Lois Lane

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The Golden Age Lois Lane and Superman, from the cover of Superman #27 (March-April 1944). Pencils by Wayne Boring.)
The Golden Age Lois Lane and Superman, from the cover of Superman #27 (March-April 1944). Pencils by Wayne Boring.)

Lois Lane is Superman's long time girlfriend and now wife in the DC ComicsSuperman stories. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, she first appeared in Action Comics #1 (1938). Lois' physical appearance was originally based on a model hired by Siegel and Shuster named Joanne Carter, who would later marry Siegel. Lois's personality was based on Torchy Blaine, a female reporter featured in a series of films from the 1930s. Siegel took her name from actress Lola Lane, who portrayed Torchy in one of the middle entries.TIME Magazine, May 30, 1988, Letters to the Editor, P. 6-7)

Lois is Superman's chief romantic interest and, in the current DC continuity, his wife. Like Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent, she is a reporter for the Metropolis newspaper, The Daily Planet.

Depictions of Lois Lane have varied since her character was created in 1938, spanning the nearly 70-year history of Superman comic books and other media adaptations. During the Silver Age, she was the star of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane, a comic title that had a light and frivolous tone. However, the original Golden Age version of Lois, as well as versions of her from the 1970s onwards, portray Lois as a tough-as-nails journalist and intellectual equal to Superman. One thing has remained throughout the character's 70-year history however, she has always been the most prominent love-interest in Superman's life and is seen by many fans as the archetypical comic book love interest.



Aspects of Lois' personality have varied over the years (depending on the comic writers' handling of the character and American social attitudes toward women at the time), but in most incarnations she has been depicted as a determined, strong-willed person, whether it involves beating her rival reporter Clark Kent to a story or (in what became a trademark of 1950s and 1960s era Superman stories) alternating between elaborate schemes to convince Superman to marry her and proving to others her suspicion that Clark was in reality Superman. She also traditionally had a cool attitude toward Clark, who in her view paled in comparison to his alter ego. At times, the character has been portrayed as a damsel in distress.

Lois Lane was modeled on Lola Lane, an actress in the 1930's who appeared in films like Public Stenographer. Lois is regarded as attractive, but not in the exaggerated "supermodel" sense often seen in superhero comics' depictions of womenTemplate:Fact. Her appearance has varied over the years, depending either on current fashion or (especially more recently) the way she's depicted in contemporary media adaptations; for instance, in the mid-1990s, when the series Lois and Clark began airing, Lois received a hair cut that made her look more like Teri Hatcher, and her eyes were typically violet to match the Lois of the television cartoon Superman: The Animated Series after that show began airing. Traditionally, Lois has black hair, though for a period from the late 1980s through the late 1990s, Lois was depicted with brown hair in the comics. She started with red hair in the original Sunday papers thoughTemplate:Fact.

Lois is the daughter of Ellen and Sam Lane. In the earlier comics, her parents were farmers in a town called Pittsdale; the modern comics, however, depict Sam as a retired soldier, and Lois as a former "army brat," with Lois having been trained by her father in areas such as hand-to-hand combat and the use of firearms. Lois also has one younger sibling, her sister Lucy Lane.

In the current comics, Lois is married to Clark Kent (and aware of his secret identity), but has kept her maiden name for professional purposes.

Character Biography

The comics have seen several incarnations of Lois Lane over the decades.

Golden Age

In the earliest Golden Age comics, Lois was featured as an aggressive, career-minded reporter for the Daily Star (the paper's name was changed to The Daily Planet in the early 1940s), who, after Clark Kent joined the paper and Superman debuted around the same time, found herself attracted to Superman, but displeased with her new journalistic competition in the form of Kent. Starting in the late 1940s or early 1950s comics, Lois began to suspect that Clark Kent was Superman, and started to make various attempts at uncovering his secret identity, all of which backfired (usually thanks to Superman's efforts).

