LOIS STORY IN SUPERMAN ANNUAL #2

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Despite the fact, Brainiac is on the cover, Superman Annual #2 is a Lois Lane, investigative reporter story. Spanning five years including when Metropolis was invaded by The Collector (Grant Morrison’s Action Comics), we see some of the residual effects of that event in the present time.

Preview pages of this Scott Lobdell story with art by Dan Jurgens (Death of Superman, creator of Doomsday and Booster Gold) showed a Lois Lane dying from a fall.   Fans were upset as this would be the sixth time a dying or dead Lois has been used in the past two years.   Soap opera much?   Lois has been used as death fodder to help the fauxmance along.

One unusual thing about this annual is that it is not a stand alone.  It is part of a story arc concerning a Psi War.  Lobdell is currently writing both Superman and Action Comics (after Andy Diggle left).   Lobdell probably needed the panel space before Greg Pak takes over Action in #25.

Despite Lobdell’s previous use of narration boxes from some omniscient non-vested entity, we see and ‘hear’ this story from Lois’ perspective.  It appears to be a solid story and hopefully Lobdell can continue this quality throughout this arc.  We just wish Lobdell would quit TELLING us stuff that happened with Clark/Superman and Lois in the five year gap — we’d like to SEE it!

This is the best and truly first time we see Superman come to Lois’ rescue in the new 52.  In fact, it may be the most interaction they have had since the reboot.  Jurgens continues to make us feel what happens between these two ICONIC characters.  (Caps for Didio’s benefit.)

Scott Lobdell has made Lois Lane the mother of her and Clark’s son, Jonathon Kent (from the future) and Connor Kent (Superboy).  In fact, she is Kon’s double mother, in that Connor not only has Jon’s DNA but also another set of DNA from Lois and Clark.  Clark’s was taken when he was tortured by the military in early issues of new 52 Action and Lois . . . we never were told when Harvest (the villain) took her DNA.   Since Superboy has psionic powers, is it possible that Lois’ blood was obtained sometime after the events in this issue?

The Superman books under Lobdell have been a chaotic mess, not only writing wise but also editorially.  DCE definitely has its problems with hodge-podging stories while ‘getting them out on time.’  And with their fierce ‘scrutiny’ of Superman’s story and lack of planning, this makes reading these books . . . painful.

Currently, there are only three Superman related books that give us enjoyment every time.  Superman Unchained by Scott Snyder, Smallville Season 11 by Bryan Q Miller and Adventures of Superman by various creators.  Check them out!

Greg Pak is currently writing Batman/Superman and has included Earth 2 Lois Lane (married to Superman) in the story.  Unfortunately, with the fauxmance bias, readers got panels of Wonder Woman stabbing a Lois.  Pak says he enjoys writing Lois.  Let’s hope he is able to enjoy writing her when he takes over Action in the late fall.

One book we hope that Lois Lane does not appear in is the Superman/Woman Wonder book.  Or better known by fans as, “the book that shall not be named.”  With DCE’s consistent killing of Lois Lane, we can foresee them totally throwing Lois under the bus in this book just to make Diana be the ‘prize winner’ of Superman.  It’s what little boys do when they get together and talk trash about girls.

Will we see more Lois in the future?  Perhaps, but more likely, perhaps not.  In September, there is Villains Month.  The evil ones win the Trinity War (oops, did I say that outloud?) but that’s not all folks.  From October to March we get to see Forever Evil.  (Forever in comic book stories is only 6 months long).  That’s right, if you read superhero comics to see good triumph over evil, save yourself some money and buy Christmas and Valentine presents.  Evil is going to rule the DCU from now on (or at least until tax time).

Is it a coincidence the book that shall not be named kicks off the Forever Evil arc?

Superman needs to get his act together and pursue Lois Lane or the entire world will end . . . period.

TWEETERS! JOIN THE PARTY ON THURS 4/18!

Join us to trend #LOISLANE75YRS

YOU’RE INVITED TO LOIS LANE’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY ON TWITTER

THURSDAY, APRIL 18TH from 7-9PM EST!

