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How Has Lois Lane Changed in DC's 'The New 52'?

The Pulitzer Prize winning reporter got a make-over too, so what's different?

There's no question about it: the DC Universe has undergone some serious changes with the launch of the "New 52." From the announcement that many of the "crisis" events no longer fit into continuity, to the various different characterizations of these characters (adjectives like "dark" and "edgy" come to mind), it's clear we are dealing with a vastly different universe. However, as much as people are upset about a lot of the changes, some changes have certainly been for the better.

We've focused a lot of our time analyzing what characteristics are different and what has remained the same with this new DC Universe; analysing Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and more -- and we thought it was only fair to give Lois Lane a closer look. While many fans have criticized the way DC has changed some of their female characters; if they happened to read Action Comics #1 and Superman #1 they would find that Lois Lane is one female character that has definitely changed for the better. Now when I say better, I mean, holy cow when did Lois become an interesting and strong female character?

When Lois first appeared in Action Comics #1 creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel were keen on making her a "tough as nails" reporter. At her core, however, Lois was always intended to be the love interest for Clark Kent/Superman and not much else. She loved Superman, but couldn't see past Clark's quirky (and rather obvious) disguise.

Lois had remained a secondary character in the Superman books. Even when she received her own series in the 1950's it was still called "Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane." So much for her being her own person. Kidding! Basically, though, Lois just could not get rid of Superman. Even though John Byrne's 'Man of Steel' series definitely shifted Lois from playing the role of damsel in distress, she still was always connected to the "man of steel." This 'new 52' Lois Lane, however, is a heck of a lot more impressive than the old one -- even if she does have a chump boyfriend, and here's why.

== TEASER ==

Not Just A Reporter, People!

DC finally decided to give the "pulitzer prize winning reporter, Lois Lane" a decent raise! And it's about damn time! In the first issue of George Perez's Superman we see a flashback where Lois is being promoted from "G.B.S anchor and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for The Daily Planet" to the "executive Producer of P.G.N.'s nightly news division" and the "executive Vice President of New Media." The issue portrays Lois behind the scenes, giving orders and running the show behind the camera. She gives the orders to cut a live feed from where the action is taking place because she does not want to endanger the lives of her reporters. This Lois finally gets to be the boss. She's smart, sassy, and has no problem standing up to the man who promoted her to Vice President.

Has Lois Sold Out?

In Superman #1 Lois Lane and Clark Kent get into a heated debate. Well aware that "print is dying," Lois Lane knows she has to do something. Kent questions whether she has sacrificed her morals and journalistic integrity by reporting on scandals, and Lois replies (essentially) that she is doing what she has to in order to survive; defending Morgan Edge. While this scene doesn't paint Lois in the best light, she makes up for it later in the issue when she demands that her camera crew (Jimmy Olsen and Miko) make their way to safety rather than continue to film footage of Superman taking on an alien monster. When her boss questions her about pulling out, she replies "I can make decisions about my own life and death, don't expect me to make that decision for others." It's clear that Lois' heart is still in the right place, even if she has "sold out."

The New Boyfriend

It's funny, the first scene where we are introduced to Lois Lane's new boyfriend Jonathan Carroll he is shirtless in Lois' apartment. When she answers the door to greet Clark Kent, Lois is fully clothed. I don't know if this was Perez's way of implying that Lois Lane wears the pants in that relationship or not, but I found it funny. Yes, Jonathan is a little bit of a chump, something I think Clark notices when he meets him and says "Jonathan...Nice name." Nice name since it was also Clark's father's name, but that there doesn't seem to be much else "nice," about him.

Lois And Clark Were Never Married...Much Less Dated

In a conversation overheard by Clark Kent in the last few pages of Superman #1, Jonathan questions whether Lois "had ever..." (i.e. dated, etc.,..) to which Lois replies rather adamantly "oh no, nothing like that," dismissing any notion that she would ever date Clark Kent.

Lois Lane is a lot more interesting now than she had been in any of her most recent appearance (Superman "Grounded"). In her more recent appearances she had become seemingly complacent and uninteresting, and here she has taken on a position of power. You get the impression that if she were to chase a story it would be for the sake of the story, not for the chance encounter with Superman. She's certainly stronger, more interesting and has a lot more depth; so it will be interesting to see where George Perez takes the character...hopefully for more than the next five issues. What did you think of Lois Lane in the 'new 52'? Did you enjoy 'Action Comics' #1? What about 'Superman' #1?

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Posted by neillius

not really a fan of Lois with a topless dude in her apartment.

