This is the last of the posts detailing people I stupidly forgot to list when I was making my “Top 25” list, and yeah… it’s a doozy. I forgot Lois Lane. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t change the list after I made it, but I have to say that Lois belongs in the top three, and she’s a contender for #1. So, yeah… I feel stupid. Luckily, feeling somewhat stupid doesn’t really stop me, so I’ll just soldier onwards.
Favorite Female Characters in Literature #10c: Lois Lane
"I'm Lois Lane. A reporter from Metropolis." And from those words the story can go in a million different directions. I've made no secret that I love detectives and reporters in fiction... especially female detectives and reporters. Why is that? Simple... too many female characters are just there to play off the "real" hero... the dashing man who solves problems with his fists, money, and penis. But when "detective" or "reporter" is added into the mix... a purpose is established... a role is presented. Lois is DOING something... she's an active part of the story from the very start, and that's important for the purposes of characterization.
Take a look at this, for instance. This is a drawing of the "New Frontier" Lois Lane... a characterization that I like quite a lot. THIS is the Lois that I love. She's dressed for the field... for work. She's on the phone, calling in a story, making a difference in the world. And her boots are MUDDY. She's been there, in the field, at the forefront of the action. That's Lois Lane.
Her weapons are bravery, gumption and sass, and you do not stand a chance.
A Joe Shuster drawing of a holy shit and va-voom Lois Lane. No wonder Clark always acted like an idiot when she was around.
Lois's first appearance is in this little beauty. I... umm. do not have one of these in my collection. YET.
The first official cover appearance of Lois Lane, one of comic's most dynamic, feisty and take-no-shit women. Seen here being kidnapped, of course.
A page from Action Comics # 1, with the very 1st appearance of Lois Lane. Note that she's giving him shit from the very beginning. And she SHOULD have treated him as such. With our knowledge of how Clark Kent is Superman, we're in on the joke, but for years the only Clark Kent that Lois knew was the persona that he presented... that of a weak-willed idiot who apparently can't match his pants to his jacket.
If I had a secret identity, I'd blow it the first time somebody called me a weak-livered pole-cat. I do NOT take that shit.
A couple more panels from Action # 1, featuring Lois's very first kidnapping!
Lois's very first rescue!
The start of one of my favorite love affairs in comics, even if Superman has a look of, "I am about to do things to you that will seriously not even be allowed on Tumblr," and Lois has a look of, "I... I... might be okay with that."
Hands down the creepiest Lois Lane panel of all time. This is from the 1978 Super Dictionary that starred DC characters and is probably the best thing ever produced by men who were on LSD and thought everyone else was. Here, the Justice League sneaks into Lois's bedroom. Why? Just to watch her sleep. Talk about her sleeping. Watch her. For hours. Just... watching.
Dictionary, you have done a piss-poor job of explaining a box, and you have given me no clue WHY Lois has one on her head.
To be fair, it wasn't just Lois who ended up with something strange on her head.
Ha ha! Women are ALWAYS afraid of rats and mice, right? Supergirl is probably about to have a SUPER fainting spell, or a case of the vapors.
This one is kind of famous. It later became canon when, in the comics, it was established that Luthor actually HAD stolen forty cakes. That son of a bitch.
I don't know how many deadlines I've missed because I've been taking giant teaspoons to my local Giants In Need dropoff center.
Super Dictionary, one day you WILL explain to me why Lois had a box on her head, WHY the giant needed a measuring spoon of any type, and WHY the hell Atom decided to hide in one of Hawkman's sandwich.
Clark fills his hat with ink, and then, "Okay, Lois... dunk your head in." Yep... this panel is a fine intro to how many interesting drugs were available to writers in the 1960's.
For a while there, if you didn't have an advanced degree in fetish imagery, you weren't allowed to design a Lois Lane cover.
To be fair, it wasn't just Lois. The DC comics of the late sixties and the early seventies were a mess of fetish art. I kind of love them.
