We are living in a post-Lois Lane era, it would seem. Wonder Woman has more titles on the stands than she has ever had in her history: Sensation Comics, Superman and Wonder Woman, and Justice League is currently giving her a major story arc in Darkseid War. That being said, I miss having Lois Lane at her best.
Having purchased The Superman Chronicles Vol 9, I was reminded that Lois Lane was not always Superman's girl friend, but Clark Kent's rival for the front page at the Daily Star. Lois worked with Clark every day and only saw Superman fitfully. Superman constantly saving Lois from certain death did not become a cliche until much later in the comics.
For me, Lois Lane is as human as Superman gets.
For me, Wonder Woman romantically linked with Superman knocks the practical magic out of both characters. By magic, I mean the objective space which makes heroic fiction work. Because Lois Lane represents social-political aspiration!
25 years before Barbara Walters became a TV journalist, Lois Lane worked at the Daily Star as a romance columnist angling on breaking the scoop of the century with Superman, a goal constantly thwarted by Clark Kent usually landing the Superman story. If Lois Lane never put together that Clark and Superman were the same person, that did not mean she was dense: she had other things on her mind, like getting a promotion in a man's world.
Superman was a job for Lois Lane, a job that became a romance, a romance that became marriage, a marriage that became... something that never happened, I suppose. Lois Lane's own comic ran for over 200 issues; an outgrowth of Romance Comics which were once plentiful.
Nothing is permanent in comics. Yes, yes, I know. But for me, Lois Lane is forever. Seeing Lois Lane get marginalized by Wonder Woman in The New 52 continuity is painful for me. So I am here to share my three favorite Lois Lane/Wonder Woman stories, from back to front!
First, Sensation Comics #9 (June 2015), written by Cecil Castellucci, drawn by the great team of Chris Sprouse and Karl Story! These are The New 52 versions of Lois and Diana.
There are moments in this story when these women stumble into the truth, how alien to human experiences Wonder Woman is and how clueless Lois Lane can still be, but how they are each epic in their own way. There is a bridge between these characters, a common ground, which is available to them, whenever DC chooses to explore it more fully.
Upon her creation in 1938, Lois Lane was a dish, when dishes like Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow walked the earth. Yes. And Wonder Woman never looked this good in Kodachrome.
For me, Margot Kidder; with her raspy voice and tomboy-in-a-tempest ways, is Lois Lane in full. Because when Christopher Reeves as Clark Kent fills up his lungs with air and takes off his glasses and is about to tell her that he is really Superman, I held my breath. That's the magic of Lois Lane!
Second, the post-George Perez Wonder Woman by Jeph Loeb and Phil Jimenez. Lois Lane and Superman were married and some one-upmanship was at play, but at the heart of this story was that Lois always backs the hero, even if that hero is also a romantic rival: she's not petty like that. Lois will defy then-President Lex Luther to let her syndicated readers know that Wonder Woman is the real thing. Because, to Lois Lane, words matter! To Lois Lane, journalism is a nobel profession.
Third, my favorite, from Lois Lane's own book, is the time Superman and Wonder Woman "married" when he was her boyfriend.
John Rosenberger and Cary Bates delivered Lois's worst nightmare with surgical precision, then gave her the most beautiful bouquet ever as Superman lets her know she's forever his girl.
Forever in my heart, at least!
For me, Lynda Carter is Wonder Woman, with exuberance to spare, but not particularly a romantic figure.
Gal Gadot has her work cut out for her in the DC cinematic universe and I support her efforts. But to diminish Lois Lane is to sacrifice her unique place in comics, so I hope that does not become policy moving forward. I advise caution in letting Lois Lane get lost in the wind. Lois Lane is the little red shows to the big Red "S", she just is, and, one day, she will be again.
Lois Lane is more grounded, less impressive and easier to overlook in the current DC traffic. I already have my stories to tide me over. I believe Lois Lane will someday regain Superman's affections as time goes by