April 18th marks the 75th anniversary of Action Comics #1, which made its debut in 1938 featuring Superman and Lois Lane. Before Lex Luthor, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Ma and Pa Kent, Krypton, The Daily Planet, and flight, there was Lois Lane. For most of Superman’s 75 years he has loved Lois Lane, and in the process generations have fallen in love with her too. Through countless incarnations—both in print, animation, and live action—Lois Lane has proven herself as a HERO in her own right, an INSPIRATION, and a ROLE MODEL.

Unfortunately, it appears as if DC Comics is poised to ignore Lois in their celebration of Superman’s 75th anniversary. Variant covers designed to honor Superman and his mythos have been announced. While Lex Luthor is guaranteed his own cover, co-publisher Jim Lee has said there’s only the possibility Lois will appear on a cover, and if she does Lee says it will probably have to include Jimmy and Perry (who both have less longevity and significance than Lois Lane) because he’s not sure a cover with her would sell and DC Comics is too focused on promoting the Superman and Wonder Woman relationship to let Lois share their transitory spotlight.

The premiere female of the Superman mythology DESERVES BETTER than to have her legacy ignored or shared with lesser supporting characters. She deserves RESPECT. To show DC Comics that Lois Lane is a legend in her own right, please tweet #LoisLane75yrs from 7-9pm on Thursday, April 18.

For important details about trending and special icons for the occasion, please click here.

Source: fyeahsupeslois

SUPERMAN 14: THE BEGINNING EMBERS OF CLOIS?

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This is the very first page of Scott Lobdell’s Superman #14.  Here is the narration that accompanies it:

Her name is LOIS LANE. She is an Army brat made good. 

Not even thirty and she’s already won her first Pulitzer.

The nightly news magazine she executive produces on GBS has been nominated for an Emmy.

She’s as comfortable interviewing the President in the White House – as she is filing from behind enemy lines in Quaraq.

Let’s just say there is only one Lois Lane and leave it at that.

As her best friend, he has seen her at her best and at her worst.

As Superman, he’s caught her in his arms while she suffered from hypothermia at 40,000 feet.

As Clark Kent , he escorted her to the last royal wedding where she committed the international faux pas of looking better than the bride.

No matter how many times he lays eyes on her – even as he does here with his x-ray vision –

He’s always taken aback at the realization that Lois Lane is the most amazing woman he has ever met.

The new 52 Clark/Superman doesn’t have the introspective self awareness to be saying or thinking this . . . yet.  It is not an editor’s note.  But it is a glimmer of hope for Lois Lane fans.  And fans for the iconic triangle-for-two.

Lois is amazing — and in these first few pages of this issue, she is the mature one in the room.  A character that has always moved forward (inspiring a super man), she is taking a very important step in her life.  Her sometimes boyfriend is moving in with her.  Is it true love?  Doubt it.  But Lois Lane does not pine and we know how she is in the patience department.  There is only one person she has every been patient with — and that’s Clark.  But five years of patience with no pay off — yea, a woman needs to move on.

Matt Idelson, DC Editor, said this  —

“Clark most definitely has feelings for Lois, but he not only sees her as unattainable, but also unavailable.”

“Clark does indeed have feelings for Lois, unrequited though they might seem to be.”

“My hope is that ultimately, we’ll all look back . . . and see that without Lois in his life, that human representation is something he had to grow towards, and that the absence of Lois in his romantic life held him back.”

Why does Clark think she is unattainable and unavailable (before she hooked up with Jonathan)?  Because of the fauxmance bullship playing out in Justice League.  DC Comics decided Superman’s marriage in the previous universe had to go — it made him unrelatable and boring.  Better to have him in a love triangle. (Where in the hell did I put those puke buckets from Season 7 of Smallville?)  So Superman has been kissing the available Wonder Woman perhaps while under the influence of  magical parasitic lesser gods who feed off loneliness and grief of the living–five years after they met.  One of their kisses showed up in Superman 14 beside Clark and Lois arguing.  (Bangs around closet looking for puke buckets and anger meds)  That’s the bad news which fans will be uncomfortably enduring over the next few months.

