Superman #32 Review
Written by James Bonny
Art by Tyler Kirkham
Colors by Arif Prianto
Cover by Kirkham and Prianto
Lois Lane tracked down Deathstroke for an exclusive interview. Deathstroke then arrived in Metropolis with a new target, Lois Lane, and he takes a shot at her.
What Happened: This issue picks up right where it left off, with Deathstroke about to kill Lois Lane. He fires at her, and the book has the standard response to Lois Lane in mortal danger: Superman saves her. He melts Deathstroke’s gun and demands to know why he’s trying to kill Lois. The two begin to duke it out, as the perspective switches to Deathstroke’s, allowing us to see how a professional manages to hold his own against Superman. Deathstroke manages to escape, swearing that he’ll be seeing Lois soon. Superman asks to take his wife and son someplace safe, but Lois demands that she will continue doing her job, a she’s not so convinced that Deathstroke is as serious about killing her as he claims.
A few days pass without any sight of Deathstroke, (I guess Superman just forgot about having X-Ray vision and super hearing), and Perry White, being a responsible editor, sends Lois down to investigate a fire that could blow up at any moment. The fire turns out to be a trap by Deathstroke, who knew that both Lois and Superman would come investigate for their own reasons. He captures Lois while Superman is distracted and offers him a choice. Holding a gun to Lois’ head, he asks Superman what he would really do to save the woman he loves, if he’s willing to take a life to save another. Before a decision can be made, the fire gets too far out of control, and Superman is forced to stop it while Deathstroke escapes with Lois once more. Lois comes to and uses her stun gun to signal Superman, who finds her in a safe house with a message from Slade left for him, admitting this was all a game. Deathstroke was merely testing Superman, to see how far he would go if he were pushed. But the question remains, who hired him to find that out?
Thoughts on the issue: This two-issue story arc felt like a clumsy way to get to the one scene where Deathstroke forces Superman to prove his heroics, which explains why it dragged so much. It didn’t need to be two issues, and it barely needed to be done in the first place. No one as intelligent as Slade or his benefactor should think that Superman is a killer, this isn’t Superman’s first year. That combined with the fact that the story just ends with Deathstroke signing off makes the whole thing forgettable. The ending reveal is likely to set up a future storyline, but really that should have waited until that story started, it’s not interesting enough to put off,
One last thing: Tyler Kirkham manages to redeem this forgettable issue with his art, especially showing Superman’s emotions as Deathstroke plays with him.