It’s a great time for Superman fans, with the Man of Steel soaring into movies, TV, animation and comics. To help us stay on top of it, writer Tim Beedle shares what's grabbed his attention and why in this monthly Superman column.

Other than the fact that they’re both super strong, nearly indestructible and have gone through their lives believing they’re the last of their kind, Superman and Lobo wouldn’t seem like they have much in common. If that’s not obvious, just look at how often they’ve fought each other. Clearly, they have very different worldviews. Still, you fight someone who’s nearly your equal enough times and it’s inevitable that a sense of respect for them would eventually develop.

But friendship? Between Lobo and the Man of Steel? That’s ridiculous…isn’t it?

The truth is that much stranger things have happened, and when you think about it critically, it’s not really so out there. Superman may often be referred to as a “boy scout,” and he obviously represents a human ideal. However, he’s also proven to be remarkably pragmatic over the years, exhibiting an occasional understanding that sometimes the ends can justify questionable means. He’s also only human (well, figuratively), with the sort of attachments that can cause his ideals to temporarily come second to his emotions.

Both of these qualities have been exploited and expanded in stories where Superman becomes a villain, but in “House of Brainiac,” we’re seeing writer Joshua Williamson do something different with them. In the currently unfolding Superman event, it’s Kal-El’s anger and his pragmatism (along with a good deal of desperation) that leads him to team up with Lobo to rescue the Metropolis superheroes, including a good portion of the Super-Family, who have been abducted by Brainiac.

It's clear from the start that this is no ordinary team-up. While fights between eventual superhuman partners are pretty common in comic books, fights like the one that kicks off Superman #13 aren’t. After confronting Lobo in a bar, Superman heat blasts him in the face before slamming him into the ground. The fight’s over before it’s begun. The Main Man doesn’t even get a single punch in. But what’s even more revealing is that he can immediately tell that something is wrong.

After Lobo’s brought up to speed, the two agree to pair up to track down Brainiac and his army of Czarnians. Notably, from that point on, there’s not a lot of friction between the two. Granted, they know each other fairly well—as I mentioned, they’ve fought a lot. But consider how Superman treats Lobo compared to how he approached working with Lex Luthor earlier in Williamson’s run. There was far more suspicion and lack of trust there. I realize that Luthor is no everyday villain when it comes to Superman—he shouldn’t trust him. But I think there’s more to it than that.

Those commonalities between Lobo and Superman that I mentioned earlier are actually no small thing. Surviving the destruction of your home planet and knowing that you’re one of the last living members of your race would be extremely hard. I can’t even imagine what something like that must feel like for Superman, and I’d say that’s true for all of you as well. But someone who does know what that’s like is Lobo. He’s one of the only people in the entire DC Universe who does. And that super strength and invulnerability that they both share? Something like that fosters suspicion and fear in most people. Superman and Lobo have responded to that differently—Superman has won much of the world over by continually using his powers to help mankind, while Lobo has leaned into that fear people feel towards him to become one of the most formidable bounty hunters in the galaxy. But while they’ve reacted differently, they both know what it feels like to be different from everyone they’re surrounded by.

To take things even further, I’d argue that their different approaches to dealing with their shared trauma could potentially make them even stronger friends. Don’t you have friends that are different from you in some pretty big ways? The sort of friends who you might go to when you need help with something that you have little understanding of, whether it’s changing your car’s brake pads, buying a pair of running shoes, filing your taxes or taking up a new hobby? That’s really all we’re talking about here, just in a much more over-the-top, comic book sense.

We see that a bit later in Superman #13. Lobo tells Superman that he’s never seen Superman as angry as he currently seems to be. Superman responds by saying, “My father used to say that when you yell in anger, people don’t hear what you said, they only remember that you yelled.”

But Lobo points out that anger can be a good thing. “I’ve learned the hard way that you’ve gotta let yourself feel it,” he says. “You gotta deal with it. Or you’ll blow up.”

While we know Superman does get angry, it really feels like he sees this as a negative quality, and that if he had his way, he’d be in more control of his anger. He wouldn’t let it drive him the way it seems to be driving him now. His comment about his father seems to back this up.

But Lobo is actually right. Anger is a natural human reaction, and while you don’t want it to get so unchecked that you spiral out of control, you do have to let yourself feel it so you can process what’s behind it and move on. And if it drives you to take action to correct the issue—like it’s doing here with Superman—that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

But what’s easy to miss in this scene is that Superman is right as well. Communicating while you’re hot with anger isn’t the best way to get your point across. That’s a lesson that Lobo almost certainly could stand to learn. This budding friendship between Superman and Lobo could make them both better individuals if it were to last beyond this immediate crisis.

That’s the real question, though, isn’t it? If you’ve read this week’s Action Comics #1065, you know that this new super-powered bromance isn’t exactly on the most solid ground. While I have my suspicions as to what’s actually going on in that final page, the end of Action Comics #1065 promises that the next “House of Brainiac” chapter will include a fight between the two heavyweights. If that means a swift end to their partnership, then much like their first throwdown, this friendship may be over before it begins.

But I’m hoping that after all this surprisingly insightful talk about anger, cooler heads between these two may prevail and this friendship may endure. After all, for as big as the Super-Family has gotten, it still doesn’t have a black sheep. And I can’t think of a better and more entertaining one than the Main Man.

Superman #13 by Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval and Alejandro Sánchez is now available to read on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. Action Comics #1065 by Joshua Williamson, Rafa Sandoval, Miguel Mendonca and Alejandro Sánchez is available in print and as a digital comic book.

Tim Beedle covers movies, TV and comics for, writes our monthly Superman column, "Super Here For...", and is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our recurring television column. Follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Beedle and Bluesky at @TimBeedle.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Tim Beedle and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.