Comic Book / Lois Lane

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"It's my business, looking beyond the external."
Lois and Clark, "Pilot"

Lois Lane is a reporter and the main Romantic Interest of Superman. She continues to be an inextricable part of the Superman mythos and appears in virtually every versions of the character, be it comics, movies or animations. Lois first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June, 1938), the first published Superman story. She was one of the very first female comic book characters appearing in American superhero comic books.

Lois is a career-driven, Intrepid Reporter who speaks her mind and goes for the big scoop regardless of the dangers. Her creator Jerry Siegel said he based Lois on the film character Torchy Blane and actress Lola Lane. Her first series, during The Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s, was Lois Lane, Girl Reporter, which appeared in the Superman comic book and had her defeating bad guys and getting front page stories on her own.

In The Silver Age of Comic Books, Lois had her own standalone comic book series titled Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane, which lasted for 137 issues from 1958 to 1974. The series focused on Lois' adventures and romances and had a very humorous tone, her character becoming less serious and focusing a lot more on romances with Superman or others. Her suspicion that Clark Kent is Superman and her attempt to prove it greatly increased during this period. An adult version of the character Lana Lang was also introduced to the book. In some of the stories she became a superhero herself, but only briefly or in imaginary stories that were not intended as part of the official canon. Come the 1970s, the series attempted to modernize Lois by having her be more career orientated, no longer interested in romances, with the stories tackling more serious subjects.

In 1974, the series, along with Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl, was moved into the Superman Family comic series, where Lois got to strut her stuff in her own stories as a Badass Action Girl reporter who managed to get the big scoops while taking down bad guys without Superman's help throughout the '70s and early '80s.

In the Modern Age comics, much like the Golden Age, Lois was portrayed as a tough-as-nails reporter. In the 1990s, Clark and Lois began a long term romantic relationship in canon, with Clark proposing to Lois and revealing his identity as Superman to her. After a long engagement, which was delayed by the death of Superman, Clark and Lois were finally married in the 1996 comic book special, Superman: The Wedding Album. The '90s Superman television Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman mirrored the comics with the couple also married on the show. This status quo remained throughout the '00s until the Cosmic Retcon of Flashpoint, which erased the marriage and had them seeing other people. However, the miniseries Superman: Lois and Clark reintroduced the pre-Flashpoint married Lois and Clark to the main DCU alongside their post-Flashpoint counterparts.

Lois once again got her own comic series, Superwoman, as part of 2016's DC Rebirth, in which the post-Flashpoint Lois gained Superman's powers, becoming a superhero and protecting Metropolis.

Lois and Superman have had children in a number of continuities, whether biological or adopted. The most notable include Chris Kent, Jon Lane Kent, Jason White (in the film Superman Returns) and Jonathan Samuel Kent, who was born in the Convergence event, appeared with his parents in Superman: Lois and Clark, and eventually became Superboy.

Lois has appeared in multiple Superman adaptations in different media. Her first appearance was in the 1940s radio series The Adventures of Superman, with others including the 1940s Fleischer Superman Theatrical Cartoons, the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman, the Christopher Reeve Superman film series played by actress Margot Kidder, the 1990s Superman: The Animated Series voiced by Dana Delany, the 2000s Smallville television series, the 2013 Superman film Man of Steel played by Amy Adams, and various other Superman films, TV series and cartoons.

Lois also stars in her own young adult novels, Lois Lane: Fallout and Lois Lane: Double Down, written by Gwenda Bond.


Lois Lane gives us:

