Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
The first year of this series was terrible, but since the arrival of Scott Lobdell as of issue 0 the series has become what it should have been all along, great. I have been a Superman fan since a child so seeing the main Superman series do so dreadful whilst others like Action Comics doing so well wasn't nice. Nothing against any of the other series, and mainly Action Comics, which Grant Morrison has done a great job on, but the main Superman series should be the best like the main Batman series should be better than the other Batman series.
This issue sees Lois Lane visit Clark to try and persuade him to come back to the Daily Planet. Her visit is however cut short by the arrival of Supergirl (who can now speak English), who takes Clark to meet the Kryptonian, H'el, who claims he can restore Krypton.
This was a brilliant issue and a great start to Superman's role in the H'el on Earth crossover. Lobdell's work over the three series he writes (this, Teen Titans, and Red Hood and the Outlaws) has been very interesting, as this series is brilliant, Red Hood and the Outlaws has been fairly good, but Teen Titans has been poor as of recent. I have however loved what Lobdell has done with this series since joining, and how during this issue he's been able to integrate Supergirl, and Superboy also. His work since joining the series has been brilliant and I like how he's made a distinct difference between Clark and Superman whilst finally giving Clark a back bone. It's been interesting seeing Clark use more of his Superman traits in real life and I love how it's been done subtly. I also like how Lobdell writes all the Super's in this issue, and how you can easily tell they're different. Having read Superboy since the start (which Lobdell used to write), only missing issues 10-12, and reading the last issue of Supergirl, I have been able to appreciate them from their own series', ans I think anyone who is a fan of them series' will love what Lobdell has done with them in this issue, and appreciate how he's kept their characteristic's, and tones.
The art in this issue is simply astonishing. Kenneth Rocafort produces some of the most amazing art I have ever seen, and whether it's on this series or his time on Red Hood and the Outlaws, it's always outstanding. The detail he puts into his work is phenomenal, and the emotion into the characters is amazing. I love how he keeps the characteristics of the characters the same as their respective series', which is great as the fans of them series' wouldn't be happy otherwise. It's also nice that he can still add his own uniwue tone to the issue whilst doing this, as it makes his art easily recognisable. The colours from Sunny Gho throughout this issue is beautiful, and make Rocafort's art event prettier (if possible). I like how the colours in this series are similar to the colours Blond produced in Red Hood and the Outlaws, making Rocafort's art even more easier to recognise. The thing I like about the differences between Gho's colours in this series, and Blond's in Red Hood and the Outlaws, is that the colours in this series are a lot lighter and give a more warm and calmer feel to the series, whereas Blond's darker colours gave the type of tone Red Hood and the Outlaws needed.
Lois' appearance in this issue was brilliant, and although it was brief I have a feeling this will be setting up things that will happen either during H'el on Earth, or more likely after. The interaction between Lois and Clark in this issue was very well written, and the chemistry shown between them was perfect. I like how Lobdell writes the different feelings they have towards each other, as it's obvious that Clark want's to be more than friends with Lois, whilst Lois only classes Clark as her best friend. It will be interesting to see how their relationship progresses in later issues as Lobdell stated that he was going to focus on Clark and Lois' relationship and that Lois and Clark should be together. I do however hope that the Clark and Lois relationship isn't developed any more than this issue did during H'el on Earth, as I think it would take away from the bigger story and rush the progression of the Lois and Clark relationship. I also liked how Lobdell put in a reference to the Superman/Wonder Woman kiss from Justice League #12, and it will be interesting to see if this has anything to do with the development of the Clark and Lois relationship.
The way Supergirl was introduced into this issue was great, and I loved how Lois reacted thinking that Clark was interviewing some cosplayer. The way Clark reacted to Supergirl's arrival was also brilliant, and I loved the conversation they had about how she almost blew his secret identity. The differences between Superman and Supergirl, are perfectly shown throughout this issue also, as we have Superman who sees Earth as his home, and wouldn't be happy if his secret identity was revealed, whereas Supergirl just wants to return to Krypton, and thinks that it's silly that Superman goes about pretending to be a human.
H'el's role throughout this entire crossover has probably been the most interesting. The way he's brought all the Super's together in one place is outstanding, and the mystery throughout his character is amazing. I think H'el has been a brilliant villain, and the thing I like most about him is he's not your usual villain. He' like most villains, as in he thinks his ways are just, and that he's doing no wrong, bit where he differs is due to him being an alien. He knows a lot less about humans than Superman does but his ambition to restore Krypton makes him such a dangerous villain. I also liked how he's put a fracture in the already small relationship between Superman and Supergirl. I also liked how he brought Superboy, "the abomination", along with him like he did in Supergirl #14, and the way both this and Supergirl's appearance has been integrated into this isue make both Supergirl #14 and Superboy #14 even more worthwhile reading. I also loved how Lobdell managed to connect the event from Superboy #14, and Supergirl #14 brilliantly, making the experience of reading all three amazing, whilst making this issue a brilliant stand alone issue.
This was an amazing issue and a perfect way to start the Superman section of H'el on Earth. I would highly recommend this to everyone, and if you read Superboy or Supergirl I'd recommend trying out this issue, as it continues both series brilliantly. It's also a great starting point for new fans, and the perfect place for older fans who lost faith in the series prior to Lobdell joining returning. I for one am looking forward to seeing what H'el has in store for Superman, Supboy, and Supergirl in their respective series, and if this will come back to this series, like it did with this issue.