Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
This first section of the book has 10 chapters. Thus far two of them have been devoted to setup and I think the same is true of the third. There isn’t as much in this section of the story to tell so Roger Stern has that extra space to catch up the readers to the post-Crisis DCU before it’s time for Doomsday to show up. And we’ve had a tease of him in the first chapter. What will happen in this one?
As I write this I only know that chapter 3 opens on Lois and presumably Clark going to meet her. I’m guessing this sets up where their relationship is at this point. Clark has told Lois he’s Superman and the two are engaged. For causal fans this is new. While they saw them together in Superman II (until it was undone with that stupid kiss) they’ve never really been shown to be a couple by this point outside of the comics. At best we saw an attraction between Lois and Superman while she wasn’t very interested in Clark. That didn’t change until Lois & Clark debuted. So let’s see how Stern introduces the readers to this change in their romance.
Chapter 3: Doomsday part 3
Superman’s debut in Metropolis and his superhero name are both tied to Lois so we get the rest of Superman’s origin as well as how…well, how they met. What led to them becoming engaged is not really made clear. It’s really more about Superman’s history, but we do learn about her being raised by a military father who had to take the family traveling a lot and that he wanted a boy so he settled for making Lois and Lucy tougher than most boys…and the problems that led to. Also Sam Lane and his wife no longer travel while Lucy is a flight attendant and Lois is a reporter for a newspaper big enough that she often travels around the country and the world.
The rest is Superman’s history from her perspective, from his debut when he saved the space plane she was traveling on during its maiden flight (five years into her reporter career at the Daily Planet) to the interview she got with him, only to be scooped by some wanna-be reporter from Smallville, Kansas. And now she knows they’re the same guy and plans to marry him. What he doesn’t note is that it wasn’t until after they were engaged if memory serves that Clark revealed he was Superman. That is important. Throughout the pre-Crisis DC Universe Lois had no interest in Clark or just thought of him as a friend, colleague, and occasional rival. Meanwhile in the Silver Age she was coming up with schemes to rope Superman into marriage and in the Bronze Age she wasn’t written so badly but still considered “Superman’s girlfriend” despite her romantic rival, Lana Lang. Post-Crisis it was Clark Kent she eventually fell for despite an initial attraction to Superman. I like that version better.
I peeked ahead a bit and it’s not until chapter 6 that we’ll finally see “the creature” make it’s debut, so prepare for two more chapters of setting up the dominoes. That means four chapters will be devoted to Doomsday. Will that work out? We’ll learn in a few weeks but next week it’s more of the important players in the story to come. Admittedly there are a lot of characters to debut so the casuals can follow the aftermath.
Next time: Doomsday part 4