SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Action Comics #1001 by Brian Michael Bendis, Patrick Gleason, Alejandro Sanchez and Josh Reed, on sale now.
In Brian Michael Bendis and Patrick Gleason's Action Comics #1001, Clark Kent continues to investigate the rash of apartment fires in Metropolis, while also dealing with Superman being falsely accused as the arson suspect. Having begun to deal with Lois and Jon's departure in Superman #1, Bendis' story can now focus on the task at hand. But the end of the issue provides a shocking and potentially devastating reveal.
Lois and Jon were last seen, except in subsequent flashbacks, vanishing with Jor-El for parts unknown across the cosmos in Man of Steel #6. Jon's final words to his dad upon leaving assured him "we'll be back before you know it," and were immediately echoed by Lois. The final page of Action Comics #1001 shows that those words have turned out to be at least partially prophetic. While there's still no sign of Jon, Lois is shown, back on Earth, and secretly typing out the passages of what appears to be her new book. She's definitely back, and yes, it's before Clark knows it.
The Secret Return of Lois Lane
Why would Lois return to Earth alone, after refusing to let Jon leave with his Kryptonian grandfather without her tagging along? Well, keep in mind that Lois wasn't all that keen on Jon going in the first place, but seemingly changed her mind pretty quickly – after texting her lawyer, in Man of Steel #6, and receiving word of her book deal. That's right – Lois agreed to let Jor-El take her son, if she could come along, and in typical Lois Lane fashion, get a story out of it.
It certainly looks like she might have gotten it already, based on some of the cryptic-sounding book titles she's jotted down on a notepad. Attention-grabbing and almost salacious monikers like "I Married an Alien from Outer Space" and "Truth, Justice and the Kryptonian Way" indicate that she has some kind of story to tell. Those titles, though, don't necessarily sound like any kind of experiences she might have had out in space with her son and father-in-law. In fact, they point more towards some sort of exposé based on her time together with Clark – one that stands to not only expose Superman's identity, but also forever change the dynamic between Lois and her husband.