Superman Comic Books

Deciphering Kryptonese

Author: Dean Vanek

Date: May 2000.

Some of may recognize my name, and some of you won't. I just recently began working with Steve Younis updating character profiles for everyone who's anyone in Superman comics in the "Who's Who" page. Steve asked me to write this article after I sent him an email of my thoughts on some of the recent plot lines going on in the Super Books. I'm sure some of my observations might be way off, but I've found some to be right on target.

I began to really look into all of the threads that the Super Team was weaving together when I was getting mad at how they were portraying Lois Lane recently. I couldn't understand where her recent attitude was coming from. I was totally blown away at the revelation in Superman #156. The Parasite was actually posing as Lois Lane! I was glad by this news, but puzzled at the same time. Where was Lois? When did the Parasite make the switch?

The Parasite is dead now and we may never learn the truth about everything, but I put together a list of things going on that we haven't heard anything about since they were first brought about. Now the following passages are going to be a bit sketchy and jump all over the place, but that's exactly why we don't pay attention to them at first.

Who is La Encantadora? What does the Demon know about her plans? How does her connection to the kryptonite scam during her first appearance tie into the current storyline? What about that Kandorian girl that said "KOFF" as her last utterance before being pulled into the Phantom Zone portal in the new Fortress of Solitude, how would she have contracted Superman's mysterious ailment? These facts and more will be examined here and I ask that anyone with incites or comments about these issues, feel free to email me at or email Steve and he'll make sure the comment is addressed.

La Encantadora appeared in Action Comics #760 selling kryptonite to the highest bidder. There was one catch; it didn't work when her customers used it on Superman. Superman finally confronted her and surprisingly the fake kryptonite actually had some effect on the Man of Steel. Realizing that her mist somehow altered his perceptions, when he finally caught up with her again he took that out first and her into custody. But not after giving him a big kiss.

Encantadora appeared again in Action #762. There she actually helped Superman against Etrigan, The Demon. We found out that her mist is actually the 'Mist Of Ibella' and therefore could explain its power over Superman since he's susceptible to anything having to do with magic. Thinking of the current Kryptonite Poisoning storyline, and how Team Superman actually entered Superman's body, I can't get what Encantadora told Superman out of my head. "Beware the enemy on the inside." With her kiss did she initiate the cause of the mysterious ailment? Or is she talking about one of Team Superman betraying the others? Then there was the Demon's thoughts, "Could she, would she, destroy Superman?"

Superboy did not seem at all eager to go inside of Superman and help the team out. I can understand why. THE BOY OF STEEL NO LONGER HAS HIS POWERS! He lost them in 'Sins of Youth' and at present in Superboy and Young Justice, there has been no revelation that he has his powers back. Is this Superboy really Match in disguise? There were a few times, whether deliberate or not, that Superboy's eyes were blank white - just like Match. He infiltrated Young Justice in that manner. Even if there isn't a traitor in Team Superman, what will Lois Lane find out from Encantadora? We'll learn more next issue I'm sure.

Let's take a look at Pete and Lana Ross. What has Pete Ross been doing in Washington that could have angered the Spirit of that Smallville Lake, putting him in the same category as the killers of the girl disposed of in the lake years before? To begin with, I didn't remember that Pete left his office as Congressman, when did this take place?

Moving away from Pete for a moment, what is going on with Lana Lang-Ross? In Action #764, after giving Superman an idea to work off of, he says that he will talk to her later. She replies, "Sure, later Clark, always later." This was after talking about arguing with Pete when they went into the lake. (Where was baby Clark Ross during the wreck?) Then she shows up in Metropolis in Superman #156, again without Pete, saying that he is recovering from the accident and the baby is with him. Does Lana suddenly want Clark Kent after suffering marriage problems with Pete? Knowing that Clark is having 'troubles' with Lois, is she attempting to work her way into Clark's arms?

Now take a look at Lex Luthor. In Action #764, what was Luthor doing in that room for so long? It's explained to be Lena's nursery as the LexCorp worker is sealing it. Does old baldly have a heart after all? His staff is ordered that they never saw a child in the LexCorp tower; everyone knows Luthor and Contessa had the child; it was big news when it happened! What is going to be Contessa's response after she learns of Lena's 'disappearance?' Will she bring the Agenda against Luthor?

Observations during the Parasite/Lois Lane Ordeal. When did Lois come into contact with the Parasite? If you haven't already figured it out, the initial contact happened in Superman #154, page 19. The old guy that is knocked over in the street that Lois helps to his feet is the Parasite. This is later confirmed in Superman #157 when the Parasite reveals himself to Superman and the old guy's face appears as one of the four revolving around Rudy's (Parasite's) head. In that first contact, the old guy says, "Thank you, but I've got all I need... all I need." There is no doubt in my mind that that was the first contact that Parasite had with Lois. What I am confused about was when did Rudy switch places with Lois.

There aren't many spots with Lois not 'acting' like Lois until Superman #155 when she is leaving after Clark's return late at night from Smallville. "Don't wait up," she says and doesn't return until the next morning. The only time that I can foresee Parasite trading places with Lois is during the 'upgrade' of Metropolis with Brainiac 13. Superman was away at the Fortress and we didn't see Lois until Brainiac 13 was controlling her. Then when the control is broken, she says "Clark" to Superman and he replies, "No, Clark is fine, but he wanted me to check on you." Then she replies, "Oh yeah, Clark, he is the thoughtful one, isn't he Superman?"

That seems like the most probable point where the Clark/Lois feud may have started. Because after this all we have is Superman's recollections that Lois was acting differently. I was sure the story would be filled in after Lois was found, but we went right into the Kryptonite Poisoning story arc, leaving a lot of issues unresolved. Parasite/Rudy Jones did a lot of damage as Lois Lane. Not just to Clark, but to Lois' reputation.

In Superman #156, Rudy does a super job of turning the attention Clark/Superman was receiving from Lana and Diana to his advantage, slighting Clark for associating with 'old girlfriends.' But what really intrigues me is what Rudy did as Lois at LexCorp Tower later that night with Lex. Did she/he have "relations" with Luthor? How does Lex enter into whatever Rudy was planning?

We know now that Rudy was transferring large amounts of money, eleven million dollars in fact, to offshore and Swiss accounts believing that Lois Lane would be blamed for the thefts. This was what Mercy was led to believe until Luthor told her to lay off Lois Lane as a suspect because the 'Rudy Jones' alias that she was filtering the money to wasn't an alias, it was in fact the Parasite's real name. Now we see Luthor attempting to acquire the Parasite's corpse for safekeeping. This can lead to nothing but trouble; we know how much Luthor likes to dabble in cloning.

Well that's it for this issue of Deciphering Kryptonese. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed figuring out the hidden or not so hidden plots. Like I mentioned before, if you have anything you would like me to look in to or explore a little more, let Steve or me know and we'll see what we can do. What I do ask for, to help me out, is an issue number to start researching from. But send any questions, praise, or criticisms to