Posted by Scribbles

Why is it when Starfire, an ALIEN, doesn't abide by American social mores about sexuality, there is half an editorial dedicated to DC's  pandering to the lowest common denominator...but when Lois Lane (Lois mo' fuggin' LANE) is going to get back to "...celebrating" with her shirtless boyrfriend, there isn't a word mentioned? 
 
I don't think there should be any complaints, mind you.  The character is a grown woman who is allowed to have sex with her boyfriend (suck on THAT, Dr. Wertham).  I just don't get why it's such a taboo for one character, and completely okay for another.   
 
I also find it funny that so few people complain when a character rips another in half or chops someone into little pieces (Invincible, Wolverine, Sentry, Joker, etc., etc., etc.), but if you're a good-looking woman who sleeps with more than one guy?  How DARE you?! 
Edited by JonesDeini

@Babs:

HAHAHAHA!!! Hey we've all got our favorite punching bag, and Marvel's made him an easy one with his more hard nosed portrayal lately. I grew up in a very strict military family so Cyke reminds me a lot of my Father/Grand Father/Uncles/etc. I can see his angle in all he's done, but completely get how it puts people off. Oddly I was never much a fan of Cyclops during the Claremont years as a kid. Didn't really care for him until about 2006 or so when he made his "heel turn", so to speak.

And if I worked here I'm sure I'd do a weekly article on why Jason Todd deserves to have been retconned out of existence in the DCnu :P but I ramble, great article on Lois.

Posted by Wandrecanada

This issue fails the Bechdel test. Strong women indeed...

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311

Edited by NightwalkerRevan

Well hopefully after hearing that conversation at the end we won't see Clark acting like a whipped love-sick puppy pining over Lois. Because while I really disliked the fact they ended their marriage, I don't want to read or see anything like that from Clark again, it makes him look so weak.

So if this is where Lois is, maybe it'll spur this Clark to go out and find someone else who actually does like him.

Edited by BluesH

Complaining that Lois' title was called Superman's Girlfriend is stupid, why not complain that Jimmy Olsen was marketed as Superman's Pal. Lois has remained a secondary character because SHE IS A SECONDARY CHARACTER. Just like Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Cat Grant, and every character created as an extension of the Superman universe.

The problem with that scene is that it comes off after they were just married even if that didn't happen anymore but more than that it's construction was made to be mean. It was meant to show Clark not having anything and being dejected while you see the girl he's meant to be with, with someone else, it's like an alternate hellish dystopian universe, where everything is topsy turvy and you're husband(or wife) is married to someone else and they're sleeping in front of you just to rub it in. And that's how this was designed, this whole thing was done to rub it in, and basically kick the dog and if you can't see that construction, then I ... just don't even know.

And I'm sure that her being the boss was done to show a woman in power but that's not a great reason to shit on a character and show him with nothing just to lift up Lois.

edit after thinking on this some more:

The problem with this isn't lois lane herself, though she's affected by it. For one thing I hate seeing praise for grant morrisson because he's such a shitty writer that doesn't get Superman or even batman, all star superman couldn't get superman(he was almost amoral), Clark, Jimmy, or Lois correctly. In this he's just trying to get Superman to be a crappy version of Spider-man, a character that was ruined so thoroughly that Marvel had to go against it's normal routine and do a DC on him..

But Superman isn't Spider-Man. For one, He doesn't have spider or hyphen in his name. And even spider-man wasn't so pathetic, Peter knew he was better than the people making fun of him and it was that hubris that led to his uncle getting murdered. Peter even had a girlfriend that was older than he was, and she only started to dislike him when he started to diverge from who he was(and still appeared to be) to a thrill seeker.

The other problem is the idea that Superman pines for Lois while she disdains Clark, that's a myth that comic book writers should know better than to fall into. Lois was always attracted to Clark, and she would have been the one to act on it and invite him on a date in five years(if not Clark inviting Lois). Lois' problem comes from clark not reacting impulsively or violently in situations no one in their right mind would(which leads to her getting kidnapped by gangsters). It's only in the silver age when Superman goes a little out of his to show Clark as wimpy where that isn't in effect, and it goes away whenever he's allowed to be a bit more normal. But in the silverage Superman did date lois because he was comfortable being thought of as Superman, and he was the one that didn't want to commit because he wanted a woman that was his equal. This wasn't for a malicious reason or because he was a snob but because he felt only a super powered woman would be safe living his lifestyle.

Posted by BluesH

@Jamiracles:

Except we already had this scenario with Hal Jordan in the 60s. Also saying dominance isn't very equal. Which brings up how Lois and Clark were a partnership and a rivalry. Now there's a "winner" and their either more apart or mimicking Green Lantern.