Lois Lane #6 review

Sam Lane, soldier turned spy and Lois Lane’s father, has died, killed during the Leviathan affair.

As he’s buried with full military honours, his daughter remembers their stormy, but ultimately loving, relationship.

The reporter maintains her composure as she says goodbye, accompanied by husband Clark, son Jon and sister Lucy

Finally, though, it all becomes too much.

Just look at that expression on Lois’s face, there; it’s one I’ve never seen in comics but have seen many – too many – times in life. It’s the look of a person truly grieving, full of love and sorrow and regret and pride and much, much more. If artist Mike Perkins doesn’t win an award for his work on this 12-issue maxi series there’s something seriously wrong with the givers of gongs. He gives us work that’s more real-looking than that of most comic artists, but stops short of photo-realism, meaning his people have life. Perkins’ backgrounds are equally impressive, grounding this intimate look at the ace journalist who happens to be married to Superman.

High fantasy never intrudes on this quiet character study of Lois and Sam, writer Greg Rucka keeps things at a very human level. Sure, there’s nothing new for anyone who’s been reading Superman books for years, but not everyone has, and it’s good to see a lifetime of relationships encapsulated so well in just a few pages.

I could have lived without Rucka showing off his research into military funerals for page after page, but the constant cutting back to the details of the sendoff helps the pacing, laying Lois’ understanding of her often-difficult dad against his fundamental character – the patriot.

The flashback scene with Sam taking Lois out to dinner stood out, it felt so true. I also liked seeing Lucy again (not least because it tells me she’s currently in the land of the living – like Sam Lane, it doesn’t even take a wholesale continuity rewrite for her Dead or Alive status to flip). That panel of Jon comforting her is a fine, understated moment… I’d love to see him share a story with Lucy and Cousin Kara, the complicated aunt and the fun cousin. Also, notice Jimmy Olsen in that scene, I figure Lucy is once again an old girlfriend, he wants to comfort her but doesn’t.

The sensitive colours of Gabe Eltaeb and sharp letters of Simon Bowland also deserve mention. And the composition and use of colour on the cover – perfect.

The various threads that have run through previous issues aren’t mentioned, never mind developed, but that’s fine, there are six to go. As it is, the quiet drama of this superbly created comic is a real treat.

7 thoughts on “Lois Lane #6 review

  1. This was one of those issues where Rucka drives me nuts. The many silent funeral pages were useful in setting the pace of the book, and spacing out the flashbacks. But MAN, I’d rather he’d found another solution that wouldn’t have eaten as many pages. He could have used those pages to tell us what Sam’s last words to Lois were, or maybe an epilogue where we check in on the mysterious woman in the circle from a previous issue. Just something that wouldn’t leave me with the feeling that I was reading half a comic book.

    Part of that’s my own biases, I’m sure. I have very little patience for hyper-detailed military activity, whether it’s a scene like this, the Steve Trevor scenes in Rucka’s Wonder Woman, or long passages in Tom Clancy novels. It all feels like fetishization to me, and I automatically distrust it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That look on Lois’s face was so, so very true but I didn’t get at all why that scene upset Lucy so much. Not that it mattered. Those left behind often are raw with each other and it felt that way…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sure at some point someone in the army came up and reviewed the ceremony.
    “At this point we shoot cannons
    At this point we shoot guns
    At this point we fold the flag and give it to you.”

    Even as nonmilitary, even I know the flag gets folded and handed to a loved one.

    Maybe I was too harsh. But one page where she struggles with the decision to accept it before it happens would have been grist for the mill!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose it’s one more flag for Clark’s collection – Superman can store it with his pet eagle! But yes, Rucka might have made room, it’s not like we needed to see all the ceremony.

      Like

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