Review: Superwoman #5

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Script & Pencils: Phil Jimenez
Inks: Matt Santorelli
Colors: Jeromy Cox and Tony Avina

As Lena Luthor has been revealed to all as the mastermind behind the attacks on Metropolis, Lana continues to struggle with her own inner demons in order to take decisive action against her. The Daily Star, which has no Luthor tech, is about the only media outlet that has not been overrun. There’s a hint about a mysterious owner that has seen to this. Even Metropolis SCU seems to be helpless against Lena’s Bizarro army.

Lana tries to make sense of the situation and find a path of action as she listens and rebuffs John Henry and is haunted by Lois’ ghost/memory. It seems Lana is the only one not talking sense. As Lena’s attack continues, the Ace O’ Clubs is targeted and Bibbo steps up to confront the Bizarro creatures. Luckily, Natasha Irons and Traci 13 are nearby and step in. They save Bibbo, but not before Natasha takes a bad hit.

Lena burns out a power cell and we learn that Lena has been reduced to nothing more than a brain and head connected to a cybernetic suit that keeps her alive. She needs a power source to not only sustain her, but increase her power. Lana figures out that Lana herself is such a power source. Lana leaves the Ironworks to go and try to stop Lena, though she risks killing herself in the process. She is intercepted by Bizarros. As they fight Lana realizes that these are the shape shifting Bizarros that killed Lois and abducted Lex Luthor. Lana realizes she’s made a mistake and the next thing we see is one of the of the Bizarros holding Lana in a familiar pose requesting John Henry to help Lana.

The ghost/memory of Lois Lane is always a treat to see in the book. Keeping her around as a foil for Lana works so well because it continues to develop and explore their relationship. Lana continues to question her sanity, but Lois is a comforting presence as well as the voice of reason. It’s almost as if Lois is Lana’s inner voice playing conscience at times and sounding board at others. The actual turns of the plot are interesting as well. Who would think that Lena could out-Luthor her brother? There seems to be a big surprise coming in the form of this Bizarro. Is it Lois? Did she somehow have her consciousness absorbed by the Bizarro?

There is quite a large cast in this book that at times this issue becomes a bit unwieldy. While Lana, Lois and Lena get quality time, John Henry, Natasha, Traci 13 and the extended cast of Metropolis get only a little attention. It’s not terribly distracting other than their appearance without a little more substance seems to distract from the tension of the plot that is working so well.

Superwoman continues to be a great Super-title! There must be some resolution with the Lois subplot with either an explanation Lana can live with or an acceptance on her part. Surely, the bizarro holds the key, and what happened to Lex? There are still lots of unanswered questions to bring a reader back.

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