REVIEW: Lois Lane #4

Lois Lane #4 is here and I for one have been so pleased to see Renee Montoya develop into a key component of the series. That feeling is intensified by the return of Vic Sage, a character who is deeply entrenched in DC Comics lore.

Renee Montoya appears as The Question on the main cover created by Mike Perkins. This is a very clever cover as Lois’ silhouette is made up of newspaper print as a more detailed Renee Montoya catches the eye in the foreground. The simplicity of this cover is perfection as it allows the text on the cover to really pop.

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The variant cover for this issue is created by Emanuela Lupacchino and is inspired by the DCeased series. Lois attempts to evade the infected as she makes her way to the fire escape attached to the Daily Planet building. I really love her art style, it’s very cartoonistic, but also so elegant – almost with a pin up vibe to it. Lupacchino has perfectly portrayed Lois’ fearless personality within the artwork, I really love this cover.

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Lois Lane #4 is a very different issue as Renee Montoya and her mentor Vic Sage (the original Question) dominate the issue. Straight off the bat, this issue goes along way to acknowledge the events taking place else where in the DC Universe. The exchange between Jon and Lois featured in this issue acknowledge’s Jon’s encounter with the Legion of Super-Heroes and his decision whether or not to join them in the future.

This all makes total sense to me. Of course Jon would be having this conversation with his mom. The fact that it’s being featured in this series as apposed to the Superman core title goes a long way to further cement the Lois Lane series continuity, as it has felt rather isolated at times.

This exchange feels very authentic thanks entirely to Greg Rucka’s astute understanding of the characters, and their relationship to one another as well as Perkins’ emotive artwork. We all know that Lois Lane is a force of nature, and a tenacious independent woman. Well none of those traits are lost now that Lois is a mother, and those facets subtly appear throughout this conversation with ease thanks to Ruckas’ writing and understanding of strong female characters. After all he has only just come off of a very celebrated run on Wonder Woman, and is the creator of ‘Forever Carlyle’ the female lead of his creator owned title ‘Lazarus’. This legendary character and her many facets are incredibly captured by Mike Perkins as she engages with her son. Facial expressions and gestures of affection really speak volumes and add to Rucka’s beautiful dialogue. Jon declaring that Lois is his hero really left me choked up.

The issue progresses with the exchange between Renee Montoya and Vic Savage taking centre stage. You can instantly feel the connection these two share as they reminisce about the past. There is a lot of backstory here that isn’t too well flushed out. However the dialogue and body language in these scenes really does convey the fact that there is a lot of road traveled between these two, certainly not all good and that really translates perfectly to the audience.

In addition to the superb exchanges featured in this issue, Lois Lane #4 contains a wonderful segment that feels like its ripped straight from the pages of a Hellblazer comic. Set in the heart of England a very macabre scene plays out that very much ties into wider events taking place in the DC Universe. Mike Perkins’ gritty and realistic artwork is a match made in heaven regarding these extremely harrowing scenes. The tension is palpable as the combination of Perkin’s art and Paul Mount’s colours created an atmosphere that is engulfed with an array of emotions such as despair and anxiety.

The issue comes to a close as Lois and Renee rejoin forces and take part in a rather prickly exchange highlighting the idea of ‘truth’. For me this is the perfect way to end the issue as the truth is a core motif and foundation for this very series. Like I said, this issue is a very personal one that takes a break from all the political intrigue and conspiracy, and focuses on the lives of those concerned. Lois and Renee experienced a traumatic event. Allowing these two to breath and reconnect with loved ones before thrusting them back into the thick of it only adds to the severity of that ordeal.

Even though the issue is dominated by emotional encounters, the creative team manage to intertwine a brand new offshoot into the story that is full of mystery and intrigue that in no way feels shoehorned in. This is a truly superb issue that allows our characters to behave and evolve in an expropriate manner considering the surroundings in which they are operating in. 

Haven’t picked up your issue yet? You can get the standard cover by Perkins’ here (UK), or here (US). Prefer the DCeased themed variant by Lupacchino? You can order yours here.

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