Lois Lane gets her due twice this week. The first tribute comes from Slate.com, where writer Troy Patterson pens a “Love Letter to Lois”:
Among the charms of Lois Lane—always a tough dame and yet forever a damsel in distress—is the elegant way she reflects Superman‘s kinks and its ideas of womanhood.
Exhibit A is Action Comics No. 1—the one with the cover image of Superman bashing the grill of Butch Mason’s green sedan into a roadside rock, our introduction to Metropolis, and the enduring template for what’s been called a love triangle of two. The sixth page of the book finds Clark Kent standing at Lois’ desk at the Daily Planet, asking for a date. “I suppose I’ll give you a break … for a change,” she says. One panel later they’re dancing at a supper club. “Why is it you always avoid me at the office?” he asks. “Please, Clark!” says Lois, clad in a rather daring gown. “I’ve been scribbling ‘sob stories’ all day long. Don’t ask me to dish out another one.” Butch, a two-bit hood, rudely tries to cut in on the dance and shoves Clark around, causing Lois to leave in a huff: “You asked me earlier in the evening why I avoid you. I’ll tell you why now: Because you’re a spineless, unbearable coward!” Butch and his boys abduct Lois—we must presume they plan to assault her virtue—and it’s left to Superman to smash the car and sweep up the girl in the evening dress. The next day at the office, Clark gets the cold shoulder. The conundrum of Lois’ existence is that’s she’s pursued by a dope and saved by a dreamboat and doesn’t know they’re the same person—a nicely deranged fairy tale.
The second is this article from The Associated Press, chronicling her 68-year history in comics and on TV and film:
From the birth of Superman in 1938′s Action Comics No. 1 through World War II and into the 1950s, when strong female role models were rare in American popular culture, Lois Lane was different.
Especially in the comic books, where beautiful young women usually functioned as damsels in distress, Lois was too busy getting the story to worry about being saved. Granted, those same comic books occasionally depicted her daydreaming about marrying Superman or fretting over his attraction to high school sweetheart Lana Lang, especially during the 1950s. But she regained her edge in the 1970s and 1980s, and the image of Lois Lane that dominates Superman lore today is one of strength.
Related: Kate Bosworth profile