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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman" Comics

Lois Lane #1

Superman: Lois Lane #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 26, 2014

Cover date: April 2014


Writer: Marguerette Bennett
Penciller: Emanuela Lupacchino, Meghan Hetrick, Ig Guara, Diogenes Neves
Inker: Guillermo Datego, Hetrick, Ruy Jose & Marc Deering
Cover: Kenneth Rocafort

Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)

Click to enlarge

The story opens with a flashback of Lois and Lucy Lane playing as children, and soon witnessing the crash of what appears to be a military grade helicopter. The story returns to the present, where Lois is having trouble sleeping and Lucy watches as her roommate, Amanda is abducted. Lucy escapes her attempted abduction, and runs to Lois' apartment. The story returns to the past, where Lois is chastised by her father, Sam Lane, who admonishes her for not being more careful. We learn that their mother is terminally ill. A return to the present finds Lois tending to Lucy. Lucy relays a story of meeting her roommate, who became ill, and was given pills with literally monstrous side-effects. Lois thinks to involve Superman, but Lucy doesn't trust him as "he's not human." Lois decides to investigate on her own, and tracks down an address after using her contacts as a reporter and some legwork. Lois returns home to find Lucy gone, and puts together that Lucy's story doesn't quite add up. Lois gets some assistance from Jimmy Olsen, and once at the address she obtained, Lois seeks to acquire the pills Lucy mentioned, but her undercover assignment goes awry when she's captured by Lucy's would be abductors. Lois is detained on a freighter, where she sees the full effects of the pills, and learns their origin. She also learns that Lucy is considered a user and marked for acquisition. In an advantageous mayhem, Lois escapes the freighter, with Amanda in tow, riding on a faux Mothra. Superman is called in towards the end, and Lois discovers that her ride from the freighter was actually Lucy, transformed by the pills. Lois promises to help Lucy detox, and reminisces on their lives as children, reminding Lucy and herself, that neither will ever be alone.

3Story - 3: The expectations for this story were through the roof, and were met with the ceiling. It's definitely serviceable, but weighs itself down with unnecessary flashbacks, drama, and, of all things, Superman. The idea of Lois Lane as an adventurer/reporter/borderline spy isn't new, and this one-shot takes the aforesaid and balls it together without apology (secondary definition), but Lois as a gestalt figure works better, perhaps best, when we've seen her in what should be her primary element as a reporter. If Jimmy Olsen hadn't shown up, (and thankfully he does, the banter between him and Lois is refreshing after the borderline maudlin scenes that come before) a reader would have to question if Lois is still a reporter at all. That is part of the New 52 baggage that all of the canon Superman books carry, in that what is canon is still very much in the air.

Lucy Lane has had a staccato history as Lois' sister. She's been everything from a flight attendant to Superwoman. However, her being Lois' sister seems to demand that she's involved in some dramatic escapade, much as Lois would be. It's similar to Lana Lang, who's been made an uberWomensch, as a means of giving her a reason to still be connected to Superman. Again, the canon is still loose, and Lucy being intimated, initially, as a lesbian did put the story on pause, since she was dating Clark Kent at one point... or was she? That it turns out she was dating an alien(?), makes it clearer why she didn't want Superman involved, but not the needlessly raised query as to her sexuality. This change doesn't deepen or enrich her character, anymore than if Lucy revealed she was celibate, and a serious amount of thought has to be put as to why changes in sexuality are considered to be the rounding of character, particularly for tertiary characters like Lucy. Lucy's actions in the story, which include escape, drug use, lying, and transmogrify, should be more than enough.

When Superman is shown, he's the plunked key in an otherwise hip tune. There is absolutely no reason to show him, as, to be quite honest, he isn't needed for this situation. The fact that Lois can call him in for this situation is admirable, as the two have a friendship in words only, but as his very name is avoided throughout the story, he should have been as well. It's Lois' story, and by that it should be clear this one-shot was crafted to service Lois Lane and not Lois and Superman. Superman is wedged into things and it's a poor fit. There have been stories, a plethora of them, where it's Lois' adventure and Superman appears, but even then the need for him was clear, and if not the need, the concern, as she was his wife. Superman's involvement under those circumstance was obvious, and no, Superman doesn't have to be involved with Lois intimately to garner his assistance. Still, the problem was in hand' it wasn't a job for Superman.

The biggest question I have is if that's an engagement ring on Lois's finger. Yes, it was on the wrong hand, but was that an error in terms of the artist? It's so deliberately aimed at the reader's gaze, that I couldn't help but wonder, which may be the intent.

4Art - 4: Again, it's serviceable, but this issue really deserved one chef, and not an array of cooks.

4Cover Art - 4: Love the Rocafort. The colors steal away some of the essence of the pencils, as Lois in yellow really clashes against the more sombre hues there.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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