strejdaking asked:

Have you read Lois Lane mini from 1986? What do you think about it? Thank you. BTW, sorry for askign about Batman, I didn't know you didn't want to do these anymore.

Oh no it’s cool! I didn’t realize how much I wanted to answer for him before I got your ask and I was like “oh man I’ve gotta answer it.”

The Lois Lane mini by Mindy Newell? I have actually! It’s… really something.

I think Mindy Newell got a lot of hard jobs in the late 80s as far as working for DC was concerned. Basically a lot of glaring oversights kept happening to DC’s main female properties (Selina’s origins being needlessly retconned to suit Frank Miller’s usual fetish needs without any direction or point, no one having an idea of how to establish Dinah as a character without doing away with /all/ the female members of the JLA or JSA in one accidental swoop, the horrible and pointless murders of Helena Wayne and Kara Zor-El in Crisis on Infinite Earths, the failure of DC to relaunch Wonder Woman’s book for two years after the reboot), and when it came to providing some “female focus” on these characters to deal with some of that criticism, I kind of get the impression that a lot of that was put on Newell’s shoulders, her being one of the few women visibly in comics at the time.

[I should note that I don’t have a lot to back this suspicion up, I wasn’t there or anything, but this is just from the general observation of the time & comic environment]

One of the few female properties DC hadn’t screwed over in the early years after the big CoiE reboot, though, was actually Lois, who they got right back on track with what her character had been before and after the more infamous of the Silver Age stories (which, folks, aren’t that bad, have you read what Bruce & Clark’s characters were like back then?). Lois was actually a major player from the start with Byrne’s Superman: Man of Steel origin & relaunch and to this day that characterization has been one of my favorite Lois interpretations in comics. So she was doing pretty well, and I think rather than trying to fix things the way, say, Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper was trying to do with Catwoman after Batman: Year One, Lois Lane (1986) was just capitalizing on the positive direction the character had established.

And I mean… it’s a great idea and it has a lot of moments for Lois that I really love and help me feel like I know the character more on a deeper level.

But. Man.

First off, it’s really hard for me to read anything about human trafficking involving children, especially when children are shown abused or dead in the story. That’s hard. It’s really hard for me. But I think, while a lot of the stuff is naively handled, it’s honestly a lot more respectable than it’s handled in say most things of the 80s of this nature.

Secondly, Lois comes off strong as a character, but not altogether strong as a narrative lead. We see great stuff with Lois throughout it, and her range of emotional responses, her pride and her attitude that we all love it’s all in true form. But because of the nature of the central story, that plot really makes it hard to focus on Lois. Especially once the detective work gets nitty gritty, a bit hard to follow, and suddenly it feels like Lois is getting a bit left behind in her own story.

When I defended the Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper story, I went to bat for the use of the sex industry and several abuses Selina endured in that narrative on the principle that it was probably the best if not better than what was to be expected given what Miller decided to leave us with in Batman: Year One, they weren’t going to revoke Year One to satisfy a narrative for Selina’s origins that would be more tasteful and approachable, that’s the nature of the game, so Newell had to work within those elements.

But for Lois Lane (1986)… there’s not really a reason to let something as hard to approach and nasty as human trafficking and child murder be the central plot. Lois Lane’s an investigative journalist, and I truly believe she would tackle this story, but I don’t think that’s the narrative to bank on for a 2 part miniseries meant to showcase the tough as nails reporter getting lots of acclaim for her love story with a man who can fly and bend trains. Especially not in the same era that the Donner Superman films were still bringing in new readers, particularly girls growing up in love with the romance story (Superman 2 or Superman 2, amirite?)

I find the strengths of both Lois Lane (1986) and Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper lie quite squarely on the focus and humanization of the central women involved, and as a huge fan of both of these characters I find myself returning to them a lot… but even if Catwoman is more scrutinized generally, I’d still say the sum of its parts are greater than its problematic whole, that it’s worth a read especially for those who were introduced to Catwoman through Batman: Year One (which a lot of comic readers are, lbr). Lois Lane (1986)… its parts are good, but not really greater than that very daunting plot, and it’s less talked about for that reason. Plus it’s a little awkwardly paced. So I have a hard time recommending it to people as much unless they’re really big Lois Lane fans already, because then you get to walk away with a lot more than the average reader.

Review - CATWOMAN #39

Review – CATWOMAN #39

Catwoman rises up from the ashes as she prepares for her eve of battle. With the now opposing turf war looming she confides in her alter ego to do her old outfit justice.

Genevieve Valentine has shocked the comic world with her surprise announcement of Selena being bisexual. I must admit I was just reading through the comic leisurely then pretty much flipped a table when I saw the panel of…

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