The line between the book market and other mass market mediums (such as TV, films, and comics) has always been a blurry one. It has only become more so now, as novels still remain a major market unto themselves. DC Comics’ initial foray into this modern market last year with Gwenda Bond’s opening young adult novel featuring Lois Lane (“Fallout”) has proven successful enough that today (August 24, via Comic Book Resources) a sequel novel has been announced, “Double Down”.
Published by “Switch Press” (via a DC Entertainment license), “Double Down” seeks to do exactly that with Bond’s series which follows a teenage Lois Lane as she attends high school in Metropolis and begins her development into the heroine everyone knows and loves. In the opening volume, the “army brat’s” attempt to make friends and fit in eventually saw her uncover a mystery involving a gang, a virtual reality game and a secret military project. Fortunately, she was able to unravel the plot and save her new friends, aided by a new online pal she’s made with the handle of “SmallvilleGuy”. “Fallout” earned rave reviews from various sources and critics, such as the L.A. Times, the Mary Sue, the Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly and Booklist. “Lois Lane is an icon, one of the most well-known and enduring figures in American pop culture — and for good reason,” Gwenda Bond has said. “She’s a hero all of us can relate to. It’s been a tremendous honor and a great pleasure to get to write about her in an all-new way, as a modern teenager, and I’m thrilled to be continuing her story in ‘Double Down.'”
Gwenda Bond’s book series couldn’t have come at a better time for fans of Lois Lane. Although left out of the big 75th anniversary of Superman a couple of years ago, Lois Lane is the lone supporting character of the iconic hero who debuted alongside him in 1938’s “Action Comics #1” as created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Countless women were inspired over the generations by her hard work (in a “man’s field”), her tenacity, her intelligence, and ultimately her heart for the truth and to see justice done. She once starred in her own series (albeit one titled “Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane”) for 137 issues from 1958-1974; a far better run than plenty of male superheroes who seem to get relaunches series every other year. In the series’ prime in 1962, it was the third best selling comic book in the United States (behind “Superman” and “Superboy”). The heroine has been immortalized in both TV and feature film over the decades, as played by actresses such as Joan Alexander, Noel Neill, Margot Kidder, Teri Hatcher, Dana Delany, Kate Bosworth, Erica Durance, and Amy Adams. It could easily be argued that she is one of the most well known and memorable comic book heroines across the world alongside Wonder Woman. Despite all this, Lois Lane as a character has found herself on the outside looking in for most of the “Superman” family of comics since the New 52’s reorganization of the universe in 2011 (with some hints of such a thing coming a year earlier). Her marriage to Superman has been undone (without the benefit of a story strictly addressing it, which is a dishonor not even Mary Jane Watson had to suffer), she was taken off of the reporter beat she’s been famous for, and in the recent “Truth” story line, seemingly violated her own ethics to “out” the identity of Superman to the world. Despite decades of progress in how comic books are planned and edited, many old trends are difficult to uproot; one of them was to blame any flaw in a superhero franchise on the woman within it. In order to repackage Superman as a sullen and aggressive bruiser to an audience of juveniles (or the juvenile at heart), Lois’ link to him has been severed, and she has seemingly never been as isolated (or pitted against Wonder Woman editorially).
Fans yearning for Lois Lane action, both young and old, can find her once more in Bond’s book series where it is Lane who is the active protagonist and Clark Kent acting as her support. It is great that Bond, Switch Press, and DC Comics plan to double down on their YA novel series. This second volume in the series goes on sale May 1 2016.