Now for some good news (or speculation).  Clark Kent/Superman thinks Lois Lane is the most amazing woman he has ever met.  Just think about that.  (It brings up a whole plethora of questions about what’s wrong with this Clark Kent that he hasn’t made a move in five years — but that’s another subject altogether.)

What we may be seeing here is Lois is always Lois.  She may be the only character in the new 52 Superman story we can hold onto with any kind of secure familiarity.  She will also be an inspiration to Clark, as she has been for many years.

According to Scott Lobdell, Lois has dropped everything (her boyfriend and soon-to-be-invaded apartment) to speak to Clark about his leaving the Daily Planet.  Clark vs boyfriend moving in — she goes for Clark.  Promising!  The conversation that ensues shows these two don’t want to lose each other.  Lois wants Clark to return to the Daily Planet despite his aversion to Morgan Edge and Clark doesn’t want her to go to the next level with Jonathan.  But of course, they get interrupted.  *sigh*

Will we see how or why these two remain best friends (or more) — despite more crossovers, the fauxmance, and DC execs misconceptions of the characters in the Superman mythology?   Time will tell.  Hopefully we will see the fog parting by the time the 75th anniversary of Clark Kent/Lois Lane/Superman in the Spring and Scott Snyder’s yet-unnamed third Superman book.

If Clark/Superman is the one to open Pandora’s box to release hope into the universe — because he has the strongest heart.  We Lois fans know it is because Lois Lane will have inspired him, opened his heart, and given him hope.  That’s our desire for the Man of Steel.  For him to become Superman and save the universe and inspire us.

In March, Andy Diggle will be taking over the Action Comics duties and has expressed how excited he is about writing Lois Lane.  We know that creators work under editors and editorial mandates — we’re anxious to see what this new writer will do with our beloved characters.

Take heart!  Clark Kent/Superman realizes Lois Lane is the most AMAZING woman he has ever met.

WHY A BLACK LOIS MATTERS

by Natasha Townsel

 I am a huge Superman fan. No, let’s get something clear: I am a HUGE Superman fan. I collect comics, memorabilia, DVDs of now-defunct Superman TV series, and any and all Superman movies, both live action and animated. I love Clark Kent because of who he is, not because of what he can do. The fact that Clark possesses all those powers, yet remains an incredibly humble man from the Midwest who just wants to do the best he can to help moves me deeply. I love that his entire purpose is for us as humans to use the abilities that we were born with to benefit humanity. The ultimate theme of this character is hope, not revenge, fear, or hubris. Clark believes the best in humans because he was raised by two of humanity’s best representatives.He believes in second chances (and third and fourth) and that there is good in everyone. He believes that all life is precious and will do everything he can to preserve it. Superman is the ideal representation of humanity and inspires us to be our best possible selves.

It’s not invulnerability or flight or heat vision or super speed that makes him the World’s Greatest Hero. It’s that Superman refuses to despair. He is a testament to the opposite, in fact. Superman is hope.” (Adventures of Superman #640)

When a man like this falls in love with a loud, abrasive, ambitious, and yet fearless, intelligent, feisty, and caring human woman like Lois Lane, it sends a powerful message to not only the women reading this book, but also the men. It combats the message that women have to stand down, shut up, and hide their ambition to be worthy of passionate love with a strong man. Lois is all of those adjectives and even more, and she is the way she is not only because she was raised as an Army brat and had to be tough as nails growing up in that world, but also because she is a woman in a field dominated by men and she had to prove that she was, not just as good as her colleagues, but better. Lois will throw herself into a potentially dangerous story (and did so long before Superman showed up in Metropolis), and the kicker is that she wasn’t just doing it for the story. She does it because she believes, wholeheartedly, in the right for the public to know the truth, she believes in justice, she believes in leaving no wo/man behind, and she is willing to die to make sure of that.

