Given that in the New 52, Lois Lane is no longer Superman’s wife and also not even working alongside Clark Kent, it does make sense that she’s not played that much of a role in the character’s adventures. But even though it makes sense, it’s not been for the best, as Lois Lane is a good character, and with this one-shot, she is given her chance to shine, and for us to find out just that bit more about what the new Lois is like. I was impressed by Marguerite Bennett’s Lobo story during Villain’s Month, and she tells another good story here, giving Lois, and her sister Lucy some real depth. It’s not amazing or anything, but it’s better than a lot of the Superman comics we’ve had lately.
The story here sees Lois roped into a mystery by Lucy, who comes to her house late at night in tears because her ‘roommate’ (it’s strongly implied, but not outright said that Lucy and Amanda are lovers, which is a nice subtle bit of writing from Bennett, as well as a metaphor for the drug users having to pretend to be something else.) has been captured by a mysterious ‘Cartel’ for using some kind of experimental drug she was given in the hospital. Lois, who basically raised Lucy after their mother’s death agrees to help, and she sets off to do what she does best, investigate. We get a cameo from Jimmy Olsen, which is always welcome, and after following the trail of this drug, Lois eventually finds her way into the Cartel’s base, where she finds out just what’s been going on.
The drug is made from an alien fungus that, when initially ingested, cures illnesses and wounds, but after a while, it starts absorbing particles from other animals around the person, and transforming them into weird hybrids, or changelings. I kind of think this might be Bennett re-writing the weird transformation stories that Lois, Lucy and Jimmy were often involved in back in the Silver Age, but with a modern twist, which is cool.
As I said, Bennett gives Lois and her sister depth here, and she does that by exploring their back-story as Army Brats dragged around the world by their father, and showing how they had their own unique language (which might explain Lois’ terrible spelling? I love that they brought in that trait from Margot Kidder’s portrayal) and what their relationship with both General Lane and their ailing mother was like. There’s also some depth given to Lucy by how the truth about what really went on comes out. Lois rescues Amanda, and flies out on what she thinks is Lucy and Amanda’s cat, but it actually turns out to just be Lucy herself. Amanda wasn’t sick, she wasn’t given the drug by an evil Doctor, nope, she and Lucy are just drug users. Yep, a more modern take on the Silver Age transformation stories for sure.
In addition to developing the Lane sisters, Bennett also introduces an interesting new character ‘Agent’ who was working clean-up for this science Cartel. He and Lois have an interesting chat, where she agrees not to reveal the truth about what happened. I’d certainly be interested in seeing him again, but I suppose, with Wraith and Ghost Soldier, the Superman books already have plenty of shadowy government dudes.
The only real problem with this book is the art, as there are 4 different pencilers involved, so it felt rather disjointed, but taken on their own, the Emanuela Lupacchino and Ig Guara pages were very good. This was, overall, an enjoyable story that has me wanting to read more Lois stories from Bennett, there’s a lot more to go on with Lois and Lucy’s relationship, and as I said ‘Agent’ is intriguing. It was also a great example of how strong a character Lois Lane is away from Superman, who barely appears in this issue, and even when he does, is ineffectual.