Lois Lane is a reporter and Superman's Superman's chief romantic interest (and in the DC continuity his wife). She is also known as "superwoman". She is a journalist for the Metropolis newspaper, The Daily Planet. Depictions of her have varied since she was created in 1938, spanning the Superman comic books. Throughout the character's long history, 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 the 1950s and 1960s era Superman stories) alternating between getting Superman to marry her or proving to others her suspicion that Clark was in reality Superman.
Lois Lane was modeled on Lola Lane, an actress in the 1930s 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 women. Her appearance has varied over the years, depending either on current fashion or contemporary media adaptations; for instance, in the mid-1990s, when the series Lois and Clark began airing, Lois received a haircut that made her look more like Teri Hatcher and her eyes were typically violet to match the Lois of the television Cartoon Superman 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.
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 "Military 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 most versions of Superman, Lois is shown to be an ace reporter, one of the best in the city and certainly the best at the newspaper she works at. In the Golden Age and particularly in the Silver Age stories, Lois suspects that Clark Kent is Superman; however, Superman thwarted her suspicions. While this was sometimes played for humor, stories since the 1970s greatly decreased her interest in Superman's identity.
In the continuity prior to DC Comics relaunch in 2011, Lois was married to Clark Kent and is aware of him been Superman. This status quo was re-establish by DC Comics in DC's June 2016 relaunch.
The comics have seen several incarnations of Lois Lane over the decades.
Golden AgeIn the 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 because of 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 in 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 removed 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, regardless of Kal-L's protests that he couldn't let her die. After Kal-L died at the hands of Superman at the end of Infinite Crisis #7, he commented that he finally understood Lois's final words- "It's... not... going..."- as meaning that it would never end for them, and one day it would be understood that even the heroes who had been lost in the original Crisis were still out there somewhere. After his demise, they are shown reunited in the stars, while their bodies are buried on Earth alongside Superboy's, who gave his life to stop Superboy-Prime's attempts to restore his Earth.
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 getting Superman into Marriage. Superman's rationale for resisting her matrimonial desires was 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 knowledge). 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. Regardless, 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.
Lois underwent a character alteration beginning with John Byrne's The Man of Steel comic book 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 newly revised concept, it was Clark Kent who lived a life in which his activity as Superman was decidedly secondary. Lois initially resented the rookie Clark Kent getting the story on Superman as his first piece when she had spent ages trying to get an interview, but she eventually became his best friend. Lois' first real relationship in this version was with Jose Delgado, a Metropolis vigilante whose legs are shattered in a battle with a Lexcorp cyborg/human hybrid gone amok. Delgado eventually recovered. He and Lois would have several on and off experiences together before the relationship completely disintegrated, mainly due to Clark and Lois becoming much closer as friends.
Following Clark's brief rampage under the influence of The Eradicator, Lois was hesitant to forgive Clark for "selling out" to Collin Thornton and running Newstime Magazine, but forgave him in a span of mere minutes when he returned to "grovel for his job back". Clark elected to repay Lois by finally letting go of his self-imposed inhibitions and passionately kissed her. The two became a couple, and eventually, Lois accepted a proposal of marriage. Clark shortly after revealed to her that he was Superman.
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). Lois eventually decided to take an overseas assignment to assert her independence and not be dependent on Clark, who had begun to overprotect her. When Clark became convinced Lois was in danger, he and her father Sam allied to aid her secretly.
When Lois returned to Metropolis, she had been through several life-threatening exploits and was slightly amused when Clark informed her his powers had been recently depleted, and that he was her editor (due to Perry White's cancer). Upon discovering Clark still had her wedding ring within a handkerchief, Lois warmly broke down, teasing Clark and finally agreeing to become his wife.
In 1996, coinciding with the Lois and Clark television program, Lois and Clark were finally wed in the one-shot special Superman, 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).
Since their marriage, Clark and Lois continue to remain one of the strongest relationships in the comics. 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 initially uneasy about raising a super-powered boy, Lois has shown immense aptitude of being 'Mommy Lois'. However, following a devastating battle with Zod, Chris sacrificed himself to seal the Phantom Zone rift, trapping himself inside with Zod's forces, leaving Lois without her son.
