One presumes she shut the blinds between issues.

§ June 12th, 2024 § Filed under byrne reboot, superman § 9 Comments

So when we last met, Derek said about the cover to Action Comics #662 that it “might be my favorite Superman cover of all time.” And just as a reminder of what that was:

Yeah, that is a good cover. Drawn by Kerry Gammill and Brett Breeding, it certainly stood out on the stands.

Given how there were more than a handful of pre-Crisis stories revolving around the idea of “Superman’s secret identity — revealed!” I suspect there was some level of skepticism to this plot twist. Countering that is the fact that the post-reboot Superman stories were more of a continuing soap opera than the earlier one-shot stories where any big changes were undone at the end. As such, I feel like folks at least figured Lois knowing Clark’s secret would last for a storyline and be undone somehow.

Well, that wasn’t the case, as we know. And interestingly, falling in line with my assertion that the new paradigm is that Lois learns/confirms Clark’s double-life early on, the above comic was released in early 1991, less than five years after the 1986 relaunch. I mean, it depends on how you’re counting, I suppose. In terms of Superman’s overall history, outside of relaunches, reboots, Silver and Golden Ages, etc., it was 50-something years coming.

So the actual event itself, ballyhooed so much on the cover, doesn’t happen ’til the last couple of pages of the book. In continuity terms, Lois and Clark are in love and engaged to be married, and he decides “well, uh, I guess I’d better tell Lois about my side job,” and here we go:

And this was the time of the multiple Superman titles running as essentially a semi-weekly comic, with stories flowing consistently from one to the next. In this case, Action #662 continues into Superman #53:

…which, unlike the spoilery cover for Action, gives no clue as to the import of the story inside. (In fact, I was looking at this issue’s listings on eBay and I didn’t see a one that mentioned the I.D. thing…either that’s not considered an important selling point or none of these sellers have ever cracked opne a comic.)

Inside we get essentially a repeat of the final splash page from the Action issue:

I certainly appreciate the attempt at consistency in world-building here, making Lois’s place look mostly the same between Bob McLeod’s portrayal in Action and Jerry Ordway and Dennis Janke’s in Superman. Even down to the cat! The TV/bookshelf thingie looks like it’d been remodeled a bit, however.

Lois has a measured response, as from this excerpt:

…which is certainly a contrast from her response in Action #597 shown in my last post.

Part of it is Lois and Clark are in a different relationship now than before, but Lois’s portrayal has certainly been softened since the early hard-as-nails version from the initial issues of the Byrne reboot. Which is fine, and I can’t recall my specific reaction to reading these stories in real time, but I imagine the character’s progress worked well enough to make the romance an’ all acceptable to readers. Plus, it’s Supes ‘n’ Lois, they’re supposed to be together.

As a side note, notice that both those covers above have a Roman numeral “II” near their issue numbers, which indicates these are second printings. These comics weren’t, like, “Death of Superman” hot, but at the time, due the revealing of the I.D., they were quite in demand, causing DC to go back to press. I haven’t actually seen second prints of these in the wild in quite some time, maybe not even since they were released, so it’s possibly they’re very hard to come by. Not that prices seem to reflect that, given my brief eBay sojourn looking these up.

9 Responses to “One presumes she shut the blinds between issues.”

  • Andrew Davison says:

    Two comments, one question.

    Superman has aged considerably in the intervening few seconds.

    Even the cat turned away in disgust.

    Where are Clark’s trousers? Mike, I realize this is not a good question to ask you due to the Au Naturel approach you take towards comic book retailing.

  • Eric says:

    i like how the cat has walked in to see all the excitement but then decided “eh” and laid down.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Finally, as Jerry Siegel intended! ;-)

    Seriously, I feel like the end of “The K-Metal from Krypton” is one of the biggest “what ifs” in comics. We would have gotten a completely different Superman in the Silver Age…if we’d gotten one at all.

  • Thom H. says:

    I enjoyed how Clark came out to Lois in All-Star Superman. And Lois’ disbelief and annoyance. That was great.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    When did Lois go from being her classic brunette self to having auburn colored hair…?

  • Sean Mageean says:

    * black-haired self…

  • Greta says:

    It’s funny you mention the Roman numeral. I only had the second printing of that issue of Action. And I think, early in my life as an inveterate comic collector, it was my first exposure to second printings of any kind.

    And, yeah, that cover’s an absolute stunner.

  • > When did Lois go from being her classic brunette self to having auburn colored hair…?

    Lois got a haircut in Superman #45 of that era that resulted in the longer-locks look. I kid you not. When I can’t remember my own address, it’s because I’ve got that kind of stuff rolling around in my brain.

  • Snark Shark says:

    Clark: “Louis, I’m secretly a COSPLAYER!”

    Louis: “Dammit.”

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