn’t give her the assignment.  He only has so much patience for this crap.

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So even Clark detects Diana’s mood, but she denies it.  Then she TELLS him the status of their relationship.  Obviously Clark isn’t feeling it since he had to ask.  Basically Diana is doing the manly thing and marking her territory for Lois’ benefit.  WW has been hanging around the boys’ club too long.  She’s only written decently in her own book and Forever Evil: ARGUS.

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First of all, there’s a difference between her Highness and her high-and-mightiness.  Again her regality sounds petty as if she is correcting or trying to convince Clark they’re relationship is deeper than it is.  Secondly, what exactly has got her juices flowing in adoration?  Love him as much as I CAN?  Are there parameters?  Does Clark make a hella good rhubarb soup?  Does he keep his bathroom scrupulously clean so she can adjust her tiara?  Is it his concern for his best friend who just happens to be female?  Is it because his kiss gives her amnesia about people in peril?  If you will recall, well over a year ago, Lobdell had Diana thinking she wanted to call him beloved.  And DCE has been writing the fauxmance as if Diana is more into it than Clark.  Why is DCE doing this to Diana?

Simple answer:  Bad idea followed by bandaid fix and bad writing.  There’s no way to make this fauxmance work without damaging characters . . .ICONS!   I’m going to have to read FE: ARGUS again to wash this bullship from my brain.

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Although a comment about Suicide Slum, this should be put on every Superman story in the new 52!  And perhaps it is a hint, that Clark is truly not Superman YET – since hope doesn’t appear in Metropolis where he resides. Oh, BTW, the Parasite is on the loose in Suicide Slum.

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Give your eyes a healing rest.  What’s not to love about this panel?  Cape porn.  Superman flying across Metropolis.  Lois Lane in his arms (even though she’s an astral projection).  Last time he ‘saved’ Lois, he held her by the scruff of the neck.  He’s dating Wonder Woman now, y’know.  blech.

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Also Lois asks the obvious question.  If she’s a projection then why is he carrying her?  Gotta love the intrepid reporter.  Habit?  Really?  Uh, no.  You haven’t been allowed to carry or save Lois for that matter in the new 52 main continuity up until this point.  And she’s not physical, so it feels like there’s still some kind of restriction.  (Sorry, veteran of Smallville restrictions on this iconic relationship because of a bad movie and original producers who couldn’t get over their pitiful love triangle fetish.)

Lois asks him the hard questions.  How does he stay sane with the exorbitant amount of sensation and information his powers deliver?  She now understands what he goes through on a very intimate level.

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Do we see actually character development for the Man of Steel?  The father he’s speaking of is Jonathan Kent.  Love this panel.  Clark’s compass for his life moved from the Kents to Lois.  His connection to humanity.  A very important part of him and the dual identity.  He can’t experience that with another powerful being.  Even Batman, a human, notes Clark has more humanity than humans even though he’s an alien.

Clark will always do what is right (when editorial allows it).  And he does what he can.  He’s not a god.  He needs to rest.  All beings do whether super or otherwise.

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About as close as we’re going to get to Clark/Superman screaming her name for now.

Lois disappeared because her father, General Sam Lane, has paid her a hospital visit.  He speaks of the worries that his daughters would follow him into the military.  He’s been made a temporary Senator in place of Hume who died giving Lois her powers.   He’s accepted the position in order to find out about the truth of something called The Tower.  Watchtower, maybe?

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Lobdell, either do a little research or stop trying to put your imprint on the Superman story where it isn’t needed.  No one has ever referred to Lois as Lo-la.  Lo, Lo-lo, but never Lo-la.  Stop it!

Of course the General tells Lois how proud he is when she’s ‘unconscious’, but in this instance she isn’t and she hears and sees it all.  We’ll probably be seeing more of General Lane in #27 & #28.  The Lois one-shot (birthing a possible mini-series) is supposed to coincide with #28.

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Lois encourages Clark to pursue the story of The Tower.  To find the truth.  While he worries about her knowing the truth about him.  Clark has secrecy issues which isn’t unusual.

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This panel hurt.  But if they are going to do the “does she, doesn’t she”, it would be more effective after Lois “loses her memory”.  Besides Lois is being driven mad by her powers and we’ll see more explanation a bit later on the roof of the DP.

The placeholder for Clark, aka Jonathan Carroll, enters the room speaking of Superman.

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Clark hates to see anyone in pain especially someone noble (at the moment) as Jonathon has been by Lois’ bedside.  Here’s a question for you while reading the next panel.  Not Superman, but what about Clark Kent?  He is basically describing what he, as Clark Kent mild mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, did.

