Superman meets two different sets of aliens as he starts his journey home in our review of Superman: Lost #2 from DC Comics.
When reading Superman: Lost #2, I can’t help but think of Tom King’s recent Superman: Up in the Sky, a 12 part miniseries of 12 pages each. Though Christopher Priest has structured his story in 10 parts of 22 pages, this issue has a two-part structure that really brings to mind the way King’s story worked in print, with two chapters published per issue. The similarity between King’s and Priest’s concepts also brings one thing to mind. Superman is searching desperately for a way to cross impossible distances of an unknown galaxy. There he faces new and impossible challenges along the way.
However, these two encounters are very different from the encounters King puts Clark through. Priest first throws Clark into the hands of scavengers. He then sends him to the planet of “Kansas” as Clark names it. When he meets the scavengers, Clark is helpless, lost after crashing into space rocks. Then Priest jettisons Clark onto a world too much like Earth. It has societal problems he cannot solve, no matter how his huge heart wants to help. Priest shows in the first encounter that Clark is unwilling to lie or give up himself. He keeps his cape because his mother gave it to him.
In the second encounter, Priest shows that he’s able to make complex moral decisions. He has clear priorities that override other priorities. All in all, this is exactly the kind of difficult, unusual moral writing with strong sense of characters that I expect from Priest. It has the added bonus of the continued plot line of the car full of money from the first issue. It also touches on Lois’s continued love and huge sense of foreboding and anger. Plus, the stresses upon the thematic repetition of the word “Breathe.” Even though he doesn’t HAVE to breathe, Superman needs to breathe to be what he most desires to be – human.
Quite apart from the technical brilliance of the writing, Carlo Pagulayan’s pencils, Jason Paz’s inks, and Jeromy Cox’s vivid and gorgeously saturated colors continue to put this book in its own class. Pagulayan’s strongly recognizable style – extremely appealing faces and figures, excellent sense of design, and excellent rendering/choice of unusual framing, like Lois looking down at Clark/the panel, her hair hanging down/up at us as we read. The various aliens and world are full of beautiful and stunning page turns and renderings. There’s such a sense of traveling through alien space here. Pagulayan’s definitely fulfilling the job of an expert cinematographer on a high budget sci-fi television series. I’m sure Priest conceives of his story in this manner. There is texture, appeal, beauty, and drama. It’s all here in writing and art in the highest quality.
Once again, we have three covers to analyze for purchase recommendation. Cover A and B, the main cover and first cardstock variant (for a dollar extra), are both excellent. Carlo Pagulayan provides the first cover. It features Superman in his gorgeous & striking white suit flying towards the top left of the cover. Lee Weeks again provides the second cover. It shows Superman sitting in the light of a door frame, looking very dejected, head down. Elizabeth Breitweiser colors this cover beautifully.
Howard Porter’s 1-in-25 incentive seems to connect to the interior scenario of aliens helping Clark floating in space, with his breath mask and broken spaceship. While striking, it’s full of Porter’s trademark style, which to this reviewer tends to put one off more often than attract. The Lee Weeks definitely gets the nod this week. The main cover, however, is also quite a good buy.
Editor’s Note: If you missed out on our review of Superman: Lost #1, you can find it here.