Review – Lois Lane #4: Motherhood and Retcons

Comic Books DC This Week
Lois Lane #4 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Lois Lane #4 – Greg Rucka, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Paul Mounts, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 9/10

Ray: I joke a lot about the “Lobdellverse”, but I think many writers maintain their own private continuities and go back to it whenever they have the opportunity. That’s definitely what Greg Rucka does in Lois Lane #4, with a story that seamlessly combines current events with plot threads from his runs on Checkmate and 52 back in the early 2000s.

The first part of Lois Lane #4 is a dialogue-heavy segment where Lois is reunited with the older Jon Kent and her son tells her that he’s planning to head to the future to join the Legion. This subject was dealt with in Superman a few weeks back, but I think Lois’ segment is the stronger of the two. Lois has always been an independent person so there’s a sense of pride when her son is ready to take that same step, but she’s also a mother being told her son is going away. I think this is the most Lois-like she’s felt as a mother ever since this era of her life began, and good on Rucka for understanding that her character didn’t change because her family situation did.

The second half of the issue is where things get really interesting, as it focuses on Renee Montoya and Vic Sage – the two Questions, reunited last issue after a very entertaining fight. This issue makes clear that Renee remembers everything – her journey to become the Question, Vic’s death near Nanda Parbat – but she also knows it’s not true anymore. Making it even crazier, the resurrected Vic remembers everything too. This title started out as a slow-paced journalism comic, but it seems Rucka has much bigger plans – including a complex meta exploration of what frequent retcons have done to the more down-to-earth residents of the DCU. A segment involving a mysterious villain tied to Checkmate committing suicide abruptly didn’t work as well, coming out of nowhere, but it feels like Rucka’s collecting an all-star group of characters and plots from his most famous runs. Could subplots from Wonder Woman be far behind? I can’t wait to find out.

Mother and son. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: Some time back, when I was criticizing the way Lois was written as a mom, it centered on giving her a generic “mom/caretaker” personality instead of focusing on how the Lois we know would act as a mother.

Lois Lane #4 is the first interaction between Lois and Jon that I’ve read that feels like how Lois would actually behave as a mom. She’s still Lois. She loves her son. They have a candid conversation because Lois is nothing if not direct. And I like that she has a blind spot when Jon says he worries about her. Kids worry about their parents, no matter what, but it probably didn’t occur to Lois that Jon would worry about her rather than the other way around–it’s a blind spot many mothers can have.

There’s still my lingering annoyance with DC making utterly weird and horrible decision to let Lois abandon Jon in space with his homicidal grandpa, and aging Jon up, but mabye we can just “mopee” those stories and go with this.

However, I still would like to see more of Lois as an investigator. I enjoy Renee and Charlie, I’m glad to see both Questions back. (I don’t much care how Charlie’s alive. Only Uncle Ben stays dead now in comics. And the original woman in the fridge. :sigh:) But, obviously, Renee is more of a co-star in this book than a supporting character and I’m torn because I like this story but I also want Lois to be more of a professional presence in her own miniseries, given how rare it is for her to have one.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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