Return of the mummy
Important: This contains unhidden spoilers for Superman #5 – The Mummy Strikes.
This is the second half of a story that began in the previous Superman issue, in which Kent went to investigates advanced ruins that predate human society. Excavations reveal a giant robot which manages to subdue the man of steel.
Clark wakes up to see Lois looking over the Superman costume he’d been carrying.
And yet she doesn’t seem surprised. It’s definitely Lois’ body, but she’s behaving incredibly strange, as if it were some sort of perfect copy. As Superman observes her in conversation, details start to add up. It seems that some other persona is currently occupying Lois’ body, as well as the body of every other person in the archeologist’s camp aside from Clark himself. It seems to be part of some plan, something involving a Mechanism…?
- The two parts of this story don’t do that well independently. Part one is a lead up to a fight, while part two is an information dump alternating with a fight to explain it. I did like the alternating between the dialogue and the action in this issue, but I don’t think that it’s an ideal format for an entire issue.
- Comics, or at least comics I’ve read, don’t do (quote unquote) hard science fiction well, and this story here is no different. The concept of an alien race having occupied Earth for some time in the prehistory is a good (albeit well-used) scifi trope, but here it isn't explored at all. Could they properly explore an idea like that in a superhero comic? I’m not sure. I’d like to think that it could be done, but I think it would require some significant changes to the status quo of of plot production.
- Shaving’s an important plot device in this story arc. Does Superman use shaving cream? We may never know…