Of the four Armageddon 2001 crossovers that featured Superman, Adventures of Superman Annual 3, by Louise Simonson, with pencils by Brian Hitch and inks by Jim Sanders III, Joseph Rubenstein, Ray McCarthy, Nick Napolitano, Jerry Acerno and Dick Giordano.
Since Superman negated the possible future Waverider saw the last time he made contact with the hero, he decides to try again, this time approaching Clark Kent as he banters with Lois Lane.
Perhaps because of that, this future follows them as they get married. All is well and the young couple are joyously happy. Lois discovers that she is pregnant.
But then the baby kicks. And that’s it for Lois.
Distraught, Superman exiles himself into space, and nearly dies when attacked by an alien warship. Maxima rescues him, feeling somewhat guilty as they attackers thought he was from Almerac. Sazu, who still does not care for Superman, tells Maxima that to win him over she will have to play demure and weak, going against all her instincts. We learn in this story that the forces behind the throne of Almerac are pressuring her to marry, and have chosen the monstrous but powerful De’Cine as her mate, if she cannot find one on her own.
Things are going well between Superman and Maxima, but not quite fast enough. Sazu tells De’Cine to destroy Earth in order to lower Superman’s status in Maxima’s eyes. But really, she is doing this to give Superman no reason to ever leave, thinking that this will make him decide to marry her mistress.
Maxima continues to have outbursts and rages, but Superman tries to convince her there is another way. He makes a wager with, promising a kiss if he loses, that she should ask her gardener politely for a fruit, and use her telepathy to determine if he respects her more for being polite. Maxima does this, barely, but is astounded at how diligent and appreciative the gardener becomes.
She concedes that Superman was right, and that she has lost the bet. But in losing so gracefully, and learning from it, she has won him over.
There is some action towards the end, as Superman prevents De’Cine from destroying Earth, but it’s the romance plot, and the happy ending this couple gets, that makes the story stand out.
A shame this possible future never came close to happening.
Tagged: Adventures of Superman, Armageddon 2001, Brian Hitch, Clark Kent, DC Comics, Dick Giordano, Jerry Acerno, Jim Sanders III, Jospeh Rubenstein, Lois Lane, Louise Simonson, Maxima, Nick Napolitano, Ray McCarthy, Sazu, Superman, Waverider