Review – Lois Lane #6: The Long Goodbye

Comic Books DC This Week
Lois Lane #6
Lois Lane #6 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Lois Lane #6 – Greg Rucka, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Gabe Eltaeb, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 8/10

Corrina: Loss of a Parent

Ray: The Lois Lane solo series reaches its halfway point with Lois Lane #6, an issue that forces them to take a break from the regular plot and tie in with the recent events of Event Leviathan. That series saw the death of Sam Lane – for the third time since 2000 – as one of the few lasting repercussions, but things happened so fast that there was barely time for Lois to react. The bulk of Lois Lane #6 takes place at the funeral, with many scenes silent or accompanied only by sound effects, but along the way Rucka intersplices the story with scenes from Lois and Sam’s long, complex relationship. Their relationship has been all over the place in the comics, ranging from grudging respect to deep hatred. Rucka manages to find the balance, showing the seemingly never-ending tension but also making clear that she did respect him and he loved her, even when their visions for their lives and the world differed dramatically.

Scenes include a flashback to Lois’ teen years, when tensions between her and Sam were at their highest. When Lois is a young journalist, their battle over Superman reaches its height. Sam and Lois get closer after Jon’s birth as he wants to get to know his grandson, but things come to a crashing halt after the issue where Lois reveals Superman’s secret to him. It seems like they never firmly reconciled before his death, but Sam was trying – which adds some sting to the death of a character that never really felt fully developed in recent years. This is a character who has wildly veered in characterization from lovable curmudgeon to genocidal maniac over the years, and Rucka does a good job of paying tribute to his version without stepping too much on past stories. The scenes between Lois and her sister in the wake have some raw grief to them, but overall this is a break from the more-compelling main story.

Funeral for a friend. via DC Comics.

Corrina: Much of Lois Lane #6 is silent, without dialogue, but perhaps the nearly wordless page #4 is the most effective of them. It begins as a wide shot of Lois kneeling over her father’s body, with the heroes in the background, narrows in on Lois and her father, to a close-up of Lois closing her father’s lifeless eyes, with only four words of dialogue, and it’s the same word, ‘Daddy,” in the first two panels, to an “oh, Daddy,” in the close-up, and finally a silent silhouette of Lois and her father. It’s beautifully constructed and full of grief and loss.

The funeral sequences are mostly silent as well and anyone who’s been to a military funeral will no doubt flash to their own memories, particularly the folding of the flag.

The flashbacks/memories to Lois and Sam as their relationship evolved over the years are effective at showing how difficult the two of them found each other, even to the end. The final words, Lois’ regret that she felt Sam was making progress at believing in Superman are lovely and carry an emotional punch.

One continuity note: the timeline of Lois and Clark’s marriage has been a bit messed up since the Rebirth reboot but Lois Lane #6 definitely establishes them as a long-time couple, even having Lois taking maternity leave after Jon’s birth, and…perhaps always living in Metropolis, which is a change from some recent stories, though it doesn’t completely negate them.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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