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Lois Lane Is Right: The Death of Superman Was [SPOILER]'s Fault

death of superman tales from the dark multiverse lois lane justice league

Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman points out one of the most tragic parts of DC's greatest loss. Upon Superman's death in this universe, Lois blames the Justice League -- namely members such as Batman and Wonder Woman -- who weren't there in any capacity to help the fallen Man of Steel.

As much as this sounds like grief, and doesn't take into account a few ongoing events in DC's history at the time, Lois has a point. Had the various members of the Justice League acted sooner, there's definitely a chance that Superman's fate could have been different. Conversely, they seem to always be able to team up during world-shattering Crises. Given that the fight involved a monster named Doomsday, couldn't more heroes have spared the time to help the greatest among them?

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A Justice League of Their Own

The Justice League around the time period of The Death of Superman, despite having heavy hitters like Maxima and even a Sinestro ring-wielding Guy Gardner, was far from its most powerful iteration. In lieu of bigger names such as Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel/Shazam!, or the Martian Manhunter, this League was made up of characters that were comparatively... let's say wanting, at least in the power department. We're talking about your Blue Beetles, Booster Golds, Fires and Ices. This is reflected in their fight with Doomsday, in which "failure" would be an understatement. In fact, Blue Beetle is so soundly trounced that he's put into a coma by the monster.

If the Justice League at the time was more reflective of DC's greatest heroes, perhaps they would have been able to, at the very least, soften Doomsday up more to where Superman could more easily defeat him. To be fair, much of this was editorial. Hal Jordan was intermittently off world, while Martian Manhunter was then trapped in the form of Bloodwynd, a plot point first hinted at in the original story. Shazam! was also still editorially in limbo. The first post-Crisis revival of the character, Shazam: A New Beginning, had failed to take off, and a more successful revamp, The Power of Shazam, had yet to be released.

With none of their biggest powerhouses on the team to aid Superman, the only then-current member of the Justice League that posed any real physical threat to Doomsday was the aforementioned former villain Maxima. When a former villain is the most powerful member of the Justice League, it's reflective of how disjointed and uncharacteristic the team had become in the wake of the comedic 1980s Justice League International series. The Justice League would only begin to reach its roster's former glory during Grant Morrison's acclaimed JLA series, which intentionally included more classic heroes. This also extends to the next biggest issue with Superman's death.

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The Gang's All Here (Except When Superman Dies)

10 of DC’s Major Crises, Ranked

The DC Universe is no stranger to devastating villain assaults and multiversal Crises. These included stories such as  Zero Hour, Underworld Unleashed, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Infinite Crisis. In these and other stories, the various DC superheroes were able to come together at a moment's notice to stop whatever assailed their world. This even included stories such as Cosmic Odyssey, where the inclusion of characters such as Batman made little to no sense. With that precedent in place, why couldn't these heroes come together again to stop a monster that, according to Booster Gold, was "like doomsday"?

The Justice League's fall at the hands of Doomsday should have been the first sign that it was time for the real cavalry to come in. In Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman, Batman claims that he and the other heroes came as soon as they could, yet the seeming eternity of Superman and Doomsday's fight gave them ample time to have joined the fight. None of the other heroes are shown even seeing the news of the fight being broadcast, making their attempts to quickly join in seem suspect.

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Conversely, Superman isn't the only one with super-speed . There's no reason why at least a few other heroes couldn't fly, run or swim to take on Doomsday as Superman fought him literally across America. That's not even mentioning Doomsday's eventually very clear intent to get to Metropolis. The other heroes could at least have shown up there as a last resort to defeat the monster, but Superman (and to some extent, the then-protoplasmic Supergirl) remained as the only force trying to keep him away.

The New Teen Titans were still very popular, and the Justice Society of America were active again. How come they only showed up during Superman's funeral, and never before? Even the editorial status quo of other heroes shouldn't have been a problem. Wonder Woman had made her Post-Crisis debut in the aforementioned Legends, all while first being established in the new continuity during George Perez's iconic run on her book. Now, of course it's arguable that DC editorial wanted this to be explicitly Superman's fight, but if that's the case, why include the Justice League or at very least throw some more bodies at the problem?

In the end, the recent The Death of Superman animated movie heavily improved on the original story by virtue of Doomsday facing the League's toughest heroes before it falls on Superman to take him down. As the original story played out in the main universe and the Dark Multiverse, however, how can anyone blame Lois' action of thirst for vengeance on the other heroes for their gross incompetence?

Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman is available now.

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