We Can Do It! Lois Lane

“We Can Do It!: Women in Comics, Television and Beyond” is Hush Comics’ answer to what women in comics mean to the world and to us  Visit our page every Monday to learn about a new super lady!

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Who:

Lois Lane

Nicknames/Aliases:

Lola Lane (to her sister, Lucy)

Skills:

Depends on the timeline… she is an amazing investigative reporter.  She is also pretty witty.  In other timelines and books, she has been known to be trained in martial arts, and it the current “background” to her story, her military father trained her how to fight and use guns.

Origin Story:

Wow.  Where to start?  Lois Lane has been a staple in comic books (and plenty of other media) since Action Comics #1, released 76 years ago.  In the 30’s and 40’s she was a witty reporter for The Daily Planet (which used to be The Daily Star).  Around the early 1950’s, the Comics Code Authority started censoring many comic books.  Among them was the Superman series.  Lois went from being strong-willed to a damsel-in-distress, depending on The Metropolis Marvel.

In 1958, Lois got her own series, Superman’s Girl Friend: Lois Lane.  In its run until 1974, Lois had her own wild adventures, many of which made her out to be unsympathetic.  She tried unsuccessfully to marry Superman many times and found herself in incredibly unrealistic situations.  In today’s world, they all seem incredibly sexist, and sometimes even racist.  You can read more about it with BuzzFeed’s article chronicling some of the strangest covers the series had.

Lois has been given a few reboots in the comics since the 1980’s, including her Earth 2 version. However, most of time, Lois has been depicted as she originally was: a tough as nails reporter.  In the 90’s, she and Superman were finally married.

Lois has taken many different roles in the comics history, from Superwoman to Red Tornado. But for 76 years, she has remained linked to Superman and Clark Kent and has long been thought of as the ultimate comic book woman.

Why is she important?:

In the modern sense of the term “comic book” Lois Lane is the First Lady.  Everyone knows who Lois Lane is, just as much as they know who Superman is.  Lois debuted alongside with Superman back in 1938 and she is still in comics.  She even had a one-shot come out just 2 weeks ago.

For the first decade she existed, she was the star reporter in an industry that was male dominated.  And she was portrayed this way in a time when women were usually married by their early 20s, and if they did have a job, it was as a teacher (nothing wrong with a teachers).  She cared more about the story, and nabbing it away from her rival Clark, than marrying anybody.

During the silver age, Lois’ personality changed from wit and reduced to trit.  Unfortunately, Lois became an annoying woman who begged for Superman to marry her.  In the ‘80s to present, she has regained her status as a tough woman; thus proving that Lois Lane is the fictional archetype for the public view of women.

Her importance to today’s society is due to her portrayal for the last 76 years.  The time that really changed how the public viewed Lois came in the 90’s.  She was drawn in comics, acted by Teri Hatcher in the TV series Lois and Clark, and was taking the lead in the newsroom in Superman: The Animated Series.  She was no longer the damsel in distress.  She was no longer the bothersome journalist trying to beat out Clark at every chance she got.  Instead, Lois became a powerful woman in her own right, even without super powers.

What she means to me:

Lois Lane is universal comic book woman.  As a little girl growing up in the 90s, and watching all her incarnations on the screen, she proved to me that a woman doesn’t have to be all-powerful to still be strong and influential.  Lois says what’s on her mind.  Yet at the same time, she is capable of being sensitive, falling in love with Clark Kent.  She is an inspiration for all girls in the modern age who wonder what they could do without powers or a revealing outfit.

written by Adrian Puryear

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