There’s a fun moment in the latest instalment of this Question mini-series when guest star Lois Lane tells us who she once found cooler than Superman.
Oh all right, I know it’s Lois’s name on the cover, and her face looking out at us slyly, but as I’ve said previously, writer Greg Rucka seems far more interested in telling a Renee Montoya Question story than a Lois tale.
Last issue ended with Lois and Renee attacked in a Chicago hotel by what appeared to be a female version of Batman baddie Black Mask. As this issue begins, Lois is on the floor, apparently unconscious, leaving Renee to fend off the attacker for several pages. Lois finally shows up and gets to do something on page eight.
We see on the next page that the attacker, whom Lois and Renee call Kiss of Death for some reason, has vanished. Soon, a more-than-might-be-expected number of police officers are flocking around outside, and they have questions.
Lois sneaks into the next room, knowing her husband has arrived, and after a cheeky wee snog, shamelessly uses him to distract the Chicago PD and media. It seems that when word got out that Lois – recently revealed as Mrs Superman – was involved, everyone rushed to the hotel in the hope her hubby would show up. The moment allows the ladies to slip away.
Later, they look for the maid who had been looking after Lois’s room during her recent stay at the Drake hotel. Their attacker had disguised herself as Alejandra’s ‘replacement’ in order to plant a bomb in Lois’ suite. Renee handles door-to-door while Lois scopes out the neighbourhood.
And over in the UK…
… the mysterious Jessica Midnight flees her hospital room via the old Nun Swap bit.
What’s Midnight, apparently a former Checkmate agent, got to to with the various assassination attempts on Lois? No idea. Maybe nothing, or perhaps she’s tied up with the political shenanigans in Washington that go unmentioned again this issue. Or the doings in Russia from the first few chapters about which we get, again, nada. Talk about writing for the trade, Rucka makes zero concessions to the fact that his story is coming out in monthly chapters and so a little movement might be nice.
I had a couple of storytelling issues this time. That page up there with Kiss of Death (such a stupid name) getting shot supposedly has her vanishing before Lois and Renee’s eyes. How? Did she teleport away? Given how much space Rucka allots the dullest of moments – such as Lois walking down a corridor – he might have spelt it out so artist Mike Perkins could show us.
And again we get scenes with Lois muttering to an unseen Superman she assumes is monitoring her from afar. Then she tells him once more that she doesn’t need protecting. The first is beginning to make Superman seem creepy, there’s a difference between keeping a super-ear out for her yelling for him, and listening in all the time. The second makes Lois seem utterly stupid and nigh suicidal – I get it, independent woman. But someone is actively gunning for her, putting regular folk around her at risk. Superman could find this non-metahuman in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, why would Lois not want them off her back? I get that this is supposedly her book, so someone else can’t be doing all the heavy lifting – although this doesn’t stop the constant spotlighting of Montoya – so why not just have Superman be busy elsewhere? He does have other books to star in.
Talking of Renee, I wish Rucka would find a hook for her character being ‘lesbian’. Is her constant flirting with even villains meant to titillate us?
Can anyone tell me what happened in that street scene? Is the idea that the maid was an illegal immigrant and has been taken away by the authorities? How does Lois know this just from a few people wandering around?
I do like that after Lois shoots Black Maskette she immediately tosses the gun to Renee; we know Dad Sam taught Lois about firearms but I wouldn’t want her too comfortable around them.
The cover isn’t as great as previous ones, Lois’ head looks a tad photo-realistic wonky, but his concept and colouring is great. I like Perkins’ interior art as much as ever, though, especially his Superman. And while the fight scene is too long and too-Renee, it’s really well done, super-dynamic. Perkins seems to be very much a bottom man…
Oh, Perkins does do the repeated panels bit in the Lois/Superman chat, so far as I can see there’s not even an altered facial line. Could do better.
Gaeb Eltaeb’s colours help the naturalistic feel of the story, as do Simon Bowland’s unobtrusive letters.
Four issues to go. I really hope we get more agency from Lois and movement on the various plots. Are they in fact one plot? Two-thirds into a limited series we really should know what the story is.