It turns out that comic book writer and illustrator Dean Trippe had an ace up his sleeve that no one ever got to see—until now. Over at his Tumblr, Trippe has posted the outline for a book series that DC Comics, for whatever reason, never ended up pursuing: Lois Lane, Girl Reporter.
It was set to be a series of middle-grade to young adult graphic novels starring Lane in her adventures as an 11-year-old investigative journalist. Trippe had planned to feature the ocassional appearance by Clark Kent and even a 13-year-old Bruce Wayne, who—surprise—were not destined to become part of a cutesy pre-teen love triangle.
Because this series was going to be braver than that. Trippe, who expressed his frustrations over not being able to share female superheroes with his little sisters the same way he could with Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars, was determined to show little Miss Lane as a kid with motivation, smarts and no need for getting moon-eyed at whatever strapping young man came into view.
One of the most charming aspects of the concept were the ways in which Lois and Clark were going to influence each other without ever knowing it. Trippe talked of Clark seeing a muckraking piece done by Lois, and being so impressed that he decides to take journalism classes. He also had a plan for the only time in the series when Clark would actually meet Lois; he tries to save her life, but Lois won’t trust him because he has tied her scarf around his face to obscure his indentity. Clark’s admiration of her being as strong as it is, he quietly vows to never wear a mask should he ever become a publicly known superhero. Pretty cool, huh?
Then there’s a bit of retconning to make certain elements of the comics more palatable: Lois gains national recognition for her news reporting at such a young age that she gains the nickname “Lois Lane, Girl Reporter.” Suddenly every time someone in the comics calls her by that name as an adult, it becomes empowering, a reference to her early beginnings as a reporter. Importantly, Trippe never planned on having Lois face a super or magical adversary of any kind. Lois’s powers lie in appliying her mind to a problem and never letting up until the truth is revealed.
It’s really just a shame that this proposal didn’t get picked up by DC. Not only would they have been a great origin story for the characters involved, but they would have re-centered Lois Lane as a strong role model for young girls.
Check out the entire proposal, with more illustrations, at the above link.
Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and doesn’t have nearly as awesome a reason as to why it doesn’t wear a mask.