The Last Son of Krypton has occasionally strayed in the past, enjoying love affairs with the likes of but ultimately, Clark’s love for Lois Lane is the most iconic romance in comics, making it almost impossible to imagine the two apart.
However, Lois Lane is far more than just Superman’s other half. Ever since she first appeared way back in Action Comics #1 (1939), the steely reporter has become a role model for women everywhere, blazing a trail for equality in the workplace while holding her own in numerous fights alongside Superman himself.
It wasn’t always like this though. From her humble beginnings as a damsel in distress to full-blown superhero, reflecting the progress that society has made for gender equality as a whole.
Clark’s cousin Kara Danvers may have earned the title Supergirl, but Lois is the only Superwoman that matters. Let’s take a look back at how this iconic character has developed in the comics, fighting both crime and misogyny along the way.
Lois first became Superwoman back in Action Comics #60 (1943), when she received a blood transfusion from Superman that gave her miraculous powers. Unsurprisingly, the tough-as-nails reporter immediately took the opportunity to don a red cape and fight crime, even saving Superman from the evil Dr Skowl.
Don’t rejoice just yet though, guys. Sure, it’s great that Lois became the hero for once, but the writers quickly took that away again, revealing that the entire adventure had been a dream at the end — much like gender equality back in 1943.
Cut forward four years later and things looked even worse for our intrepid reporter, who was tricked into believing that she has super abilities by two stage magicians, imaginatively called Hocus and Pocus.
Superman plays along using super speed to intervene and maintain the illusion, even allowing her to make a Superwoman costume. As if this wasn’t patronising enough, Lois then demands that her powers should be removed because she thinks that they’re driving men away. Priorities, Lois.
Super Pot Plants
Move forward a few decades more, to 1981, and Lois was still being given superpowers temporarily, only for them to be snatched away again. In issue #207 of Superman Family, Clark brought home an extra terrestrial plant in a story called “The Turnabout Powers”.
Exciting stuff, we know, but the unexpected side effect of this alien fauna was it’s ability to give Lois the same powers as her husband, because, comics. Unfortunately, the effects were reversed as soon as the plant died.
In 2005, Grant Morrison put his own spin on the Kryptonian mythos with the series All-Star Superman, during which Clark gave Lois the ultimate birthday present; a serum that granted her superpowers for 24 hours.
Taking on the moniker of Superwoman, again, Lois helped Clark stop a monster attack in Metropolis and then the two shared a romantic kiss on the moon. The fact that Lois actually uses her powers to fight alongside Superman this time around showed definite progress, but as they say, the lord giveth and the lord taketh away.
After years of misogyny and half-hearted attempts to give Lois powers, the fierce reporter finally became a fully-fledged hero this year as part of the DC Rebirth initiative.
Written by Phil Jimenez, this new incarnation of Lois Lane marks the first time that Superwoman has been given her own monthly series, finally thrusting one of DC’s most iconic characters into the spotlight that she’s deserved for so long.
Here’s the official synopsis for issue #1:
“Who Is Superwoman?” part one! Lois Lane takes flight! Now powered up with the abilities of Superman, Lois pledges to carry on the super-legacy as Superwoman! There’s only one problem: Lois’ new powers are killing her, and neither she nor her friend and confidant Lana Lang know what to do about it. Will Lois even survive long enough to learn the deadly secret of Ultra Woman?
The future of Lois Lane continues to look promising both in the comics and on screen, as Amy Adams’s portrayal of the character is set to play .
In the meantime, check out this unintentionally hilarious clip from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, where Teri Hatcher’s Lois struggles to deal with temporary superpowers.
Who do you think played Lois Lane best on screen?
The day someone green-lights a Marvel Zombies Ghibli film directed by Xavier Dolan is the day I will be happy. Any day now…