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And Clark doesn’t leave himself out of the equation as Superman either.

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Could she truly choose if Clark nor Superman stood up as contenders?  How far did Clark or Superman go to deter Lois? We don’t know because that is part of the 4 to 5 year gap.

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This is Clark’s face watching another man get to be by Lois Lane’s bedside.  Doesn’t look too happy, does he?  Fauxmance fans were upset by this face.  Yea, why should he care if Jonathon gets Lois instead of him.  He has WW, right?  Love this panel.  Haven’t we all at one time or another experienced doing PR work for the person we wanted or cared about to find the person we were talking to got to reap the benefits?   Clark can only blame himself (and editorial) for this misery.  Not going after your heart’s desire makes for sad people.

The Parasite arrives at the hospital scarfing up dead bodies and peeps without powers.  While Clark writes a story at his blog office.  Here, let me help you off the floor.  Yepper, kiddies.  We’ve got writing Clark back!

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Clark knows he’s not the be all.  He has his limitations.  He even enjoys them because they give him a sense of security.  Maybe he enjoyed answering to someone because it meant he related to people/humans.  They, afterall, have limitations in their every day lives.  As Clark he experienced that.  As Superman, not so much.  And is he considering going back to the Daily Planet?

And who is he writing about?

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But will he send it out into the internet?  His finger is on the trigger.

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Everyone but Lois on the Daily Planet roof.  Oh well, maybe later.  Yea, why did you pick the DP roof, Clark?  Feeling nostalgic for stuff we haven’t seen yet?  Was that another habit we didn’t see?

Loving Lashley’s Superman.  More good cape porn.  And his face!

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So Shay is used as the means to know that Lois is mutating.  Becoming meta.

And Clark is all about the Lois!  Everybody dance now!

Superman has to take off to find out what’s going on at the hospital.  Parasite.

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Don’t know what the shouting the name first thing is.  Maybe it’s a Lobdellism or a failed attempt at humor.  And there’s other jibberish during the inevitable battle spouted.  I’ll save you from it.

While they trash the hospital, Superman realizes Parasite isn’t there to drain off HIS powers.   Yep, must be still too early to scream her name, cause he doesn’t.

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But check out this look of horror on his face!  Thank goodness Clark doesn’t shirk his responsibilities for a snog session, huh.

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And then Parasite gives Superman a challenge while he starts to drain Lois of her psionic powers.

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Psionic powers are the motherlode to Parasite.  No mind gone unturned.  No closed doors or walls.

Isn’t it about time Superman proved what Lois Lane means to him?

More Parasite in the next issue and then a tangle with General Lane.  Did Clark press the button to send the story to the world?

Long ago after the fauxmance announcement, I listed some things that would have to happen to show the tide would turn for the Superman mythology.  We have seen several of them in this issue.  Clark writing again.  Hard news, not infotainment.  Lois being prominent in the story.  Seeing Superman holding Lois Lane in his arms.  Saving her.  Him screaming her name.

We’re not quite there yet.  If my suppositions are correct, we may be seeing the end of the fauxmance by the end of March.  Geoff Johns did say there would be a big change in the DCU in April.  And with Mongul and the Black Mercy showing up in All Star Western (where Booster Gold has been hiding out.  Also Constantine makes an appearance) as well as Batman/Superman, which could be Forever Evil continuity.  The fauxmance, Superman and Action could all be pre-Trinity War timeline.  Why the disjointed timelines?  Because it’s the only way to fix this mess.

So have a little hope.  Don’t go overboard out of sheer starvation.  Don’t be the Parasite.  😉

Just a seed of hope should do it.  Trust no one but hang on to “Smallville.”

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January 5, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman.

2 Comments

  1. Bob replied:

    it was funny how Lobdell, again had to SAY that the fauxmance two were “in love” because, like, when did we even see that happen?! They’ve barely been dating! I liked the Lois, except for that one panel. That was a bit out of character. She would have more likely said “i don’t know” or “i might never come out of this coma so you might not ever have to worry about it” that would have led to a good “Superman reassures” moment. Hope the fauxmance is over soon.

  2. baudyhallee replied:

    Yea, it’s Lobdell. Tell not show. But none of the fauxmance stories have truly shown either of them saying I love you to each other. None of them say why they have true affection for the other. Diana seems to disdain the farmboy cuisine.

    This relationship is so damaging. I really don’t like the idea that Diana is more invested than Clark — it makes everyone look bad. But the boys’ club seems willing to sacrifice Wonder Woman.

    I’m wondering if this storyline was what Brian Azzarello was told and made him pitch for Wonder Woman so she wouldn’t be ruined.

    Thanks for the comments. 😀

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