Superman: Lost #2 review

Superman is home. Physically at least. Sent light years away from Earth in the act of saving the world from a quantum singularity, Clark has found his way back to Lois.

He’s been back over a week, but isn’t able to slot back into his life. He’s foetal, he has to be reminded to breathe after losing the habit… because while Lois was apart from her husband for mere hours, for Clark a couple of decades passed.

If you like science, writer Priest and penciller Carlo Pagulayan have the comic strip for you. As Superman encounters two alien races in the flashbacks that make up with bulk of the comic, he explains how his powers work. But you know that – Earth’s gravity, and solar radiation. Here, though, Superman goes deeper than ever before, reminding us that each world’s gravity is unique. The subject comes up several times in the issue, for example, as Superman gives some background to the victor of a planet-wide war on an Earth-like world.

The other aliens Superman meets, who pull the unconscious hero into their ship, look cute, but they’re very sharp. Cutting.

This is a terrific comic, as writer and artist – Priest and Pagulayan are co-plotting – show us the first stages of Superman’s long journey home. There’s a thanks in the credits to one Dave Van Domelen PhD – I guess he helped out with the physics.

It’s a treat to see Superman thinking his way out of a dire situation; admittedly, he has help but he’s achieved a lot in simply staying alive. And I love the quick visits with extraterrestrial folk so far from Superman’s usual stomping grounds that they’ve never heard of him. When I started reading DC books in the Seventies, Superman was constantly meeting off-worlders but it’s something we see less of today – the recent Warworld Saga in Action Comics was an appreciated exception. Here the aliens – ‘Victor’ and the unnamed red people – are mildly impressed by Superman’s abilities and intelligence, but not in awe as are so many Earth folk; it’s refreshing.

The world Superman visits allows Priest room for some social commentary in terms of the ‘Zealots’ relationship with their handheld devices – the implication is that they’ve been too busy looking at their screens to notice a war going on around them.

As for his characterisation of Superman, it’s spot-on – he quietly assumes benevolence in those he encounters, and while he knows he’s in trouble, he doesn’t panic.

The artwork by Pagulayan with inker Jason Paz and colourist Jeromy Cox is worth the price of admission; Superman is classically handsome but not intimidatingly so, while the aliens range from those sweet-looking fellas to the mildly unsettling Zealots. The ‘Victor’ design has super-dictator vibes – I suspect, and hope, we see him again. And always we get nuanced facial expressions and body language. Pagulayan’s compositions smartly control reading pace, while Paz’s embellishments add strength. Cox uses a rich dark palette for the space scenes, which contrasts nicely with the area Superman decides to call Kansas. The reference also gives the issue its chapter title, a nice nod to the Wizard of Oz. Letterer Willie Schubert, a DC veteran whose byline I’ve not noticed for a good while, uses a font which has personality but doesn’t dominate.

The cover by Pagulayan, Paz and colourist Elmer Santos is certainly striking, though it might have been better on next issue, as it’s basically the look Superman has on the final page.

Hey ho, the wind and the rain, Superman: Lost #2 remains a splendid issue, I recommend it highly.

11 thoughts on “Superman: Lost #2 review

  1. I am really not caring for this series, thus far. It reads like something written for the 1990s and is really out of step with what has occurred with Superman since then. Superman needs to breathe? He can’t accede the speed of light? Worst of all, he’s in a foetal position after the experience? This is coming across as a vanity piece and not a Superman story. The pitch must have been “It’s Superman meets the Odyssey!” We’ve already seen the Lotus Eaters. Polyphemus must be coming down the pike.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to do the same. You’re correct that Superman was creating “space warps” in Action Comics #1050. He also spent 1,000 years fighting in Asgard with Wonder Woman in “Immortal Beloved” and didn’t seem the worse for wear. I’m in it for the duration of the story, but I very much want the resolution to be rewarding.


  2. I haven’t read this issue yet, but I just read issue 1 on DCUI. Really enjoyed it! I’ll read this review when the next issue comes around, but I peeked at your last line, and I’m glad it’s continuing the high quality!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Finally got around to this on DCUI. Liked it a lot. Loved that when Superman meets the second group of aliens, they’re all on Alien Twitter.

    Superman: “A communal exchange?”
    Victor: “A disinformation cesspool.”

    That about sums it up.

    I think “elseworlds close to continuity” is a good way to approach this, but I’ve never been too fussed about continuity regardless. The blessings of having a poor memory. I do remember that 1000 years with Wonder Woman story, however, and I’m more than happy to ignore it. (Plus, it was published 23 years ago. There’s gotta be a statute of limitations on these things.)

    But that story, and any story like this, is more about exploring the limits of the character under duress, not about any specific timeline for the character or the DCU. The Wonder Woman story, IIRC, is about Clark’s eternal bond with Lois. We can take that point seriously without taking the story literally.

    We’ll see what this one’s about, and what it tells us about Clark.

    Liked by 1 person

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