Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s weekly single issue review roundup. This week sees a duo of books from top-tier creative teams, but with different results.
Lois Lane #2 (DC Comics)
(w) Greg Rucka (a) Mike Perkins (c) Paul Mounts
If I‘m being honest with you – which I always am – Lois Lane would never be on a list of characters I would read a solo run about. Throughout the years she has never been in the limelight for investigative prowess, or her journalistic skills. In most cases she is just around because of her relationship to the Man of Steel. But she shot up on that made up list once finishing Lois Lane #2.
Greg Rucka writes Lois as the badass investigative journalist that she is – she takes no shit and needs no Superman; the way Lois should be written. In the previous issue Lois learns of the apparent suicide of Mariska and asks The Question (Renee Montoya) to help her investigate. Not surprisingly the duo make a damn fine team, playing off of each other greatly in their scenes when they are together. It makes me want a Lois Lane and The Question team up book.
Through multiple newscasts Lois’ relationships with others is brought up consistently showing how these news shows focus on the entertainment and not the actual news happening. Kind of like what we have going on now huh? The art by Mike Perkins is great in most cases but when panels focus on characters faces it loses its touch looking off and muddy at times. But when showing a crime scene or the few amount of fight scenes Perkins art works well for the type of story Rucka is telling.
With toned down colors that help carry the theme Paul Mounts helps make Lois Lane #2 feel moody when the time comes or bright when Lois is out during the day. Most of the issue takes place either indoors our during the night so Mount doesn’t get to play with bright colors much but the few colors seen work out great making the story feel real.
Lois Lane #2 is a great second issue that adds on to the plot keeping it interesting and showing how great a journalism based Lois Lane story can truly be. With it’s only downfall being characters faces about points.
- Jason Jeffords Jr
Berserker Unbound #1 (Dark Horse)
(w) Jeff Lemire (a) Mike Deodato Jr. (c) Frank Martin
This project from a great creative team is being published under the Dark Horse Originals line, which is a bit of a misnomer as there is very little that is truly original about this. A warrior from the past finds himself lost in time, mysteriously transported to our present. Sounds pretty familiar to readers of Valiant’s X-O Manowar or the modern adventures of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian. And with a standard length issue to tell their story, Berserker Unbound #1 from writer Jeff Lemire and Mike Deodato Jr. does very little to differentiate itself from those other books.
Taken on its own, Lemire’s story is serviceable. He introduces readers to the titular berserker, the Mongrel King, and gets him into the present day after a significant number of action-heavy pages. In truth, readers will likely have to wait until the second issue drops to fairly assess their interest in the overall series. That’s placing a major burden on readers in an increasingly competitive medium, where several new titles are released each week.
The real selling point of this issue is the art by Mike Deodato Jr.. Deodato, a longtime mainstay at Marvel, shocked the industry by announcing his departure to pursue creator-owned works. The change in scenery seems to have done him good, as the art in Berserker Unbound #1 is some of the best he’s ever produced. While the script does very little to tell a story, it does enable Deodato to be just as unleashed as the Berserker. His action is very fluid and kinetic in its composition, while characters and settings are detailed without being busy.
For a beautiful looking, action-heavy title, Berserker Unbound #1 is worth picking up. But if story matters, then it’s best to leave it.
- Daniel Gehen