A while ago I devoted a blog post to my Top Ten Favourite Superman stories. I've recently read a story arc that was so mind blowingly awesome that I'm rethinking the whole order of my list. The arc I'm referring to is Greg Rucka's Ruin saga that ran through Adventures of Superman in 2004-2005. It's collected in three trades, Unconventional Warfare, That Healing Touch and Ruin Revealed and it's one of the best Superman arcs I've ever read.
|She gets better|
|Lupe nuzzles the 'S'|
Clark's not the only one who's written well. Lois is consistently written as a believable character, whether she's experiencing life as a journalist embedded in the midst of an armed conflict or discussing whether to start a family with Clark. Jimmy Olsen gets plenty of attention as he begins a relationship with Geraldine Frank, the aforementioned reporter that gave Clark a hard time. Also, Clark gets caught in the middle as Pete Ross and Lana Lang's marriage falls apart. As well as the old favourites Rucka makes some interesting additions to the Super-cast. For example Lt. Lupe Teresa Leocadio-Escudero, the new leader of Metropolis Special Crimes Unit. Rucka realises that for a cop to want to be leader of the Special Crimes Unit in a city where "Special Crimes" means rampaging alien monsters, they'd have to be at least a little unbalanced. Lupe is one of the most interesting supporting characters that Superman has had for awhile. When she's not trying to get Superman to join her in the bath Lupe's beating up suspects to avenge her fallen officers. As much as I'm enjoying the Guardian's current stint as leader of the SCU, it would be nice to see Lupe return.
|Mxyzptlk in Adventures of Superman 634|
Mr Mxyzptlk also pops up in this story, however rather than just being used as a magical pest he takes the role of a sort of guardian angel to Superman, warning him of upcoming trouble. There's also some funny moments where Mxy visits the DC Comics offices in a photo strip. So often such fourth wall breaking can seem smug and self indulgent but Rucka pulls it off. At one point Mxy also provides a treat for fans of Bill Watterson's legendary Calvin and Hobbes strip as he shows Clark and Lois what life would be like for their child utilising a variety of different artistic styles.
|Mxy crashes the DC office in Adventures of Superman 634|
This arc also contain some wonderful cameos from other DC heroes. There's a great moment where Lois asks Wonder Woman to keep an eye on Clark while she's away in Umec. The Flash also makes a great cameo as he shows up in a Umec hospital disguised as a U.S. soldier in order to help Superman move the wounded Lois to the JLA Watchtower. The fact that Wally West is still wearing his Flash ring while in disguise says a lot about the Wally's sentimentality, as well as providing the reader a visual clue to his identity.
|Superman continues to feel the effects of Identity Crisis|
|The Parasite Twins|
|Buy it, it rules!|