Superman Adventures #12
DC Comics (October, 1997)
“The War Within” part 2
WRITER: Scott McCloud
PENCILER: Rick Burchett
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Marie Severin
LETTERER: Lois Buhalis
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Mike Mcavennie
When we last left this version of Superman he was hit with a Kryptonian virus lurking on a piece of Kryptonite. Despite dying, Superman still goes out to help people, putting himself further at risk. Meanwhile, the team seeking an element that can be used in a cure (which happens to be in the middle of a war zone) finds their plane shot down (unknowingly, Intergang was responsible). Lois races across the planet trying to get the cure to the doctor, whom Luthor is blackmailing into switching the cure, but his conscience prevails and Superman is cured.
What they got right: This is Lois’s moment to shine, thanks in part to her comments last issue before knowing of Superman’s fate. While it’s odd to see soldiers put their differences aside and so many willing to help Superman at this point in the DCAU, I found it hard to care because I’M connected with Superman’s multiversal lore (although I grant you that should go into the “got wrong” technically speaking). There are also neat moments, like Superman trying (and failing) to stop a robber only to have the thief run right into about 20 cops driving the cavalcade. Or Lois running into a soldier on both sides of the war, both kids, and how they react to the war and that Lois has Superman’s cure. My favorite is when the doctor says we can’t all live to his standards, Superman says that he’s been trying to live up to them his whole life.
What they got wrong: Superman telling the doctor he can still hear the earpiece Mercy is using to blackmail the doctor takes a bit away from the doctor’s moment of conscience instead of his unwillingness to murder a man despite whatever malpractice problem he had in the past that Luthor buried. Besides, I think saving Superman’s life after all of this build-up should go towards his getting a second chance, so his telling Lois and Superman he has to fight alone doesn’t work for me either.
Recommendation: While we do get more insights into who Superman is and why he’s driven to be a hero, this is Lois’s moment in the spotlight. Both issues of this two-parter are worth picking up.