In the second issue of Final Crisis, Lois and Perry are caught in an explosion triggered by Clayface destroying the Daily Planet and Lois is seriously injured.
During the years 1942-1985 Editora Brasil-América and the Editora Abril published the Brazilian versions of Superman comics, Lois Lane' name was translated to "Miriam Lane" and later to "Miriam Lois Lane".
In the Elseworlds series Kingdom Come (comic book) (now Earth-22 in the DC Multiverse), flashbacks reveal that ten years prior to the story's beginning, the Joker murdered ninety-three people in the Daily Planet, and Lois was the only woman in that body count. While her face is never shown in any of the flashbacks, her body is seen hunched over her desk.
In added material given in Justice Society of America #13, one can notice in Superman's flashback that a Daily Planet paperweight on Lois' desk is covered in blood, which leads one to believe that the Joker mercilessly beat Lois to death had she not succumbed to the effects of his poison.
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. She finally realizes the truth when he takes her on a date in his Fortress of Solitude, which in this version contains the RMS Titanic, which Superman has raised and restored. On the belief that he is dying, Superman presents Lois with a gift, a liquid version of his genes which enables anyone to have abilities akin to a superpowered Kryptonian, although the effects would expire after 24 hours, as well as a leotard and cape with his colors and logo, which was in essence a feminine version of Superman's uniform. Lois consumes the formula and wears the leotard to become Superwoman, and enjoys a day of crime fighting and traveling the world as Superman's partner.
In one of the possible origins for the Green Lantern of Earth-9. Lois Lane is shown to be an archaeologist, explorer, and adventurer who is murdered by billionaire playboy, Booster Gold, for trying to protect a group of Sea Devils, eventually being resurrected as the Green Lantern.
Superman: Secret Identity
In the miniseries Superman: Secret Identity, which takes place in the "real world" where Superman is a fictional character. In the story, Lois is named Lois Chaudhari, an interior designer of Indian origin. She is set up with a human Clark Kent as a prank date, and though both are furious at the pranksters at first (Clark, in particular, was introduced to eighteen other Lois's in the past), they soon start a relationship. Clark eventually reveals his secret to Lois, and they move to a country house and have two daughters, Carol and Jane Kent, who inherit Clark's powers.
In other media
- Live action
- Actress Rollie Bester originated the role of Lois Lane for a Superman with Bud Collyer as Superman in the 1940s. Other actresses to lend their voice to the character were Helen Choate and Joan Alexander. Joan Alexander would also voice the character for a series of Superman for Fleischer Studios (1941-1943) as well as the 1960s animated television series.
- Actress Noel Neill played Lois Lane in more venues and instances than any other actress. She played the role in the 1948 and 1950 Saturday movie serials with Kirk Alyn playing Clark Kent/Superman. She returned to the role in the second season of Adventures of Superman television program opposite George Reeves and had a cameo in the 1978 film Superman as Lois Lane's mother. She was later a guest star in Superboy alongside Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen) as an office worker at the Bureau for Extra-Normal Matters. She also has a role in the Bryan Singer-directed film Superman.
- Actress Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane in the theatrical feature Superman opposite George Reeves as Superman and continued in the role in the first season of the Adventures of Superman television program. She also portrayed Ellen Lane, the socialite divorcee mother of Lois Lane in the first season of the 1990s Television program Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
- Actress Patricia Marand played Lois Lane in Broadway musical It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Superman in 1966. For her performance, she was nominated for Broadway's 1966 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical).
- Actress Lesley Ann Warren portrayed Lois in the television production of It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman in 1975 opposite David Wilson. She was also among the many actresses who auditioned for the role opposite Christopher Reeve in the 1978 film Superman.
- Actress Margot Kidder played Lois Lane against Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent in the 1970s and 1980s Superman films. Her role in Superman was greatly reduced, however, due to a conflict with the producers of the film. She also appeared briefly in two episodes of the television program Smallville TV series as Dr. Bridgette Crosby, an emissary of Dr. Swann (played by Christopher Reeve), but declined to make a third appearance after Reeve's death because she felt it would be doing his memory a disservice.
