DCAU #215: Misery in Space!

IN THIS ONE... Superman and Lobo team up to find a virus-killing crystal.

CREDITS: Written by David Michelinie; art by John Delaney and Mike Manley.

REVIEW: I've said previously how the DCAU's Lobo doesn't interest me remotely, so the prospect of a special devoted to a team-up between him and the Man of Steel didn't fill me with anticipation. But Michelinie's script has a lot going for it, and even the scenes where the Main Man works alone have some fun touches, like an alien world's president running for cover behind Lobo's back and finding none there. The dynamic between the two heroes is better than expected, with Superman agreeing to Lobo's terms and dooming himself if it means saving an entire star system, then manipulating him into helping at his own unexpected detriment. But using Lobo always comes with certain tonal problems, like his apparently killing of sentients in front of Superman. The DCAU doesn't really allow killing, and even the nominal villain of this piece, when shot, is said to survive, so I'm sure everyone's fine. But they don't LOOK fine, and terms like "dweebicide", though meant as humor, denote murder.

If Lobo leaves me a little cold, Superman does anything but. This is a very strong story for him, and not just because he triumphs in the end. The story's engine is a virus unleashed by terrorists, that Superman absorbs into himself harmlessly, only to become a Typhoid Mary. His sacrifice dooms him to never walk the Earth again lest he find a cure. His farewell to an unknowing Lois Lane is heartbreaking and sweet. His fight with the terrorists badass. His joy at returning to Earth palpable and infectious.

If there's a weakness here, it's in the art. It's not terrible, but Delaney has shown from his Adventures in the DCU work that he is overly fond of speed lines that tend to obscure the action he's trying to present. I often feel bored or confused when he kicks it into high gear, and this is true of this comic on at least two occasions.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: The title of the story is a pun on, and uses the same font as, Mystery in Space, the SF anthology book that brought us regular helpings of Adam Strange, among others, in the Silver Age.

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A strongly plotted team-up nevertheless co-starring a character I don't care about, and featuring some uneven art.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine