Lois Lane #4 // Review
After three issues of being self-contained, this week's fourth issue of Lois Lane suddenly opens up the chapter to the broader DC Universe. It's a testament to the work of this creative team and the ease with which they handle these characters. It doesn't feel like a jarring shift in style or tone, as the issue touches on the events of recent issues of Superman, the Event Leviathan miniseries, and even the larger metastory of what is and isn't still in continuity since the New 52 and Rebirth.
Most of the issue is concerned with Lois catching up with Jonathan Kent, as her son comes to her for advice about whether or not he should join the Legion of Super-Heroes. Also, in this issue, The Questions, Renee Montoya, and Vic "Charlie" Sage reunite. Comparing notes about their shared past and about what is and isn't right about their situations. Elsewhere, a cop has a bizarre encounter with a strange woman with some tie to Leviathan, a case that currently seems unconnected to the rest of the series but will inevitably involve Lois and Renee somewhere down the line.
Writer Greg Rucka has such a facility with the characters of Renee and Charlie that seeing them together in this issue feels like visiting with old friends. It's surprising, then, that this is his first time writing Jon Kent, who he seems equally comfortable and natural with.
The art by Mike Perkins (with coloring by Paul Mounts and lettering by Simon Bowland) continues to excel. This issue doesn't feel like a superhero comic, and in a lot of ways, it isn't--Jon never wears his super-suit, and Renee and Charlie never put on their faces. This is primarily an issue of just people talking to each other. It never feels visually dull, though, because of Perkins' expert staging.
Superman is so often used as sort of a linchpin of the DC Universe, and for a good reason. He is, after all, the character who originated both the genre and the world of these comics. People often forget that Lois Lane made her first appearance with Superman in 1938, and deserves to be considered just as much of a linchpin of this world. Lois Lane #4 is an excellent example of why and how she serves that role.