- Lois has also made some appearances in Super Friends and its sequel series Challenge Of The Superfriends
- Actress Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane on the ABC television series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 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.
- 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 animated series 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, but Lois eventually learns to respect Clark, and in episodes like "The Late Mr. Kent", takes a faked death of Clark significantly hard, admitting to Superman (unaware he is Clark) that she regretted never telling her rival she respected and loved him as a person and a reporter. 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 vigilante Batman. Superman and Lois did not share their first kiss until the final moments of "Legacy", Superman's last episode (although Lois had kissed an alternate version of Superman in "Brave New Metropolis"). 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 reportedly vetoed by DC. Interestingly, in one Superman, episode Clark did admit he was Superman to Lois, but his tone of voice was casual and it was dismissed by Lois as a joke. Another reference to Superman's identity revealed came when Jimmy Olsen was fooling around drawing funny faces on old newspapers. When he drew glasses over a picture of Superman, he believes it looks just like Clark, but then considers the idea ridiculous. Delany would also voice another character on Justice League, Superman's alternate reality wife. Kal-El was given the chance to see life if Krypton had not exploded, in which he married a Kryptonian woman by the name of Loana. Loana acted much like a Lois Lane of Krypton, archiving events, but her hair was red. The character was meant to be a portmanteau of Lois Lane and Lana Lang, the two most commonly shown love interests of Superman.
- Actress Kate Bosworth played Lois Lane in the 2006 Bryan Singer-directed film, Superman Return. 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 the 1978 film Superman, so Bosworth's Lois could be considered similar to Margot Kidder's Lois Lane but with differences.
- Actress Anne Heche plays Lois Lane in the 2007 WB Animation DVD Superman. The animated feature is based on the award-winning DC Comics "Death of Superman" storyline, with Adam Baldwin as The Man of Steel and James Marsters as Lex Luthor. In this story, Lois is shown as being in a relationship with Superman, but is only 'unofficially' aware of his identity as Clark Kent; she reveals to Martha Kent after his death while fighting Doomsday that she knew about his secret identity, but he never told her himself. After the climatic battle with his insane clone, Superman and Lois reconcile and renew their relationship, with Superman finally officially revealing his identity to her.
- Dana Delany reprises her role as Lois in Season 5 of The Batman TV series. 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.
- Kyra Sedgwick voices Lois Lane in WB Animation feature Justice League: The New Frontier.
- Actress Amy Adams played Lois Lane in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel (2013). She reprises her role in the 2016 sequel which also features Batman and Wonder Woman.
On the 2000s WB series Smallville TV series, Erica Durance plays a young Lois Lane who came to Smallville to investigate the apparent death of her cousin, Chloe Sullivan. 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 This version of Lois was originally not interested in reporter at all, instead of working in politics. In the sixth season, Lois began to develop an interest in journalism, working at the tabloid paper, the Inquisitor. 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, but 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 reveals his powers to her by taking her on a romantic flight like super-jump from the top of the Daily Planet building, although Lois apparently lost all memory of these events after the potion wore off . 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. She briefly dated Grant Gabriel, later revealed to be a clone of the deceased Julian Luthor. 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. Unable to see a place for her in Oliver's life, she rejects the chance to continue their romance.
In popular culture
- 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 (comics) #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 (Seinfeld episode) (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. "Superman!"
- The 1998 episode The Cartoon (Seinfeld episode) 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 (Seinfeld episode) (also 1998), Elaine dates a man whose mysterious ways lead Jerry to joke that he is a crime fighter protecting his secret identity. When they find out the man is poor, Jerry and George comment, respectively, that his "super power was a lack of money" and that "maybe his girlfriend is Lois Loan."
- 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 from his second album Overtones (album) (2007), Writer's Block, Jack seems to date 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 song "I-E-A-I-A-I-O" by System of a Down, Lois Lane was mentioned in one of the tongue-twisters in the song: "Fighting crime, with a partner, Lois Lane, Jimmy Carter."