I'm not often surprised by comics anymore. The older you get, the more you see the same story told a different way. Sometimes this is for shock value. Other times there is a legitimate story telling trope that needs to be played out. The more things change, the more they stay the same kinda a thing.
Imagine my surprise when I was... well, surprised.
Metropolis has a problem. It's a good problem to have, though. There are allot of super people flying around saving the day in the wake of Superman's death. Lex has proclaimed himself Superman. Another Superman seemingly came out of nowhere and contests this assertion. Even a new person who seems to be calling herself Superwoman (which might be confusing because there was already a Superwoman, an alternate reality Lois Lane, who was impregnated by Ultraman and is actually a super-villain). The world is abuzz with speculation, especially after Doomsday wrecked much of Metropolis... again.
It is interesting to see that the two closest people to Clark Kent (literal proximity and figurative friendship), working together. Lana Lang and Lois Lane have often been seen as romantic rivals of Clarks. Lana is a brilliant engineer and owns the old Kent farm. Lois wears smart heels and is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. The to have little in common other than the late Superman. And that they both have a secret.
Lois knows that Lana was the one that helped Clark hone his powers growing up. Lois seems to have some of supernatural abilities that Superman had. She is seeks Lana's help to control them. She wants Lana to take a job at a rival news outlet and be their technology reporter, maybe wanting her to be the new Jimmy Olsen. She believes Lana can help keep Clark's legacy alive.
The only problem is, other than the fact that neither of them really like each other, is that Lana also seems to have some of Superman's abilities. When Superman contained the the powerful explosion that ultimately killed him, both Lana and Lois where struck by energy flowing out of him that
So when one of Lex Luther's press events goes sideways, as they often do. His latest invention, a battleship, goes out of control. What's worse, is that Lex's super suit seems to be not working. He can only look on as Lois swoops in to save the day while Lana is playing her new role as reporter. The situation quickly becomes more than what just one Superwoman can handle. Superwomen show up to ultimately try to save the day.
But it seems that Lex had been hiding something inside his newest project, and the science team he assembled has paid the price for it with their lives. Both Superwomen are ambushed by a mysterious woman who seems to have just just as much power as either of the two Superwomen. In a heroic move to save Lana's life, we find out why the comic has singular and not a plural in the title. Lois sacrifices herself to save her Clark Kent's best friend.
I was not expecting this. I was not expecting how good this would be. I was not expecting all the references to beloved comics of years past. I was not expecting the two hero twist. I was not expecting the ultimate sacrifice in the first issue. Yet, while I wasn't expecting it, it all makes perfect sense and fits together nicely.
Take "New 52" Lois for instance. Her and Clark were really never together, Clark seemed to love Diana and Lois respected that... to a degree. However, Lois also outed Clark's identity as Superman to the world, which rocked him to the core and was something she and he could never come back from. Also, the Lois Lane and Clark Kent from a pre-Flashpoint Earth has been hiding out in this post-Convergence world. Having another Lois without Clark Kent maybe interesting what-if, but I don't see it working for the overall continuity. Jimenez gave her a fitting send off; following in Clark's footsteps and sacrificing herself.
Phil Jimenez not only wrote this story but handles a good amount of the art in this book too, leaning on Matt Santorelli when needed. Jimenez crams so much into this first issue that it felt like I was reading TP instead of a single. This isn't an easy feat, and one I have to commend him on. The art is just as amazing as the story: full of action and drama.
I very much look forward to seeing how Lana reacts to everything that has transpired. I feel we have the making of great, and much better than the original, Dawn of Supermen/women.
Rating: 9.5/10 Physicist Angering Lines