comic book characters

Is Lois Lane even a good character for Superman?

lois lane superman man of steel smallville

Why would somebody like somebody else who is horrible to them? Who belittles them, ignores them and is just straight out rude to them? This is part of the reason why I don’t like the character of Lois Lane, in the original Superman films. Other, more modern iterations of Lois Lane, most notably the Lois Lane in Smallville on the other hand, I absolutely love. So by looking at all these different portrayals of Lois Lane through the different mediums, let’s discuss: is she even right for Supes?

Let’s start with the original Superman films. I strongly disliked the Lois Lane in those films. Yeah maybe Clark Kent was a shy awkward guy, but that’s no reason to be to be straight out condescending and rude to him, which she was. I just could never figure out in my head why Superman would love a woman who’s so rude to him. Sure she’s all lovely when he is Superman, but when he is just being a normal dude she is horrible to him, what’s that say about the type of person she is? So within the context of the original Superman films, I’m going to say no, she wasn’t right for Superman.

lois lane clark kent original superman movie

Then you have the Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane from the Lois and Clark TV show. I could only get through the first 2 seasons of that show because Lois annoyed me that much. Granted she wasn’t as mean to Clark in this version, but she was kind of stupid. One thing to know about me, is that I strongly, strongly dislike damsel in distress characters. Sure they make the hero look cool, but other than that they are pretty useless characters, in my eyes at least. I can’t believe the number of times I watched an episode of Lois and Clark, and Lois somehow ended up tied up to a chair or something like that. Seriously, it was ridiculous! I just couldn’t stop shaking my head, I mean how many times can the one person end up in the same situation over and over again! Yeah she was ambitious and wanted to get a great story and uncover the truth, but there are better ways to handle situations like that, just saying. So once again I’m going to say no she wasn’t right for Superman, though I did only watch the first 2 seasons, so maybe she got better, I don’t know.

lois-lane-hostage

But now let’s move on to my all time favourite live action Lois Lane, and the Lois Lane that actually made me start appreciating the character, Erica Durance’s Lois in Smallville. Firstly Lois wasn’t really a jerk to Clark. Sure they had playful banter, but that was it. In fact Lois fell for Clark Kent, before she fell for his superhero persona (which is the way it should always be in my eyes). There’s always the discussion about if Lois is supposedly this smart chick, why the heck can’t she figure out Clark Kent is Superman? That’s a fair enough question, and it does make her seem like kind of an idiot. But in Smallville that wasn’t a problem, because Clark Kent’s superhero persona never showed his face, and disguised his voice, so we were never presented to a Lois who was so incredibly short-sighted. 

And yeah Smallville Lois Lane, like Lois and Clark Lois Lane, often ended up in near death situations. The difference is that this Lois could handle herself a lot more. She often liked to say that she was an ‘army brat’ and could handle her own, and she definitely showed that. She never completely relied on someone saving her, and she often saved herself. This Lois Lane also helped Clark become the hero he became to be. Smallville often discussed the actual usefullness of heroes. Many characters on the show were anti-heroes and thought heroes actually caused more harm than good. This made Clark question his actions, but the passionate love and faith Lois had in her heroes, and the way she stood up to them, made Clark realise that the world did need heroes like him. So because of this, this Lois Lane was great for Clark (and so much better than the extremely irritating Lana Lang from the show).

lois-lane-fighting-smallville

Then you have Amy Adams’ Lois Lane in Man of Steel. She may not have been as great of a Lois as Erica Durance was, as she lacked a certain sass Durance was able to portray, but she definitely portrayed an intelligent and strong Lois Lane. She figured out who Superman was, and handled herself pretty well in pretty deadly situations. The worse type of hero love interests are the ones that hold the heroes back, Lois in this case gave Superman the push he needed to fully embrace his superhero self. She is really his guide in this new world, and for that reason she was a great love interest for Superman.

lois lane amy adams

But of course it’s really the Lois Lane from the comics who proves why she’s the perfect love interest for Superman. Right now in the comics, if you’ve been keeping up, then you know Superman is dating Wonder Woman. And while Wonder Woman is a great character on her own, I’m not really a fan of them two dating. I don’t believe she fully understands who Clark Kent is. Wonder Woman can be a bit too intense sometimes (hello she is the God of War now) and that intensity does cause a clash between her and Superman’s morals and values. Honestly I think because of that intensity Batman and Wonder Woman are a better fit, over her and Superman.

