Breaking: DC confirms two of the Daily Planet’s finest will be headlining new comic-book series.
DC Comics is putting journalists in the spotlight with “Lois Lane,” from writer Greg Rucka and artist Mike Perkins, and “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen,” from writer Matt Fraction and artist Steve Lieber. Both 12-issue series will launch in July.
Lois and Jimmy both have a long history with Superman (and his alter ego, Clark Kent), but that’s about where the similarities of these characters and their upcoming books end.
One of the most famous fictional journalists around, Lois is a Pulitzer-winning reporter whose commitment to pursuing truth and justice is second to none — not even the Man of Steel. She also happens to be the love of his life.
Rucka and Perkins’ “Lois Lane” will tap into her legacy as a reporter as she investigates threats and conspiracies in a story that they hope will show “what makes Lois Lane so very remarkable.”
“Lois Lane is the best investigative reporter in the DC [Universe],” Rucka wrote in a recent email. “This is our truth, and this is what the book is about.”
Lois’ investigation will inevitably put her in plenty of dangerous situations, but a little bit of danger is not going to keep her from going after the truth. In fact, sometimes that’s how Lois knows she’s on the right track.
“Lois is often described as fearless, but that’s a mistake, because it implies that nothing frightens her,” Rucka added. “There’s plenty that frightens her; the difference is that it never stops her. She was like that before Superman entered her life, and so she remains.”
Because Lois basically knows everyone in the DCU, Perkins is excited about the various corners of the superhero world that Lois may visit over the course of her investigations. He’s also looking forward to emphasizing “the realism that is inherent in Lois’ world.”
“I’ve always relished portraying that real world in the comics I illustrate as much as the super heroics,” said Perkins.
“[Lois] chooses to believe in her own abilities — her own prowess — to solve those problems that may seem unsurmountable,” added Perkins. “Lois is after the truth no matter what side of the political divide her person of interest stands on. That’s some pretty potent, powerful attributes for a portrayal of integrity in the days of ‘fake news.’ ”
While “Lois Lane” depicts the more hard-boiled, investigative world of its titular character, Fraction and Lieber describe their Jimmy Olsen book as more fun and light and optimistic.
According to the creative team, “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen” is “ridiculous and sublime.”
Like the title suggests, Jimmy is not only the Daily Planet’s star photographer but has long been Superman’s best friend. The original “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen” debuted in 1954 and featured its title character in increasingly wild and improbable adventures.
In the new series, Fraction and Lieber poke a little bit of fun at the current state of journalism by showing how even Jimmy has pivoted to video to help keep the newspaper profitable.
“Jimmy’s videos are basically the only thing keeping the lights on at the Planet anymore,” Fraction told The Times in a recent phone interview. “They have to let him keep doing his thing because it’s the only thing that pays the bills but it’s [also] really expensive” because they keep having to rebuild Metropolis after any messes he causes.
So Jimmy takes his show on the road to explore various settings in the DCU.
Fraction explained he was really drawn to “the idea of writing someone with a friendship that just happens to be with the Man of Steel” and getting to spend time learning about Superman’s world filtered through the very human lens that is Jimmy Olsen.
And he teased that in this book “we get to see Superman — not Clark Kent — hanging out.”
This dynamic sets up plenty of storytelling opportunities that both Fraction and Lieber were eager to tackle.
“I think there's a lot of storytelling power in the juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extraordinary, and Jimmy is all about that,” Lieber told The Times. It’s “a chance to be funny in the world full of much larger than life characters.”
Lieber said that he is enjoying being able to showcase his comedic side through this series and that he is obsessing over every little detail in order to “get a reader to laugh out loud at what they see on the page.”
“Most of my career, my art has been the place where humor went to die,” said Lieber. “I just really didn’t get to be funny at all. And that’s changed a lot over the past couple of years.”
Both “Lois Lane” and “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen” will have short stories by their respective creative teams in the upcoming one-shot “Superman: Leviathan Rising Special” on May 29 ahead of their first issues, which are due out in July.