In general, I love the work of Greg Rucka, and the man has a knack for writing determined female characters. He’s a guy who, if he takes over a book that somehow lacks a major female character, will add one, and many of the series he starts on his own have female protagonists. There was also a time when he was writing all three of DC’s Big Three in a book, something that hadn’t happened since Denny O’Neil did it long before I was born.
Point is, having Rucka on a Lois Lane miniseries, subtitled Enemy of the People, should be right up his alley.
Lois Lane is working in Chicago on a big story. She had, at some point, been photographed kissing Superman despite being a married woman. Granted, most people don’t know she wasn’t cheating for this story (yes, I am aware Superman revealed his double identity at one point), but for the time being, she and Clark concluded it was a good idea for her to work somewhere else for a while until the heat dies down. Lois does have someone to do her legwork and protect her if necessary in the form of Renee Montoya, the Question. Beyond that, Lois just has her wits as she does her job, getting regular nocturnal visits from Clark and checking in to Perry White, who constantly tells her how bad her spelling is when she files stories.
Now, this is Rucka’s writing in familiar territory, so there’s a lot to like. The general relationship between Clark and Lois works as he trusts her to stay safe but sometimes can’t help but fly in after something has happened. It’s always nice to see Renee Montoya, and she even has a meet-up with her mentor Vic Sage, a man who is not as dead as he once appeared to be. Lois finds herself getting kicked out of the White House Press Pool after she challenges a Sarah Huckabee-Sanders stand-in from the looks of things (I’m basing that on the fact the woman has a triple name and the general time this book came out), and she looks into some huge story, one that got a Russian journalist colleague killed already.
So, why did this fall flat?
Much of that comes from the fact Rucka is working around whatever is happening in the main Superman books at the time. That means one of the 12 issues is a reaction due to events in the Event Leviathan crossover, an issue that added nothing to the overall story. There was likewise a large chunk of another chapter that had now-teenage Jon Kent come by to say he was leaving to spend time with the Legion of Superheroes. These moments connect Lois to what was going on in the other books, but it doesn’t really do anything for her own story.
But the bigger issue for me is the fact that Lois’s story, well…when it finally comes out what she’s working on, I could not for the life of me understand how a journalist could report something like that. It would seem to be something that can’t really be verified even if it is a somewhat common idea to DC Universe lore. That people were willing to kill for it and she could prove it in a newspaper just broke my suspension of disbelief. That was 12 issues to get to something that, well, didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Yeah, this was disappointing.
7 out of 10 faceless killers.