  • Action Girl: The Golden Age and Modern Age comic versions of Lois Lane portray her as a tough-as-nails reporter, strong and aggressive.
  • Alliterative Name: It led to the trend of many of the Superman supporting characters having the initials "LL".
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: In the 1960s The Silver Age of Comic Books had her in these. Check out the second panel of this comic to give you an idea of her character back then.
  • Badass Normal: Very much so. She's a crusading idealist who works as a reporter to bring down corrupt elements, and she's got the martial arts skills to back up her idealism. Lois is frequently shown to be courageous and often refuses to be intimidated by supervillains, resulting in several CMOAs for her over the years, one notable one being in Superman Unbound when Brainiac is monologuing about how insignificant Earth and its people seem to him, and Lois responds simply by giving Brainiac the finger, much to his confusion.
  • Berserk Button: Don't insult, use Kryptonite on, or otherwise hurt Superman in front of Lois. You're talking about an unpowered human who has Seen It All and is not intimidated even by the likes of Lex Luthor and The Joker. You do not want to be on the wrong end of her Undying Loyalty to the Man of Steel.
  • Betty and Veronica: In the modern era, Lana is Betty and Lois is Veronica (for example, Smallville).
  • Big Bra to Fill: Lois has been played by actors with different physiques and various hair colors (See: Noel Neill, Margot Kidder, Teri Hatcher, Dana Delaney, Erica Durance and Amy Adams).
  • Black Like Me: One of the more notorious stories, "I Am Curious, Black" has Lois being turned into a black woman (with a big afro) to see what the African American experience is like. It could have been a powerful story, but it was patronizing and superficial.
  • Brainy Brunette/Fiery Redhead: She has both the brains and the attitude and has been depicted as both over the years, though jet black hair is her most common look.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Terrible at spelling, to a mild degree, a running gag throughout several of the media she has appeared in, despite her fame and success as a newspaper journalist.
  • The Bus Came Back: Lana Lang in the comics.
  • Captain Ersatz: While Lois has been endlessly homaged and parodied, most people don't know that she was based on a 1930s movie character called Torchy.
  • Characterization Marches On: Golden Age Lois was a lot more level-headed in early stories, occasionally getting herself out of trouble before Superman could do it. Chickification set in the Silver Age and Xenafication in the Modern Age. Lois as she is now is actually quite accurate to the day-one character.
  • Chickification: The Silver Age incarnation. After the more intrepid Golden Age incarnation, conservative values influenced by The Comics Code set in, so she went from being a somewhat bitter rival to Clark to being more focused on getting Superman to marry her.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the Golden Age comics, Lois had a young niece named Susie Thompkins, whose shtick was getting into trouble by telling fibs. Susie's last appearance was in the mid-50s; a few years later, Lois' (unmarried) sole sibling Lucy Lane was introduced, and Susie was never seen again, save a few appearances in the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" stories of The '70s. There, she's shown as the daughter of Earth-Two's married Lucy Lane Thompkins.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Silver-Age Lois and Lana, though not Lori.
  • Cosmic Plaything: As with Jimmy, some of the things Lois experienced happened because she was connected to Superman... and others just happened out of nowhere.
  • Damsel in Distress: To the point of some meta jokes about it, and some Genre Savvy comments. Nearly all the version of Lois (from comic to cartoon and films) need to be saved often from Superman.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She provides the page image. This is a woman who gets caught by villains all the frickin' time, but only because she's Genre Savvy enough to know that if she does so, she'll not only get the scoop on the front page story, but also somehow survive to write it. And not just by getting rescued if Superman doesn't know/is depowered/is busy, she'll pretend to fall in love with the drug lord who captured her, then blast herself out of their wedding, veil, gown, and all, with a Mook's stolen machine gun.
    • Even in the early days, Lois had quite the nerve. In some of the earliest Fleischer cartoons (now public domain) she pulls such stunts as trying to sabotage a getaway vehicle, climbing onto the back of a mechanical monster to see where it was going, blasting away with a submachine gun at would-be train robbers, and disguising herself as a Nazi to warn the American fleet of a U-boat threat (well, it WAS the early forties).
  • Deadpan Snarker: From day one.
    Clark: Why is it you always avoid me at the office?
    Lois: Please Clark! I've been scribbling "sob stories" all day long. Don't ask me to dish out another.
    Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
  • Derailing Love Interests: If it is an Elseworld story, you can bet this is what happens to Lois, that is if she isn't just killed off.
  • Distress Ball: Oh so very often. She followed her journalistic instincts into danger so frequently it's a miracle she ever survived before having the personal attentions of a Physical God (aka Superman).
  • Friendly Enemy: Pre-Crisis, Lois and Lana were usually very good-natured about their love rivalry with each other.
