Friday, February 7, 2020

Review: Lois Lane #8

Lois Lane #8 came out this week and introduced the character 'The Kiss of Death' into DC continuity.

I open this review with that fact because the book was sold out at my comic book store when I got there 3 hours after opening. I only got the issue because I have the title on my pull list. It turns out that first appearance got the attention of comic speculators! Who knew they still existed! And didn't we see Kiss of Death last issue?

Anyways, the issue continued to pace of this title. There is an action sequence. There is a scene with Lois and Superman talking. There is one little plot point which ties into one of the storylines writer Greg Rucka is simmering slowly. I definitely keep hoping we get some plot momentum.

Mike Perkins provides the art for the book. I will say overall I am so impressed with Perkins work on the book, in particular the martial art sequences with Renee. He really should be doing a monthly Question book. But at times his expressive work can seem off. In this issue a panel of Renee smiling is just a bit jarring.

I like this book. But I keep thinking about the dwindling time and space to wrap up all that is happening. I hope it all comes together.

On to the book.

The issue opens right after last issue ended. The Kiss of Death has set off a bomb in Lois's hotel room. Now she comes in to finish the job, killing Lois ... and for dessert killing Renee.

There is a little bit of comic book villainy here. This highly trained assassin decides to stand over Lois and taunt Renee instead of simply pulling the trigger and putting two in Lane's head. You think there would be little delay to finish the job.

Of course, there is some odd dark sexual tension between Renee and Kiss perhaps which is leading to this banter.

Renee is able to gather herself enough to thwart Kiss of Death from squeezing off the rounds.

Now the action gets a little muddled, probably because I don't recall the layout of things. But somehow the action goes from Lois' apartment to Kiss of Death's room. Inside Renee sees how white noise generators are present to stop Superman from overhearing anything. And we see the mask Kiss used when pretending to be the new maid.

Again, this is a well thought and well timed assassination. So the brief delay makes little sense outside of the story-telling.

I also wonder why Kiss of Death follows Renee and fights her instead of heading back to the helpless Lois, her intended victim.

Throughout we continue to get banter and quips including how the two had flirted earlier. In the fight, Renee says she likes women with 'more meat on their bones'. That seems a bit tawdry and almost gratuitous.

But I am glad they did fight because Perkins gives us the delightfully frenetic two page splash of this all out brawl between the two.

The small random panels, the two combatants fighting a layer above the panel all adds so much energy to the proceedings.

This is one of those pieces of comic art that I paused and perused for a while and then went back to after I finished reading the issue.

Seriously, Rucka and Perkins should throw this spread on Didio's desk and demand a Renee book.


Lucky for Renee, Lois does arrive right before the Kiss of Death is about to kill the Question.

I like how this scene is bookended by one of the protagonists saving the other.

In the aftermath, the Kiss of Death is able to escape.

Lois and Renee both know that this wasn't a one time deal. The assassin will be back but probably not for a while given the timing she took to set up this attempt as well as her bullet wound.

It also means that Lois is able to tell Superman to keep his distance for a bit.

Soon the cops are crawling all over the apartment. Like ... too many cops. Lois realizes it is because they are hoping to see Superman.

And sure enough, Superman does arrive.

These scenes are always well done. Here Lois tells Superman that she and Renee can handle Kiss of Death.

These scenes are getting a bit one sided and somewhat formulaic though. Lois tells Superman to leave her alone because she can handle herself. And he pauses and agrees.

There is no compromise or even discussion in these scenes. Lois lays down the law.

She also asks Superman to head out into the room to greet the Chicago PD. There he is fawned on by the assembled officers.

As she and Renee sneak out, Renee equates the cops' response to that of fans when meeting Bowie.

I like the comparison. But how I wish Lois had said 'yeah, my husband is Bowie cool'. Instead she says Bowie is a little cooler than Superman. I suppose that's fine.

Back at the hotel, the manager says that Alejandra, the woman who had cleaned Lois' hotel room, simply stopped showing up for work.

When Renee and Lois go to check on Alejandra, they find the neighborhood nearly empty.

The place was 'raided'. I suppose the story here is that Alejandra was an illegal immigrant and had to flee. Or perhaps she has been picked up and is now in one of the 'for profit' internment sites that Lois is investigating. Perhaps that is the connection of stories.

This is sort of the one piece of plot progression in the issue.

I suppose Lois will ultimately use Aleandra's story as the human angle for her story. But how I wish we saw more of the actual investigation that Lois should be doing right now.

And then an answer to the bigger question from last issue.

The nun visiting Jessica Night wasn't Lois. It was an actual nun. And here we learn that Jessica knocked out the visiting Sister, stole her habit, and slipped out of the asylum. Now Jessica is heading to Chicago.

Will we learn her connection to Leviathan? Why was he hunting her? Who is she anyways? I suppose this is another plot nudge. But these are crumbs.

I don't mind long form story telling. But how I wish things were moving a bit faster.

Overall grade: B


Steve said...

You don't think Rucka's already doing a Montoya book and Lois is just the guest star?

Anonymous said...

The speculator thing irritates me no end, because both my LCSs sold out before I got there, and the thing is going for $15-20 on eBay. I'm not paying that for a comic that came out this week, you exploitative jerks. I'll be patient till the initial frenzy passes and you're forced to move your unsold copies on the cheap ... or just wait for the trade.

Martin Gray said...

Rucka definitely sold us a pup with this one, it’s seriously more a Renee book than a Lois one, plus, he tosses in a character from Checkmate in Jessica Midnight...oh for a series in which Lois has some agency. It makes no sense telling Superman she doesn’t need protection when Renee is basically her bodyguard.

And did you have any idea just how Lois knew there had been a raid?

Told you that nun wasn’t Lois!