Writers: Jai Jamison, Adam Mallinger, Andrew N. Wong
Art: Tom Grummett, Hi-Fi, Dylan Humphreys
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: April 19th, 2022
Reviewer: Jamie Robinson
The second in the “Earth-Prime” series based on the Arrowverse shows, this one highlighting Superman & Lois starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch respectively as the titular characters. While the previous issue based on the Batwoman series only featured two stories, Earth-Prime #2: Superman & Lois has a lot more packed into it, with three stories in total, plus the end features a look at the character of Natalie Irons’ (played by Tayler Buck) war journal.
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The main story features Clark and Lois trying to find time to celebrate their anniversary, the second shows Clark growing up with Pa Kent, the third shows us the alternate Superman from the first season of the show, and what turned him evil. These felt like stories that could have been shown on the small screen during an episode, but at the same time, showed things that the TV show might not be able to do.
The first story explored more of the chemistry between Clark and Lois, and their unwavering commitment to each other despite trying to balance their relationship with their other responsibilities. It demonstrates a determination to make their marriage work, and not caring about having to postpone things, as long as they get to spend time with each other. The second story is a touching flashback tale about how much Superman’s earthly father inspired him, told from Superman’s perspective. What makes it especially impactful is the dedication to what one can only assume is the writer’s father, making it deeply personal.
The third story is narrated by an unknown character, who may end up proving himself to be the big bad in the planned crossover for issue #6. It gave an intriguing look at how the alternate Superman became evil, and did so in a creative way. It explored more of this evil Superman than we ever saw on the show, some of it possibly influenced by stories such as Superman: Red Son. Lastly, although Nat’s war journal is prose as opposed to a typical comic book format, it still gives readers more insight into the mind of Natalie Irons and what she was thinking as she helped her father prepare for battle on her world.
The art in Earth-Prime #2: Superman & Lois was very well done. Some fans may be disappointed that Superman and Lois don’t resemble their actors too much, and look more like standard drawings of those characters. This could be because they might not have the rights to the likenesses of those actors, or they just wanted to make it look more typical of how readers expect to see these characters. However, they did have the foresight to give Superman Tyler Hoechlin’s signature stubble.
Continuity sticklers may be disappointed because although Toyman makes a cameo in this issue, he does not resemble the actor who played Toyman on Supergirl, Henry Czerny. He looks more like the comic book Toyman, even though Supergirl is supposed to be set in the same continuity as Superman & Lois. This may be due to another likeness rights issue, or maybe it might mean something more. The show doesn’t seem to make very many connections to the larger Arrowverse as a whole, and according to the showrunners, the reason for that will be disclosed later this season. Also, there are some cool designs of Steel’s suit in Nat’s war journal.
There are a good plenty of Easter Eggs in this issue that many Superman fans will enjoy. From robots and Superman’s original costume from the 1940’s Fleshier cartoons to the Nuclear Man cameo from the 3rd Christopher Reeve movie, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, to cameos from other Superman villains. Longtime Superman fans will appreciate it, even if they do not watch the show.
Earth-Prime #2: Superman & Lois captured the essence of the TV show well. They did a nice job of avoiding more continuity errors by having most of the stories be flashbacks, and it also gave room to explore this iteration of Superman and Lois’ relationship before they had kids. Plus, there is a good balance between action scenes and some more heartfelt moments. It will be interesting to see how this will tie into the big crossover in issue 6. Who else from the Arrowverse do you think may be involved in the big crossover event coming up in issue 6?