Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Butch Guice
Publisher: DC Comics
What DC Says About The Book: Part 2 of the 6-part "New Maps of Hell," written by Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Ocean) with art by Butch Guice (Ruse, Olympus)! While Lois Lane investigates a string of suicides at LexCorp, the JLA must contend with several sudden emergencies — all of which begin with an unexplained explosion and end with a mysterious glowing object.
The Review: Last issue had some great fun pages with great dialogue. We had a very funny Perry White and some wonderful banter between Lois and Clark. Very dry and witty – I didn’t know dry wit existed in American Comics, let alone the DC Universe!
Anyway… onto this issue and the “game is a foot, dear Watson." This issue presents some more dry wit and humorous lines from Lois & Clark, my favourite being when Clark pulls open his shirt to reveal his Superman Uniform and Lois quips, “I’m not sewing the buttons back on that” to which Superman relies as he flies out the window, “Only because you can’t sew” and Lois ends with “Shut up.” This is great! Lois and Clark as "reporters" work together on the Lexcorp suicides, a sassy confident Lois and a Clark Kent who gives "as good as he gets" – you can feel the sexual tension between the two. I think this is actually some of the best Lois/Clark/Superman dialogue presented in a long time. Who ever said "once they are married it kills the story"???
If something is apparent in this issue it’s that writer Warren Ellis is having fun (either that or he can’t be arsed and in response is just doing whatever he wants with this story). Batman calls Alfred to alert the emergency services “The bar I just tracked my perp to just exploded – which was irritating” – more wit and dry humour. My fear is that the American readers won’t get some of his? (All my American relatives don’t think I am funny… it’s the dry wit and humour I think. Hey Warren, you live in Essex… so do I, maybe that’s the connection). The flash(get it)back between Wally West first meeting Barry Allen is funny as well. In fact, most of the dialogue scenes are humour orientated, and they feel very natural. The use of The Flash’s powers here are excellent, a good action scene!
This story works because of its minimalist dialogue. Tension is built by exciting action scenes with very little dialogue and the tension is then broken by Ellis’ dialogue and humour.
Because of the majority of the book presents action disaster scenes featuring the big boys of the Justice League, A LOT of the credit for this issue must go to Butch Guice who delivers exciting panels that flow and tell the story without the dialogue. Some really strong work here from Guice especially the splash page of Superman; you can really feel the excitement as he flies through Metropolis as people stare and cheer. The Flash scene is also very well executed by Guice.
As with most multi-part stories at the moment, the second part usually feels like filler. This is no exception here, BUT it is quality filler and exciting filler, so all is forgiven, and the story does more on a little. I have no doubt that this is going to be a great story when we get to read all six parts together.
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