Politics continues to intrude on our fantasy lives this week in the form of DCU: Decisions #1. By most accounts it was a predictable story, but it included an unexpected reveal about Lois Lane.
Chris J. Miller gives the details:
Perhaps the only unexpected relevation [sic] in the issue is that Lois Lane is “proudly for a strong military, small government, low taxes, and maximum individual freedom.” This is presumalby [sic] meant to indicate that she’s a Republican (although given the actual governing philosophy of today’s Republicans, that’s actually an open question). It’s at least marginally plausible, I suppose, since it’s long been known that Lois was brought up as a military brat (indeed, her father served as Secretary of Defense under Luthor; another long story). On the other hand, given that she rebelled early against her authoritarian father, and works as an investigative reporter at a “great metropolitan newspaper,” one wouldn’t necessarily expect her to be a product of her upbringing. At any rate, I wasn’t particularly put out by the surprise, perhaps due to the fact that I’ve never much cared for Lois anyway.
Other reviewers were less generous:
[T]his book is Judd Winick writing Green Arrow as a clueless moron and Bill Willingham writing Lois Lane as Ann Coulter.
Just stop it.
I could understand if they said that Batman was a Republican. Or Alan Scott. Or Wonder Woman. Heck, it could even have been an interesting twist if Hawkgirl voted Republican.
By there is NO FREAKIN’ WAY that Lois Lane is a Republican.
That is all.
By defining the political leanings of these characters, DC has instantly alienated a lot of the readership. While this first issue does not clearly state the big three’s views, it does define them for other important characters, most notably Lois Lane. They made Lois a Republican. It makes no sense. And it has pissed a lot of people off.
I have to say I’d be annoyed if the rationale for her party membership was just because she was a military brat. Contrary to popular belief, Republicans do not hold a monopoly on the loyalty of military members. It’s pretty damned annoying that so much of the military’s representation in popular culture is painted red and riding elephants. I’d like to see the sort of people I’ve actually met in the military as characters in pop culture. I’m tired of the Conservative Christian Family Values General, okay? I want to see the atheist NCO gun enthusiast, or the liberal conspiracy theorist technician, or the socially conservative Wiccan from personnel reflected in our entertainment. I know it’s a cliche, but could you think outside the box for five seconds? There are all sorts of people in foxholes.
But if this was a way of making a point about her as a journalist, then I have to say it has potential. Probably not under these writers (Honestly, Wonder Woman decides who to vote for based on their military prowess? Have they ever read her book?! Do they really think she’s so one-dimensional?), but someone with some characterization skill can take this development and get some good story material out of it. How she’s registered doesn’t necessary match with how she marks her ballot. Lane, as characterized over the past 60 years, probably votes for the least corrupt person on the ballot. She most likely decides who’s the least corrupt after investigating them herself. If her ideals tend to be conservative, and the conservative candidate turns out to be corrupt while the liberal candidate is an honest person, there’s some internal conflict for Lois. And what does she do when the conservative candidate is more religious and moralizing than she’s comfortable with? There’s some good election tale fodder here.
I don’t have faith that DCU Decisions will make good use of it, but then I have low expectations for these writers. (And the Wonder Woman thing really doesn’t help.) But some future Superman writer could get a really great story out of Lois Lane, Registered Republican.