Superman (vol.2) #157 (2000)

Superman (vol.2) #157 (June, 2000)
“Superman’s Enemy Lois Lane”
Writer – Jeph Loeb
Pencils – Ed McGuinness
Inks – Cam Smith
Colors – Tanya & Richard Horie
Letters – Richard Starkings
Associate Editor – Maureen McTigue
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $1.99

Super busy day working on my final project for Forensics… soooo… Hey!  Random issue of Superman!

Clark Kent is gazing into his wedding ring and lamenting the fact that it appears that Lois is leaving him.  He lays alone in their bed, unshaven and fully dressed as Superman.  He is thinking about how all those in his life will react to this news.

He hears the apartment door open and rushes to see who it is.  It’s Lois, and she has a suitcase.  She claims that she’s only there to pick up her things and she’d be gone momentarily.  Clark reaches out for her hand, while noticing that she is not wearing her wedding ring.  She asks him to take his hand off of her, and when he refuses… she, well, wallops him through the window and across the street with one helluva right hand.

Rather than being upset or fearful, Superman is now happy.  He knows that there’s no possible way for this to be his Lois (it’s funny the things we will choose to suspend our disbelief for, ain’t it?).  Lois flies after him shouting like a madwoman about all of the times she’d been humiliated by him.

As she approaches a seemingly pron Superman, he wraps her in his cape and uses his x-ray vision to give her the once over.  She’s definitely not a robot, and she appears to be a perfect bone-for-bone match to his Lois, even down to a hairline fracture on her wrist.

Lois breaks free, and this time strikes Supes with a left uppercut sending him flying a decent distance.  She hovers over by Lex Luthor’s office, and burns the words “You’re Next” in his window much to his befuddlement.

She than flies past the Daily Planet where she gives Perry a friendly wave.

She finally reaches Superman who had landed on a moving train.  Lois continues pounding on Superman, and for the most part, he allows it, simply choosing to defend himself rather than going on offense.

Finally, Superman’s had enough.  He pins Lois down, and taunts her.  Claiming that if he is to fall this day, it is Lois Lane who will get the credit for taking him down… rather than who is really behind all the hullabaloo.  Not being able to take it anymore, and wanting all the credit for himself… the Lois facade fades leaving only THE PARASITE.

The two battle, and we get a view of all the personalities currently floating around ol’ Parasite’s noggin… including that of one Lois Lane.  They fight until Parasite’s heart begins to give out.  He shrivels up and perishes in Superman’s arms, but not before telling him that Lois did truly love him.

Superman is left alone.  No Parasite, no Lois…

Well… it was a fight issue.

That isn’t to say it wasn’t any good, because it was.  I enjoyed it.  It was damn pretty to look at, that’s for sure.  I always loved McGuinness’s Lois, can’t really put my finger on why.  I think it may have something to do with the fact that this era of Superman is when I “came back” to the character.  I suppose many of these takes or looks of the characters have kinda gotten ingrained in how I perceive them.

I remember reading this when it came out, and the rumors were that under the new editorial direction that they were considering breaking Lois and Clark up… at least for awhile.  While this was coming out, I figured that was what they were building towards… I certainly didn’t think Lois was going to get crazy-whacked out powers, but I thought perhaps she would have maybe gotten mind-controlled and went off-panel for an extended period.

I was glad then, and I’m glad now that they decided against breaking the couple apart (whether they wanted to or not, I suppose).  I’m also glad they got the opportunity to do such an offbeat story pitting Superman against SuperLois.  This feels like something that would have happened in an Imaginary Story during the Silver Age… and here we are, at the turn of the century doing this story in-continuity.  Too much fun.

The entire Loeb/McGuinness run is highly recommended.  Much of the beginnings of the run are in a six-volume trade paperback collection.  They include many Superman stories of this era, including those in Adventures of Superman, Action Comics, and Man of Steel.  There is also the (sorta overrated, if you ask me) Emperor Joker trade collection as well as the nearly-phone book-sized Our Worlds at War collection.  Definitely seek those out if you’re interested in “City of Tomorrow” era Superman.

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