DC Comics (June, 1998)
WRITERS: Louise Simonson (script only) Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Stuart Immonen, & Jon Bogdanove
PENCILERS: Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett, Val Semeiks, John Byrne, Kieron Dwyer, Norm Breyfogle, Stuart Immonen, Anthony Williams, Dick Giordano, Scot Eaton, Jon Bogdanove, Steve Yeowell, & Paul Ryan
INKERS: Brett Breeding, Denis Radier, Klaus Janson, Hilary Barta, Joe Rubinstein, José Marzan, Jr., Dick Giordano, & Dennis Janke
SPECIAL THANKS: Bob McLeod
COLORIST: Glenn Whitmore
SEPARATIONS: Digital Cameleon
COVER ART: Alex Ross
LETTERER: Albert DeGuzman
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Joey Cavalieri
After Superman Red and Superman Blue helped stop the Millennium Giants, their sacrifice restored the original Superman, complete with the usual powers. As both Superman and Clark Kent reconnect with his loved ones, it isn’t long before new troubles surface in Metropolis when the Daily Planet, currently being run I think by that French woman Clark used to date in France in his pre-Superman days, posts a picture of Lena, Lex’s daughter. She goes missing and Lex is determined to get her back, using Intergang to find her. Meanwhile the rest of the Planet staff is following their own leads. It turns out to be a Bizarro, created by Lena’s mother the Countess (who wants to mess with Lex but wouldn’t harm their daughter), who wants to send the girl into space like baby Kal-El. Superman rescues Lena and returns her to Lex. But as Kismet observes, something is weird as Superman ends up in existing in four different ages.
What they got right: The story is quite good. We see a different side to Lex, but the best part is ending the “electric Superman” period and getting Superman back into classic for. While I could complain about some of the status quo restorations like Jimmy back as a reporter at the paper, I think the writers just wanted to restart and try again. This was obviously intended to be a jumping on or return point. This includes recreations of Kal-El crashing on Earth (with an adult Clark), noting a lot of the history, and introducing as much of the heroes, villains, and supporting cast as they could within the comic.
What they got wrong: Look, I know a lot of the old Superman artists would want to take part in a story where Superman is restored to his old self. This was back when DC creators besides Dan Jurgens actually cared about Superman. However, some of these art styles really clash with the rest, and we get takes on Superman that are clearly inferior. I think it only works in the part where Kismet sees the various ages (Silver, Golden, a future incarnation, and something they call the “polyester” age, whatever that is…why not the Bronze Age?). Otherwise it’s a bit distracting.
Recommendation: At the time the comic was a major event because it ended the “electric Superman blue & red” period and brought the original Superman back. Now however it’s still a decent story and worth checking out.