Recently, Grant Morrison reintroduced the public to Earth 23 in Action Comics v2 #9. I was excited about this book. This is an Earth inhabited by Black superheroes. Superman is a Black man who is also the President of the United States and his name is Calvin Ellis. There is a Black Wonder Woman (named Nubia) and a Black Batman; however, a Black Lois equivalent is nowhere to be found. In fact, when Lois does show up, she’s a white Lois from another Earth entirely.

Why is there no Black Lois equivalent on Earth 23? And what would have been so hard about making the alt-Earth Lois that does show up a woman of color? The truth is I don’t think Grant Morrison did this on purpose. I think he unconsciously assumed that every other Earth had a white!Lois and that he did not intentionally mean to erase the possibility of the human perspective in the Superman mythos as coming from a Black woman. But his unconscious default button is a problem in and of itself because it’s the definition of white privilege. This was an opportunity to show a powerful bond between a Black man and a Black woman in an iconic setting—and he missed it.

The reason I’m making a big deal of this is not JUST because I am a woman of color (particularly a Black woman and one who has not made it a secret just how much the Superman narrative means to me), but because of everything that I said above about Lois Lane and what she represents in the Superman mythos. Because Lois is the human perspective in his story, and more importantly is what she represents to Superman. (And no matter how hard they try, this is something the new 52 cannot kill. The love story of Lois Lane and Superman is immortal and inevitable.)

Within the Superman narrative, Lois Lane represents the best of humanity and everything Superman loves about humans. Where Lex Luthor is the worst of what humanity has to offer with his arrogance, his avarice, his corruptness, and insistence on believing the worst in people…Lois is the spirit of humanity. She is incredibly flawed, just as we all are flawed, with her brashness and lack of verbal filter. But she’s also incredibly loyal and has a vulnerability that she hides behind a ten-foot wall that only a Superman could break down. She is a fighter to the point of getting in over her head, but she does it to fight for truth and justice the same as Superman does…only she does it without powers. She is his equal because she shares his ideology and is willing to die for it. Dean Trippe, the creator of Lois Lane: Girl Reporter (the best comic book that was shamefully never published) said it best: “the love story of Superman and Lois Lane is that of an incorruptible power meeting a fearless mortal.” Lois will risk her own life and not just for the story, but for everything that makes the Fourth Estate worth anything: freedom of speech, the press, and the right to information. Nothing is more important to her than the truth and the public’s right to it. She is the strength and integrity of humanity, and she is everything Superman believes human beings can be. And this is stated IN CANON over and over again and throughout media. Just as Superman is the symbol of Hope for the world, Lois Lane is Superman’s Hope. She is his anchor to this world and to humanity.

Now imagine if all of that was represented in a Black woman. It would mean that for (possibly) the first time, a Black woman was the center of a mainstream narrative as more than just the bitch/mammy/best friend/sexpot/token Negro. It means a Black woman would be the center of a mainstream comic book narrative where she is characterized as having integrity, strength, and sexiness without it being at the expense of her femininity or desirability. It would mean a Black woman would be the symbol of Hope for one of the most powerful characters ever created. She would for once be an example of everything good about humanity, a character who is worth fighting for, and who is worthy of the erotic love of a godlike figure that has married/will marry her again and again. She would be a Black woman who can save herself, but is nevertheless worth saving.

And then that mainstream narrative will be read by a mainstream audience that would see this Black woman represented in this way, and who knows, it might actually be a stepping stone to the creation of more Black female characters that also dominate a narrative, have agency and three dimensional characterizations. It hurt me deeply that Grant Morrison and DC Comics missed this opportunity to showcase a Black Lois Lane on an Earth inhabited by Black superheroes and where Superman was a Black man. It seemed clear that the issue understood the power of making Superman a Black man on Earth 23. But they lost the feminist perspective from the point of view of a Black woman and blew a huge opportunity. It’s possible they weren’t aware of what it would have meant to see a Black Lois Lane share that special iconic connection with a Black Superman. I’m not even sure they understand what Lois means to Superman’s narrative or to people PERIOD. So I’m telling them now; I’m raising my voice. And if you don’t think Lois’ skin color is a big deal in this book, then you might need to examine your privilege.

