- Writer: Jeff Loveness
- Pencils: Brad Walker
- Inks: Drew Hennessy & Norm Rapmund
- Colours: John Kalisz
- Letters: Clayton Cowles
- Cover: Lee Weeks & Brad Anderson
When Superman fell, the world was left in tears, but no one mourned for him more than his wife, Lois Lane. In this twisted retelling of the original story, Lois Lane soon begins to realise how quickly the World seems to have forgotten Superman, but more than that, she realises that perhaps we didn’t truly deserve him, for no matter how hard He tried to make the world a better place, the humans he defended, only made things worse for the world.
This story begins with a cosmic being known as Tempus Fuginaut, who stands as the sole Guardian against the darkness of the multiverse. However, this entity has begun to doubt his beliefs in the multiverse, for he knows the warmth of the light, but the cold darkness always returns no matter what. Tempus talks about how the darkness takes the stories that were dark to begin with, and somehow finds a way to twist them further and make them even darker than before.
In this issue, the story we are told takes place in the aftermath of Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday, the prehistoric Kryptonian monster that beat the JLA and after a long and destructive battle in Metropolis, fell at the might of Superman, but not before ensuring that Superman himself couldn’t survive, and so The Man of Steel died on the broken streets of the city he loved and protected, as his wife held him in her arms and wept. How can you possibly add anything darker to this story? Writer Jeff Loveness found a way, and with the help of Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, Norm Rapmund, John Kalisz, Clayton Cowles, Lee Weeks and Brad Anderson, the dark multiverse story came to life.
In this version of our story, Lois blames the Justice League for failing Superman, claiming that they let him die. The book is narrated by Lois herself, her own thoughts about the situation and the world around her. She talks a lot about how none of the Justice League heroes were there to help him, but when the time came to bury him, they were all stood front and centre, taking the spotlight to be admired by the citizens that attended. You can feel Lois’ anger grow with each panel, as she talks about how the current situations would disgust Clark if he could see them, as even Lex Luthor attended the funeral, and gave some speech about Superman being a symbol of hopes and dreams for all when they looked to the skies, using his words as a selling point for his company’s new foundation.
We see Lois visit the Kents on their farm, as she continues her rant about how these people loved and raised him, but could not attend their own son’s funeral for cautionary reasons, in case anyone found out the truth about who He was when he wasn’t saving lives. The story truly begins when Lois visits his sanctuary though, as she places the tattered and torn cape to the Fortress of Solitude, and places it down, and continues to mourn. That is until some strange red entity appears before her, claiming to be too late, and announcing that it is called ‘The Eradicator’, a protector of Krypton reborn to protect the last son of the House of El. When this entity explains that he has failed in his mission, and that he holds within him the power of the Kryptonian life matrix, Lois tells him to use her as a host, so that she may honour Superman’s memory and do everything she can to make the world a better place, just like he wanted to.
With Kryptonian DNA now coursing through her, Lois Lane becomes a super powerful being, but unlike her late husband, her mind is not filled with hope and love, it is filled with vengeance. Whilst the story stands out on it’s own in the single issue we have of it, the plot reminds me somewhat of the Injustice version of Superman, who is filled with so much rage that he decides to make the world a better place by using his powers however he sees fit, with little regard for life.
This issue is full of death, and death isn’t restricted to the stereotypical villains of the comics, as Lois also takes her wrath to the common criminals, to anyone who is corrupt in even the slightest way. She ends world hunger and punishes those who starved them, she destroys weapons and their manufacturers and ends wars, but what she doesn’t realise until it’s too late, is that she has become the very thing she seeks to destroy.
This single issue ties in nicely to the sequel of The Death of Superman, as Lois goes head to head with Cyborg Superman, and receives aid in battle from Super Boy and Steel, though they prove to be no match for Cyborg Superman, as it takes all of Lois’s wrath channelled into a single attack to defeat him, but not before the Cyborg takes everything away from her yet again, as Clark returns in his iconic black and silver suit with the mullet, just in time to see the monster that Lois has become, and realise than in his absence, the people of Metropolis, and of Earth, have become afraid of her. In the end however, as they are both distracted, Cyborg Superman is able to kill Superman yet again, and Lois destroys him for it, using her newly gifted powers.
The book ends with a moral, and a hard truth, which rounds off the story nicely. Jeff Loveness has found away to turn one of the darkest moments in comic book history and make it even darker and more disturbing. The story is not just dark for no reason though, as it provokes plenty of thoughts as to what could have happened, and why it is best that it did not. It gives the reader a reason to understand that despite everything that happens, there is a reason to it all, and that the consequences of ones actions aren’t always going to go according to plan.
The art in this book is of course dark, but also beautiful, with fantastic colours that allows the art to leap from the pages. The new look of Lois in a black suit, accompanied with a torn cape, really makes you feel her emotion but also gives us an idea of just how frightening this character has become. It brings us a side to Lois Lane that we haven’t seen before, and the world pays for it, because the combination of love, loss, vengeance and Kryptonian power in one being, is something to truly fear.
Overall this book is a must read for DC Fans, especially if you have read The Death Of Superman beforehand. This new Tales from the Dark Multiverse series is going to bring us some truly epic retellings of our favourite stories.