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.
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?