Natasha is also an artist/creator and some of her work can be found at http://natashatownselart.tumblr.com Specifically, Natasha is the author of an all ages Superman book, personally designed as a gift for the children in her family, to demonstrate that Clark Kent/Superman’s story of love and compassion is an inspiration to people everywhere. She recently presented her children’s book to comic book legend George Perez at the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.

Why Create Lois Lane?

I ask this question due to the recent anti-female influence displayed by DC Comics within their new 52 and soon-to-be Earth 2 books.   If you want to see how creative management feels about women, take a look at their female characters and how they are portrayed.   Lois Lane is the First Lady of Action Comics.  (Unfortunately in Grant Morrison’s remake of Action #1, she is far from that.)  However, in less than a year, she has been killed off as a plot device four times.

In 1938, Siegel and Shuster created the first Superhero, Superman, Champion of the Oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need.   Joe and Jerry’s parents were immigrants to America during the Depression.  The United States, land of opportunity.  Their hero not only had physical strength and prowess, but also the power of the pen.  Taking a job at the Daily Star, he investigated corruption and shed light on injustice which influenced the hearts and minds of the paper’s readers.

Why have Clark Kent (as the character is initially named) have dual identities?  It’s the immigrant assimilation story.  Because Clark worked a nine to five job, he could relate to the Earth’s inhabitants and strive to have a life of his own besides being a superpowered hero.   As an alien from another planet, he is already an outsider.  But living amongst these beings, he has come to love and admire, gives him psychological balance.  He can be accepted on many levels.  Since he looks human, readers may assume that his home planet had a similar society, where they loved, mated, and had families.

Enter Lois Lane, fellow reporter at the Daily Star, which Clark has been hotly pursuing for a date.  In their first panel together, she gives him a break and acquiesces.  Lois is a woman in a man’s world.   She’s one of the oppressed, but that doesn’t break her spirit.  She’s determined and has Chutzpah.

During their date that evening, the bespectacled Clark wants to know why Lois avoids him at the office.  She obviously doesn’t want to give him another sob story.  Lois may be writing the ‘Dear Abby’ column for the paper and with her drive wants to sink her teeth into some real investigative reporting.

Lois is an attractive woman.  She catches the eye of Butch Matson, a powerful mobster, who decides to cut in on the couple’s dance.  Butch’s alpha male bravado isn’t worried about Lois’ escort, who looks like a push over.

The mobster tells Clark to get lost.  The journalist protests with a point of etiquette.  That’s when Lois realizes her escort may not be so gallant.  Clark has a dilemma; while trying to impress Lois, he has to play the weakling in order to keep his dual identity intact.  He asks Lois to be reasonable – as if giving her over to be misused by the powerful is reasonable.   He promises they’ll leave after she agrees to the dance.  Her reply, “You can stay and dance with him if you wish but I’m leaving NOW!”  Lois Lane fights against the dominate nature of the request.  The ‘man’ who has hotly pursued her wants her to dance with a criminal.  She is appalled her date isn’t defending her or helping her to get out of the situation; not to mention Clark relinquishes her too easily to this brutal man.

Butch tells Lois she’ll dance with him and like it!  Lois takes offense and slaps the mobster for his crudeness and abusive attitude.  She is not an object  or trophy to be won.  She can defend herself.  She has to in this scenario as Clark is unwilling to break from his milquetoast persona.  In a panel that depicts both characters beautifully, fearless and insulted Lois slaps Butch while Clark screams, “Don’t Lois!” but he’s thinking “Good for you, Lois.”   Lois is the character of strength in this scene.  She’s the defender of all women who refuse to tolerate tyrannical or abusive men.   Only a gentleman will win over Lois Lane.

