Lois Lane and the Hard-Hitting Question(s)

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BY July 4, 2019

Superman might be the most powerful hero in the DC Universe, but that doesn’t mean he’s capable of everything. Sometimes you need someone close to the ground, not wearing a costume, to uncover the evils in the world. And that just happens to be Superman’s wife, Lois Lane. She has a secret—one that might be a major threat to the Man of Steel. But she’s keeping this one away from everyone, including her husband. Now with her own solo maxi-series, we’ll get to see the Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter in her element. And it’s going to hit the DC Universe—and Fandom—hard.

Lois Lane #1

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Mike Perkins

Lois Lane #1
(DC Comics)

Lois Lane #1 doesn’t tell us what the secret is. Why would it? The mystery is the entire point of the series. Full disclosure: I haven’t read Superman comics in a while, so maybe we do know and I missed it. The good thing is, it doesn’t matter. A good mystery writer hides things from their readers just as much as they do to their characters. And Greg Rucka? He’s one of the best mystery comic writers in the business.

Lois Lane’s superpower

Rucka doesn’t pull back at all. Lois Lane is the kind of reporter politicians and people in power have nightmares about. If she’s coming at you with a question, consider your career over. If she wants to find something out, she will find out, even if it puts her life in danger. There’s a common misconception about Lois and Clark. People believe he is constantly having to save her. That’s not exactly true. It’s more like Superman is her own super-powered bodyguard. Superman’s adventures might save Earth, but Lois’s reporting changes Earth. She’s the more powerful character. Superman’s just the big muscle keeping her safe while she does the important things.

Politically charged and Perfect

Lois Lane Variant
Variant Cover (DC Comics)

Just as Lois Lane dives into issues, so does Rucka. He flat out has Lois Lane questioning the DC Universe’s fictional Press Secretary about the Border Camps and separating children from their parents. Yeah—he goes there. Hard. All those fans who “don’t want politics in their comics” are going to hate this one something fierce. And it’s awesome that Rucka does this. Lois is a hard-hitting journalist. This needs to be a hard-hitting series.

And even more to the point? The story is called “Enemy of the People”––President Trump’s favorite thing to call any journalist who says something he doesn’t like.

Always Question Your Allies

But the reporter isn’t the only investigative hero in Lois Lane. She also works with the enigmatic detective, the Question. When a Russian journalist critical of the Kremlin winds up dead, Lois tasks the Question to find her secrets. Despite the fact that the two journalists didn’t like each other, it seems that the person they trusted the most was the other one.

So we have a mystery about a dead journalist, corruption at the detainment centers (which is probably going to be pretty accurate to real life), and the big Superman mystery. Not bad for a debut issue.

The Art of Investigation

Lois Lane Variant
Variant Cover (DC Comics)

And then there’s Mike Perkins’ art. Some comic readers find the sketchy, rough art annoying; they prefer the polished art of bigger books. But the style is needed for Loise Lane. This series is a noir series, and nothing polished about noir. It’s a dark and often brutal genre. It also reflects Lois’s style

The Pen is Mightier than the Bulldozer

In fact, there’s a bit of a meta-dialog early in the issue that describes Lois Lane, both the series and the character. Lois wants the story out, even if it’s rough. The editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, Perry White, comments on how her articles have a lot of errors, so much so that he takes away her “publish now” button for the newspaper’s website. Perry says that when Lois has a story, she  “bludgeons it into submission.” It describes the book well. Rucka and Perkins aren’t here to make her look a cute, likable reporter like Amy Adams in Man of Steel (even if Adams was kind of great as Lois Lane). This Lois is a blunt object seeking to destroy any injustice that gets in her way. The art and writing do the same thing.

Grade: A+

And to think, we get a great comic on the first Wednesday of the month–and there’s still a lot more to come.

COMICSDC

Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.

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