In the Golden Age comics, Lois also had a niece named Susie Tompkins, whose main trait was getting into trouble by telling exaggerated tall tales and fibs to adults. Susie's last appearance was in 1955; subsequent comics presented Lois' only sibling, Lucy, as single and childless.

After DC instituted its multiverse system in the early 1960s for organizing its continuity, it was deemed that the Lois of the Golden Age comics (i.e., comics published from 1938 through the early 1950s) lived on the parallel world of "Earth-Two" versus the then-mainstream (Silver Age) universe of "Earth-One." In 1978's Action Comics #484, it was revealed that sometime in the 1950s, the Earth-Two Lois became infatuated with Clark Kent after the latter lost his memory of his superheroic identity (thanks to a spell cast by the old Justice Society of America enemy, the Wizard), with the result of Clark acting more aggressive and extroverted. Clark and Lois began to date each other, and were soon married; however, during the honeymoon, Lois discovered that Clark was indeed Superman, and after recruiting the aid of the Wizard, restored Clark's memory. A series of stories in the 1970s and 1980s titled "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" presented the further adventures of the now-married Lois and Clark (in several of which Susie Tompkins made a return as a recurring character).

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, the Earth-Two Lois Lane was seen for one of the final times, as she, the Earth-Two Superman, and the Earth-Prime Superboy are taken by Earth-Three's Alexander Luthor, Jr. (who himself was the son of Earth-Three's Lois Lane, who had perished, along with her husband Alexander Luthor, Sr., in the first issue of the series) into a paradise-like dimension at the end of the story (after all the parallel Earths, including Earth-Two, had been eliminated in favor of just one Earth), after which this version of Lois was (seemingly) permanently discarded from DC's continuity.

In 2005's Infinite Crisis miniseries, it was revealed that the Earth-Two Lois Lane, along with Superboy, Alexander Luthor, Jr. and Superman, have been watching the events of the post-Crisis DC Universe from their pocket dimension. Out of the four observers, she is the only one who still believes that the new universe is just going through a rough patch; Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor are convinced that Earth is utterly corrupt, and Kal-L is slowly becoming swayed to their way of thinking. This version of Lois is frail, and died for reasons not explicitly revealed, though probably connected to her octogenarian status. This was the main reason for Kal-L's determination to restore Earth-2, as he believed that Lois' health would recover once back on her proper Earth. Despite the restoration of Earth-2, however, Lois Lane died in the arms of Superman in Infinite Crisis #5 and after Earth-2 Superman's death at the end of Infinite Crisis #7, they are shown reunited in the stars.

Silver Age

When the reading audience of comic books became predominately young boys in the mid-to-late 1950s, the focus of Superman stories shifted toward science fiction-inspired plots involving extraterrestrials, fantasy creatures and bizarre, often contrived, plots. Lois' main interests in various late 1950s and 1960s stories became vying with her rival Lana Lang for Superman's affections, attempting to prove Clark Kent and Superman were one and the same, and tricking or otherwise forcing Superman into marriage. Superman's rationale for resisting her matrimonial desires was that she could be trusted not to keep his secret identity hidden, and that marrying her would put her in increased danger from his enemies (Of course, this ignored the fact that his romantic relationship with her was already public knowledgeTemplate:Fact). This change in Lois' personality from her earlier 1940s self might also be a result of American society's attitudes toward women and their societal roles in the 1950s. Regardles, Lois married several times in the Superman stories of this era -- to other characters such as Batman and Jimmy Olsen. She also married a convicted criminal on death row (and various Superman pastiches). All these marriages were either annulled or otherwise forgotten.

Lois became more and more popular during this decade, and after appearing as the lead character in two issues of DC's title Showcase in 1957, DC created an on-going title for the character, titled Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane beginning in March 1958 and running for 137 issues until September of 1974. Most of these placed an emphasis on Lois' romance with Superman, and were drawn by artist Kurt Schaffenberger; indeed, Schaffenberger's rendition of Lois became cited by many as the "definitive" version of Lois, and he was often asked by DC editor Mort Weisinger to redraw other artists' depictions of Lois Lane in other DC titles where she appeared.

