Gender Issues: Lois Lane

Superman has been the greatest superhero for over 70 years. There’s no debate there; even people (like me) who aren’t fans of the character recognize Superman as the hero that broke the mold and ushered in an era of unique storytelling. His ability to capture the attention of millions and millions of people worldwide is incredible.

Superman is only part of the equation. You guessed it – today, we’re talking about the fearless female reporter, Lois Lane.

What is it exactly that makes Lois an ally worthy of Superman? Why is she still relevant? Why, when DC is pushing the coupling of Superman and Wonder Woman, are Lois and Superman still considered the perfect match in comic books?

Lois Lane All-Star Superman
From All-Star Superman

Why does the world’s greatest superhero need Lois Lane?

I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not an avid reader of Superman comics, nor do I actively search out Lois Lane storylines. But, as a casual observer of Lois, I can see the impact she has on Superman and comic books overall.

If it’s been stated once, it’s been stated a thousand times: Lois grounds Superman. This alien, the last of his race, a god among men, is humanized through an ambitious reporter. Lois, using her street smarts and wise insights, is the force that keeps Superman in check.

Let’s look at a few examples.

In Kingdom Come, the Joker assassinates Lois Lane. Superman becomes a recluse. Her death triggers hopelessness and isolation.

In All-Star Superman, Superman reveals his identity to Lois in order to spend more time with her. Her life creates joy and love.

In Superman: Birthright, Superman falls head-over-heels for Lois. Her ambition inspires him to be more.

Even with the recent hookup between Superman and Wonder Woman, we all know that Superman will end in Lois’s arms before it’s all over. It’s not because she’s pretty, easy, or a trivial character. Lois was created as the one person who could handle Superman, regardless of gender. She’s as important to the superhero genre as Superman himself.

With the Man of Steel movie hitting theaters this week, let’s take a minute to share some essential Lois Lane stories. Leave a comment about your favorite Lois moment or recommended reading.

Lois Lane Birthright
From Superman Birthright

One thought on “Gender Issues: Lois Lane

  1. As great as Lois is for Superman, she’s also kind of really bad for him. He needs her too much for it to ever be healthy.

    In some cases he literally starts going so far down hill he can reach the point of genocidal dictator after she dies. Injustice Gods Among Us. Lois Dies, he start telling the world that’s he won’t accept villains or war anymore and that they have no say in the matter. He starts going too far, starts killing them. Eventually people don’t like being given ultimatums like, do what I say or die, when they express this, he decides they’re unappreciative and decides wipe entire cities off the map to teach them a lesson.

    In Superman the animated series episode 25, “Brave New Metropolis”, in an alternate universe Lois died, Superman joined up with Lex Luthor and became a dictator again, forcing his dystopia on the people.

    In Kingdom Come, she dies, makes him promise not to kill the Joker because of it. When someone else does though and is forgiven for the crime he loses his faith in humanity and secludes himself to the Fortress of Solitude for years.

    I’m no huge reader of comics, relatively new to seriously reading them actually, but her death affecting him so heavily so often is not a good sign. I’ll assume him betraying the world because of her death happens less often than not, but still. It’s one thing to grieve Lois’s death, it’s another to let the world crumble for years or actively take part in making it worse because of it.

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