Superman Adventures #11
DC Comics (September, 1997)
“The War Within” part 1
WRITER: Scott McCloud
PENCILER: Rich Burchett
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Marie Severin
LETTERER: Lois Buhalis
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
Superman seems to be slacking off on the job, or at least that’s what the people of Metropolis are starting to think. Lois even planned a scathing editorial…until she found out he was dying of a Kryptonian virus that snuck onto a piece of Kryptonite. Lois joins a group looking to get an element that can be used as a cure, but it’s in the middle of a war zone, which Metropolis may now be with a weakened Superman.
What they got right: The theme for this part of the story is “you never realize what you have until it’s gone”. It sets up the situation well, but what really works are the people elements. From the gag where a woman and son think they can still see Superman even though Clark is right next to them, to Lois not realizing Clark told her she looked beautiful today until he left, to Lois’s reaction to Superman’s situation after rambling on to Doctor Hamilton about how Superman is being a jerk…they’re all scenes that really work and are just good moments.
What they got wrong: Superman can’t call other heroes for help? In his show alone we see the Flash and Batman show up and it’s not like the comic has forgotten the show isn’t in the same continuity as the regular comics. The Batman Adventures has a comic-like Superman and Lex Luthor before either showed up in the DCAU (I give it slack because the DCAU wasn’t a concept until Batman moved from Fox to Kids WB) and in a later issue Superman goes off with a regular DCU version of the Justice League before that existed in the DCAU. I guess this comic would be more accurate to the show given what was know about the DCAU by the creators themselves at the time, but it does show off an error that would pop up in this series and the Adventures titles. Otherwise there’s nothing wrong with this issue.
Recommendation: This and the next issue (if memory serves…we’ll find out in a few weeks when the next issue comes up in review rotation) is a good Superman story, focusing on how Earth reacts to Superman and how selfless Superman is…well before All-Star Superman started getting praise for it, and this story (spoiler) won’t end with Superman’s death. This is a two-parter to look into.