blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Superman for All Seasons (1998) #4


I just realized… with writer Jeph Loeb leaning heavily on the Protestantism for this final issue (in addition to the pastor giving a sermon, Pete Ross is getting churchy), there’s no good reason to not have some Christmas in it.

Clark is back in Smallville, having run home after discovering Lex Luthor can kill people and get away with it because he’s rich. Lana Lang is back home too. She narrates. She starts by telling the reader her only dream in life was to be Mrs. Clark Kent, and Superman ruined it for her.

Lana’s been gone since the first issue. Halfway around the world, she says. She didn’t learn anything there or have any valuable experiences—her “Eat, Pray, Love” convinced her to return to Smallville and find herself a good man, flying or not.

While Lana doesn’t have any character, Ma and Pa Kent have even less. Even though there are plenty of scenes from Clark’s perspective—heck, Lois Lane’s perspective—which Lana’s narration conveniently fits, there’s nothing with the parents. If Clark’s going to get his head right about superheroing, it’s going to be because there’s a crisis only he can handle.

Oh, wait, that solution doesn’t provide any actual character development. And it doesn’t even provide an iconic sequence. After wandering from Lana’s narration the whole issue, he gets super-close to her for the big action sequence.

Then, since Lana’s not in Metropolis and not going because the good men are in Smallville, the finale’s a rush. It’s a finish to this particular issue of the comic, but not a finish to For All Seasons. Doing vignettes works if there’s noticeable character development between them. Without, they’re just static.

Okay art from Tim Sale. His splash pages aren’t the family stuff, and Tim Sale doing Superman versus natural disaster art will only ever be so cool. It’s okay.

And the comic’s… better than last time, anyway. It’s a tepid finish, with Loeb overwriting the narration and underwriting the story. Since Lana Lang hasn’t mattered in the comic book at all, it doesn’t make sense her narration at the end matters. Think about the new readers.


Glad it’s over. Curious if it’s actually any better than Man of Steel but not willing to take that bait.

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