No matter what else happens in this book, I’m just happy that Bibbo’s back!  Your Major Spoilers review of Superwoman #4 awaits!

superwoman4coverSUPERWOMAN #4
Writer: Phil Jiminez
Penciler: Emanuela Lupacchino
Inker: Ray McCarthy
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Superwoman: After the demise of Superman, both Lois Lane and Lana Lang found themselves empowered, working together as Superwomen.  Lois-Superwoman died (in a manner very reminiscent of how her Superman did), leaving Lana to carry the mantle alone.  Along with her paramour, John Henry “Steel” Irons and his niece Natasha, Lana has protected Metropolis against the latest grave threat, but now she finds herself haunted by the ghosts of her past…


This issue opens with Lana visiting the Lang farm in Smallville, trying to regain her calm, when she is suddenly confronted by the fallen Superwoman, Lois Lane.  Cutting back and forth in time, this issue show us Lana dealing not only with the fact that her dead partner is speaking to her, but a missing Lex Luthor (who, as you may recall, has been swanning about calling himself Superman in an armored suit), a strange conspiracy having to do with the treatment of superhuman prisoners at Stryker’s island, Lena Luthor’s whereabouts, a question about magic in Metropolis misbehaving…  Oh, yeah, and her own powers killing her.  This book is a really complex creation, with a lot of characters in play: Steel, Natasha, Maggie Sawyer and more are important to the plot this time around, and as the issue ends, Traci 13 arrives with a grave warning: Lena Luthor is coming and only Superwoman can stop her.


This issue also makes a plot point of one thing that’s been bothering me: How incredibly disturbing it is that Lois Lane and Clark Kent effortlessly stepped into the roles of their deceased doppelgangers, without anyone questioning or noticing the change.  I’m glad that, at least somewhere in the DCU, the humanity of the fallen New 52 characters is being treated as a serious matter.  This issue’s art is likewise quite solid, especially given a lack of big fight sequences and choreography, leading to some excellent storytelling and layouts.  Conversations are had in Bibbo’s bar, in John Henry’s lab, at a crime scene in Metropolis, and none are boring or static, an impressive achievement.  Jiminez’ script actually makes a point of having Lana and Lois openly discussing the fact that so many female superheroes end in death, madness and other tragedies, another use of meta-continuity to strengthen Lana’s story.


Every issue of this book has been surprising, and it has featured some of the best twists and turns since Speed Racer left the air, including bad things happening to Lex Luthor (which I’ll always sign off on.)  With so many ongoing series set in Metropolis, it can be hard to keep everything straight, but Superwoman #4 is polished, well-drawn and engaging, featuring an interesting main character trying hard to balance all the parts of wearing an S-shield in the DC Universe, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  If you’re only reading one super-title, as I am, this is the one that I recommend…



A strong main character, a lot of Superman history, some excellent plotting and BIBBO! What's not to love?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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