Following are three Lois Lane comic strips by the wonderful Kate Beaton… absolutely one of my favorite cartoonists. She also drew the “Shut up, Clark” image I used to open this post. There are more Lois cartoons, and a wealth of others, at Kate’s website. I highly recommend her work for anyone with a jolly sense of wit.
Lois has spent an inordinate amount of her life worrying that Superman would marry Wonder Woman. Poor girl. It's hard to compete with Diana, especially when Superman is so normally completely unaware of Lois's feelings, owing to how he's kind of a jerk.
The jerk at work. Superman decides to marry Wonder Woman, and who does he call? Lois Lane. He decides that a woman who has professed her love for him a thousand different times is THE person to let the world know that he's casting her off and marrying another woman. Surprised he didn't ask to borrow some money so he could buy condoms.
One of the first instances of what would become a common theme... Lois becoming just as powerful as Superman. I love this particular cover because Lois has an expression of, "Oh, you're MY bitch, now!" And Superman has an expression of, "Uh-oh. I'm HER bitch, now!"
A modern day look at the "Lois with Superman's powers" storyline. Done very well here in All Star Superman... a fantastic title by the uber-team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.
Does anyone else find this panel oddly erotic? No? Oh. Well... uhh... ME EITHER! Can... can we just forget I said anything?
Phyllis Coates in her roll as television's Lois Lane. I love the fitting expressions on the two of them. Lois is tense, worried, concerned. Superman is smug and smirking. There ya have it.
My own foray into writing the adventures of Lois Lane. I shared writing credits with Colleen Coover on a Lois Lane story in this comic. It was fun. LOVE writing Lois (I'd write a Lois Lane ongoing in a second) and it was an interesting exercise to write in tandem with Colleen, rather than just having her illustrate a story I'd written.
A panel from the comic, with art by Amilar Pinna. Astute readers will note that I was listening to a lot of Nick Cave when I wrote this story. (I still am)
An ALL WEDDING issue, featuring Lois' schemes and dreams to marry Superman. I like her nonplussed expression as she signs a deal with the devil. Oh, Lois... you're smarter than that.
Lois resorting to drugs so that Superman will love her. Like ya do.
A quick following gallery, here, of some of my favorite Lois Lane covers. There are more recent ones that I love as well, but something about these wacky sixties / seventies covers and stories just warm my heart. And… of course… there’s that amazing story of “I AM CURIOUS (BLACK)” … one of Lois’s most famous stories.
The sound effect for Lois turning into a black woman is MMMMMMMMMM.
Jesus Christ. Superman... we readers should not have to vote on this. You gave Jimmy a signal watch. You gave your DOG a signal watch. You gave them out to HOBOS. Give Lois a damn signal watch, you jerk.
THE “FAVORITE” LIST SO FAR…
#25: Scarlet Witch
#24: Chance Falconer
#21: Jean Grey
#20: Kitty Pryde
#19: Janet van Dyne
#18: Mary Jane Watson
#17: Hermione Granger
#15: Modesty Blaise
#14: Black Widow
#13: Sue Storm
#11: Millie (the Model) Collins
#10a: Blonde Phantom
#10b: Betty & Veronica
#10c: Lois Lane
——- DOWN BELOW IS JUST A REHASH OF WHY I’M DOING THIS LIST ———
I’ve been thinking about women, lately. Women characters in comics. Women creators in comics. Female characters in literature. And pretty girls riding around on bicycles or walking along the sidewalk, etc, etc. Because of this, I’ve decided to make An Entirely Useless List. Why is it entirely useless? Because it’s my top 25 female characters from comics and literature, and such lists change at whim and at a breakneck pace. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to quantify favorites… the term favorite is far too malleable. A list of my best friends from high school, for instance, would not include anyone with whom I’m currently in contact. Times change. Still… I’m making the list. Why? I suppose I just like thinking about women.