I had an terrific chance to review a YA (young adult) novel entitled Lois Lane: Fallout, by Gwenda Bond, published by Switch Press. Of course, being a big Superman fan since my youth, I had to give it a try.
I’m sure that many of you are thinking: “Oh man, another cash-in”. Yes, this is about a young Lois Lane, but it doesn’t appear to exist as a prequel to anything Superman. In fact, one of the things that I like about this book is that Lois Lane: Fallout is that it can stand on its own. It doesn’t really take a huge stretch of imagination to envision what a teenage Lois Lane would be like, but perhaps the better question is: why hasn’t it been done before?
From my Press Release, the critic quotes describe a young Lois Lane as similar to Katniss (Everdeen from The Hunger Games) and Veronica Mars. I have to admit that there are some similarities, but Lois Lane is an original character, assuming that you don’t know about Superman.
Lois Lane is introduced as a “military brat”, which matches her comic book roots. She always refers to her father as “The General” and never “Dad”, and Lois has moved from town to town a lot as her father is constantly stationed from place to place. The book begins as Lois Lane starts as a sixteen year old girl at a high school in Metropolis. She discovers a case with a new friend named Anavi who is being bullied by a clique of kids in black known as The Warheads.
Lois is soon recruited by Perry White (the same guy from the Superman comic) to work for the Daily Scoop, which is kind of a juvenile version of the Daily Planet. I guess Perry had to get his start somewhere, and so does Lois, who believes that there is a story with The Warheads.
Lois works with three friends and fellow reporters who help her named Maddy, Devin, and James. As far as I know, it doesn’t like these characters are related to the Superman stories from the comics or Superman legends. Lois does get some help from an online friend who is known from Smallville Guy. Yeah, do I even need to tell you who this is? It’s a younger pre-Superman Clark Kent! Of course, the audience knows that, and I won’t tell you how he gets involved.
Yeah, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that most of the book is Lois investigating the Warheads. Now the Warheads are this group who seem to have some weird hive-mind mentality. I have to admit that they have an interesting symbolic feel of how high school works, and I was definitely taken back to my high school memories with this work.
Now, this book would have worked even if Lois wasn’t the main character, but I will have to admit that there is one thing that I had a problem with. In the book, Lois uses a holoset to play an online game known as Worlds War Three to track down the Warheads. This holoset is some tech that we don’t have now, as it can project images of a game onto our eyes. It is pretty close to the Oculus Rift, but it brings a bit of a science fiction element that is similar to Ready Player One.
Lois Lane: Fallout will be released on May 1st, according to Amazon. I would probably say that it is good enough for a sequel, but if it becomes a series, it might be better if it doesn’t try and tie in any Superman lore. Let’s let Lois Lane stand on her own.