Superman 237 (May 1971)

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Here’s a packed issue. Superman even comments on it–he rescues a rocket, Lois crashes, there are killer ants, his sand-double is around, he’s a carrier of some strange space bug–it goes on and on. O’Neil fits it all in with barely any room for anything else. Only when Superman decides he’s going to leave Earth (it takes him a panel, not an interconnected eight issue story arc), does the story take a breather.

There’s a particular moment, with Superman sitting out in space, waiting, basically, for Lois to die. He’s sacrificing her for the greater good (fear of infecting the rest of the planet with the space bug). It’s a very strange moment, because Superman’s given up. The solution appears, deus ex machina, to Superman; he doesn’t even try to save Lois.

Add in Swan’s odd head shots (they all look taped on) and the issue’s problematic.

CREDITS

Enemy of Earth; writer, Denny O’Neil; penciller, Curt Swan; inker, Murphy Anderson; editor, Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

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