Superwoman #11, written by K. Perkins and pencilled by Jose Luis, brought readers the second installment of the Rediscovery story arc. Lana Lang looks to right a grievous wrong suffered by the Irons family in the latest issue, which ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King is here to review.
Superwoman #11 Review:
The kidnapping of Ezekiel Irons — Clay’s son, Natasha’s younger brother, and John Henry’s nephew — is the unsolved crime that continues to haunt the most important people in Lana’s life. Armed with her credentials as a Daily Star reporter and her superpower-supplying armor, Lang attempts to bring the perpetrator, Skyhook, to justice… but has Superwoman’s reach exceeded her grasp?
Superwoman #11 Synopsis:
Lang reflects back on the night Zeke was kidnapped: Clay ripped off Skyhook, provoking the retribution that would lead to the disappearance of his son, while Lana overlooked a crucial clue when she and John Henry responded to the lad’s nighttime cries that there was a monster in his room. Hoping belatedly to rescue Zeke, Lang seeks out Maggie Sawyer to learn the latest leads in the case. The police captain declines to share details with her because Lana is too personally invested.
Undeterred, the reporter eavesdrops on a meeting between Maggie and the Atomic Skull, whose interrogation of Remnant has revealed that Skyhook is hiding out in the Metropolis power station. Lana dissuades John Henry and Natasha from seeking vengeance against the villain so she can go after him on her own. Superwoman confronts Skyhook alone, only to have the metal in her armor be drawn down by the magnetic tracks of the city’s commuter rail system. The evildoer escapes and the heroine is left to wonder what to do next.
Superwoman #11 Analysis:
Luis’s pencils form a firm foundation for the graphics of Rediscovery — Part Two. Ray McCarthy’s inks give strong definition to the imagery, while Hi-Fi’s colors make the visuals vivid through understated hues in the issue’s opening pages before coming brightly to life in Superwoman #11’s concluding nighttime fight. From the charming details of Zeke’s room decor to the characters’ expressive yet unexaggerated physical features to the illusion of fluid movement created by the layouts during the final action sequence, the artwork is outstanding throughout this story.
The only problematic aspect of the graphics in Rediscovery — Part Two is more a result of the script than of the artist: Remnant and Skyhook — two faceless villains with glowing eyes peeking out from under the hoods of dark blue cloaks — bear a very close resemblance to one another. This undoubtedly created considerable confusion among readers unfamiliar with these two deep-track callback characters, although perhaps this synchronicity was intentional. Whether the connection was deliberate or inadvertent, though, the reality remains that the only partially reformed Atomic Skull is the most fully fleshed out of the Superwoman #11 characters on the bad axis of the graph.
On the whole, though, Perkins constructs this tale well. The time shifts of Rediscovery — Part Two serve the purposes of the story, and Zeke’s exchange with John Henry and Lana in the opening scene effectively invites the audience’s emotional investment in the issue. Clay’s subsequent confrontation with his daughter and his brother goes from zero to 60 quite rapidly, but the space constraints of Superwoman #11 probably allowed no acceptable alternative for a series that previously has had the problem of being overly wordy. Likewise, although Lana remains a tad too volatile, Perkins nevertheless makes good use of dialogue to give resonance and personality to a character- and relationship-driven issue.
Ultimately, what makes Rediscovery — Part Two work is the plausibility of the players’ motivations. Natasha’s and John Henry’s anger at Clay, Maggie’s insistence upon maintaining her professional integrity, the Atomic Skull’s curious combination of tone-deaf sycophancy and menacing manipulation, Remnant’s and Skyhook’s condescending intimidation, and (especially) Lana’s driving blend of protectiveness, anger, and anxiety all add up, and, although the ending of Superwoman #11 is somewhat unsatisfying, Perkins’s determination to explore Lang’s complexities and contradictions in depth is on full display in this tale.
Are you rediscovering this series now that it appears to be finding its footing? ComiConverse with us in the comments about Superwoman #11!
T. Kyle King is an Expert Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.