Many children grew up with DC, by reading the comics, watching the animated shows, or curling up in front of the classic movies. Naturally, the superheroes from these stories became a part of our childhood, as we idolised them and aspired to be as brave as them some day. That's why we still have such fondness for Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as adults. But for me, that hero was Lois Lane.
Primarily introduced as Superman's love interest, Lois Lane nevertheless became a beloved character in her own right. She's had many adventures in the DC comics, and a few solo comic series. On TV and film she's been portrayed by several different actresses (Teri Hatcher is my personal favourite), and interpretations of the character vary.
Unfortunately, because of her role as Superman's paramour, Lois can sometimes be reduced a damsel in distress, with her journalism little more than a tool to get her into perilous situations. Of course, then Superman swoops in to save the day.
Because Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has so many other things to accomplish - setting up the Justice League is an ambitious task - I didn't expect Lois to get much of a look-in. And yet, this turned out to be one of Lois Lane's best outings yet, as her investigative journalism drove the plot of the film.
Investigating A Mastermind
After Bruce Wayne's origin story is done and dusted, along with his perspective of the events in Man of Steel, the film cuts to Superman's side of the story. Except, instead of Superman, we see Lois Lane doing what she does best: reporting on the front line of journalism.
In this case, that means being the first person to interview a dangerous warlord in his Nairobi compound, and talking back as soon as she feels degraded.
"I'm not a lady, I'm a journalist."
Naturally, the situation goes south, meaning that Superman does swoop in to rescue her. And yet, in Dawn of Justice Lois' actions don't feel like a set up for Superman to save the day. Yes, this does happen a lot, but if we look at the structure of the film a lot of the important incidences happen because of Lois Lane's determination to protect Superman's reputation.
Superman is quickly (and somewhat nonsensically) blamed for the shootout in the desert, leading Lois to embark on her own mission to clear his name. She suspects foul play, and her investigation of an experimental bullet leads her to old military contacts from Man of Steel, and eventually she discovers Lex Luthor is behind it all.
The Secret Hero Of BvS
While Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne are all wrapped up in their existential crises, Lois is the first person to realise that Lex Luthor is up to no good. Sure, Bruce investigates Lex himself, but this is mostly so that he can steal kryptonite from the genius bussinessman. Similarly, Diana Prince's investigation is really just an effort to protect her heroic identity as Wonder Woman.
The driving force of any good superhero story is the hero trying to foil the villain's plan. In the case of Dawn of Justice, it's Lois who eventually confronts Lex Luthor.
Even the fight between Superman and Batman is broken up by Lois Lane. Bruce pauses just before delivering the fatal blow, as Clark calls out his mother's name. Batman demands answers, but thanks to his foot on Superman's throat, the Man of Steel struggles to explain. Luckily, Lois Lane is on hand to explain the situation, bravely diving in between the powerful heroes in an effort to save Superman.
Lois' role in Dawn of Justice was surprisingly heroic. Even the moments when Superman saves her happen not because Lois' agency has been stripped from her (as in classic damsel scenarios), but because her choices lead her into dangerous situations. Lois might not wear a cape, but she definitely is one of the heroes of the film. Here's hoping her role in Justice League is just as awesome.