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Lois Lane #4 Review: Extraordinary Circumstances

How can ordinary people make a difference? That is the question.

What if superheroes lived among us?  What if people with extraordinary abilities, gifts in all aspects of human existence, were a part of everyday life?  How would we compete? That’s the question people of the DC Universe have to ask themselves every day.  That’s something Lois Lane has to live with every day, and yet she excels.  Lois Lane offers a unique perspective of an ordinary human put into the most extraordinary circumstances who achieves greatness despite not having any powers.  Her superpower? Drive, passion, and the quest for truth.  Her weakness? Spelling.  Lois Lane may not be “super” in the sense of having powers, but she is a hero in each and every sense.  Using her ability to ask the right and tough questions, her willingness to what it takes, and her connections to others who can enforce real change, Lois Lane saves the world in her own way every day.

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We may not all be world renowned reporters, but Greg Rucka, Mike Perkins, Paul Mounts, and Simon Bowland never cease to make Lois Lane relatable in the face of the extraordinary.  The very first see we see in Lois Lane #4 is an embarrassing-turned-heartfelt moment between a mother and her son.  It’s awkward, endearing, and leads to a great moment.  Perkins does a great job of making his settings and background elaborate and beautiful to look at while also making the characters pop out.  Some artists draw characters in ways that make them feel posed, but with Perkins, each panel feels like a candid photo.  This really adds to the intimate moment of the scene.  Isn’t it great that among all of the big, earth-shattering events going on in the DC Universe, Rucka and Perkins aren’t afraid to get small?  They’re at Gino’s East in Chicago at 4am.  It’s something to make you chuckle and think about relationships in your life that may not be too different, even though we aren’t related to Superman.  The relatability continues as Lois does something many parents fear: She sends her son to live on his own.  Not at college like a normal son, but a super team one thousand years in the future, but hey, same thing right?

Rucka structures the book in a relatively simple and classic manner with a straightforward A plot and B plot, both sharing almost equal weight.  It’s particularly effective for this series because one plot describes how everyday humans can survive and thrive living in a world of superheroes while the other plot shows that just because Lois is surrounded by situations we can’t even imagine doesn’t mean she isn’t one of us. The transitions between the two stories are seamless thanks to Perkins and Mounts.  They both begin in a restaurant setting, and the color palettes are also very similar with the including warmer oranges that draw attention to the conversation the two Questions are having, and it is an awkward one.  Remember the last time Renee and Vic were in the same book?  Remember the last time we saw Vic at all before Bendis?  It was a long time ago, 52 to be exact, and Vic died.  It’s safe to say this conversation is a bit of a trip, very awkward, and everything Question fans have been asking for years. Rucka hits it out of the park with the important and personal line, “You’re my friend, you’re Renee Montoya… and you’re my legacy.”  That’s all we need for the waterworks to start, and that’s all we need to stay on board.  Lois Lane #4  is an intimate character study on some of the most important relationships in the DC Universe and some of the most seemingly ordinary individuals who always seem to find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Is it good?
Rucka, Perkins, Mounts, and Bowland shine a light on characters who may not be super, but are definitely heroes in and around the DC Universe
Rucka is able to explore two very important kinds of relationships through Lois and her son, and Renee and Vic.
Rucka also does a phenomenal job balancing both Questions, making sure to highlight Renee while also paying a lot of respect to Vic.
Paul Mounts has an excellent urban color palette that makes every scene its own while certain color threads exist throughout the whole issue.
Perkins's art is spectacular, making the characters look and feel honest in these very personal situations.
The relationships and lives of the four main characters in this issue were so interesting that the main mystery didn't really matter.

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