Lois really reinforces Clark’s humanity, and pushes him to be the best person he can be, and that’s what makes her such a great character for Superman. She’s strong-willed, passionate and fights for what she believes in. But unlike Wonder Woman, is grounded and well, is human. Lois has a better balance with her passion, and it’s that balance that Clark needs. Like Clark, Lois isn’t so sure of herself, or her actions, but she does have a strong sense of what she believes is right. Lois really brings out those farmboy values in Clark, which again makes her such a great character for Superman.

superman unchained lois lane

Overall I am a fan of Lois Lane, but only the more modern iteration of her character, just like I’m really a fan of the modern iteration of the Superman character. A lot of superhero love interests fall into the classic damsel in distress category, and don’t really add much. When utilised right like in Smallville and Man of Steel, Lois is really an imperative and remarkable character in the Superman mythology.

Anyways what do you think? Are you a fan of Lois Lane? Which Lois Lane is your favourite? Let me know!

(Whoops totally forgot Superman Returns even existed, but basically she was a pretty forgettable Lois Lane anyways, so nothing much needed to be said.)

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16 replies »

  1. I didn’t make it far enough into Smallville to have an opinion about Louis Lane but generally speaking…well, as you might know I am writing a blog about well written female characters, and I don’t think that she will be featured in it anytime soon.
    Let’s take it from the top: I can’t express enough how much I loathed the first Louis Lane. And not even because of the way she treats Clark, but because of the way they established her character. In the very first scene she was shown as an incompetent bragger (honestly, she is a reporter and can’t even spell properly??????), and what comes later in the movie, the “romantic” voice-over about what male writers apparently think female feelings work…this single scene is one of the main reasons I never considered Superman a truly good movie, but only one which I appreciated for it’s role in the history of film making.
    Louis and Clark…yeah. I actually did watch the show until the end (don’t ask me why, I was in that “bad taste” age), and Terry Hatcher rescued a lot about the character, but she really was constantly in trouble. And at least she was competent in her actual job…somewhat. The thing was that Clark was often a better reporter than her because he was better in sensing the true character of people.
    Amy Adams…I really like her. She is the main reason I do watch Person of Interest from time to time, despite the show being a unbelievable predictable CBS show. But she really had nothing to work with. She is introduced as a Pulitzer price winning reporter, but that’s mostly an informed ability. It is nice, I guess, that they somehow tried to allow her to do something heroic, but nothing about it felt in any way organic, just shoehorned in. The dialogues with Clark were stifled and didn’t sound genuine (not that any of the dialogues did, the unnecessary melodrama in this movie is most likely what bothers me the most).
    Personally I don’t need the love interest to be “heroic”, at least not when it involves her being shoehorned in where she doesn’t belong. (Take for example Gwen in The Amazing Spider-man. I really love this movie, mainly because I consider her the best written love interest in a Superhero movie ever. And it does make sense that she would help out Spider-man with the antidote. What doesn’t make sense, though, is her taking on the Lizard with a trophy. That is one of those unnecessary scenes which are just there to make a female character look tough…I would prefer for her to leave the fighting to Peter and only get involved when it makes sense. Thankfully that is the only scene of this kind they wrote for her).
    What I need is a Louis Lane who is competent in her job. Who might even help out Clark from time to time because she has better contacts or more experiences in research. And yes, it is nice when she can handle herself if she ends up in danger, as long as she doesn’t throw herself into it like a freaking idiot, trusting that Superman will rescue her. And ideally one who knows Clark’s true nature from the get go and if she doesn’t, she better is in love with Clark, not Superman.

