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.
It appears the mourning phase is pretty much done for section two of this book. There may still be some, but Stern seems to be setting up the final arc of this comic event he’s adapting. In the past two chapters we’ve seen the origins of Steel and Superboy, but there’s still Eradicator and Cyborg Superman left to be introduced. Who will show up today? Apparently nobody, but we do see more of the events that will lead to the creation of Superboy, so there’s that. There is other stuff to see so let’s get right to it.
Chapter 16: Funeral For A Friend part 6
I was wrong about the lack of mourning. We see Jonathan having flashbacks to Clark’s youth and Martha worried about him. And we see Lois meet another of the people Superman directly rescued, a cabbie who still keeps a memento of the event. And that’s where this event shined over others before and since. Superman’s death wasn’t some shock death. They really made the death matter and the character matter. They didn’t do that when Firestorm died. And he didn’t really get better. They had to reboot the universe after creating a new Firestorm. And that Black Lantern nonsense, but this section is sad enough.
The emphasis of this chapter though is on the Newsboys clones. The original Newsboys were Guardian’s version of the Baker Street Irregulars and the Newsboys seem pretty smart for cloned kids. They find Superman’s body and both Guardian and Dubbilex, who have been having second thoughts about the whole thing, try to explain why they’re cloning Superman. I guess they weren’t convincing because later they spy on Westfield and learn he’s planning to do more than clone Superman and they aren’t happy about it. So they come up with a plan to get word out that Superman’s body is here by getting into the city and getting the evidence to someone they know will get the word out, the Daily Planet. Good boys!
So this was another good chapter. Remember that I haven’t read the original comics in this arc outside of Superman’s actual death so I don’t know how accurate it is, but there are things that work better in a book, like the minutes of silence between Guardian and Dubbilex as they try to decide if they’re doing the right thing. It CAN be showcased in sequential art but in prose it’s much easier since comics have been moving away from narration as of late. We have two chapters in this section before we get some action in this story. Return next week to see if we set-up any of the other “supermen”.