By the end of the 1960s, as attitudes toward women's role in American society changed, Lois' character changed as well. Stories in the 1970s depicted her as fully capable and less reliant on Superman. She engaged in more solo adventures without Superman being involved, and was much less interested in discovering Superman's secret identity. For example, in her solo stories in Superman Family (an anthology title started in the mid-1970s after the cancellation of Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane and Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen), Lois regularly battled criminals and often defeated them using her quick wits and considerable skill in the Kryptonian martial art of Klurkor, taught to her by Kryptonian survivors in the bottle-city of Kandor.

After the 1985-1986 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, writer and artist John Byrne revised the Superman legend, and eliminated the Silver Age version of Lois from continuity; before this happened, a final non-canonical "imaginary story" Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? was written by writer Alan Moore, meant as a send-off for the "pre-Crisis" versions of the characters, including Lois.

Modern Age

Lois underwent a character alteration beginning with John Byrne's The Man of Steel miniseries, which completely rewrote Superman's origin and history. In this modern version of events, Lois was portrayed as a tough-as-nails reporter who rarely needed rescuing. She was depicted as strong, opinionated, yet sensitive.

Another major change made was that Lois did not fall in love with Superman (though she may have harbored a slight crush at first). One reason was the revised nature of the Superman/Clark Kent relationship. In the original Silver Age stories, Superman had been the man who disguised himself as Clark Kent. In this new revised concept, it was Clark Kent who lived a life in which his activity as Superman was decidedly secondary. After some time, Lois and Clark began dating. In the early 1990s, they became engaged and Clark revealed to Lois the secret of his dual life.

DC had planned on Lois and Clark being married in 1993's Superman #75. However, with the then-upcoming television show Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, DC decided they did not want to have the two married in the comics and not married on TV. Partially as a result of this, Superman was killed in Superman #75 instead, dying in Lois' arms after a battle royal with the monster Doomsday. After a period of time, Superman returned to life, and both he and Lois resumed their relationship, though not without a few problems (such as a brief reappearance of Clark's former college girlfriend, the mermaid Lori Lemaris).

In 1996, coinciding with the Lois and Clark television program, Lois and Clark were finally wed in the one-shot special Superman: The Wedding Album, which featured the work of nearly every then-living artist who had ever worked on Superman. The Wedding Album itself, however, was forced to spend part of its opening pages accommodating and reconciling the then-current comic storyline of Lois and Clark having broken off their engagement (the television program's producers had failed to provide adequate lead time for the Superman comics' writers).Template:Fact

Since their marriage, Clark and Lois' continue to remain one of the stronger relationships in most comic series. In 2007, the couple recently took the 'next step' in adopting a newly arrived Kryptonian boy, who they name Chris Kent. The boy is discovered to be the son of Jor-El's arch-foe, General Zod. Although intitially uneasy about raising a super-powered boy, Lois has shown immense aptitude of being 'Mommy Lois'.

Other versions

During the years (1942-1985) that Editora Brasil-América (EBAL), and the Editora Abril published the Brazilian versions of Superman comics, Lois Lane's name was translated to "Miriam Lane" and later to "Miriam Lois Lane".

All Star Superman

In 2005, DC launched a new All Star Superman comic series by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. The series takes place outside normal DC continuity. In this storyline, they are not married, and although Superman revealed his secret identity to Lois in issue #2, she didn't believe him. At the end of the issue, Superman (who believed he was dying) presents Lois with a super-powered chemical and a superhero costume and Lois Lane becomes Superwoman for 24 hours.

