Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Mike Perkins
Colors by: Gabe Eltaeb
Greg Rucka continues his solid run on the grounded, noir styled Lois Lane. The combination of investigative journalism and detective work fits nicely with Rucka’s writing and the shadowy artwork of Mike Perkins and Gabe Eltaeb. Unfortunately, the praise is balanced by criticism of a significant out-of-character moment that mires down an otherwise strong title.
The issue is filled with moments where Renee Montoya, as both herself and The Question, is looking out for Lois personally and professionally. Montoya even goes out of her way to stop a photographer from taking a picture of her and Superman. Rucka has portrayed Montoya as an intelligent and aware individual and detective through this run and his many writings with the Gotham police force. All of that character building is tossed aside for a flirtatious moment that is at best in service to a plot device, and at worst at generalization. Panels after Renee has a dialogue about looking out for Lois, she is depicted as melting and flirting with an attractive new housekeeper. Even as Lois mentions that this new blond housekeeper replaced the person she had for months, neither of these strong female characters questions the suspiciousness of this individual.
For a comic that trades in the detective genre to not acknowledge an unknown individual in the world with Leviathan and other secret organizations is a disappointment. Not providing these two strong characters the awareness to recognize a change in pattern, cheapens the storytelling work Rucka has built over the last six issues. Lois and Montoya have each experienced enough loss and double-crosses not to trust individuals. Lois’s ability to question rather than trust is part of what has created her character over the years. Montoya’s detective work and willingness to question gave raise to her alter ego, The Question. Both characters toss these traits aside to service the plot rather than the characters.
Beyond that brief, out of character depiction, Rucka, Perkins, and Eltaeb create an excellent comic. The Superman interaction is a nice nod to the current revelations around Clark Kent and his alter-ego. The ongoing plot in Rucka’s run continues to get additional teases and developments. The highlight of this issue is the artwork by Perkins and Eltaeb Eltaeb’s use of color and shadows captures the noir feel perfect and continues to create a strong identity for this book.
In spite of the unnecessary plot device, Rucka and the creative team craft an enjoyable and well-paced chapter in the ongoing detective story. Readers will see this as a filler chapter in an otherwise strong run.