Review – Lois Lane #1: A Political Case

Lois Lane #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Lois Lane #1 – Greg Rucka, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Paul Mounts, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 9/10

Corrina: About Damn Time

Ray: For those who have had problems with Bendis’ take on the Lois and Clark relationship and with Lois’ characterization in general in his two books, relief is coming in the form of Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins’ solo series for comics’ most iconic reporter.

But those expecting vintage Lois Lane in Lois Lane #1 – even vintage Rucka Lois Lane, as he wrote her extensively in the pre-New 52 era – might be surprised and disappointed. This is a very raw book, overtly political in a way few DC books outside of the work of Mark Russell get. It’s extremely topical, addressing issues that are in the news as we speak and working them seamlessly into a story that includes global espionage and the complex balancing act that Lois and her husband pull off every day. It feels a lot more personal than most books in DC’s stable, with Rucka using Lois as a bit of an author avatar for his red-hot anger at the state of the world. It’s also very good, paying tribute to the title character in a way few books do.

This first issue almost feels more like an anthology, tracking Lois from encounter to encounter as she bull-rushes her way through everyone in search of the truth. She may have a weirdly friendly relationship with the housekeeper at her hotel room, but when interacting with Perry White she’s a loose cannon using the Daily Planet to publish incendiary exposes with little oversight. The murder of one of her fellow journalists, a Russian investigator, sets her off on a meeting with the Question in a parking garage that sends the masked detective off to the former Soviet Union – but who’s under the mask will surprise and excite many people. Lois’ confrontation with a Sarah Huckabee Sanders expy at the White House over the detention of children will please lots of people, but it’s the scenes between Lois and Clark – addressing both the unanswered questions between them and the treatment Lois has gotten since her “kiss with Superman” was exposed – that really make the issue sing. It’s as packed as a dialogue-heavy comic gets, but it’s a great start to what’s sure to be a classic year of comics.

The work habits of Lois Lane. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: When this book is very good, it’s incredible. However, it’s a little bit too uneven to call it an unqualified success. It’s not perfect in the way Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman was. But it definitely gives Lois the spotlight she’s long-deserved.

Lois’ driving need for the story and her dedication to the truth are fully in evidence. It’s not simply a job for her but a truly serious passion. She’s as driven in her own way as Bruce Wayne is in his way. And, like Bruce, she’s also supremely confident in her abilities. I love that characterization. I also love that this first case will be focused on the dangers of reporting the truth, not just in the United States, but all over the world.

But there are some problems. First, and this isn’t at the feet of this creative team, the timeframe seems to be during Lois and Clark’s separation, when Lois is living in a hotel, away from Clark, and Jon is still in space with Crazy Space Alien Grandpa. That leads me to believe that this series was delayed, for whatever reason, perhaps as much as a year. And, related to this horrible Superman plotline, Lois is keeping a secret about something that happened in space with Clark. It’s meant to tease the reader. It annoyed me instead, so much do I dislike that plot in the other books.

There’s also the matter of the Latinx maid, who seems a bit of a cliche, and Lois’ reliance on alcohol seems to be off. Hard-drinking reporters are a cliche, yes, but it’s difficult to be as dedicated as Lois and consume the contents of a mini-bar not to mention that full bottle of whiskey Lois pours from. Rucka has a history of writing characters with drinking issues, as with Renee Montoya in her transformation to the Question. But it’s an ill-fit on Lois and, again, a bit of a journalistic cliche.

I could also complain that Lois would have taught herself to spell-check by now, and that scene with Perry is silly, but I’ve decided that, at this point, Lois is using her supposed inability to spell to drive Perry nuts instead. (I could also wonder how Lois got press credentials into the White House when she’s not really even employed by the Daily Planet but I figure she called in a favor and used a fellow reporter’s credentials instead.)

But speaking of the Renee Montoya Question…YES. She’s in this. I thought perhaps it would be the original Question, who is appearing in the Leviathan Rising story but it’s clearly Renee.

I’m so thrilled this series exists. I hope the next issues are excellent all the way through.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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