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Where the Hell is Lois Lane?

OpEd By Holli

Where has she gone?

We used to say, “Where the Hell is Lois Lane?” while watching Smallville.  Definitely during the first three seasons and then during the episodes Lois Lane was absent from our television screens.  Now Smallville is the only bastion of the Clark Kent/Lois Lane/superpowered being story we have at the moment.  Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders are giving us a powerful story this season 9 and we can’t thank them enough.  It’s been a horrible dry spell in the comics.

For the past year we have experienced a world without Superman.  Been there, done that.  BUT we have also experienced a world without Clark Kent which means Lois Lane is without a husband, a partner and best friend.

In 2008, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and James Robinson began to give us World of New Krypton even before the actual series started.  Exchanging stories between Action, Superman, and Supergirl, we were brought into this topsy turvy world that quite frankly Superman fans barely recognized.  Superman was no longer in Action Comics (after 70 plus years) or his own monikered title, Superman.  In Action, we have Nightwing (not the Dick Grayson one) and Flamebird – the soap opera rapid aged Chris Kent and his girlfriend.  In Superman, we get Mon-El and the Guardian.   So basically what readers were getting was a huge bait and switch.  Not the best idea ever.

The being known to us as Clark Kent/Superman leaves Earth – meaning his emotional ties – Martha and Lois.  No last time bedroom scenes for DC’s most iconic couple allowed apparently.  Might show too much emotional content or remind people that they’re married.  Kal-El goes off to New Krypton to help his 100,000 Kandorians learn about their powers and show allegiance to his species.  So basically the former Superman is one of 100,001.  Super powers, big deal.  He doesn’t communicate with Earth because the Kandorians may find out.  But Supergirl, whose mother is running the new world, can fly back and forth to Earth at will.  She apparently has to do this to give Lana Lang and Cat Grant face time in her book.  Yea, blahna got her own story arc — lasted one entire issue.  It’s still more than Lois got.

But Lois Lane we do not see so much in the comics.  Why?  Oh, she plays a ‘important’ role – by supporting Nightwing and Flamebird in one or two issues, having her sister supposedly die (discussed with her husband OFF PAGE), her father resurrected who has her arrested for collaborating with the aliens and now the resurrection of her dead sister (batshit crazy Superwoman) which she does not know about.

When asked how this separation would affect the 13 year marriage, Didio said, “The marriage is rock solid.”  Oh really?  How can there be a relationship of any kind if we do not see it or at least find out from the characters that there even is one.  There are no thought bubbles from the Kryptonian known as Kal-El and in his situation he supposedly can’t talk about her to anyone.  Lois rarely mentions her husband even when she’s in one or two panels every three or four issues.  This has been going on for over a year and fans are sick of this emotionless drivel.  And where the hell is Lois?

Where is the Daily Planet?  Oh yea, Lana Lang and Cat Grant in the Supergirl books have that covered.  So what the hell is Lois Lane doing?  Well at the moment, she’s been arrested by the feds.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Apparently Kal-El the Kryptonian still hasn’t figured that out yet.  His wife, the love of his life, the ingredient that Donner said made his first movie work is off page as she has been for so many issues these past months.

This all reminds me of when the guys on my street used to play with their little plastic soldiers in their driveways.  (Yea, back in the Stone Age)  Boring!  They even played war without girls, of course, on the backlots of our neighborhood.  Pre-pubescent stuff, y’know.  That’s what this whole World of New Krypton and subsequent arcs reminds me of.  Boys with their toys and no girls allowed.  No relationships, certainly none as serious and important as a marriage.  No depth, just action, action, action with no stakes or sacrifice – at least not emotional ones.

So Lois Lane is out in the cold again and it leaves DC with stories that are not even mere shadows of their greatest works.  There is no Superman.  There is no Clark Kent.  And there is not much Lois Lane to speak of.  A good story should get readers emotionally involved.  Lois has always been the avenue for that.  And we miss her and what she brings to the table.  She should have kept Clark Kent and Superman alive for us while we waited for him to return to Earth.  That never happened.

Warning: Wishful thinking paragraph.  Now if TPTB dedicate an entire issue of the booty calls on the JLA Watchtower during this time, then I think all might be forgiven, but I doubt if they could pull it off.  Robinson wrote a story where Lois was PMSing and was, completely out of character, jealous of Zatanna – before Clark got pounded by Atlas.  This probably was the gem that gave us the episode WARRIOR where Zatanna was a sexual predator.  We used to depend on Rucka to give us good Lois – let’s hope we get to see it again.  Challenge!

Lois Lane is as important to a Superman story as Clark Kent and the Daily Planet.  Lois was created for Clark and Superman – to be the human ‘buy in’ to this man who lived in two different worlds.  Now with the third world of New Krypton – none of these components of the mythic story are recognizable.  It makes one wonder if they did everything in their power to write a Superman story without any of the things from Action #1.

There is hope though.  There always is in the Superman story.  Recently I saw a preview cover of Superman #700 – the anniversary issue.   Clark/Superman has Lois Lane in his arms in the sky.  So apparently, eventually, TPTB will give us what we have always loved.  The story of a man who was born on another planet and sent here to live out his days doing what only he could for the good of the world.   His life became richer because he met a woman with more spirit and brains (and a hell of a bod) who loved him no matter what clothes he was wearing (or not).

Maybe they will make Lois important to the story, let’s hope they do.  What I’d really like to see is Clark working out his issues including his ordinary, every day ones living on the Earth – such as marriage.  Which means more Lois for us!

The wait continues.

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