Welcome to Ink Spots, a quirky little corner of DC.com devoted entirely to all of our favorite Young Adult comics and fiction. In this new Book Breakdown, Mandy Curtis takes on the Man with a teenage Lois Lane.
Lois Lane is ready to have The Best Summer Ever. She's lined up an internship at CatCo, writing for Cat Grant. She has a (questionably legal) sublet in National City. She's out of Macville and on her way to achieving her life plan: attending the University of Metropolis and ultimately becoming a reporter at the Daily Planet and winning all the Pulitzers.
But when Lois arrives at the apartment, she finds someone already staying there: Miki Mihara, her childhood best friend but current nemesis. And then she starts at CatCo, only to watch as Cat is ousted and the company is taken over by a man wholly unconcerned with actual reporting. (Or trying to remember Lois's name.)
Read more about Lois and how she regains control after her summer goes off the rails in DC's latest YA graphic novel, Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story, written by Sarah Kuhn and illustrated by Arielle Jovellanos. And learn more about the book in the breakdown below!
This cover doesn't tell you much about the story within, but it does tell you a lot about Lois Lane. She's got places to be and life plans to achieve, and she won't let anything—not even a title—stand in her way.
Tell Me a Story:
Lois Lane is ready to take on the world, but it seems like the world's out to get her first. When she arrives in National City, ready to live on her own in a fantastic apartment and write for Cat Grant during her summer internship, she expects it to be a stepping stone to the University of Metropolis and her Big Life Goals. But then everything goes wrong, from finding the person she wanted to see least living in her apartment to a mass firing and a hostile and ignorant takeover of CatCo.
But Lois isn't one to let a few bumps throw her off her carefully manicured path, and there seems to be more to her (and, fine, Miki's) story than just general life unpleasantness. And Lois is nothing if not intrepid. After all, investigative reporting is what she does best.
Let’s Talk Art:
Reading this book filled me with nostalgia for the good ol' days of Trapper Keepers and Lisa Frank stationery sets. The book is a riot of color, which supports Lois's near-manic personality and the Unicorn Cappufrappacinno-fueled (i.e., highly caffeinated and extremely sugary) pace of the story itself. I love the bright colors and Jovellanos's use of doodle design elements and how the "girly" nature of the book belies its true, staunchly feminist and anti-racist themes.
Lois's personality is equal parts ambition and youthful naivety, and Kuhn captures her drive perfectly via internal monologues and passages of text that literally go from edge to edge of speech bubbles, indicating Lois' intensity (and sometimes frenzy). It makes for a somewhat anxiety-inducing read, but it's also easy to get caught up in Lois and Miki's passion to affect change in the cruddy situations they find themselves in.
Perfect Food Pairing:
Unicorn Cappufrappacinnos don't exist in the real world, but the caffeinated beverage Lois chooses as her beverage vice looks like something out of a fever dream with its green hue, candy toppings and literal cherry on top. I'm more of a "little half-and-half, no sugar" kind of gal, but even I can get behind a drink that feels like a treat yo'self moment every time you drink it.
One Perfect Page:
In addition to addressing themes of sexism and racism, Girl Taking Over turns a trope on its head: that of the Overbearing Asian Mother. Lois's mom is a bit pushy, sure, and obviously meddles in her daughter's life (see: the Miki situation), but she ultimately supports Lois and wants what's best for her, even if that means Lois sometimes has to go through hard times or go against what her mom might think is the best route to take. This page shows that she's well-versed in the nuances that come with parenting. Showing vulnerability, and occasionally crumbling a bit under pressure, is totally okay. Giving up plans to take over the world is the part that isn't.
Voted Most Likely:
Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story: Most Likely to Win All of the Pulitzers. (Yes, all of them.)
Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story by Sarah Kuhn and Arielle Jovellanos is now available in bookstores, comic shops, libraries, and as a digital graphic novel.
When Mandy Curtis isn’t reading books by Leigh Bardugo or Sarah J. Maas, she’s dreaming of busting bad guys with Wonder Woman—if Steve Trevor’s there, too, she won’t complain—and writing about YA fiction and pop culture at Forever Young Adult. Follow her on Instagram at @mandyannecurtis.
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NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Mandy Curtis and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.