In which… actually, I don’t have a Scooby. I can manage a likely imprecise précis. The killer known as the Kiss of Death wants to off Renée Montoya but is trapped in a magic circle made by Jessica Midnight at the behest of Clarice the Action Nun as part of a plan formulated by Lois Lane.
Yes, Lois Lane is in this comic. Barely. Most of it is Renee and Jessica and the Kiss, edging in and out of the pentagram thingie. At one point Kiss starts spouting batty biblical verses and Renee joins in. The Kiss is surprised that Renee knows the lines, which, it turns out, have something to do with the Religion of Crime from writer Greg Rucka’s Batwoman run. I couldn’t tell you much about that as I backed away from Kate Kane’s book because it was dawdling to dull effect.
Like this series. So far as a neat wrap-up is concerned I actually had hope after last issue, which was big picture DC stuff I could understand, but this is just another 22 pages of Greg Rucka proving he’d rather be writing Checkmate or the Question or Batwoman… Lois has what seems to be a psychic flash and a text from her does save the day, but the day remains ridiculously murky, with Lois herself in no danger, away from the main action.
Remember she was investigating a Washington DC scandal, and the murder of a woman by the Russian mob, and her hotel maid had been detained by ICE? This comic, the penultimate issue of a supposed Lois Lane series, doesn’t. There’s no mention of any of it. Nope, it’s apparently long-running plots with characters who appeared in little-seen series with not so much as an Editor’s Note to give those of us who don’t follow Rucka from book to book a clue.
Frankly, someone is taking the piss.
And yet still I give DC my money, hoping things will turn around, that everything will be wrapped up by issue #12.
More fool me.
The art team of illustrator Mike Perkins and colourist Andy Troy once again produces easy-on-the-eye visuals that ground the fantasy elements, there’s a murkiness that suits the feel of the issue (I nearly wrote ‘story’ but I just don’t know what the story is here). I particularly like the montage scenes, despite not knowing what they’re meant to be telling us. Simon Bowland’s letters are smart, with his treatment of the Kiss’s dialogue balloons especially clever.
Next issue could be the best single issue in the history of DC, but I couldn’t recommend this series. It’s a prime example of a writer being so close to his material that he forgets to explain things to the rest of us. It’s Rucka putting his pet characters and concepts back into play by the back door, using Lois’s name recognition to persuade people to buy. When DC collect this run they really should be honest and bill it as a Lois/Question team-up, because for a year now the title of this series has been false advertising. And that’s the truth.