Two DC middle grade books unveiled their cover artwork Tuesday morning, with those being Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge and Primer, which stars a brand-new superhero.
Let’s look first at Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge. You can find the cover, solicit and preview art below. The book is written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Brittney L. Williams, with colors by Caitlin Quirk and letters by Ariana Maher. Due out July 21, 2020, it follows a young Lois Lane as she launches what she is sure will be a viral video channel. And like many of the DC middle grade offerings, it looks adorable.
Written by Grace Ellis
Illustrated by Brittney L. Williams
Colored by Caitlin Quirk
Lettered by Ariana Maher
On sale 7/21/2020
From New York Times bestselling author Grace Ellis (Lumberjanes) and artist Brittney Williams (Goldie Vance) comes a new story about 13-year-old Lois Lane as she navigates the confusing worlds of social media and friendship.
It’s the first day of summer break in the sleepy town of Liberty View, and young Lois Lane bursts onto the scene with what she knows is a sure-to-go-viral video channel. Okay, maybe her platform only receives two views a week (thanks, Mom), and maybe her best friend, Kristen, isn’t quite as enthusiastic about social media, but when Lois sets her mind on something, there’s no turning back.
At the end of the week, the big neighborhood barbecue and bike race will be the perfect backdrop to Lois and Kristen’s #friendshipchallenge video. But when the girls find out the annual fireworks are missing, Lois doubles down on her efforts for fame, testing her friendship in ways she couldn’t imagine.
With Kristen leaving for sleepaway camp after the barbeque and a new girl on the block taking all of Kristen’s attention, will Lois be able to find the missing fireworks, celebrate the summer, and post the best #friendshipchallenge the internet has ever seen? Or will she have to face her challenges IRL?
Primer, meanwhile, stars an entirely new superhero, a young girl whose father is a criminal. This one is from writers Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski, and artist Gretel Lusky, with letters by Wes Abbott. It’s due out June 23, 2020. As a child, our hero Ashley was used by her father to cover up a crime that cost an innocent person their life. Now, she is in the foster care system while he is jailed for his crimes. The adventure begins when Ashley finds a set of body paints that bestow their users with superpowers.
Full solicit text and preview art can be found below…
Written by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski
Illustrated and colored by Gretel Lusky
Lettered by Wes Abbott
On sale 6/23/2020
Primer introduces a brand-new superhero with a colorful array of superpowers to explore.
Ashley Rayburn is an upbeat girl with a decidedly downbeat past. Her father is a known criminal who once used Ashley to help him elude justice, and in his attempt to escape, a life was taken. He now sits in federal prison, but still casts a shadow over Ashley’s life. In the meantime, Ashley has bounced from foster home to foster home and represents a real challenge to the social workers who try to help her–not because she’s inherently bad, but because trouble always seems to find her.
Ashley’s latest set of presumably short-term foster parents are Kitch and Yuka Nolan. Like Ashley, Kitch happens to be an artist. Yuka, on the other hand, is a geneticist working for a very high-level tech company, one that’s contracted out to work for the government and the military. And it’s Yuka’s latest top secret project that has her very concerned. Developed for the military, it’s a set of body paints that, when applied to the wearer, grant them a wide range of special powers. Fearful that this invention will be misused, Yuka sneaks the set of paints home, substituting a dummy suitcase with an ordinary set of paints in their place.
From here, signals get crossed. Ashley comes home from school one day with her new friend Luke and, thinking that the Nolans have purchased a surprise gift for her upcoming birthday, finds the set of paints. Being an artist, Ashley naturally assumes these are for her. It isn’t long before she realizes that she’s stumbled upon something much bigger and a lot more dangerous. Although she uses her newly discovered powers for good, it’s not long before the military becomes wise to what happened to their secret weapon. And this spells big trouble not only for Ashley, but for her newfound family and friends as well.
These and the other DC middle grade titles are part of a continuing effort to bring classic DC characters to wider audiences while also indoctrinating new audiences to the medium of comics. Both books are currently available for pre-order.