Spoilers ahead for Superwoman #18, on sale now.
With Superwoman #18, the first cancellation of the Rebirth era has come and gone today — and the end of the comic brought an end to the narrative arc for Lana Lang’s titular superheroine.
The issue’s solicitation text offers — sort of — an accurate idea of what goes on between the pages, but with some important surprises along the way.
DC had described the issue, from writer K Perkins and artists Stephen Segovia and Max Raynor, as “a day in the life of Superwoman…but someone else is in the driver’s seat,” and asked, “Will Superwoman manage to break her mind free from Midnight’s digital grasp and dispel her twisted protocol once and for all?”
…Actually, kind of no.
In the story, it turns out that Midnight is able to stabilize herself and reduce her worst impulses — but does so by virtue of proximity to Lana’s powers. The ultimate solution? Well, Lana voluntarily surrenders her powers, which brings security both to Midnight and to Lana herself, who has been under the constant threat of “could these powers kill me?” from the day she got them.
Superwoman was originally marketed as the continuing adventures of the New 52 Lois Lane; following 2011’s Flashpoint reboot, Superman was the character arguably the most impacted, with his marriage to Lois Lane removed from continuity and a world that hated and feared aliens — even the Man of Steel.
Ultimately, the pre-Flashpoint version of Superman (and his wife Lois, along with a child born during the Convergence event) returned to the main DC continuity, taking over after the New 52 Superman died.
At the moment of that character’s death, his powers flared out of him like lightning, striking both the New 52 Lois and Lana Lang. Ultimately, each of them would get powers…but in Superwoman #1, the powers would consume Lois, leaving Lana all alone as Superwoman.
Later, in the “Superman Reborn” storyline, Mr. Mxyzptlk would reveal that the New 52 Superman and Lois were always just a part of the more traditional versions of the characters, separated by a mysterious force implied to be Doctor Manhattan. The left-over energy of the “dead” versions rejoined the main bodies, realigning their personalities and backstories to be one continuous whole rather than two disparate pairs of characters. Lana got to keep her “share” of the powers and continued on as Superwoman — until now.
She will likely continue to appear as a supporting character in the Superman titles. Her boyfriend, John Henry Irons, is the superhero Steel, who was inspired by Superman and has come to his aid on more than one recent occasion.
Superwoman #18 is available today, in stores and online. You can get a copy at your local comics retailer, or order a digital copy here.