Review – Lois Lane #2: Chasing Death

Lois Lane #2 variant cover
Lois Lane #2 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Lois Lane #2 – Greg Rucka, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Paul Mounts, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 9/10

Corrina: Now We’re Cooking

Ray: The best DC runs by top creators are often when they take their unique style and translate it to a DC character, rather than trying to do something in the DC house style. That’s definitely what’s going on with Lois Lane’s first solo series in decades, as Greg Rucka is telling an old-fashioned noir potboiler in the world of journalism – that just happens to take place in the DCU. The first issue was highly entertaining, but also a bit fraught with modern politics as it seemed to establish that the Trump administration and all its horrors were in the DCU too, raising many questions about where the heroes were in all this. That’s still coloring Lois Lane #2, but it’s a lot less omnipresent this issue – no scenes of Lois annoying the press secretary, for instance. Instead, this slow-burn comic involves Lois unraveling a series of mysteries while trying to stay one step ahead of some very powerful enemies that want her silenced.

Lois’ partnerships are a big part of this issue, as Rucka continues to do good work with the Clark and Lois bond. Clark’s protectiveness is sweet as Lois grapples with misogyny from both enemies and from snarky TV hosts, but it wouldn’t work nearly as well if it wasn’t for Lois’ dogged determination to handle things herself. Her back-and-forth banter with Perry White is a major highlight of the issue, but the best part of the issue is Renee Montoya’s closed fist to Lois’ pen and paper. The second Question gets into some grim situations in Russia while Lois investigates a potential collaborator in the states. There isn’t much action in this issue, but when it comes in unexpected bursts, it counts. Lois Lane makes tension its best tool, and it’s almost unrecognizable as a Superman family title. It’s very much in the vein of another DC classic Rucka had a hand in, Gotham Central, but with journalism in place of cops and no less danger as a result.

Lois Lane #2 interior page
Dark side of the news. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: I had problems with the first issue of Lois Lane, ranging from the odd separation of Lois & Clark (leftover from a ridiculous Superman plotline), to Lois’ drinking, the herky-jerky narrative, and the hand-waving of some basic journalism procedures. But Lois Lane #2 solves nearly all of those problems, turning into a coherent whole, and that whole is a terrific journalism story with DC’s best journalist at its heart.

The Lois and Clark interactions work well, without the mention of some “secret” she’s keeping from him, and the step by step investigation of how the Russian journalist was killed is a fine thriller plot. But the best segment, for me, was Lois’ speech about how finding the actual people who killed the Russian journalist won’t help, because they were acting on orders, and what’s needed is to expose the entire system.

You can feel her outrage and her need for truth and justice in that speech. That’s not only due to the words but the construction of the panels in that page, as Lois and Renee talk into a bar, with the focus clearly on Lois, until the final panel has Renee contemplating the information Lois has provided, along with her words.

The only remaining problem with the series right now is the use of the hotel maid, who seems to exist as a sounding board, but instead plays into racial stereotypes. Granted, it’s good to have Renee Montoya in the book as another Latina representation but it doesn’t full mitigate this part. (And, I do wonder how Renee and Lois hooked up as a team in the first place but perhaps we’ll get that story at some point, beyond that Rucka likes to write Renee.)

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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