March 4 2015
This May, Switch Press will be publishing Fallout by Gwenda Bond, a young adult novel about a teenaged Lois Lane. This is exciting for a number of reasons, starting with the format itself.
Though I would happily take a Lois Lane comic book series, Bond’s decision to tell this story in novel form should allow for a unique and welcomed take on the character. Exploring Lois Lane through words alone, the reader is given freedom to imagine her, and her world, in a new and exciting way, rather than being beholden to a specific artist’s interpretation. Moreover, since Bond’s story isn’t limited by speech-bubbles and the page limit of the comic format, she ought to be able to offer her readers a comparatively nuanced look at who Lois Lane is, and what makes her tick. No need to worry about the text covering too much of the art!
A novel could also mean a new audience. If the comic industry is to continue growing in the long term, it will need young (and different) readers. Giving Lois Lane a young adult novel casts the net far and wide. Existing fans may pick it up because they love the character, but Young Adult fans who may not read comics, might pick it up because the story sounds interesting to them. And for many teens (especially teen girls), this could be a gateway to the larger comics universe.
And finally, though this story takes place within her existing universe (and eventually Metropolis) there is no mention of Superman anywhere. And while Superman may be the reason her character was created, it’s great that she might have the opportunity to grow without him. As her long time fans are sure to tell you, Lois Lane is more than just “Superman’s girlfriend.” This new novel will hopefully let us see a bit of that “more.”
In preparation for the release of Fallout, a new prequel short story is now available, “Lois Lane: A Real Work of Art.” This short story gives readers a tiny taste of the tone of Gwenda Bond’s story, a sense of Lois’s character, and maybe a few hints about what’s to come.
We meet Lois Lane on her first day at her new school and almost immediately learn two things about her–her family moves around a lot (hmm…I wonder what future location they may end up in?) and she’s got sass. And as the story continues we learn it’s the good kind of sass–she’s smart, she knows it, and she OWNS it.
The Lois in “Lois Lane: A Real Work of Art” is exactly how I imagined Lois Lane to be as a teenager (and as an adult as well). She’s not the kind of person who takes no for an answer. Already honing her investigative skills, Lois, enrolled in an art class she hates, with a teacher she hates even more, begins noticing a few things that just don’t add up. Next thing she knows, she’s hot on the trail of an international art forger.
But true to its description, this is a short story. There’s not a lot to go on, but what is there is promising. I am eager to see how Bond’s Lois Lane will keep the citizens of Metropolis on their toes and in the know.