The Turbulent History of Lois Lane

BreakingModern – Next year is shaping up to be a big year for Lois Lane, ace reporter. Her newly minted YA book series continues with a second volume (Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond), and she’ll also pop up in the eagerly awaited Batman/Superman movie (Dawn of Justice).

Lois Lane

For many people, Lois Lane is defined by her ongoing relationship with Superman (and Clark Kent). Perhaps because she was marginalized every month for 16 years in her very own comic book: Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane.

But from the very beginning, Lois was a tough cookie and an intrepid newshawk. In the first issue of Action Comics (1938) she was introduced as a headstrong liberated woman unwilling to take no for an answer. Clark Kent’s timorous farm boy personality wilted before her ferocious emasculating temperament.

To get a better handle on the character and her oftentimes contradictory history, you might want to pick up a copy of Tim Hanley’s forthcoming book, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter (available March 2016).

Lois Lane

Says the publisher on its website: “Lois Lane has been fighting for truth and justice for over 75 years. But her history is one of constant tension. From her earliest days, Lois yearned to see her byline on the front page of the Daily Planet, but was held back by her damsel-in-distress role.”

Through the years her romance with Superman always dominated her storylines and relegated her career to the backburner. During the ’50s (on TV and in the comics) Lois Lane was single-minded in her quest to become Mrs. Superman. Finally, in 1996, the two lovebirds got hitched in a comic book titled Superman: The Wedding Album. (Spoiler alert: the marriage didn’t last.)

Lois Lane

Author Hanley (Straitened Circumstances) knows a thing or two about complicated female comic book characters. In 2014 he wrote a compelling book called Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine. He did a fine job of examining Wonder Woman’s unique brand of feminism and her cultural relevancy.

Despite all the ups and downs throughout the years, Lois Lane remains a fearless and ambitious character. She even picked up a Pulitzer Prize at some point. Today she is a beloved icon and an inspiration to many.

“Though her history is often troubling,” says the publisher in conclusion, “Lois’s journey showcases her ability to always escape the gendered limitation of each era and of the superhero genre as a whole.”

For BMod, I’m Eric Searleman.

All Screenshots: Eric Searleman

Author: Eric Searleman

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