Lois Lane takes the helm in Superman Annual #2. With Superman being a member of the supporting cast this time around, is Lois strong enough to hold a large sized issue on her own?
Scott Lobdell continues his Psionic arc throughout Superman with the annual issue. Although his last Superman issue left a lot to be desired, he rectifies his mistakes in this recent installment. Part of the problems with the arc stemmed from the fact that Lobdell began with a noir style that completely disappeared by Superman #22. It is very clear that the reason he held it back in the last issue was to completely devote the annual to the new style.
Instead of watching Clark sift through paperwork and use his superpowers to quash all evils, Lois Lane is given the spotlight. Having an issue nearly devoid of Superman and offering very little action was a risky choice for Lobdell’s less than illustrious reputation. The results, however, could not have been better. We were treated to a fresh take on Lois Lane that we have yet to see in the New 52. Her monologue haunts every page with invocation as she uncovers more and more secrets with every turn of the page. Lois is strong, vivacious, and determined as she pushes all the buttons she needs to in order to get the truth. It’s spectacular to read.
Not only is Lobdell able to bring his Psionic War arc into full focus, but he is also able to bring Lois Lane into it, and reveals that she was an integral part to the arc from the very beginning. It makes the story feel rich and filled with a levity that has yet to appear in recent Superman issues.
Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Kenneth Rocafort are nowhere to be found in the annual. Instead we’re treated to the artwork of Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund. The main focus of Superman Annual #2 was Lois Lane and the artists dedicated extra time to making her look remarkable. There wasn’t a single moment where Lois looked strange or an expression seemed off, it was all very well planned and conceived. Although the action well is dry this issue, the artists make each scene appealing and mysterious.
Despite the writing and drawing melding well together, there were a few moments that tend to be distracting. Dan Jurgens is listed in the issue for the pencil art and Rapmund is listed for the finished inks. However, there are moments where it seems as though they may have switched roles. The issue began and ended with the same style of artwork but the center of the comic was noticeably different. The artwork is still well done but the sudden change between the sections slows the pace and gives the reader pause.
The absence of action is completely shadowed by a well developed plot and artistic direction. Superman Annual #2 is a must read for not only Superman fans, but also Lois Lane fans looking to delve deeper into the mind of a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter!