THIS WEEK: A year of strong Superman comics continues with Superman: Lost #1. Plus, we check in with some other books, including Danger Street #4, Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1, and more!

Note: the reviews below contain spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Superman: Lost #1Superman: Lost #1

Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Carlo Pagulayan
Inks: Jason Paz
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Willie Schubert

I have been enjoying the absolute glut of prestige Batman comics of late, the mini and maxiseries that generally take place out of continuity and see celebrated creators serving up prestige comics starring the Caped Crusader. I’m thinking here of books like Batman: Fortress, Batman: The Imposterand Batman: One Dark Knight, among others. The vast majority of these books have seen new ideas about a classic DC Comics character turned into satisfying stories, stories that stand well on their own for new or lapsed readers.

Superman: Lost #1

If I have a qualm with all these great Batman series, it is that I would also like to see the same approach applied to some of my other favorite DC Comics characters, chief among them Superman (and also very much Green Arrow, but I digress…). And that’s just what we got this week with Superman: Lost #1. The book is by the creative team of writer Christopher Priest and artist Carlo Pagulayan, who is inked here by Jason Paz and colored by Jeromy Cox. This is the same creative team that delivered the last few arcs of the very good DC Rebirth run of Deathstroke, which I called the best run of that era several years ago in this very space.

The well-honed collaborative chops of the creative team are on full display in this first issue, which looks and reads fantastic. Visually, it’s a real treat to see the Pagulayan-Paz-Cox aesthetic applied to a full-on classic Justice League action sequence in the latter half of this issue. But the team’s approach to quieter moments in the kitchen between Lois and Clark looks great, too. When it comes to the scripting, it is in fact those quiet moments that really standout.

While this book based on title and cover art might be more easily viewed as an epic about Superman in space, what this first issue makes clear is that the real thematic focus here is going to be the Lois and Clark relationship. Yes, this 10-issue series will have a lot to do with Superman being literally lost in space for 20 years, but that’s sort of a plot contrivance that gets us to the real question at the heart of this story: can a loving marriage endure a prolonged separation. This is still a superhero comic, so that separation only effects one partner, a partner who doesn’t age, but still experienced 20 years away from his wife all the same.

And it’s that creative decision to me that makes this book so interesting. We’re getting a lot of great Superman comics this year. All of us on the DC team here at The Beat absolutely loved Superman #1, the Superman family of comics new flagship. And I think Action Comics — which builds off the very good Warworld storyline that played out all last year — and The Adventures of Superman – Jon Kent — poised to be a bonkers multiversal romp starring Clark and Lois’ son — are as good as the Superman auxiliary comics have been in years.

Superman: Lost #1

While those books are consumed by big villains and outsized heroic adventures, Superman: Lost #1 is interested in a quieter story about the super marriage, a smart and prestige take on it at that. If the first issue is any indication, the series is going to be the Superman version of all those satisfying stand-alone adventures that Batman has been having of late, and I’m very much here for it.

Verdict: BUY

The Round-Up

  • As I wrote in my Top Comics to Buy column this week, I’m getting more into one series with each new issue. In Danger Street #4, I found myself at times appreciating how many different (and very obscure) DC Comics characters this book is bent on smashing against each other, coming away with a story that feels as intriguing as it does new and complex. Much credit here is deserved by the creative team of writer Tom King, artist Jorge Fornes, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Clayton Cowles. 
  • While the main story line of the Lazarus Planet event has concluded, the spiderweb effect continues this week with Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods #1, a four-issue series that will feature Wonder Woman and Shazam! dealing with the aftermath of the Lazarus volcano explosion. I like when superhero events and crossovers continue past the month or two in which they are slated. It makes the main proceedings feel more lasting and consequential. Obviously, a new event is always coming, but books like this one build-out the ideas from past events in interesting ways that effect the shared universe. It’s good stuff. This one features a pair of stories, the first by writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Cian Tormey, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Pat Brosseau; with the second by writers Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, artist Alitha Martinez, inkers Mark Morales and John Livesay, colorist Alex Giumaraes, and letterer Becca Carey. 
  • Finally, WildCATs #5 is all in good fun, as has this whole series been so far. This is the closet thing the DCU has right now to a 90s throwback comic, which is perfect for the very ’90s characters this one features. There’s a few updates, but for the most part this book embraces the aesthetic and tone of the era in which these characters were created, and, as I said at the start, the result is a series that is a bunch of fun. From writer Matthew Rosenberg, artists Stephen Segovia and Christian Duce, colorist Elmer Santos, and letterer Ferran Delgado. 

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!