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    • Yeah Lois has been written really differently over the years, so it’s hard to get a true grasp of her character for the live-action properties. I agree, and don’t think that the love interest needs to be physically heroic as well, I just think they need to help further the hero, not hold them back, which Lois does a lot.
      I completely agree with you about Gwen, but at the same time their whole dramatic will they, won’t they teenage love story in the sequel was super annoying, but either way she was a great character
      At least they’re trying to venture away from the classic damsel in distress Lois Lane in the movies now, which is good

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      • The sequel suffered really under executive meddling, you can feel the footnotes all over it. Thus said, while I hate that they went there, I did like how they handled it, with Gwen telling Peter that if her can’t make up his mind SHE will break up with HIM and how they showed her having fun with her friends instead of moping around.

        While I appreciate what they trying to do, I am not sold on it. I don’t need Louis putting chip xy into spot whatever, I don’t need Pepper wearing the suit for five seconds and getting superpowers for five minutes, I don’t need Jane slapping Thor and Loki. What I really need is Pepper being an awesome CEO and in a happy relationship with Tony, Jane being a competent astronomer who has meaningful talks with Thor which change his view on the world and Louise just being a good investigate reporter with a failsafe BS radar.

        Not saying that I can’t find anything good about Pepper…but good, neither DC nor Marvel nor Fox has any idea how to write a good romance. Webb obviously has, but that’s not surprising, considering his credentials.

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      • Yeah the convenient plot points to show the female character strengths are pretty annoying. And Webb obviously knows how to do romance with substance like in 500 days but if we don’t do any of that stuff like lois having to go on to the ship like in MOS, and she’s doing some investigating on lex and is furthering the story through that, I’ll be happy

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  2. I totally agree I love the portrayal of Lois on smallville the most of all live action portrayals she was a strong character on her own. She will actually be featured in my top ten Tuesdays this week for top ten portrayals of females from comics.

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  3. As a kid I hated Lois Lane, based mostly on how she was depicted in the Christopher Reeve movies, as well as reading the occasional reprint of comic book stories from the 1950s and 60s where she would come up with all sorts of insane schemes to trick Superman into marrying her. Then Crisis on Infinite Earths happened. I will admit, a lot of stuff got screwed up after Crisis. The Legion of Super-Heroes, Hawkman, most of the characters from Earth Two… I could probably go on for a while. But in the reboot of the Superman titles by John Byrne, suddenly Lois was awesome. She was intelligent and tough and actually likable. Once she and Clark got engaged, and he then revealed that he was Superman, their relationship became so interesting, at least for me. I really enjoyed how she was written by Byrne, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, Dan Jurgens and others throught the late 1980s thru to the point when everything got rebooted again with Flashpoint and the New 52.

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    • Yeah the older incarnation of Lois Lane is not really good, I’m really glad they changed her character. We haven’t seen as much of her character in the new 52, but so far she’s been pretty good

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  4. Personally? I loved Lois Lane when I saw her as a kid in The Animated Series, and from what I saw, Clark gave as good as he got in that series. She’s possibly the reason I’m still into the characters of Metropolis and Daily Planet today. Sass-master.

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  5. i like her in the show smallville when she explore other realationship and is just not dependent of clark but beside that i hate all the other versions of her in the comics i begin to like her in new 52 i ecplain why later for me she is one of the many things who make the superman comics and her boring the complete clihée of the soulmate couple that i just find old fashion and also that ” damsel in destress who need to be saved every week that i just hate she changed a bit in the new version but if you looks in the 70s 80s you would killed yourself but thing who make me hate her is that as oine the best journalist in the world superman behing the glass of clark kent in term of romance with superman like i said earlier i don’t like it because its make the comics of superman concentrate on their romance rather than the plot its too romantic and when its too romantic it became boring,i like her in the new 52 because the writters finally sees she could be a interesting character without being with clark she is pretty close to the lois from smallvilleso yes its a key character in the superman storyline but she could be far more interesting with in couple with him

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    • Yeah I think it’s important to make her a good character in her own right, and more than just Superman’s gf. I really loved her in Smallville, and they started doing interesting things with her in the New 52, but haven’t explored it well since then. Hopefully her character is a strong point in Batman v Superman

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