Butch does push Clark’s face in, even taunting him to fight, but Clark refuses.   So what’s a girl to do?  Lois gets her things and leaves . . . alone, without her escort, but with her dignity  intact.   Clark chases after Lois as she enters a taxi.  She tells him why she’s avoided him all this time.  “Because you’re a spineless, unbearable coward!”  A statement of fact.  Lois Lane was never fooled by just a pair of glasses.  Clark made sure that she and everyone else never connected Clark Kent to Superman by playing the awkward, mild mannered reporter to the fearless defender of the oppressed.

While Clark has offended his date by not defending or protecting her, Lois has incensed the macho Butch to the point he follows her to get revenge for her transgressions.  Clark as Superman watches Butch’s car push Lois’ taxi into a ditch.  Inside the car, Lois is outnumbered by men, 3 to 1.  Butch is still irritated he let Lois’ date off so easily.

Superman catches up to the car, lifts it over his head and shakes out its occupants.  Superman then smashes the symbol of power to bits.   He’s probably upset that he caused Lois to be endangered in the first place.  It is Butch Matson who is seen holding his head with his hands while fleeing from the scene.  Superman captures Butch and hangs him from a telephone pole for the authorities to apprehend.

Superman tells a shocked and speechless Lois Lane, “You needn’t be afraid of me.  I won’t harm you.”   Lois has just met a man who went to dire and super lengths to save her.  She may have been more awed than frightened considering the evening she’s had.  As Superman bears Lois in his arms, he leaps towards the city.  On the outskirts, he advises Lois not to print this little episode.  He never calls her by name, but he obviously knows her occupation.

Lois meets with her editor and tries to tell of the previous night’s exploits with Superman.   The editor sloughs it off as her imagination or insobriety.  As a female, she obviously doesn’t carry any weight inside the bullpen . . . yet.  Clark tries to apologize for his behavior, but Lois isn’t having any of it.  He was no gentleman and wasn’t there for her when she was attacked.  Superman, however, was there and did protect her from harm.

For Lois, it was a matter of respect.  Clark obviously wanted her, but didn’t feel the need to protect her.  Superman went straight into action and used whatever means to save her life.  He was a gentleman and chivalrous.   Clark Kent was not.  But they are one-in-the-same.  Thus is the beginning of the triangle for two.  Clark’s disguise (whether it be reporter or Superman) fooled everyone.   Lois Lane was the audience’s in to understand what the dual identity of this being from another planet meant to his life.  Clark Kent, journalist, showed us how this immigrant assimilated and led a ‘normal’ Earth existence.  It is these two aspects of the triangle-made-for-two that makes the Superman story unique.

The 1938 story portrays Lois as an independent, self assured  woman, capable of caring for herself.  Career-wise she takes on the ‘boys club’ of the newsroom and succeeds.  She doesn’t allow any man, be he mobster or Marvin Milquetoast to treat her badly.   These are the reasons Clark Kent/Superman admires and adores her.  She represents the best of humanity.  Her determination and Chutzpah is the spirit of free people around the globe.

Lois Lane has been a mentor for women for decades.  She’s been an inspiration.  She was a career woman, who had a heart for people, truth and justice.  With her analytical mind, she proved herself to be a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

Lois Lane was never intended to be just a ‘love interest’ or a ‘beautiful trophy wife’ and when written accurately, she never is ‘just that.’  She is the superhero’s equal in spirit and energy and in the belief of doing the right thing.  She’s human and an inspiration for Clark/Superman.  Of the women in Action #1, 1938: a criminal, an innocent prisoner, and a victim of spouse abuse, it is Lois Lane who is introduced as a person who matters in this story.

Why Create Lois Lane?  To show a superpowered alien from another planet needs and can have a full life and love with a strong, spirited, and inspirational woman who is powerful in being exceptionally human.  And why does Lois need Clark/Superman?  Because he is the one man who epitomizes all she believes in.  They both have good hearts and fight for truth and justice in order for people to live a life free from oppression.

The triangle-for-two (Clark/Superman and Lois) were the hope of 1938 and decades after.  Since last Fall, they do not inspire much of that at all.  The new 52 and Earth 2 are dark, gritty, male-energy dominated worlds with no hope or inspiration.   Females and female influences need not apply.