In other media

  • Actress Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane on the ABC television series Lois and Clark for four seasons, starting in 1993, with the two leading characters getting married during its run; this is the first television or film series that showed Lois and Clark's romance fully realized. When Teri Hatcher hosted Saturday Night Live, she participated in a sketch where she pretended not to recognize well-known SNL cast members who joined her on stage when they wore glasses, poking fun at the fact that Lois Lane never seemed to realize that Clark Kent is just Superman wearing glasses.
  • Actress Dana Delany voiced Lois Lane in the Superman animated television series of the 1990s and in the character's subsequent appearances on Justice League and its successor Justice League Unlimited, all of which are a part of the DC animated universe. In this version, series creator Bruce Timm and character designer James Tucker reinvented Lois more like her original comic counterpart, in that at first her relationship with Clark was very much a rivalry about which was the better reporter, and she would at times actively attempt to trick him out of stories. At first, Lois was skeptical about Superman, but she grew closer to him throughout the series. She previously dated Lex Luthor before she broke off the relationship. Lois also had a relationship with Gotham City's Wayne Enterprises CEO Bruce Wayne, but it didn't last after Lois discovers that he is the infamous masked vigilantee Batman. Superman and Lois did not share their first kiss until the final moments of "Legacy", Superman's last episode. Superman and Lois are shown to be dating by the time of Justice League Unlimited. In the episode "Divided We Fall", the writers planned to have Superman reveal his secret identity to Lois, but the decision was vetoed by DC.Divided We Fall
  • Actress Kate Bosworth played Lois Lane in the 2006 Bryan Singer-directed film Superman Returns. In this version, she has given birth to a son named Jason White, who is later revealed to be Superman's son. The film's continuity is semi-sequel to that of Superman I, so Bosworth's Lois could be considered similar to Margot Kidder's Lois Lane but with differences.
  • Dana Delany reprises her role as Lois in Season 5 of The Batman. She, along with Jimmy Olsen, are in Gotham City reporting on Superman's visit to deliver a check from Metropolis, when Metallo attacks Superman. She and Jimmy follow the fight to the junkyard where she takes a picture of Superman with Batman after defeating Metallo. Back in Metropolis, she is kidnapped by Clayface and Black Mask for Lex Luthor to infuriate Superman. After being rescued, Lois tells Superman that Black Mask was working with Luthor. Superman leaves to confront Luthor.


On the 2000s WB series Smallville, Erica Durance plays a young Lois Lane who came to Smallville to investigate the apparent death of her cousin, Chloe Sullivan Smallville episode: Crusade. Durance plays a twenty year old Lois, despite the fact that she is five years older than Kate Bosworth, who plays an adult version of the character in the concurrently released Superman Returns. After teaming up with Clark Kent to find her cousin Chloe Sullivan, she returned for several guest star appearances in Season 4 before signing to return as a thirteen episode regular in Season 5. During this season, she had romantic feelings towards Arthur Curry Smallville episode: Aqua This version of Lois was originally not interested in journalism at all, instead working in politics. In the sixth season Lois began to develop an interest in journalism, working at the tabloid paper, the Inquisitor Smallville episode: Sneeze. She began to investigate and write articles about the Green Arrow. Lois even enlisted Clark's and Jimmy's help in proving that Oliver Queen is actually the Green Arrow. In the same episode Lois kisses a masked Clark who is posing as the Green Arrow. Soon after the kiss, Lois realizes that the Green Arrow is not (like she thought) Oliver Queen. She slaps Green Arrow a.k.a. Clark after the kiss. She had been dating Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, Smallville episode: Justice. However, Oliver broke off their relationship because of his commitment to stop Lex Luthor's 33.1 Projects on LuthorCorp with his team. Soon after Lois is under a love spell which makes her fall in love with Clark. Conveniently her love potion is made of Red Kryptonite which makes Clark lose all inhibitions and he reveles his powers to her by taking her on a romantic flightlike super jump from the top of the Daily Planet building Smallville episode: Crimson. She also continued to work as the chief of staff for Martha Kent's senate seat. Lois has recently been hired at the Daily Planet as a reporter Smallville episode: Kara. She is also dating Grant Gabriel, recently revealed to be a clone of the deceased Julian Luthor Smallville episode: Blue. Oliver later returns to Metropolis for business, at the same time, trying to revive his relationship with Lois. However, Lois discovers Oliver's secret after Black Canary attacked them. Unwilling to share Oliver with the rest of the world, she rejects the chance to continue their romance, leaving him heartbroken. Smallville episode: Siren.

