Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Letters: Josh Reed
Cover: Ken Lashley
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: December 13, 2017
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
What’s going on in this title again…oh yeah. Midnight. Some kind of techno-sorcerer-black hole of computer code made physical for…reasons. This feels like the final arc of the series, but it doesn’t feel like the last issue, yet. Darn my luck. Anyhoo, do your Super-duty and read my review of Superwoman #17, just below!
The hallmark of heroism is self-sacrifice. This point has been instilled in Comic Book readers and superhero enthusiasts since 1938, reiterated over countless stories and crossover events, often culminating and said hero making the necessary and ultimate sacrifice. During the DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superman practically begs to throw himself into a supernova or whatever, if that will alleviate the destruction of the multiverse (it wouldn’t, and he doesn’t, but the sentiment is there.) Flinging oneself into danger again and again, taking the time during a brawl to secure the safety of onlookers—these acts are heroic because they imperil the performer. There’s some kind of commentary about martyrdom to be made here, but that’s a bit beyond my pay grade as a comic book reviewer.
It is curious, then, that when the whirling void with a face known as Midnight, who has absorbed the bodies of much of Metropolis City, and including Lana’s boyfriend Steel, offers Lana a way to reverse the extant damage by submitting to Midnight’s disk drive that she equivocates. For one thing, it’s unclear as to why Midnight can just grab Lana during the scene in question. But for another thing, this is basic heroism, something most DC Comics good guys wouldn’t hesitate to do in order to bring a rapid conclusion to a world-ending cataclysm. And of course, one might expect Superman to swoop in at the last second, or for Lana’s energy rating to screw up Midnight’s mojo somehow—I’m not saying Lana Lang should die. But I feel that she should be prepared to die if only because that’s what heroes do every time they slip on their capes, or firefighting uniforms: they are preparing for potential death.
Luckily, it seems like Superwoman will get another shot next issue. After Lana doesn’t agree to sacrifice herself for so many others, she broods a while and even gets a visit from Clark that prepares her for self-immolation. But that just nullifies the intensity of this whole maelstrom known as Midnight. If she’s rational enough to give her prey ample time to decide whether or not they want to be absorbed, then she’s probably rational enough to be reasoned with. I know it’s not a sexy option, but considering Midnight is a computer program given form by a Lena Luthor-programmed protocol that it knows is ridiculous, it seems like the best option. Both for this story, and for the otherwise self-absorbed character.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue sort of puts a pin in the momentum since it begins with Lana considering the ultimate sacrifice...and concludes the same way. In between, lots of self-absorbed brooding. I suppose that's better than outright cowardice.