  • Genre Savvy: Lois knows Superman well enough that she can throw herself out of a window and be sure that he'll catch her. He even did it during Hush, while he was mind-controlled.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Frequently. She is a reporter after all.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Lois and Clark's son Jonathan.
  • Happily Married: To Clark Kent/Superman in the Post-Crisis timeline.
  • Henpecked Husband: What Superman becomes in some of the Imaginary Stories.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: (she is fiercely loyal, after all). She does often attempt to hide her softer side, but the truth is she's willing to go to the ends of the earth to fight for justice and protect the people she loves.
  • Hot Scoop: Especially in the Silver Age (one story had her merely need a bottle of hair dye to pose as a famously beautiful actress.)
  • Informed Attribute: Lois's skills and reputation as an unstoppable and awesome reporter are strangely absent in some incarnations.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Clark Kent/Superman. Clark is a Kryptonian and Lois is a human.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Much more intrepid in the Modern Age, but to an extent in the old stories as well.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: A Running Gag during the Golden Age and - mainly - the Silver Age. In fact, her Silver Age's iteration currently provides the page image of this trope.
  • Loving a Shadow: Her infatuation with Superman often looked like this in the Golden Age and the Silver Age and even a little bit into the Bronze Age.
  • Military Brat: Ever since the mid-1980's reboot this has been a key part of her characterization, as it provides a backstory, a source for her Action Girl badassery, and plenty of dramatic tension between her, her strict father General Lane, and her sister Lucy (who often sides with the General over Lois). In many stories, Lois's military friends and the knowledge she gained about military protocols often come in handy for stories she's chasing as well.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's certainly easy on the eyes.
  • Never Be a Hero: If she gets superpowers in a story, she'll be back to normal by the end.
  • Official Couple: With Superman in the Post-Crisis timeline.
  • Pretty in Mink: Has worn a few fur coats over the years, including in some Christmas issues.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: She's almost always introduced as a Pulitzer Prize recipient.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: With Superman.
  • The Rival: She considers Clark Kent to be her rival as the Daily Planet's star reporter, which is especially apparent in the early Golden Age stories.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Lois let these out quite often, in spite of repeatedly being told not to, even after all the other times she'd done it.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Lois in the Modern Age and for a good portion of the 1990's and the 2000's is in love with Clark not because he is Superman, but because he is a sweet, kind-hearted farmboy from Kansas.
  • Stalker with a Crush: During the Silver Age, intentionally or not.
  • Superdickery: Sometimes she was the victim, and sometimes she was the instigator, but Lois is a Trope Codifier.
  • They Do: With Superman or other comic characters.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Her main point of contrast to her sister Lucy.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Thanks to her fondness for getting a front page story, and always having Superman to back her up if/when she needs it. Sometimes it's shown that she takes these risks because she knows she has backups, or can handle herself just fine. And sometimes she puts herself into these situations because a hostage can get the best details of what the criminals and supervillains are up to.
  • Transformation Comic: Often rivaled the Jimmy Olsen comics for this.
  • Tsundere: The Trope Codifier.
  • Undying Loyalty: Towards Superman and her family and friends.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Superman or Clark Kent in several incarnations and comics.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: In those continuities where she doesn't know Clark Kent and Superman are the same, she is usually this to Clark, enjoying a very friendly workplace rivalry with him and chastising him for his timidity. In the early Golden Age her dislike for Clark was genuine but their relationship quickly evolved into this trope.
  • Weak-Willed: During the Golden Age she was frequently hypnotised. Oddly this was much more a trait of the Golden Age Lois who was assertive and had a very strong personality than the less feisty Silver Age version.
  • Weirdness Magnet: As much as Jimmy Olsen. Been aged prematurely, forced to marry a gorilla, and much, much more.
  • "Well Done, Daughter" Gal: Lois had this relationship with her father Sam Post-Crisis. He wanted a son, badly.
  • Xenafication: Starting at least since the late 1970s in Superman Family, when Lois starting kicking bad guy ass quite well in her solo stories without Superman around.
  • Younger Than They Look: In live action adaptations Lois has been played by actress slightly older than the actor playing Clark Kent despite the two characters being roughly the same age, or, as was the case in Donnerverse films, Lois being the younger onenote . This is probably to reflect her hardbitten, Street Smart reporter persona against Clark's farmboy naivetie.


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