Superwoman #18 – K. Perkins, Writer; Max Raynor, Penciller; Jaime Mendoza, Scott Hanna, Inkers; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: End Of a Good Try
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Superwoman #18 is the second final issue due to low sales this month has a lot in common with Cyborg, the first. They were both books with some very interesting ideas, but they lacked the execution to follow through. Unlike Cyborg, though, this book starring Lana Lang doesn’t have to preserve the character for other books, so this issue is less of a fade-out than a door-slam.
The last issue saw Superwoman defeat the malevolent artificial intelligence Midnight, freeing the many people she had trapped in the void – but seemingly at great cost. This issue opens with Superwoman still alive, but the situation is much more complex. She is actually trapped in her own mind along with Midnight, and Midnight is in control of her body. As the confused AI tries to take control of a living being, Lana is able to fight back and communicate with her loved ones.
This situation could easily be a horror story, as an evil being puppets a person with incredible powers. But K. Perkins, in one of her better issues, takes a more compassionate approach as Lana awkwardly teaches her former enemy about humanity, letting her experience love and kindness for the first time. Midnight’s character development is quite rushed, and her eventual decision to sacrifice herself and free Lana feels a bit out of nowhere. The final issue also leaves a number of plot threads, including Skyhook’s kidnapping of John Iron’s nephew, unresolved. And given that the issue ends with Lana losing her powers apparently for good, it seems unlikely any of these characters or concepts (besides, perhaps, Natasha Irons and Traci 13’s story) will appear again. Interesting title, but a clumsy execution that lost its way after original writer Phil Jiminez left.
Corrina: Note: it is not lost on me that the last two DC canceled series have been titles featuring a black man and a woman.
But onto the specifics of this issue.
Jimenez’s vibe of making this basically a Superman Family team-up book was great but, after he left, the title didn’t have a proper focus, possibly because DC was eyeing it for cancellation already. Sales might have also suffered due to the fact the title originally was sold as a Lois Lane spotlight and Lois was essentially removed from the book with the first issue.
With such a short run and the job of wrapping up the series, it’s hard to evaluate K. Perkins’ work especially given she had the thankless assignment of resetting Lana Lang back to square one. And, yet, I can see hints of what Perkins’ approach might have been, in Lana’s compassion and the complexity in which she handles Midnight’s emotions. Anyone who can add depth like that to characters understands superheroes.
As for Lana, I expect she’ll go back to being a supporting character. That’s fine, I suppose, since she’s had her turn at a book, but I hope the rest of the cast–John Henry, Natasha, and Traci 13–don’t vanish from the pages of Superman comics.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.