Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogathon 44: Adventures of Superman #623

In the final issue of the 2003 run of Adventures of Superman, Superman takes Lois around the world and tells her a few stories of his adventures. The details don't matter, all are goofy, but all also involve something happening and Superman using the symptoms of the problem as a way to find the source.

As well, he's struggling with the conflict between being Superman and being a good husband. He claims that he wants Lois more than anything, but at the end, he drops her off and flies away. It's ambiguous what it means because he has to fly away or expose his identity. But, the way Lois says bye also hints that it's the end of their relationship.

Wanting Lois is selfish of Superman, especially when it puts his role as guardian and protector of the planet at risk. If there's tension there, will he be able to do his job as well?

In a sense, the end of this issue mirrors the end of Mr. Majestic as both characters give up their old lives for a greater good. That is, if you choose to read this as Lois and Superman splitting up. The goodbye could also represent Casey and Aucoin saying goodbye.

There's an odd bit at the end where we get three panels of a fireman, an EMT and a doctor all doing their jobs in black-and-white (well, blue/grey-and-white), but with red Superman S symbols somewhere on them. Superman does say that everyone who does their best to make the world better is like him, but this always struck me as kind of lame.

This issue has me puzzled, honestly, which I think is the goal. It's obviously meant to have various readings or it would be clearer. Now, obviously Lois and Clark didn't split up, but they could have here anyway. The end of Casey's run on the book, it can end that way, especially these days where creators are more important to some (like me) than characters. I didn't read the next issue of the series, because Casey left the book. I've read one issue of Superman since then and that was a Kurt Busiek issue this past fall to review (oh, and I see the "One Year Later" story since I got it in trade--and Azzarello's run in trade). For all intents and purposes, this was the end of my Superman experience in a way, so why not read it as Superman choosing Superman over Lois?

In 30 minutes, I'll try and tie the three books I looked at today together. I'll probably fail.