SUPERMAN: LOIS LANE #1
Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Meghan Hetrick, Ig Guara, and Diogenes Neves
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: February 26, 2014
Nothing is as reassuring in this world as having a big sister you know you can count on. And if your troubles lead you into drugs, mutation, and a government conspiracy, you’d better hope you have a big sister like Lois Lane — fearless, resolute, loyal to a fault. Fortunately, Lucy Lane has that one covered, but is it going to be enough to save her from a cadre of agents looking to spirit her away?
Lois Lane definitely needs a bit of love in the DC Universe, and not the kind that flies in through the window in a red and blue blur. Cards on the table, I am a fan of the chances DC has taken by pairing off Superman and Wonder Woman, and giving Lois back a modicum of independence from the Man of Steel. There were many great stories of their partnership told in the last decade, but many more poor ones, leaving Lois little more than a woman pacing in place, waiting for her husband to come home. Regrettably, the single life hasn’t done what I’d hoped for Lois when the change occurred… until now, that is.
With this one-shot special focusing on Lois and her troubled sister Lucy, writer Marguerite Bennett has kicked off what I hope will be a true rejuvenation of the “Lois Lane, Reporter” we all have been begging for, going on over two years. Strong, intelligent, and ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice (although hardly unprepared), this Lois is the perfect blend of determination, guts, and compassion — and Bennett not only shows us the fact of it, but we get to see the why and how. Flashback moments to Lois and Lucy’s childhood provide a very satisfying framing device, giving us a significant look at their mother, a figure I’ve read very little of in the Superman mythology. It’s a great way to show how Lois developed both sides of her personality so effectively, and also lends weight to the sadness behind Lucy’s situation and seeming lack of drive.
But, to her credit, Bennett isn’t telling a straightforward tale of good sister-bad sister here, and there are significant layers to each sister’s personality and their relationship that flower with every subsequent reading. The subtlety executed in Lucy’s revelations to her sister completely avoid the bombastic and four color drama that we usually see in these types of stories, giving readers just enough of the truth to build the story on their own — and enough for Lois to do the same. So, a story that could easily have woven in some pretty trite family moments takes a most sincere road instead, and leaves us with two women with a rich, complicated relationship and some truly beautiful character moments as a result.
I am a little confused by the sheer number of pencillers (4!) managing this single 38 page story, and can’t seem to attribute one set of pages to one or another — which I suppose is the best result possible in such a circumstance. On one hand, we don’t get the sense that any one artist (Lupacchino, Hetrick, Guara, or Neves) had a whole lot of creative control or input, but on the other hand, the harmony throughout is impressive. It may not be a standout piece from an artistic perspective, but the work doesn’t get in the way of telling a truly warm and adventurous tale. I will say, however, whichever penciller managed the pages of interaction between Lois and Jimmy Olsen deserves the prize for the day. The eyes and smile on that lady could make any super-man (or woman) beam from just a glance.
A fantastic one-shot that truly deserves a significant follow-up, Lois Lane #1 takes the best of what we know and love about DC’s intrepid reporter and digs even deeper. With Superman making only a single page appearance (gotta throw the big guy a bone), I’m pretty satisfied that THIS is exactly what I was hoping for at the start of the New 52 with the changes to Lois’ romantic life. May we get many, many more stories like this, particularly with Marguerite Bennett at the keyboard, and SOON.
The Verdict: 9.0/10