DC Comics Superheroine & the First Lady of Comics: Lois Lane
↳ “Lois Lane is Clark Kent’s Superman”
Pronounced "ska-lya." Champion navel-gazer, veteran pseudo-fictioneer. Expect dinosaurs (and other paleobeasties), aquatic life (the weirder the better), Doctor Who (all sorts), Spider-Man (original flavor) and whatever else takes my fancy. 95% reblogs, 5% pointless text posts.
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Lois, dear Lois. I loved you most of all. And no matter how dark it seems, there’s always a way.
— All-Star Superman
'Tales of Metropolis: Lois Lane' has been uploaded IN FULL to youtube!! It's hilarious and well done and deserves ALL THE VIEWS! Also, bonus Kevin Conroy who is THE BEST BATMAN EVER. Please watch and share!!!
One of many awesome DC Nation shorts.
DC Nation continues to just be A++ all over the place.
This is like the only version of contemporary DC I care about lately.
Do I have a treat for you today. As you know, this year is the 75th anniversary of Superman and Lois Lane. In April I ran a series of posts from some of the creators who wrote Lois to celebrate the character. Brad Ricca is a well known authority on the history of the creation of Superman and Lois and we discussed his doing a guest post for the series. The result is this post which discusses and shows for the first time in many decades some some of the early, non-Superman comics by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel that led to the creation of Lois Lane.
Brad Ricca (shown below) takes it from here.
So when Sue approached me about writing a guest post for the 75th anniversary of Lois Lane, I jumped at the chance. I love the character, like DC Women Kicking Ass (especially on Twitter), and oh yeah, I have a book coming out called Super Boys (June 4, St. Martin’s Press) that is all about the creation of Superman. But I had one request: I didn’t want to write about Lois.
This month marks 75 years since Action Comics #1 landed on the newsstand. In that issue Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel introduced the world to one of the most important women in comics - Lois Lane (Superman made his debut in that issue, too). To mark this anniversary I’m chatting with some of her creators to get their thoughts on the character and her place in comic history.You can see the previous pieces here. Today I am chatting with multiple Eisner award nominee Colleen Coover who, with Paul Tobin, wrote the last standalone non-Elseworlds Lois Lane story that has appeared in comics for Superman 80 page Giant 2011 #1. She has also declared that she would “love to do a comic of Lois Lane as basically Nancy Drew with a press badge.”So Colleen, what’s your first memory of Lois Lane?I’m not sure I have an earliest memory, like I have no earliest memory of air. She was just always there.
I have the deepest respect for Colleen and, of course, I really appreciate her doing this interview. This has been such great fun and such a special treat for all the fans this past week.
But I gotta say….I just find some of these comments disheartening.
Lois Lane does not just exist to be the prize that Clark wins at the end of his hero journey. Women are not prizes to be won when the man finally achieves his goal and this idea that “marriage” is an end is just a really poor view of marriage and love to me and one that is truly disheartening.
Look, the bottom line is that this idea that men have to fight these incredible journeys in order to finally achieve their happiness with their true love is rooted in patriarchy and this idea that women were the “prize” that the man was fighting for. It keeps the woman fully positioned as an object and doesn’t allow her the opportunity to have true agency or grow on her own. Which may have been an accepted cultural mindset in the 1960’s when the Silver Age was written but it, at this point, in the year 2013, really insults me.
The problem is when you accept this premise as some kind of absolute truth about romantic drama you wind up supporting a cultural mindset that teaches young buys that their lives are “over” when they finally settle down. That their adventures are done. That’s depressing. And it contributes to a culture that gives us franchises like “The Hangover” where men go have to go on these benders to “escape” the chains of their wives and marriages because being tied down to a woman is just so not fun etc etc.
It also reinforces this idea that lingers and poisons our culture that paints the “wife” as lacking romantic mystery or “the ball and chain” and paints marriage as an endpoint on “adventure” as opposed to helping young people understand that choosing to spend your life with someone—-no matter your sexual orientation—-is a journey in and of itself and full of new adventures and challenges that you will work at every day for the rest of your life.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of continuing to support this notion that romantic drama ends after you commit to someone that we, instead, start to help young people understand that there is adventure to be had in every phase of life and that two people SHARING their lives together can be just as much as an adventure as this never-ending chase that often paints the female in the equation like an object to be won?
I don’t want to read a million stories in which Superman fights for years on end to “win” Lois Lane at the end of his hero journey. Some of those stories are FINE. I’m happy to read SOME stories where that is the case. But this idea that that story can’t ever evolve and that these two people must always remain in a holding pattern because Superman’s journey is “over” when he finally “wins” Lois’s love is just an insulting concept to me. She’s not a prize to be won and life, love and marriage are just way more complex than that.
Maybe it I was a woman who existed in the time of Odysseus and Penelope (who btw were married) or a woman growing up in the 1950’s, I might be forced to accept this limited idea about the adventure being over when I got married. But, as it stands, that’s not acceptable to me and if it’s not something I support or believe in my own personal life than it’s not something I can accept when it comes to the narratives that inspire me. (I also can’t say I would ever choose a Silver Age comic where Superman is being a dick to Lois in an era ripe with misogyny over a comic written by a female creator decades later when Lois and Clark were both treated with respect in a culture that treated women a little better. But that’s a whole different disagreement for another time. )
I respect and love Colleen. But I think she’s wrong on this one.
Do you ever write meta you don’t knock out of the park? Just curious.
“Lois Lane, bless her heart, was a working girl.” — Noel Neill
“She was spunky; she was Lois! She just was a career woman and she didn’t take any crap from anybody.” — Dana Delaney
“She was intelligent, and clever, and fun and…her own woman.” — Erica Durance
“She’s fun and sassy, in control, getting into trouble, and always looking for a headline!” — Amy Adams
Happy 75th anniversary, Lois!