[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inkers: Jaime Mendoza and Christian Alamy
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
This issue begins with Lois visiting the offices of Hamilton County’s local newspaper, the Hamilton Horn, to discuss the possibility of her writing for the paper as Lois Smith, although she has also returned to writing at the Daily Planet as Lois Lane.
The paper’s editor, Candice, has no sooner given Lois an assignment, when Frankenstein, agent of S.H.A.D.E., crashes into the office, seeking to capture Candice. Trying to save Candice from Frankenstein, Lois attacks the monster with a Hellbat armour gauntlet, which she apparently held onto from Superman #6.
This incapacitates Frankenstein long enough for Lois and Candice to commandeer his hover-bike and flee, but Frankenstein isn’t far behind and latches onto the back of the bike.
Luckily, Lois’ husband Superman arrives, knocking Frankenstein clear of the bike, rescuing the ladies from immediate danger. Superman then confronts Frankenstein, demanding an explanation, but the creature isn’t in the mood to brook any delays in carrying out his mission, so he tosses a tractor at Superman and carries on his pursuit.
However, he then encounters the Smiths’ neighbour, Mr. Cobb, who demands that Frankenstein get off his farm and leave Superman alone. Before Frankenstein can harm him, Superman knocks the monster away, then warns Cobb to get to safety.
Superman once again faces the monster, but Lois accidentally crashes the hover-bike into him. Before he can recover, Frankenstein gets a hold of Candice and rips off her face, which turns out to be a mask. It seems Candice is really a purple-skinned creature by the name of Kroog.
Superman’s small town life is frequently juxtaposed with fantastical threats, but interestingly, this time it wasn’t due to his superheroic exploits spilling over into his private life. This time, the situation arose in his small town life on its own. Frankenstein would have come after Candice even if Superman hadn’t been living in Hamilton County. This is an intriguing diversion from the norm and raises some questions about what else might be going on in Hamilton County.
Also, it’s good to see Lois take a more substantial role again, as she has been somewhat absent the last few issues. She once again shows her resourcefulness in how she manages to get Candice away from Frankenstein long enough for Superman to arrive.
I was somewhat disappointed that Jon was nowhere to be seen this issue, but Lois’ presence made up for that somewhat. Superman’s family is the heart of this book, which means that as fun as reading about Superman and his son is, it also has to take some time to focus on the relationship between Lois and Clark as well – but I hope Jon’s back next issue.
And although it’s good to see that Lois is looking to establish her Lois Smith identity as a reporter in her community, I wonder if this is taking on a bit much, considering that she’s also returned to the Planet as Lois Lane. On the other hand, Clark has managed two jobs for years – reporter and superhero, so Lois might be capable of the same.
This title is the jewel in the crown of DC’s Rebirth line. Tomasi and Gleason have made reading about Superman’s adventures fun again and I hope they continue their run on this title for a long time to come.