Superwoman #2 Review: Where’s Lois Lane?


Superwoman  was advertised as a Lois Lane comic book. The New 52 Lois got superpowers when the New 52 Superman died, and now she was ready to take to the skies to defend and protect Metropolis as Superwoman. I was intrigued. It wasn’t the Lois Lane comic I was hoping for; I’d rather see her tracking down scoops and taking down bad guys at the Daily Planet. But I was on board, especially with Phil Jimenez writing and drawing it and Emanuela Lupacchino subbing in on art occasionally. It was a stellar team with a new, different take on Lois, and I was excited for it. Turns out, that’s not was Superwoman was about at all. We’ll discuss, but first:


I am going to disclose a number of shocking reveals!

So the first issue was fine for a while. It had a lot of Lana Lang, but I didn’t mind too much. I knew that she’d be working with Lois, and I was excited to see them grow from rivals and often adversaries into partners and friends. Then we learned that Lana has superpowers too, and again I didn’t mind too much. All the better for rad team ups! I liked the idea of dual Superwomen fighting evil. Then Lois was killed at the end of the issue, or at least it looked that way. It’s a comic book, so I was wary. I’m used to fake out cliffhanger endings, so while I was concerned, I was hoping it would all be a trick and the gals would be back together in the next issue.

But no. Lois is dead.

Real dead too. She straight up disintegrated in the opening pages of the second issue, leaving a grieving Lana to carry on as a superhero on her own. Luckily she’s got a good support system with John Henry Irons and his niece Natasha, two characters I quite like. But Lois is gone, and that means so am I.

Now, Superwoman isn’t a bad comic. Jimenez’s artwork is great, as always, and the series has got a lot of good characters in the mix. The first two issues have been a bit overstuffed, which has affected the pacing of the issues and the readability of the art at times but it is, on its own merits, a decent book. If it was advertised as the Lana Lang comic it is, I probably would have checked it out. I’m not a huge Lana fan, but she’s a character with potential and elevating her to a superhero role after decades trapped being a romantic rival is kind of cool. That’s a good hook on its own.

But instead we got this bait and switch, and with every page my main thought was, “Where’s Lois?” My frustration at the death of the lead character I was promised trumped whatever level of enjoyment I got from the comic itself. A Lois Lane comic book is LONG overdue. She hasn’t had a solo series since Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane ended in 1974, but she’s been a mainstay in the DC universe in every medium for over 75 years now. She should have her own series, preferably with a better title than her old one. To promise this book and then not deliver it is both insulting and disappointing.

Even worse is killing her off in the process. Lois gets killed a lot, especially over the last decade or so. Offing her, for real or not, to create anguish for Superman has become a common trope used again and again by bad writers, and now she’s been offed to create anguish for Lana. Moreover, the New 52 Lois had a terrible run. Since the 2011 relaunch, she’s been sidelined and forgotten, and this new series felt like redemption after years of poor treatment. Instead, Superwoman fell into the same old patterns straight away.

Lois could yet come back, of course. It’s comics, after all; nobody stays dead and Jimenez seems to be teasing something. Plus, why introduce her just to kill her off so quick? There may be a longer plan at work here. But I’ve got no time for it. I really don’t understand DC’s thinking here. Why involve Lois at all, and especially why advertise it as a Lois book in the first place? If the plan is to kill her off for good, you’re only upsetting Lois fans. If the plan is to “kill her off” and then bring her back later, all of the Lois fans will have already jumped ship by the time you do so. No matter how you slice it, the way DC set up this series is just ridiculous.

Lois Lane is the First Lady of the DC universe. She is as brave and heroic and compelling as any of those folks with the masks and the capes, and she deserves some time in the spotlight. Whether she’s dead or “dead,” Lois’s depiction in Superwoman has been yet another in a long list of comics that have treated her poorly. We don’t need more of those. I’m done with the series, and this will be my last review of it. I like Jimenez and Lupacchino, and I like Lana, John, and Natasha, but I love Lois Lane, and any book that kills her off to further someone else’s plot is a book that I’m just not interested in.

Published by Tim Hanley

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound, Investigating Lois Lane, The Many Lives of Catwoman, and Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale.

6 thoughts on “Superwoman #2 Review: Where’s Lois Lane?

  1. This is a good review.

    @Jan Arrah, I don’t think the issue here is that Lana is going to be a “hero” and I personally thought the nod to the Insect Queen was cute. The issue is that Lois Lane deserves a solo book. More than Lana Lang. I don’t feel bad saying that. It’s true. Lois Lane is the female star of this franchise. She has carried her own TV show for god’s sake. She has successful YA novels. It is obscene that the Superman office refuses to give her the spotlight she deserves. It’s insulting. Lois is an icon and she gets basically scraps. Meanwhile, Lana (a fine character but one with nowhere near the fanbase, gravitas etc) gets handed this solo book? In a bait and a switch? It’s gross and mean. I understand that Phil Jimenez may have a long term plan here but the execution of this is TERRIBLE. Also, if we are going to quibble then fine…let Lana be the insect Queen. She shouldn’t get to have the title “Superwoman.” Lois LAne is Superwoman. She was the first Superman in the 1940’s. She was Superwoman in All Star Superwoman. Her sister held the title at one point again tying it to her family. If someone is going to be Superwoman, I think Lois has earned that.

  2. @Darci, I’m sure Tim knows that there is another Lois in Action and Superman with her son. And that’s all well and great. I’m glad the Super marriage is back personally and I love the kid. But the issue here is that the new 52 version of Lois Lane was unfairly maligned for YEARS. This was a chance for her to finally have some justice. Before the new 52 Superman died, he had an entire arc dedicated to his “death” and he had time to reflect on his life and his pain. His Lois counterpart got…what? One issue where she wasn’t even the narrator? An issue told totally from Lana’s POV where she was viewed through the eyes of a woman who didn’t even like her? The new 52 Lois Lane deserved way better than that. I think everyone knows that, at some point, there will only be one Superman and Lois. But, as per usual, he got narrative devoted to his feelings and she got nothing. Also, her page time in Superman and Action right now is abysmal.

  3. A thought.

    Just because a character is ‘dead’, it doesn’t mean that it stops being their story. Furthermore, considering this is the genre of comics, just because a character is ‘dead’, it doesn’t mean that they are actually *dead.* Jimenez has repeatedly stated that Lois’ story isn’t over yet- and considering that in another Title (SPOILER) we have just seen Tim Drake apparently get killed, only to have been captured by Mr. Oz while everybody else believes he is dead for god?

    That brings up a lot of possibilities about where Lois is, and what is actually going on. Especially her cryptic last words?

    I have a hunch Lois is going to come back in this story, and when she does she is going to play a very key part in unraveling the false universe in a similar way to how Wonder Woman is set to unravel The Lies.

    Gandalf died, and then he got better and came back kicking ass. Why not Lois? 😉

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