Mar 28 2011 5:33pm

Lois Lane, Girl Reporter: Not Such a Bad Moniker After All

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.

Lois Lane Girl Reporter by Dean TrippeOne 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 Clark Kent by Dean Trippethe 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 and doesn’t have nearly as awesome a reason as to why it doesn’t wear a mask.

Claire de Trafford
1. Booksnhorses
I would have read that to my daughter. What a shame.
2. kittent
I was a huge fan of Lois Lane. I would have bought it for the house 10 year old, but only if I got to read it first...

Tsk, Tsk, aren't going to get me back in the DC Universe with this kind of decision.
dreamer M
3. WanderinDreamr
I've never really liked DC comics and I remember being unimpressed with the aimed-at-girls comics I found as a middle schooler (didn't discover manga until high school) but I probably would've loved these stories. Oh well, I already don't like DC for closing down CMX which had some pretty awesome manga, I guess since Lois Lane is a DC character this can't be published by any other publisher?
4. cranscape
This would have been cool. And they are so perfect looking. *sigh* Well drawn stuff minus the spandex. This is why I passed on comics as a teen and read manga/manhwa instead. Much more to pick from for any age group.

Yeah, and I'm still pissed about the whole CMX thing.
5. Rowanmdm
I got pointed to this last week and really enjoyed the proposal. I didn't get into comics until I was in grad school, but considering how much I loved Nancy Drew I would have adored this series in my early to mid-teens. Heck, I would enjoy it now. Please, can DC change its mind and make this?
7. DarrenJL
Bruce Wayne as a teenager... would have been a goth! Aww, this comic could have been very cute.
8. Ian P. Johnson
I don't see why DC doesn't think this is a good idea. It's a great way to get girls into comics, and also a way to give pre-teen girls a strong female role model (something which YA has been lacking as of late– Bella, anyone?)
9. KevinMarks
Isn't this the Smallville premise (though that was High School, not Middle School).
10. tarbis
This was a good idea that the distrubution model for American comics would render unprofitable (see 'Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eight Grade' and the entire Marvel Adventures line for examples). American comics are tied to comic shops which is just not a place that most of the target market for this book (girls 9-14 or so) tend to go into. The graphic novel section of most bookstores, excepting the large and profitable manga section, also tend to lack that demographic.

If comic books, especially all ages titles, are going to survive they need to drop in price and get back on spinner racks in places that people will see them.

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