REVIEW: Superman: Lost #5

Superman: Lost #5, “The Republic” is probably the most controversial issue yet. This sci-fi odyssey tale continues to explore the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome on Superman.

Superman: Lost #5, “The Republic” is probably the most controversial issue yet. This sci-fi odyssey tale continues to explore the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome on Superman. Issue #5 begins to deal with the toll despair and loneliness is beginning to have on Clark. He’s been stranded on the planet Kansas for nearly a decade and the thought of never getting back to Earth is slowly creeping into his mind.

Three interesting covers accompany this issue’s release with the main cover by Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, & Elmer Santos. Seemingly adrift in the vastness of space, Wonder Woman holds Superman like a drowning victim while wrapped in her Lasso of Truth. Being the thing that anchored him to his friends before being sucked into the singularity in issue #1, Superman’s last Earthly memory is something that continues to haunt him throughout this issue. It also appears to play a pivotal role in Lois’s plan to help Clark reconnect with his life on Earth.

REVIEW: Superman: Lost #5 | The Aspiring Kryptonian

The shocking variant by Lee Weeks and Elizabeth Breitweiser features the cover debut of the Green Lantern Hope intimately embracing Superman. Playing on the theme of the classic Odyssey legend, Hope could easily fall into the role of Calypso who nearly convinced Odysseus to end his journey and live out his days with her. One thing’s for certain, this cover will definitely identify those who’ve read the book from those who haven’t.

REVIEW: Superman: Lost #5 | The Aspiring Kryptonian

Jae Lee and June Chung’s variant is a bright, majestic display of Superman in his white and gold attire. Lee emphasizes the energy storing properties of the new suit by giving it a glow similar in look to the Kryptonian fashion of Superman: The Movie. Having the cape inked and shaded with more texture helps sell the aesthetic as well as the light rays emanating from behind Clark. It’s definitely an awe inspiring piece.

REVIEW: Superman: Lost #5 | The Aspiring Kryptonian

Interior art continues to be done by Carlo Pagulayan on pencils, Jason Paz with inks, and colors by Jeremy Cox as they maintain their exceptional visuals of the book. Their ability to convey the emotional weight Clark carries feels very real as well as the severity of it over time. There’s no doubt about Clark’s emotional and mental state as he merely “goes through the motions” in order to hang on to a sense of normalcy.

We get to see more of the alien civilization this issue and the classic sci-fi elements of different yet familiar truly add to the believability of Clark’s ordeal. The art also plays a valuable role in navigating us through the various moments in time. Their sense of background detail makes it clear where we are in any given frame which is crucial to understand the relevance of the story. Things don’t unfold in typical flashback style, but rather snippets are revealed as Clark’s trauma triggers memories that haunt him. It’s a unique approach adding to the unconventional nature of the entire story.

Scripted by Christopher Priest, co-plotted with Carlo Pagulayan, and lettered by Willie Schubert, Superman: Lost #5 jumps us about three years since the initial appearance of the Green Lantern in charge of the sector planet Kansas resides. Nothing’s ever easy as this new Green Lantern doesn’t have the means to get Clark home as he initially hoped. Things seem off with her immediately as she reveals she has no knowledge of the Green Lantern Corps nor does her ring have any information outside her sector of space. Regardless, she decides to take up residence on Kansas to learn more about her powers while Clark continues his impossible search for Earth. Her motivations take a turn as she violently acts out over the thought of him truly leaving.

Meanwhile back home, Clark is struggling to reconnect to the life he fought so hard to return. Priest really captures the struggles trauma victims encounter when faced with their normal routine and finding it completely alien. He also delves into political commentary with how different the people of Kansas govern themselves yet if feels grounded in a very possible reality of our own. Framing awareness like these through the lens of Superman is what makes the comic medium such an important outlet and it’s exciting to have a story explore them in a serious, thought provoking, way.

Leave a Reply