By Zack Quaintance — I’ve always appreciated a good Lois Lane story. Moreover, I’ve long considered Lois Lane my favorite character in comics. I wrote a longer piece about this some time in the past, but both my wife and I are reporters. My wife is also considerably better at being a reporter than I am. As silly as it sounds, reading about Superman (himself a reporter, of course) and his wife, Lois Lane, the world’s greatest reporter, is a big kick for me.
So, I came into Lois Lane #1 ready to like the comic, and I’m happy to say that I was not at all disappointed. The characterization is handled really well by veteran DC comics writer Greg Rucka, whose past body of work (from the seminal Gotham Central to his all-too-brief prior work with Superman) has established him as one of the best in the superhero business at handling the real people who live and work and love in the superheroes’ orbits.
I expected the characterization in this new 12-issue Lois Lane maxi series to be excellent, and it was. Rucka patiently gives Lois’ world real world moments, from fun interactions with her hotel maid to bedroom talk and daytime strolls (in Chicago! near the dyed green Chicago River! guess where I’m originally from!). Indeed, this book has three clear worlds that its first issue operates in: Journalism with a capital J, the Lois and Clark romance, and the fantastical world of superheroics (doled out here through Lois investigating a conspiracy and going to get help from the Rene Montoya version of The Question).
I liked it all, but the part that hit me the hardest in Lois Lane #1 was the way the comic approaches, depicts, and values the worth of reporters. Let’s be real here a moment, it’s been a rough few years for our lot, with the nominal leader of the free world waging a personal war against us, and, on a larger scale, against any truths that make him look even a little bit bad. I have terrible relatives who have approached me at family gatherings and suggested he maybe has a point. Furthermore, with the financial struggles related to new technologies continuing to plague the best reporting institutions (our country’s newspapers) for going on two decades now, there’s a sense of professional low self-esteem that has become all too common for us.
This comic, however, functions as wish-fulfillment for journalists (and those who love and value them) in much the same way that some of my favorite Superman stories do, except instead of a flying guy punching aliens, we get the world’s best journalist doing the damn job. It’s a thing of beauty, a reminder of what we lose if we don’t value the work, and, frankly, an inspiration.
Overall: Lois Lane #1 feels a bit like inspirational wish fulfillment the same way that some of my favorite Superman stories do, except instead of punching crazy aliens, she’s working hard and doing one of the real world’s most important jobs. 10/10
Lois Lane #1
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics
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Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.