Superwoman is a 2016 comic book, published by DC Comics as part of their Rebirth initiative. It was initially written by Phil Jimenez & drawn by Matt Santorelli and Emanuela Lupacchino, while K. Perkins took over as writer midway through its run.
Set in the aftermath of The Final Days of Superman, Lois Lane note and Lana Lang have been granted Superman's powers by a blast of energy the New 52 Superman released when he died — Lois essentially becomes a human Kryptonian, while Lana can manipulate electricity.
As awesome as that sounds, these new powers come with an inconvenient caveat: they're killing both of them. While Superman often got headaches because of his abilities, Lois and Lana suffer from deadly nosebleeds.
Deciding two Superwomen are better than one, Lois and Lana take on their first nemesis as superheroes: Lex Luthor, the "new" Superman of Metropolis. Realizing Lex isn't the root of their problem, the Superwomen investigate further — and Lois is then killed right before Lana's eyes by an unknown assailant.
This series is notable for being the first ongoing title at DC to actually be called Superwoman, despite that name's history within the DC Universe.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... Superwoman tropes!
- Action Girl: Lois and Lana do pretty well in their first shared outing as superheroes.
- Adaptational Sexuality:
- Steel's niece Natasha Irons makes her post-Flashpoint debut here, and mentions that she used to date a female engineer back in college. Whether she's a lesbian or bisexual isn't stated, but she definitely isn't straight.
- Dr. 13's daughter Traci 13 also makes her post-Flashpoint debut here as Natasha's girlfriend, having been Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes' girlfriend pre-Flashpoint.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Comparisons have been drawn between this series and Marvel's Thor, as they're both about ordinary human women who gain the superpowers of their former (male) lovers at the risk of their own health. Lana especially qualifies for this, since her powers are (not unlike Thor's) electricity-based.
- The Bechdel Test: Subverted. While the first issue largely fails this, it allows Lois and Lana to decide that they're each other's best support systems in the wake of Clark's death.
- Big Bad: Lena Luthor, who captures Lex and locks him away with the intention of destroying everything he's ever made.
- Brought Down to Normal: Thanks to the events of Superman Reborn, Lana is depowered.
- Call-Back: Among other things, the cloning technology that created Bizarro in Forever Evil and the Amazo virus in Justice League.
- Continuity Nod: Issue #2 contains a reference to Maggie Sawyer's breakup with Batwoman.Maggie: I know what it's like to be close to someone in your line of work and lose them, Superwoman.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Lana is not happy with Post-Crisis Lois impersonating New 52 Lois over in Action Comics. New 52 Lois herself is bemused by how few people notice the difference. (An in-joke about how Clark manages to pull off Clark Kenting, maybe...?)
- Deadly Nosebleed: Lois and Lana get these as a result of being irradiated by Superman's dying move.
- A Death in the Limelight: After spending five years in the New 52 as a supporting character, Lois becomes a superhero and finally gets a spotlight with her first ongoing title ... only to die in the first issue.
- Decoy Protagonist: The marketing ahead of this title's first issue led readers to believe it would be about Lois Lane. It's pretty safe to say nobody was expecting Lois to be dead by the first issue's end.
- Deuteragonist: Lana Lang. Until Lois' death, then Steel becomes Lana's.
- First-Person Peripheral Narrator: The series is narrated from Lana's POV, hinting from the get-go that Lois isn't the character we should be most invested in.
- Foreshadowing: That "Lois Lane ghost"? Explained in Superman Reborn.
- Gone Horribly Right: Lex Luthor used an experiment to try to revive his sister Lena. It worked and she repaid him for it by attempting to destroy him.
- HeelFace Turn: The series' B-plot is about Atomic Skull being a member of Maggie Sawyer's team.
- Heroic BSoD: Lana really doesn't take Lois' death very well.
- It's All About Me: Lana finds out that Lex claims he built LexCorp in honor of Lena and further claims that he's always loved her very deeply. Lana deconstructs Lex's statement by listing how he crippled her for life because he thought he knew better then Lena's doctors and could cure her paralysis, patented the discoveries Lena made and used them to build a billion dollar company while giving her absolutely no credit or money, and then kept her hidden underground so she could keep working for him. Lana caps this off by stating it's likely Lex does love his sister, but his enormous ego keeps putting him in the way of that.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Lana's visions of Lois. Is she starting to crack up? Is Lois a ghost or scientific equivalent? Or something else? Further muddled when one of the Bizarro Superwoman clones reveals she can see Lois too, which surprises Lois. We find out in Superman Reborn, it's the "red energy" of the New 52 Lois Lane that eventually merges with the "blue energy" of the pre-Flashpoint Lois Lane.
- Most Common Superpower: Unsurprisingly averted, since Phil Jimenez is outspoken about empowering female characters without objectifying them. Helps that one of the series' artists, Emanuela Lupacchino, is a woman.
- Later comics notably make Lana far bustier then she started in. Just compare her bust in 4 and 12.
- Mythology Gag:
- Lana's Superwoman powers and costume are those of the late 90s Superman Red.
- An Insect Queen costume appears in issue #2.
- Traci 13 makes her post-Flashpoint debut here, calling back to her very first appearances being in the Post-Crisis Superman titles.
- Never Trust a Title: This series is called Superwoman. Nobody said Lois was the one they were talking about.
- No Body Left Behind: Lois is killed and immediately turns to ash.
- Not So Invincible After All: Looks like Lois' powers weren't enough to keep her alive for very long.
- Power Degeneration: Lois and Lana are being physically harmed by their new powers.
- Powered Armor: How Lana, thanks to the Insect Queen suit, is able to remain Superwoman despite being a normal human.
- Red Herring: Lois isn't the Superwoman named in the title — it's Lana.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lana is the red to Lois' blue, in both personality and appearance.
- Refusal of the Call: Lana isn't interested in being a superhero like Lois is. That changes pretty quickly.
- Shock and Awe: While Lana doesn't get the classic Superman skillset, she does obtain the ability of electrical manipulation.
- Story Arc: Follows on from Darkseid War, with Lena Luthor having access to an Anti-Mother Box and seeking revenge on Lex. Also interlinking with plot elements of the other Super-family titles.
- Take Up My Sword: Lois sees her new superpowered self as an opportunity to honor the late Clark's legacy.
- Walking Spoiler: Look how many of these tropes are whited out! You can't discuss it at much length without spoiling the first issue, let alone what comes after.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Superman convinces Lana in issue #9 she can be Superwoman without powers.