For nine weeks, DC's 52 has been about how the world has been dealing with the disappearance of the world's greatest superheroes. More specifically, it's been about how a number of characters usually relegated to the periphery of the DC Universe have been filling the void in their own ways. Unencumbered by the gravitas associated with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, the writers for 52 have managed to (usually) give these characters exciting and entertaining stories, and even managed to make me care about (many of) them!
So, when the cover art for Week 10 that hit the Internet — with a color scheme completely different from what went to print — suggested a Clark Kent-centric story, I wasn't sure what to think. Well, the short version is this: it kicks ass.
The issue begins in Khandaq, where Black Adam (Remember him? Elf ears, frowny face?) has rallied together representatives of member-nations and potential member-nations of his coalition, when he is interrupted by the girl Intergang presented to him, what, a month and a half ago? She's trying to escape and, in doing so, busts right through the soiree for the stern-faced. Perhaps it's just that it has been such a long time since we dealt with Black Adam's storyline, or perhaps it has something to do with a fictional — and completely "safe" — story about military tension in the Middle East being off-putting in light of this week's real-world headlines, but for whatever reason, these segments of this week's issue just seem vaguely uninteresting.
On day 2, we find ourselves at the office of the Daily Planet, where Clark makes his first multi-panel appearance in the entire series. I'm a sucker for a great scene at the Planet, and let me tell you, this scene just crackles. Perry is throwing newspapers and raking Clark's ass over the coals for failing to beat the Daily Star to the punch on the story about Metropolis' newest superhero, the so-called "Supernova." He also gives him a fair amount of hell for cutting himself shaving, a cute little reminder that the Man of Steel's powers are still sapped. The scene weirdly parallels a moment where Clark has arrived late to work in this week's new Superman #654, but I digress.