There are massive spoilers ahead for the first issue of DC’s Superwoman #1! Don’t read this review unless you absolutely want to know what’s going on in the title and the big twists. You’ve been warned!
“Who is Superwoman?” She’s not who you were expecting. For months, DC has teased the New 52’s Lois Lane as the new Superwoman, and she makes her second appearance in that new role here in the first issue of her ongoing series. But the first twist is that Lois isn’t the only Superwoman. Sharp eyed DC fans noticed that both Lana Lang and Lois were zapped by the energies of the dying New 52 Superman. And while Lois received the bulk of Superman’s powers, Lana has essentially gained Electro-Superman powers. She’s the other Superwoman!
Superwoman #1 is very much Lana’s story, which makes a lot of sense by the time you get to the end of the issue. But we loved the dynamic between Lois and Lana as they formed a new partnership even though they don’t really like each other. Prior to this issue, DC was accused of pretty shamelessly lifting the premise behind the Jane Foster as Thor series that Marvel has published for the last few years. And while there are some similarities between the two Superwomen and Thor, the actual Superwoman comic doesn’t read like a ripoff of Jason Aaron’s work. Writer Phil Jimenez finds this book’s voice very quickly, and he does a very good job with the two leading characters.
But that pales in comparison to the job that Jimenez did as the artist for this book. When Jimenez is on his game, his pages are simply gorgeous. There have almost always been fans who say that Jimenez’s style is too close to George Perez’s technique, but Jimenez brings a lot of his own touches to the art. He’s not simply a Perez clone. If Jimenez has a drawback as an artist, it’s his tendency to put a ridiculously high number of panels on his pages. It makes some of the pages a little bit too busy, which distracts from the beauty of Jimenez’s line work. Inker Matt Santorelli and colorist Jeromy Cox also deserve shout outs for making this issue look good.
Now, we’ve reached your absolute last chance to avoid the issue’s biggest spoiler. Seriously, you might want to stop reading now. This issue ends on a Thunderbolts #1 level twist, and we mean the original Thunderbolts! Not the current book.
On the last page of the issue, Lois Lane/Superwoman apparently dies, leaving Lana Lang as the one and only Superwoman going forward. In superhero comics, death can be easily reversed. But this one reads like it’s going to stick because DC already has a non-superpowered Lois Lane in the other Superman books. The other reason is that Lois’ death really puts the screws to Lana, who didn’t even want to be Superwoman. Now that Lana is also a TV reporter, she has the classic ’70s Superman setup of being in the spotlight in both of her personas. This could be a lot of fun.
We have to give DC credit for not blowing the surprises of Superwoman #1 ahead of time. This was a really fun read, and we’re very eager to see where Jimenez takes it.
RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 BURRITOS
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Images: DC Comics