Jack Fisher’s Weekly Quick Pick Comic: Lois Lane #1

Every Wednesday, a new batch of comics enters this world in the never-ending effort to make it feel less hopeless. Fans like me take comfort and joy in reading stories about powerful superheroes using their immense abilities to pull off heroic feats. Many of these stories center around extraordinary individuals doing extraordinary things with power that few in the non-comic book world can comprehend.

Then, a comic like “Lois Lane #1” comes along and proves that heroic feats don’t need superhuman abilities. They just need a stubborn and unyielding commitment to the truth.

I admit that the idea of a Lois Lane comic didn’t seem all that intriguing. I also freely acknowledge that I’ve criticized how Lois has been utilized in recent years with respect to the larger Superman mythos. Those criticisms aside, I don’t deny the importance of her character. She is still an integral part of Superman’s world, as well as the larger DC universe.

Lois Lane #1” doesn’t change that role, nor does it attempt to radically alter who Lois is. It just takes some time to focus on what she does, why she does it, and why it’s such a critical component of truth, justice, and the American way. You could even argue that those ideals are more critical now than they ever have been, which means Lois Lane’s story carries a weight beyond being Superman’s love interest.

Writer Greg Rucka, who has considerable experience writing DC’s strongest female characters, builds an entire story around Lois Lane exercising her expert reporting skills. On the surface, it may not sound as exciting as watching Superman punch meteors out of the sky, but the underlying themes of the story go beyond just saving the day.

Those looking for another story about Lois needing to be rescued by Superman again will probably be disappointed by “Lois Lane #1.” However, those hoping to see someone pursue justice in a way that doesn’t require Kryptonian biology are in for a treat. Superman may be the personification of truth, justice, and the American way, but it’s Lois Lane who proves you don’t need powers to fight for it.

The story is a potent mix of a spy thriller and a mystery built around headlines that are all too real to anyone with a news feed. Yes, there are plenty of super-villains in the DC universe looking to destroy whole worlds and rip apart the fabric of reality. At the same time, there are smaller-scale forms of injustice and those are the battles Lois fights.

In this case, her fight takes her to Russia, a place not known for press freedom. She has a story that won’t defeat Darkseid, but it will expose the corruption, injustice, and lies that plague her world as much as ours. While Superman is still in the story, he actually plays no part in helping her navigate this battle. In this particular battle for truth, Lois is on her own and she proves she’s capable without superpowers.

In fact, for the truth she seeks, superpowers aren’t that useful. Exposing corruption and lies is never a matter of how many meteors or parademons you can punch. Lois is a reporter. She needs information, sources, and connections. These are not things you can punch or magically conjure. Rucka has Lois rely almost entirely on her reporting skills rather than her intimate relationship with Superman.

Those reporting skills might as well be superpowers. Lois isn’t just dedicated to finding the truth. She’s determined. She willingly puts herself in danger to find the information she needs. While this usually means Superman has to rescue her at least once a week, that’s not the case here.

Lois Lane #1” shows that it is possible for Lois to navigate that danger without calling on her super-powered lover. After reading this comic, you feel as though this sort of triumph doesn’t happen often enough, both in the real and fictional world.

Throughout her history, Lois Lane has been a tricky character to develop. She’s so defined by her relationship to Superman that it’s difficult for her to stand on her own. Being a side-kick or a love interest tends to define a character more than what they actually do in a story.

Lois Lane #1” doesn’t try to subvert or redefine her lengthy history. She’s still very much Superman’s love interest. She still plays a vital role in his story. However, this comic makes the case that Lois can carry her own story, as well. Rucka, along with the art of Mike Perkins, demonstrate that she can pursue truth and justice on her own. For someone who needs to be rescued so often, it’s both refreshing and overdue.

While Lois Lane will never be an iconic female hero on the same level as Wonder Woman, she embodies many of the principles that heroes of all kinds fight for. They readily protect the innocent and defend justice with their immense powers, but Lois Lane demonstrates why those principles matter.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Jack's Quick Pick Comic

2 responses to “Jack Fisher’s Weekly Quick Pick Comic: Lois Lane #1

  1. Crystal Skull

    Now you see why Lois and Superman/Clark/Kal El are perfect for each other? Why majority of Superman fans hate the SSWW superficial relationship DC forcing down our throats during N52? Why we hate to see Lois bend over backwards to make way for Wonder Woman in her own book? Lois was created to be with Superman since Action Comic #1. Seigel and Schuster created her to be his equal(read her golden age era), she maybe don’t have any lame superpowers but that doesn’t stop her from fighting for the truth and justice for the people. She is Superman’s Superman. The sliver age ruined her character beyond belief but it’s time for people to open their eyes and see why Lois Joanne Lane-Kent is one of the original heroes in DC. Regarding her relationship with Superman, Lois don’t need to teach him how to be a good human because the Kents taught him that. or the need to understand the super heroic aspect of his life because she herself been doing exactly that (being a champion to the oppressed) even before he entered her life. Lois just need to be there for him in any situation and understand.
    Fyi, pls don’t bring else world story like Injustice or Kingdom Come to prove how toxic their relationship can be because the purpose of Lois’s death in both stories just to create man pain for Superman. If we want to bring these else world stories as to prove a point, SSWW are straight up misogyny in Miller DKR series(eww) and in N52 too(as far as Superman concern, that relationship never happen and he going to punch Dr. Manhattan for taking away his wife and family).

  2. Calling out misogynists

    Jack, you are a misogynist who has treated Lois Lane like garbage for years and this review is no different. You do this thing where you pretend you are super liberal and progressive when really you are the worst kind of male know it all bringing women down. Even here, you praise the book but still go out of your way to take digs at Lois and insult her history and then you end the review by pitting her against Wonder Woman. Lois Lane is an iconic, wonderful, feminist character and you don’t deserve to breath her name.

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