Superman Adventures #18
DC Comics (April, 1998)
“It’s A Super Life”
WRITER: Devin K. Grayson
PENCILER: Aluir Amancio
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Rick Taylor
LETTERER: Lois Buhalis
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
Clark’s responsibilities as Superman are starting to get in the way of his reporting, including his current story about the arguments between the monorail and subway fighting for the same route to the suburb of New Troy (no relation). It’s starting to make him wonder if maybe he should give up one or the other identity despite his parents telling him the world needs both Superman and Clark Kent. However, it’s Clark’s investigative skills and reporter’s instinct that learn the bridge may not be able to handle the weight of both trains at the same time, which their schedules may cause to happen, plus the bridge was built by a company with questionable quality that Clark exposed last year. With this information it’s not Superman saving the day but Clark Kent, proving he’s just as needed.
What they got right: So many stories focus on Superman, including the show this ties in to, that seeing a story focus on Clark is pretty cool. And it’s a good story, showcasing that working at the Daily Planet is more than just a way to keep track of current events (which in this internet and 24/7 news cycle era he probably doesn’t even need, but this was from the late 90s). I also support the detail in the front page of the Planet where Clark’s story takes over from a “Superman saves the day” story. I also like the scene with Clark and his family, proving the mistake of killing them off (or just killing Jonathan, which has been happening to the poor guy since Smallville.)
What they got wrong: The title has “Wonderful” crossed off and replaced with “Super” and yet there is no tie to It’s A Wonderful Life since nobody is showing Kal-El the necessity of both identities. Granted if they had the Phantom Stranger or someone show him what life would be like with only each identity and not his dual one, that would make for a darn cool story. Also the cover really doesn’t sell the “Clark Kent is saving the day this time” angle of the story, or Clark’s concerns about his dual life.
Recommendation: No matter the continuity this is a really good Superman story. It’s one I recommend checking out if you can.