Some good news to report for Lois Lane fans. Despite DC’s comic side not publishing her own ongoing comic, Lois will be appearing in a young adult novel next May. Titled “Fallout” and written by Gwenda Bond, the story focuses on a teenaged Lois Lane, as the following publisher summary describes:
Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy …
This is welcome news, especially after last week’s events and the less-than-stellar treatment of Lois in DC’s New 52 reboot so far. Back in the Silver Age, Lois had her own ongoing title, “Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane.” Despite often portraying Lois as a Lucy Ricardo-like wedding-obsessed “girl reporter,” it was one of DC’s top-selling titles, regularly outselling Batman’s books. In 1965, it was the third best-selling comic on the newsstands, behind “Superman” and “Superboy.” Lois had her own title published from 1958 through 1974, when it was combined with Jimmy Olsen’s comic to be published as “Superman Family.” “Superman Family” ran from 1974 through 1982, with Lois starring in two of the recurring features: the Earth-1 Lois in her own solo series and the Earth-2 Lois in “Mr. and Mrs. Superman.” Thus, Lois has been featured in her own ongoing series of some sort for about a third of her existence. (That’s ignoring the occasional backup stories she had in the 1940s Superman title and the 1980s Supergirl title.)
DC’s been narrowly focused on superheroes and “mature readers” books—and fans of such material—in recent years, thus one reason for not seeing a modernized “Lois Lane” solo title. Still, it’s nice that Lois is still seen as a marketable solo star in print form by someone involved at DC Entertainment. As “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games,” and others have shown, young adult novels are quite lucrative of late. They’re even more lucrative if they’re turned into major motion pictures. Young adult novels also would let DC Entertainment still make money from those not interested remotely in its superhero comics. Back in the “Lois Lane” title’s day, DC published a variety of non-superhero-starring material: “Our Army At War,” “The Fox and the Crow,” “Bat Lash,” “Young Romance,” etc. Thus, DC still made some money from kids who might not’ve wanted anything with a bat-logo on it.
Finally, the novel’s description above notes that teenaged Lois and Clark are decidedly in the Internet age. While Superman obviously won’t appear (and, likely, not Kal-El Superboy), at this point in time, Lois and Clark’s teen years would be back in the late 90s. Assuming they’re 29-30 years old as of 2014, they’d be 15-year-olds in 1999-2000. A teenaged Lois Lane coming of age with Britney Spears and N’Sync? (Yes, I’m sure she would’ve liked edgier musicians… if you have any suggestions, I’ll be glad to hear them.)