Comic Review: Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge (DC Comics)

A challenging read for various reasons, Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge is a new graphic novel for kids. It’s from DC. Lois Lane, Superman’s better half, is the star […]

A challenging read for various reasons, Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge is a new graphic novel for kids. It’s from DC.

Lois Lane, Superman’s better half, is the star of this kid’s graphic novel. Lois is supposedly 13 years of age, same as her friend Kristen. She lives at home, but we never meet her family. There are no boys in the picture, not even as neighbourhood bicycling pals. Lois is shown to be petite and more childlike than your typical 13 year old. And that’s where I began to have trouble with this book.

As written by Grace Ellis (Lumberjanes), Lois is actually big on being self-centered, and not in a good way. She’s literally obsessed social media and all about promoting herself and manipulating her friends. She pouts, whines, and schemes around Kristen’s plans to leave town for Summer Camp. She plays practical jokes on an older female, Henri, knocking her off her bike by surprise. She taunts Henri about her (Henri’s) summer job as a journalist. It’s a callous Lois, off to an early start. Despite her friends trying to advise her, Lois is a real piece of work. Sadly, the competing themes around individualism read poorly in contrast to the overall message that Ellis is promoting: friendship among women and mutual support.

Artist Brittney Williams (Goldie Vance, etc), colourist Caitlin Quirk and letterer Ariana Maher contribute strong visuals to the book, keeping a nicely accessible line quality, with expressive characters and simplified surroundings. The intended audience (grades 4-6) will likely enjoy some of the more active moments in Friendship Challenge, such as the bike race, but I question the behaviour of Lois throughout… she has a super-lot of growing up to do!

DC Comics, Lois Lane, and the Friendship Challenge GN, $9.99 for 137 pages of story plus previews, For Kids.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!