Lois Lane #2
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Mike Perkins and Paul Mounts
Lettering by Simon Bowland
Published by DC
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
”What are you going to do?”
”What would you do, Clark? Keep telling the truth.”
Lois Lane’s hunt for a killer heats up in Lois Lane #2. Pairing refreshingly street-level intrigue with “ripped from the headlines” set dressing, writer Greg Rucka takes us deeper into the gritty, rarely seen underworld of the DCU with the stalwart Lane and brutally effective Renee Montoya Question as our guides. Though he is spinning a lot of plates beyond the main murder mystery, like Lois caught up in a sensationalized story of her “cheating” on Clark Kent with Superman, as well as ongoing strife in Washington and abroad, Rucka keeps it all contained thanks to his sterling characterizations of Lois and Renee.
This clarity of story also extends to the artwork of Mike Perkins and Paul Mounts as well. Leaning into grounded tone of the script, Perkins and Mounts hit the pavement well with Lois and Renee, whisking readers from the busy streets of Metropolis to the scene of the crime in Moscow with ease, anchored by their expressive, powerful takes on Lois and Renee. Though Lane’s 'byline' is one on the cover, Lois Lane #2 shows that two leads are even better than one.
Although Lois Lane’s White House press credentials have been revoked, she hasn’t been sitting by idly. Working in tandem with Renee Montoya, who serves on retainer as her sort of semi-super-P.I., Lois is still working the case of her recently killed Russian colleague, even as her personal life is being broadcast all over cable news. Though still kind of plotty, as all mysteries are, Greg Rucka starts in this issue to dig more into the characterizations and working relationships of our two leads.
And the book is all the better for it. Instead of just bald exposition, Rucka sparses it out either in conversation, like two particularly charming and powerful interactions between Lois and Clark and Lois and Renee, or he makes use of sparse news “barks” from the background from a left-on TV. It gives the plot a much more natural flow and stands as a neat contrast to the usually narration heavy superhero fare we get from DC. Sure, this runs the risk of becoming kind of stale the further on we get in this 12-issue series, but for now I am very much into the idea of a decently long Lois/Renee team-up book. Especially one so focused on good characterization.
The mystery of Lois Lane also continues to looks appropriately noirish under the pens and pencils of Mike Perkins and Paul Mounts. Capped off with a splash of action, Perkins and Mounts show us the DCU we rarely see, the one below the skies and in the cramped, but vibrant cityscapes of Metropolis. Though I will say Perkins’ take on kissing could use some improvement, the rest of the issue is properly expressive and well staged. He also employs a very simple, but stylish technique of showing how Renee can focus in on details or incoming danger. He simply blocks it off in panel with a white box and focuses on that single point. Like I said, simple, but it fits the character and tone of the series nicely.
Colorist Paul Mounts and letterer Simon Bowland bring it all home with their contributions. While Perkins handles well the realism in the pencils, Mounts puts in the work and attention to keep the lighting and vibe of the scene right in step. A great example being the way he handles the mood of Metropolis and Moscow; the former is all hopeful sunshine and the latter is darkened street lamps and bloody crime scenes. Bowland, who has been nicknamed by Warren Ellis “The Immaculate One” for his work on James Bond, more than earns it here as he keeps each free-flowing source of dialogue (different TV channels, spoken dialogue, phone conversations) all blissfully different and clear. All of this just adds to the richly woven details of Lois Lane #2. We know that she does her due diligence, it is nice to know her full creative team does too.
We may be no closer to knowing who is behind it all, but Lois Lane #2 shows that the path to find out is going to be a fun, well-constructed walk on the mean streets of the DCU. With rich detailing and even richer leading ladies, Lois Lane #2 continues to be a glowing showcase of our favorite intrepid reporter and her fan-favorite vigilante co-worker.