Superman #9, “Secrets and Lies”, is co-plotted and scripted by Keith Giffen, co-plotted and penciled by Dan Jurgens, and finished by Jesus Merino.
Superman rescues a Russian submarine, which is filled with lead-lined chambers. The Russians are clearly trying to keep Superman from finding out more about what they have on board, and he is forced to leave the scene quickly after completing his rescue. Back in Metropolis, Clark finds out Lois has set him up on a dinner date with her sister Lucy. While Superman encounters new villain Anguish, blogger Victor Barnes announces to the world he has discovered Superman’s secret identity: software designer Spence Becker.
Since the New 52 relaunch, the Superman title has been in the shadow of Grant Morrison’s Action Comics. While Action has certainly deserved its accolades, in my opinion Superman has not gotten the praise it deserves. After a strong opening arc by George Perez, Giffen and Jurgens have come aboard and continued to develop Superman’s supporting cast and introduced new challenges for the Man of Steel. This issue in particular makes good use of the idea that many people believe Superman doesn’t have a secret identity (after all, he doesn’t wear a mask, and who wouldn’t want to be Superman 24-7?). The idea that someone other than Clark Kent could be Superman has been rarely used, and holds a great deal of promise.
When DC announced that Clark and Lois would not be married in the new DCU, I hoped that Clark would occasionally date other women, rather than pine over Lois from afar. Lois setting up Clark with her sister Lucy (traditionally Jimmy Olsen’s love interest, and married to reporter Ron Troupe in more recent continuity) is a fresh take and I’m looking forward to seeing how they will interact. I feel like the story possibilities for Superman are wide open right now. For the Man of Steel, the relaunch has accomplished its mission.