Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1 Review

by Jay Hill on October 30, 2019

Written by: Jeff Loveness
Penciled by: Brad Walker
Inked by: Drew Hennessy & Norm Rapmund
Colors by: John Kalisz
Lettered by: Cayton Cowles
Published by: DC Comics

Get ready to enter a realm filled with darkness, oddities, and terror. That's the signpost up ahead—your next stop, the Twilight Zone. No, wait—the Dark Multiverse. After the first installment in the series, “Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall #1”, this one continues the twisted reimaginings of classic DC Comics fables. Most comic book fans are aware of the storyline of the Death of Superman. If not, here’s a brief recap: Superman died and after a bunch of new pretenders to the throne arrived on the scene the OG Supes returned with a sick mullet. This comic reinterprets that tale as a dark story of a hero falling from grace, but that hero isn’t Superman. It’s his wife, Lois Lane.
After she witnesses the defeat of the man she loves, she begins to resent the heroes who failed to assist him. She sees the world he gave his life for spiral into a state that disrespects what he did when he lived. And when she is given the chance to gain the powers of her dead husband, she decides it will be by her hand that the world will finally be as it should.

This story plays out like a horror movie. We see Lois slowly unravel before she gains her powers and when she is given the ability to affect worldwide change her warped mind creates destruction. The parts that keep this story from being just another bland “Evil Superman” story is the element of Lois beginning with the righteous motive of trying to respect her husband’s legacy. It’s a good examination into a “dark” version of the character. She becomes so clouded that she starts to stand against everything he stood for and even begins to think less of him. That and what was used from the original arc are the shining parts of the story. But, other than that, it feels a little hollow. The end doesn’t fully deliver on the fall of the character. Like any good Twilight Zone or Black Mirror-esque story, it’s all about the end and this end lacks that gut-punch feeling of those shows’ best episodes (not to mention issues or episodes of Tales from the Crypt). I feel it may have been the pacing that took away from the explosiveness of the conclusion, since the end “twist” is fitting for the story told.

I also feel a little indifferent about the art. Although it is quite good, it feels like it isn’t cohesive with the storytelling. The “dark” isn’t displayed in the art. Besides some depressing shots of a sad Lois walking around Metropolis, it doesn’t bring you into the warped reality that is trying to be established. You do feel her brutality in some scenes and there is a great, and pretty chilling, shot of Lois zooming in front of the Joker.

I commend the comic for taking this story and instead of going a dozen obvious other routes, they chose to focus on Lois Lane and give her a believable fall. But minus that aspect, the story doesn’t say a lot more past the “Evil Superman” idea. Exploring her mentality results in little if the ending doesn’t drive home the point, and I felt it didn’t.


Our Score:


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