Cultural references

  • The secondary female lead in the musical Kiss Me, Kate is named Lois Lane; she plays Bianca in the show-within-a-show's production of The Taming of the Shrew: The Musical. Whether she was named after the Superman character is unknown.
  • Several parodic or homage versions of Lois Lane have appeared in Marvel Comics, usually unnamed or with the first name Lois and no surname, and often in the company of a similarly unnamed Clark analogue. A more indirect homage was Terri Kidder, a reporter for the Daily Bugle who was named after two actresses who had played Lois. She was killed in The Pulse #2.
  • There is a street in the Metro Detroit area (specifically, the city of Southfield, Michigan) called "Lois Lane".
  • There is a street in the Corporate Park of Staten Island named "Lois Lane".
  • There is a street in Orange County in the city of Fullerton named "Lois Lane".
  • The American sitcom Seinfeld made numerous references to Lois over its nine-year run:
    • In a 1993 episode, Jerry tells a female reporter for a college newspaper: "I was attracted to you, too. You remind me of Lois Lane."
    • A 1994 episode ("The Mom & Pop Store") has Elaine tell Jerry she's been doing some snooping for him. "Ah! What'd you find out, Lois?" he replies.
    • In the episode "The Race," Jerry dates a woman named "Lois" and makes several Superman-related references to her name.
    • In "The Face Painter" (1995), George discovers that a woman he is dating is deaf in one ear and therefore might not have heard him tell her he loves her. "Don't you see what this means?" he says. "It's like the whole thing never happened. It's like when Superman reversed the rotation of the earth to save Lois Lane!"
    • The 1998 episode "The Cartoon" has Jerry make fun of Elaine's drawings, leading her to reply: "It's better than your drawings of naked Lois Lane."
    • In "The Strong Box" (also 1998), Elaine dates a man whose mysterious ways lead Jerry to joke that he is a crimefighter protecting his secret identity. When they find out the man is poor, Jerry and George comment, respectively, that his "super power was lack of money" and that "maybe his girlfriend is Lois Loan."
    • Teri Hatcher appeared (with no mention of Lois Lane) in two episodes. Hatcher played Lois Lane in the television show Lois and Clark.
    • In a 1994 episode, The Marine Biologist, when Elaine accuses Jerry of helping a strange woman just so he can take her out on a date, Jerry replies that Superman is never suspected of such intentions when saving a woman's life, prompting Elaine to comment "Well, you're not Superman," to which Jerry responds, "Well, you're not Lois Lane..."
  • In Just Jack's first single off his second album Overtones (2007), Writer's Block, Jack seems dating Lois Lane while loving Mary Jane. "I'm loving Mary Jane, flying with Lois Lane, I buy the bullet train, don't know yet if I'm glad I came".
  • The Spin Doctors' 1991 album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, takes its title as a reference to the album's first song, "Jimmy Olsen's Blues." The song is sung from the point of view of a Jimmy Olsen who's in love with Lois Lane and jealous of Superman because of it.
  • In the USA Network television series Monk, Adrian Monk's nurse, Sharona, reveals to a date that her job as the nurse assistant to the obsessive-compulsive detective makes her feel like Lois Lane. Later in the episode, when Sharona follows the killer they've been after, police captain Stottlemeyer snaps at Monk, "Who does Sharona think she is?" Monk answers sheepishly, "Lois Lane."
  • In the movie One Fine Day (1996), the editor of the newspaper reporter Jack Taylor (George Clooney) has a cat named after Lois Lane.

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