When DC Comics publisher Dan DiDio hinted last year that “we have big plans for Lois Lane in 2014,” we assumed that meant her own comic, in time for Superman’s 75th anniversary. Instead, Lois’ first real solo project will be a young adult novel called Fallout, by Gwenda Bond.
Much like Dean Trippe’s excellent (and, sadly, rejected) Lois Lane: Girl Reporter pitch, Fallout aims to introduce Lois to an entirely new generation of comics fans and reporter wannabes. And they’re doing so in the most Millennial way possible.
Get a load of the blurb, which includes cyberbullying, a Second Life/Facebook mashup virtual reality game that no doubt is tied up in high school status, and Lois sending flirty IMs to a certain farm boy:
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…
As The Mary Sue points out, having Lois and Clark Kent meet digitally will actually strengthen his ability to keep his secret (at this point, burgeoning) powers from her. Although clearly she’s already suspicious of goings-on in Smallville. Hopefully he’ll be a secondary character, and Lois can shine as she investigates this virtual reality world. If handled correctly, the novel could skew very much toward more Ready Player One than that Smallville where Lois had to go undercover as a stripper.
It is interesting that DC passed on Trippe’s Girl Reporter graphic novel idea in 2011 and has now instead gone for a straight-up novel. Perhaps they’re trying to reach the kind of audience who might usually be intimidated by comics. Trippe actually responded to the news on Tumblr, writing, Glad SOMEBODY finally got a publisher to realize Lois Lane is the most under-utilized character in the DCU. Amen to that.
Fallout is being published by Capstone/Switch and will be on bookshelves in May 2015.