Shady Meetings And Clandestine Dealings: Enter The Noir World Of Lois Lane #1

by Olly MacNamee

Lois Lane #1 is not only a hard-hitting, fast paced debut issue – emulating the kind of life Lois has these days – but a stark reminder of how far this character, and society, has come since the last time she had her own initial solo series many decades ago. Here, Lois is the confident, cock-sure investigative journalist not afraid to ask the tough questions of those in power and thereby reflecting a great deal readers will be able to recognise from your own current crop of politicians on Capitol Hill. And, while the DCU’s President is an unnamed, unseen entity, the politics he is associated with, questioned by Lane when attending a White House Press Briefing (a rarity these days in the real US of A), is straight out of his playbook. And it’s not the only paper-thin comparison you’ll find in this book to our own corrupt society.

Greg Rucka excels in strong female characters and voices and I imagine he salivated over the chance to write this no-nonsense icon who, along the way, reminds us of the very unconventional relationship she and Clark Kent are currently living. And, when Clark does make an appearance, it is without even the slightest sight of Superman. It’s also one of the few moments’ pause that we get as both husband and wife make time for each other, and it really feels like quality time when compared to the speedy life Lois lives in-between these meet-ups.
This is a very grounded, crime-noir toned book and even when another hero does appear in order to help Lois Lane, it’s a non-powered female whom I thought DC had given up on in recent years in favour of the original male counterpart. It’s a welcome return and a good indication that this is a series that will feature more than one strong female member among its cast.

Add to this the gritty, darker art of Mike Perkins  – given even more macabre shades thanks to the colours of Paul Mounts – and you have a book that’s as much a focus on investigative journalism in the DCU, and the shadowy world in which a lot of this work is done, as it is a story of espionage too. Both have a lot in common, as Lois comments on herself while meeting the aforementioned mysterious hero in an underground parking lot. A place, we are educated upon, that Bob Woodward and Mark Felt met during Watergate because of it’s emptiness, good sight lines, and echoing concrete floors. If you don’t see someone coming at you, you’d certainly hear them coming a mile off. Perkins delivers page after page where he has deployed skilfully placed black spaces that create the appropriate tone for the book and an indication of the series as a whole. This is a far cry from the brightness we associate with Superman’s world. This is very much Lois Lane’s world; all secret meetings and shady characters.
Lois Lane is certainly a person always on the move, because the news never stops and injustices are frequent in this mad, bad world of ours, and by the end of this issue, she’s still up and at ’em and seemingly ready for her next challenge. Wherever that takes her, and what dangers await her. One thing I do know; it won’t be up to Superman to save her anytime soon, but her own intelligence, wits and resources. Buckle up, readers, this ride has only just begun.
Lois Lane #1 is now available from DC Comics.

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