“Answer the Question” (Lois Lane #1 Comic Review)
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Mike Perkins
Cover Artist: Mike Perkins
Variant Cover: Jenny Frison
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Simon Bowland
*GENERAL WARNING FOR SLIGHT SPOILERS*
Lois Lane is on the warpath and in this issue, she’s taking aim at the corrupt political establishment and the silencing of journalists.
Lois is informed by Perry White that a Russian colleague, Mariska Voronova, has seemingly been committed suicide. Perry is dubious about whether or not that may be the case but is ultimately non-committal in his opinion.
Lois, however, knows it wasn’t suicide. Voronova was assassinated.
She just needs to prove it.
She meets with a faceless woman in a fedora in a parking garage (RENEE MONTOYA REINTRODUCED AS THE QUESTION?!) who Lois sends of to Russia to act as an agent.
After steamy and sexy times with Clark, Lois stomps into the White House Press Room and takes on the dismissive and dishonest White House Press Secretary Lee-Ann McCarthy (totally not Sarah Hucka-San) over the abhorrent practice of family separation and how various companies have paid individual members of the administration in exchange for the granting of contracts to build internment camps.
When pressing McCarthy to answer her questions, Lois is ejected from the Press Room and has her credentials revoked.
Instead of being intimidated, she smirks and walks out like a badass.
WHAT MARY HAS TO SAY:
HOLY CRAP, Y’ALL!
LOIS LANE IS THE HERO WE NEED BUT DON’T DESERVE
Rucka and Perkins came out swinging with this issue. Rucka takes on a string of current political issues including the abhorrent internment of migrant families, child separation, dishonest White House staff, the Russian government assassinating journalists, and the silencing of journalists in the US.
Rucka, and by extension Lois Lane, take no prisoners in this issue. Rucka has never shied away from tackling heavy political issues or current topics, but the way Rucka presents the aforementioned issues are so straight forward and blunt that they don’t feel brought up purely for shock value or are a bungled attempt at being “woke.” (As some other comics have lately…)
HERE IS WHERE I SLIP WAY TOO FAR INTO THEORY/SPECULATION
PLEASE BEAR WITH ME
Lois, when arranging to speak to who we all know is Renee Montoya as The Question, (if it isn’t Renee as The Question I will eat my hat) says that their meeting is a “Full Woodward.”
The two then meet in a parking garage and Lois goes into a bit of a speech where she draws a comparison of their meeting to the meeting between Bob Woodward, one of the Washington Post journalists who broke the Watergate Scandal, and Mark Felt, an associate director of the FBI — better known as “Deep Throat,” where Felt leaked information is regards to Nixon’s involvement in the scandal.
Lois then says: [In relation to Woodward and Felt] “They both rely on the acquisition of facts that been hidden. They both rely on analysis of these facts. The difference is that one –arguably–is concerned with the truth where the other isn’t. In the end, though, both are in the pursuit of answers, though, what’s done with those answers is another matter entirely.”
I think this bit here draws a more interesting and in-depth parallel than we realize. This is a clear indication that Lois and Totally-Not-Renee have very different motivations and how it may relate to this information, but when analyzing it in perspective of the Woodward/Felt dynamic it may become something else.
There have been varied and wild speculation about Felt’s motives for leaking the information to Woodward. Some suggested that it was revenge for President Nixon’s choosing someone over Felt to replace J. Edgar Hoover as FBI Director. Others have suggested that Felt acted out of loyalty to the FBI.
However, the most interesting one for me is the case made by journalist Max Holland. In the 2012 book Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat, Holland argued that Felt leaked the information in an attempt to become head of the FBI.
The idea of Felt having self-serving motives becomes interesting when you think about Lois and Totally-Not-Renee.
These two characters are not known for being self-serving, but Rucka likes to invert certain narratives. Now, the suggestion of Lois or Totally-Not-Renee wanting to seize power borders on character assassination, but there are 11 issues left and many more players have yet to enter, but Rucka’s body of work has proven one thing time and again, there is a deep meaning to every bit of dialogue.
Rucka doesn’t use throwaway lines. Whether this becomes a red herring or this is indicative of something else, this is just a fun rabbit hole I went down when reading this issue.
Now, I’m starting to go a little too off the rails, but I love Greg and his writing. It always gets me thinking. (It also doesn’t help that he injects political ethics and theory into his work and I was a Political Science major in college sooooo…)
Outside of over-inflated opinions about the plot and script, Perkins’ art deserves all of the praise here. His art, along with Paul Mounts detailed but muted colors, give the issue a bit of an old school noir vibe which absolutely helps set the tone for the book. (Shout out to Jenny Frison’s variant cover which puts Lois in an old school noir press getup.)
This book has me so ridiculously hyped that words can’t describe. We’re only one issue in and I have already said publicly that this book is the spiritual successor to Rucka’s critically acclaimed and cult favorite book Gotham Central. He brings that same combination of gritty realism, engaging plot, and expert character work to this book.
Just…throw all the money at this book. I don’t say this a lot because it sounds silly sometimes, but if you don’t read this book then you’re absolutely missing out.
I mean, hey, I don’t give Perfect 10s out all willy-nilly. (This is only my 3rd.)