Lori Lemaris was a wheelchair bound student at Metropolis University. One day she lost control of her wheelchair and was rescued by Clark Kent, and soon afterward the two started dating.
Unbeknownst to Clark Lori was a mermaid who used a wheelchair on land, and covered her lower half with a blanket. She had to be home at a certain time every night to soak in a saltwater tank so she would always cut her dates with Clark short. Clark ended up asking her to marry him but Lori said no. He knew she was foreign and began to suspect she might be a spy.
One night he followed her home where and discovered her tank and began to suspect the truth. When the state dam broke, Superman and Lori (now revealed to be a mermaid) both worked to save Metropolis. Following that incident, Lori told Clark the truth about herself and that, because of her mind reading powers, she knew he was Superman but would never tell. They both realized that because of their extreme differences they could not wed.
The Pre-Crisis Lori Lemaris has a sister named Lenora Lemaris.
Lori Lemaris is now part of the Justice League of Atlantis.
The Return of Lori
Lori Lemaris makes her return when she was spotted by a fisherman, Schmidt, who tells Clark of his encounter. Clark, who had held on to his hope of seeing his love once more, returns to the same area where Lori was spotted, and sure enough she appears. They embrace each other and kiss but soon after the fisherman throws a knife that impales Lori on the back. Severely wounded, Clark scares the fisherman away and decides to take Lori to Atlantis to get her treated. On the brink of death, Lori falls closer and closer to death as the drifts pass through her. Once Clark makes it to Atlantis he hands her over to the doctor. Months later, and after constant visitations by Clark, the doctor tells Clark Lori will live, but will remain paralyzed. Clark, filled with grief, is later given hope when the doctor says there is one man who, although he uses unconventional methods, is able to do miraculous things. Clark decides to take the risk with this man, Ronal.
Some time later Clark returns to good news that Lori had made a complete recovery. He goes off to see her and embraces her in his arms. He notices that Lori doesn't seem as happy. She tells Clark that she has fallen in love with Ronal. Shocked and angered Clark asks Lori how she could have done this to him after everything they have been through. Lori says that the time she spent with Clark will always be cherished and she will never forget their love for one another. She then tells Clark that they cannot be together, for they are from two completely different worlds and she is a mermaid. Clark accepts her decision and leaves broken-hearted. After some time passes by, Clark decides to visit Lori, but once he encounters Ronal he is told that she died defending Tritonis. Clark is shocked and saddened at the fate of his first love. He recounts his time with Lori on the death of her one year anniversary, still bitter that Ronal took her away from him. It is later revealed that Lori's death was a complete fabrication (unknown to Clark); she saves Clark when he collides against a rock and passes out from the lack of oxygen underwater. She then reveals that Clark will always be her true love and that she married Ronal in order to make Clark stop thinking about her, since she knew he belonged on land and with Lois.
Doing her secret identity's job of finding sunken treasure for museums, she comes upon a Spanish Galleon several miles off the cost of Palmyra Island. The ship is filled with Incan treasure. The captain's log that she recovers states that the Estrella was intentionally sunk by the captain after its raid in 1816 to keep her from ever reaching land. Lori takes a personal interest in a talisman that she finds in the ship and decides to try it on. A curse put on the talisman by the Incan Priests falls on Lori and at once many things transpire. Metropolis sinks beneath the sea, all off its citizens are turned to mer-people, and took control of Superman's mind making him and her Queen and King of Metropolis. She makes Superman think that she realized marriage was a big mistake and she came back to him, and also imprisons Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane on Stryker's Island super criminal prison to keep Superman's strong will from overcoming her control. So they may always be together.
In the Earth-9 Universe (the one in the DC comics imprint Tangent comics) most of the heroes have the same names (the Flash, Superman, etc), but there are quite a few differences in their powers and pasts. In this world the character Lori Lemaris is actually the hero called The Joker. However the Joker is actually three different women: an entrepreneur named Christie Xanadu, a student named Mary Marvel and of course Lori Lemaris a reporter for World’s Finest. The Joker operates in the city of New Atlantis. Unlike many costumed heroes she lacks any special powers, she is just insane. She is called the Queen of Chaos, she takes down criminals as well as police and other people of authority. She does all this for justice and is not biased about who she goes against.
Her identity remains a mystery until while working for the Secret Six Mary Marvel is captured by Superman. Having recently outlawed costumed heroes he extracted the Identities of the Joker from Mary’s mind, killing her. Afterwards Lori Lemaris was sent to prison where she spent ten years for vigilante activity (the fate of Christie is left unmentioned).
After being released from prison on parole Lori began attending the Citizen Re-Education Centre in New Atlantis. It is there she meets former Nightwing Agent Hex, who tries to convince her to take up costumed heroics again. She refuses but still followed him out of the building through the sewers of New Atlantis to his underground base. It is there that she learns of Manhunter’s death at the hands of Powergirl.
She soon meets up with her former team, the Secret Six. They try to get her to re-don the Joker costume to which she declines because she feels she isn’t happy enough to be the Joker. At the request of Hex she instead becomes Manhunter. In the new costume she joins the Outsiders and aids Batman of New Earth in rescuing the heroes trapped in Superman’s fortress in Switzerland. During the raid she voices her dislike of Batman’s joyless demeanor, to which he voices his distrust of her former identity. By the end they develop a level of respect after Batman saves her life.
In other Media
She appears in Young Justice's comic and T.V series as a minor Atlantean Character. In this version, she has not met Superman, and Ronal is racist against her and other non humanoid Atlanteans.
Awards and Honours
Lori was ranked 71st in Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics.