Superman: Lost (...the Key to Good Storytelling)

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Superman Lost 1

Superman: Lost is the first of a ten-chapter miniseries co-created by Christopher Priest and Carlo Pagulayan, with inks from Jason Paz.

It has beautiful artwork with some snappy dialogue between the Justice League members as they take on an international incident in the China Sea that turns out to be far more than just a kefuffle between countries. In fact, if it's not handled quickly, it could cause a black hole to swallow the Earth. And of course of all the Justice League members there, only Superman can fly into the event horizon of the mess and keep it from doing just that.

But at a cost.

Sucked into the black hole, Superman finds himself cosmologically lost. We don't know where. Could be another galaxy. Could be another dimension. Could be he's still in that tiny little space the size of an atom that the black hole collapsed into, or the quantum realm. Whatever, he's there.

And he's there for twenty years.

How do we know this? Because he's already back, mid-story, telling his wife what happened just as Bruce Wayne is popping by to deliver the condolences of Clark's possible death.

Now that's a good storytelling device for a single issue -- even a double-sized, or two-part story.

But... ten issues? Ten issues of who knows what, who knows where, facing odds that have all the tension sucked out of them because we began at the ending of it all? Oh, Mr. Priest, that's a major faux pas. You'd better have a king-size rabbit to pull out of your hat to attract readers to nine more issues of anticlimax.

Other than that, it's fun to look at. It's certainly a doozy to read. But aside from the predictable tropes of event horizons and time dilations, the reader knows that everything that is to come is just backstory. Yes, it can work, but you're going to have to prove it to us. And we'll give you that chance.

No pressure.

3.5 / 5.0