Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett looks at a new Aftershock title, New Challengers, and the news of a possible Lois Lane series.

As previously established, I always feel a little disoriented whenever The Hollywood Reporter covers comic books.   Maybe because when I first started reading the entertainment trade magazines* back in the 70s it was literally inconceivable that they would ever take notice of the comic book industry.  But I was particularly bollixed by this piece posted by THR yesterday, ‘“Lost City Explorers’ Comic Book Discovers Atlantis Under New York (Exclusive).”  It features a preview of Lost City Explorers, a new series from AfterShock coming in June by Zack Kaplan and Alvaro Sarraseca.  Kaplan says the comic is about “...a group of millennial teenagers who go on an underground adventure to rescue one of their fathers in a mash-up of sci-fi supernatural archeology and urban exploration with a Stranger Things vibe.”

Oddly enough, due to its theme the title had registered on my radar before this. Because in spite of my lifelong love of superheroes I've also always been extremely fond of merely human adventurers, especially explorers.  Take, for example,  Adam Strange, who after decades of cult comic obscurity will finally be getting some much needed media exposure thanks to Syfy’s upcoming series Krypton (see “New ‘Krypton Trailer Reveals Plot”),  It’s a character that’s always classified as a spaceman but what everyone seems to forget is that back when Adam caught his first Zeta-Beam to the planet Rann, he was an archeologist being chased by natives in Peru,

And as a big fan of the Challengers of the Unknown, naturally I’m looking forward to New Challengers, the series spinning out of Dark Knight: Metal (see “DC’s ‘New Challengers’”).  DC has attempted to revive and/or revamp the title at least a half dozen times since the 1960’s, without much success, so I’ve learned the hard way to adjust my expectations, Although the fact this version is being done by Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie, Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson admittedly does raise my hopes.

Something else I like about both Lost City Explorers and New Challengers is their examples of contemporary explorers.  When we think about an “explorer” it conjures up an antiquated stock old movie character, a square-jawed fantasy figure dressed in jodhpurs (a.k.a. "riding-breeches," breeches being another antiquated word for "pants") and pith helmet, but the truth is there are still explorers, and they discover new species and old artifacts  every day. And If think you that "the lost city" is just a lazy, overused pop culture trope, back in February The Guardian reported that “Laser scanning reveals ‘lost’ ancient Mexican city ‘had as many buildings as Manhattan.’”

The thing that really puzzled me about this THR piece on Lost City Explorers was, as far as I can tell, it has no connection to the entertainment industry.  It’s just a good looking yet-to-be-published comic book with a sky-high concept premise; it certainly hasn’t been optioned for a movie.  But with this kind of exposure, that might change soon.

Recently the headline of a piece on The Bleeding Cool asked the question, “DC Comics to Publish a New Lois Lane Series? Jim Lee Hints at it During #SXSW”  While not exactly promising anything, DC Comics co-publisher is quoted as saying “There are big plans … we are fully aware of the love of these characters and we would be remiss to ignore that.”  Given the way the readership has changed over the last decade, not publishing a Lois Lane comic certainly seems like DC is intentionally leaving a lot of money on the table.

But for me the interesting portion of that piece was the paragraph that began with, “In the 1940s, Lois had her own newspaper comic strip, Lois Lane, Girl Reporter.”  Now, I confess that I’m no know-it-all, but I do like to delude myself that I know something about the subject I’ve devoted most of my life to.  And I had certainly never heard that Lois had ever had her own comic strip.  But one very brief internet search later I found a link to, “Comic Legends Revealed: Did Lois Lane Have Her Own Comic Strip?”  which sent me to the Comic Book Resources website.

“Comic Legends Revealed” is a regular CBR feature which reliably examines the truthfulness of various comic related stories.  And, in spite of the fact that this installment includes images of several comic strips titled “Lois Lane, Girl Reporter”, CBR declares the status of this one to be “More False Than True”.  Admittedly, it's complicated, but anyone else interested in learning about a little-known facet of the character’s history might want to click on the link.

*I know that kind of makes it sound like I had some connection to the entertainment industry.  But back then I was actually just a movie and TV-obsessed adolescent who schlepped all the way downtown on the bus so I could read copies of Variety at the main branch of the Akron Public Library.  And I read “just for fun.”

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of