Switch Press (US), Curious Fox (UK), out now
Sixteen year old army brat Lois Lane starts her new school in Metropolis and finds herself in the middle of a case of bullying…
Not that long ago, we had the early years of Clark Kent recounted in the TV series Smallville, and of course the Man of Steel is turning up in both the TV show Supergirl (alongside Lois’ younger sister, Lucy), and on the big screen in the Man of Steel sequel. Forget all of those. This is a fresh take on Lois Lane and Clark Kent (or SmallvilleGuy as he’s known throughout this story from the screen name he adopts to talk to Lois) with a large number of knowing winks to those who know the Superman story, but self-contained for those who don’t (or don’t care).
Gwenda Bond gets inside the head of the teenage Lois, showing how she gets the journalism bug, and the aspects of her personality that will lead to her having a Pulitzer Prize-winning career. It’s a YA novel, with the attendant emphasis on romance where required, but for those who look down their noses at the format, it also means that there’s not unnecessary sex, violence or language. All the characters have shades of grey – including Lois, Clark and even Perry White – and part of the underlying theme of the book is learning who to trust.
Bond brings Lois and Clark together in a novel way, which cleverly allows the Kryptonian to be part of the story without being in Metropolis, and has you rooting for them pretty much from the start. She also develops a good supporting cast, about whom I’m sure we’ll learn more in future novels.
Verdict: Unlike some Marvel and DC tie-ins, this isn’t a superhero comic written in prose form; it’s a mystery novel with genre elements, and one that works very well. 8/10