[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Script: Phil Jimenez
Pencils: Emanuela Lapacchino
Inks: Ray McCarthy
In the first issue of Superwoman it was clear that this was going to be a bit of an ensemble title. It seemed that Lois and Lana were going to share the spotlight. Things changed quickly with the apparent death of Lois and the cast has has continued to expand with the Irons as has the scope of the story as Lex Luthor has become firmly ensconced as one of this title’s lead characters. Luthor has his own nemesis developing in the form of his estranged sister, Lena.
Lana, John Henry and Natasha stop the Atomic Skull’s attack on the city and in the process the Skull exposes atrocities taking place at Stryker’s Island prison since Luthor’s security company was hired to provide the guards. Lana and the Irons are able to utilize the Skull’s powers to assist them in returning power to the city.
Meanwhile, Lena has immobilized Lex and is giving him what for. Despite all of Luthor’s protestations of love and desire to help her, Lena remains unconvinced. She demonstrates what she’s accomplished in the successful merging of her own DNA and that of the Crime Syndicate’s Superwoman to create her own version of a Bizarro. Additionally, she has developed her own familiar green and purple armor to utilize as Ultrawoman!
Jimenez really makes you feel for Lex. His argument certainly appears sincere, and Lena seems crazy. It’s not often that Luthor is in this position or that his plight can evoke sympathy. Lana’s internal monologue, while providing exposition, also reveals a lot about her character — especially her own internal struggles. Lana is very troubled and this provides a solid emotional connection for the reader, you empathize and want her to pull through it.
Superwoman #3 is another great read. Unfortunately, the premise seems limited in light of Lana’s health issues and the fallout that surely must come when Lois’s final fate is revealed. Over in Action Comics #965 this week Lana makes an appearance as Superwoman that points to this possible eventuality.
This is one of those books that takes place in the Super-world without directly being about Superman. For years, it’s been known that Clark’s supporting cast could hold its own in a series. Superwoman is not what most probably had in mind, but this title is very well done and it’s is taking the characters we already care about and giving them a story line that is not dependent on Superman.