WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman #1, from Jeff Loveness, Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, Norm Rapmund, John Kalisz and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
One of the biggest debates that's plagued the DC Universe and the superhero fan community as a whole is why heroes with godlike powers simply won't just the world right by simply going after all of Earth's villains in one fell swoop.
At the forefront of this argument is Superman, the hero considered by many to be the most overpowered character ever. But now, the Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman one-shot has revealed that he had to power to take over and take out every villain all along, and his failure to do so is the ultimate incompetence.
Following his death in this alternate reality at the hands of Doomsday, Lois Lane went on the warpath. She admonishes and blames the Justice League for failing to defend their leader, and later on Lois actually becomes the Eradicator. She has revenge on her mind because she wants to form an armor around the world so this doesn't happen again, and all villains are fair game to her.
She brutally murders Lex Luthor and Joker, but as she goes deeper down the rabbit hole, Lois realizes she also has to point the finger at Kal-El of Krypton for letting the world descend into darkness. She's killing to restore equilibrium and purify the planet, and in her inner-monologue, as she cleans up the world Lois wonders what the hell went wrong with Superman's mission. Why didn't the Man of Steel do this himself when he had the chance?
From her experience, it's easy to do as he could listen in to all the crimes around the world, he had super-speed, heat vision and traveled faster than almost anything else on the planet, so what was the hold up? Lois is shocked at how easy it is being proactive, albeit she acknowledges that it still takes time.
Still, Superman had so many years to do so, and now she feels vindicated murdering villains who really deserved it. Lois thinks she's mopping up Superman's mess, and when she really assesses Clark Kent's past, she doesn't think he did his best to make the world a better place at all.
It's worth noting that this isn't the Eradicator corrupting Lois. While she's obviously grieving Superman's death, she's acting rationally with a cold logic in her mind, and no heroes are stopping her surprisingly efficient rampage. She just takes out big threats like the Joker in the blink of an eye with the public none the wiser.
Granted, it's tough to see anyone opposing her, good or bad, but the subtext says a lot as she ponders if Kal-El really did want to save us all in the first place. Was he just stroking his ego by positioning himself as a messiah we'd always need? Were his methods of crime-fighting crafted just so humanity would always be reliant on his allies, putting them on pedestals? Lois is flabbergasted at how he had the powers of a god and didn't do the job he could have done. She says that it wasn't that hard to do, and he had the tools, so with the equipment, motivation and everything in his arsenal.
In her mind, Superman's entire superhero career was an abject failure.
He was given the keys to the kingdom by simply arriving on Earth, with its conditions turning him into a god among men. With his same set of abilities, Lois sees what he could've done, and summarizes the Man of Steel's tenure as a waste.Even though he never ignored a call for help, humanity, as a collective whole, may have fared better if another hero answered that call.