Review: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1

The intrepid reporter finds herself behind Amazon lines, trying to get the truth out to the world of Flashpoint.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Lois Lane and the Resistance #1

When the tie-in titles for Flashpoint were first announced, the one that caught my attention the most wasn't the Dread Pirate Deathstroke or Evil Boss Aquaman, but Lois Lane and the Resistance.  Say what you will about the DCnU splitting up Lois and Clark Kent – compare it to Peter Parker selling his marriage to Mary Jane Watson to Satan if you will – but bull-headed hard news investigative journalist Lois Lane stands ten times the chance of being compelling on her own than supermodel B-movie star MJ ever could.  Freeing her of marital entanglements could only serve to help the cause of putting Lois in the thick of things without the safety net that is Superman.

With that in mind… Lois Lane and the Resistance!  That sounds like a big, juicy bit of storytelling waiting to happen, doesn't it?  A reporter who doesn't take crap from anybody, working behind enemy lines as part of an insurgency against an oppressive threat – that's the kinda Lois Lane book that would make a great read.  Unfortunately, the first issue in this series doesn't quite bring it home, possibly because Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning might be spreading themselves too thin.  Those guys are everywhere these days.

While Lois may have it over MJ as far as careers go, the ol' Jackpot gets hers by at least having an iconic look.  When Mary Jane is in a book, you usually know who you're looking at.  Somehow, Lois doesn't seem to have that, despite her enduring presence as the First Lady of Comics, so to speak.  I've found I usually need to wait for dialog to denote that she's in whatever story I'm reading at the time.  In this issue, it's especially confusing, because after opening with news reports about the Themyscira/Atlantis conflict, artist Eddie Nunez gives us a tall, statuesque woman with ridiculously large boobs in a white dress that looks a hell of a lot like the traditional Amazonian garb.  In short, it took me a minute to figure out why Wonder Woman was kvetching at Perry White.

I believe there was an issue of Superman several years ago, I think around the Joe Kelly run, that showed a privately insecure Lois Lane lamenting her somewhat-less-than-voluptuous body after Wonder Woman shows up outside to steal Kal-El away on some super-mission.  The point being that Lois Lane is not Wonder Woman, and should not ever be mistaken for her, Mr. Nunez and all other artists that might make this mistake.  Well, that, and also that Clark Kent isn't particularly concerned with physical attributes, Lois, and don't be so hard on yourself.  Hopefully, the reboot can make a little headway on this front, and give Ms. Lane a recognizable look that lives up to her famous name.

Anyway, you should know to ignore the cover of this issue as well, since not only are none of the other characters in this issue at all, but Lois also never wears anything that practical, nor does she pack heat.  Instead, she's covering a fashion show in Paris, much to her chagrin as "a serious reporter, Perry!" (and honestly, that particular turn of phrase feels dated somehow, for serious), when Aquaman decides to flood Europe, drowning Jimmy Olsen and millions of others in the process.

Lois survives at the top of a tower, where she's rescued by the Amazons and taken to New Themyscira, which is a vastly reshaped landscape that was once Great Britain before the Furies conquered it.  She also learns that Olsen was a secret contact for American National Security Advisor Cyborg, so she takes his place as their mole on the inside for months, reporting a steady stream of intel about the Amazon indoctrination process, including the revelation that there are mad scientists involved trying to convert normal human female converts into superhumans of their power level, with a pretty high failure-to-monster rate.  Needless to say, she hoofs it first chance she gets, and doesn't meet up with any "Resistance" until the end of issue #1 of 3.

With their sheer volume of work coming out lately for all sorts of different companies, one can forgive some inconsistency from DnA.  The writers have a great concept and setup here, but it's all exposition to this point, and we can only hope that's not going to be the case for the whole miniseries.  It's possible that it's Nunez and his general rendering of Lois as looking wide-eyed and vapid despite her dialog that makes this issue feel so much like it's missing the weight a good Lois Lane On The Job story should have, or maybe it's the far-fetched setting of the Flashpoint geopolitical landscape that makes it seem so unreal.  Either way, it doesn't quite have the necessary oomph just yet.  

Will the fact that Lois Lane is trying to bring down Wonder Woman's regime be a sign of what's ahead for these two women in the DCnU?  Will they be reduced to Betty and Veronica to Super-Archie?  If so, which one of them will have to go blonde?  Oy, let's just hope it's not so.  Instead, let's cross our fingers for a realistically-rendered intrepid reporter engaging in the legit journalism that's so conspicuously absent from the media landscape these days.  Let's hope she gets the chance to carry her own series sometime soon, as it could provide us a very unique perspective on the DCnU, as well as maybe giving Jimmy Olsen the chance with her that he's dreamed of without needing that pocket full of kryptonite the Spin Doctors kept talking about. 

In the meantime, let's root for the series we do have to find its footing and make the case for an independent Lois Lane.