Inks: Matt Santorelli
Colors: Jeremy Cox
Covers: Steve Downer, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Lois Lane created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Lana Lang created by Bill Finger and John Sikela.
Superman and his supporting cast have always been at the center of every convoluted twist in DC’s shared universe. It wasn’t that long ago that the publisher brought back the Post-Crisis version of the character, then killed-of the newer New 52 version. The new Superwoman series is a homage to one aspect of the character’s history. As unexpected as was the announcement for this new comic, Lois Lane and her romantic rival Lana Lang have been known in the past to temporarily gain superpowers. The comic is rife with continuity nods that, depending on one’s perspective, is either a confusing mess that makes it very difficult for any new reader to understand what’s going on, or cleverly plays to nostalgic fans.
It’s great to see the underappreciated Phil Jimenez working in comics again. His densely packed pages with panels loaded with text is pretty much a throwback in today’s industry. And the first half of this comic is a bit of a headache to get through, which is devoted to explaining the current status quo. At first, I wasn’t entirely sure which version of Lois was actually in the comic. And Lana’s reinvention as a science/reporter type was a bit unusual. Oh, and Lex Luthor is again wearing another suit of armour and apparently suffering from Helicarrier envy. But the mid-story plot twist did at least end the heavy emphasis on exposition in order to concentrate on the seat-of-your-pants action sequence. And the plot twist did make Lana a much more interesting character in the series.
It’s difficult to say in what direction that infamous cliffhanger ending is leading towards. My first guess was that it was a typical comic bookish misdirection. But most of online fandom seems to be taking it at face value. If so, it’s not a particularly dignified way to send off a character that hasn’t been particularly well-served by the New 52 era. But unfortunately, DC’s continuity does need a bit of uncluttering.