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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
Mara Wood holds a Ph. D. in School Psychology. Currently, she works for a public school system assessing students for educational placement. Her research focus is comic books and how they can be used in therapy and educational settings. She tends to spend…

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