comics / equality / Feminism / gender / review

Review: Lois Lane (one shot)

Superman: Lois Lane – One Shot, April 2014

I should start off by saying that this isn’t terrible. However, it does feel like a disappointing waste of an opportunity – which appears to be a common thread throughout the New 52, especially where female characters are concerned. The cover promises “Metropolis, Mayhem and Monsters”. A line obviously written by someone wanting to make it seem an action packed thrill-ride, but I would question whether it hit the mark.

A misleading cover perhaps?

A misleading cover perhaps?

The story itself “Lois Lane in Nostalgia” is set after her recent coma in the Superman title, and focuses on Lois’ sister Lucy Lane and some trouble she and her roommate get into. Lucy’s roommate is violently kidnapped and Lucy, as we’re led to believe is her way, turns to big sister Lois for help. The story is interspersed with flashbacks of life growing up for the Lane sisters. This allows a look at their childhood – the military rigor of their father, their mother’s illness and loss. We get an insight into Lois’ need to protect Lucy, at the same time as disapproving of her behavior. As it turns out, the kidnapping is tied up with a new drug turning users into monsters. We get to see Lois proving and using her investigative journalism skills to get to the bottom of the situation.

Hardly the cutting edge reporting we might have expected

Hardly the cutting edge reporting we might have expected

The story isn’t terrible and it’s nice to get some more personal background on Lois than we’ve so far had in the Superman title. But when considering that Lois is a top journalist and no stranger to dangerous situations, it feels like a wasted opportunity. The New 52 started from scratch and so many characters lost their well worn back history. For Lois, so far little delving into her life prior to meeting Clark/Superman has taken place and this could have been a chance to get to know her better. If this one shot is an attempt to aim a title at a potential female readership it missed the mark for me. Which is to say, it very much fits with DC’s apparent inability to understand, encourage and relate to their female readership. Rather than giving us a kick ass story about Lois holding her own as an amazing journalist in a war zone, with no help from the super hero types, we get a sister-sister bonding story that verges on chick-lit, with just enough of the fantastical thrown in to keep it “comic”. Poor show DC!

Bordering on chick lit

Bordering on chick lit

All the more disappointing is that this is a one-shot, with no apparent further opportunity to further explore Lois as a character separately from the shadow of Superman.

Lois had this to say...

Lois had this to say…

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