Lois Lane needs a comic
So Gail Simone recently made this important point:
No Ms Simone, it’s not so wrong. In fact you are very right to want this. Lois Lane deserves her own comic series. She has done more than enough to justify it. She has a long rich history in comic books (and TV and film) and is a recognisable name to even the most pop culturally dense.
Lois Lane is an intelligent person who is reduced to dumbness in not recognising Superman as Clark Kent. Yes I know it is a comic book, but the level of realism and fantasy and general amount of disbelief-suspension in play is inconsistent in the genre. She has moral strength, intellectual guile and a general bull-headed charm. She is an established character with character, and plenty enough to lead her own series. She’s more than Superman’s girlfriend. (She hasn’t even got that role right now, cheers inexplicably-motivated-Wonder Woman.)
But who would be her villains? We live in a changing world and the way that world is reported to us is changing more so. It would be nice to see Lois Lane tackling the challenges to her journalistic integrity against things like phone hacking, the influences of native advertising as well as the rise of online media destroying the traditional print media. And this would be against the backdrop of a science fiction and fantasy superhero universe. Science fiction and superhero fiction have always been comfortable analogies for real world problems. Lois Lane can totally get her comic book flak jacket on in the middle of that.
But how would the stories work? She still can’t really duke it out with anyone and she would just be in the background of most dramatic events. In the Transformers films they attempted to convey conflict and drama from having average humans running away from the robots. Admittedly Transformers failed, but it can’t be too difficult to pull off a sound concept better than Transformers. Cloverfield was an exciting and gut wrenching view of a monster flick from the view of the average person, another and better example. Lois Lane would be able to be in the midst of danger constantly, as she often already is. Lane could explore the views of a besieged Metropolis and ask if they really think Superman is a symbol of hope. She could travel to Gotham and discover what it is about the city that draws the criminally insane to it; maybe it is more than just Batman? This is a fictional universe with an Atlantis, a Themyscira and other extra fictional cities like Central City, Star City and Coast City. These are all thrown into the mix with the added bonus of other planets and intergalactic space police. The construction of DC’s fictional world doesn’t often gel very well, but Lois Lane’s comic could provide more insight into this, with great critical real world analogies about international relations too. This approach is perfectly designed for the overbearing crossover events that DC adores so much.
In addition to everything Lois Lane would build up DC’s diversity which is sadly lacking in comparison to Marvel. Admittedly she’s still a middle class educated white woman…baby steps DC, if nothing at least baby steps. A Lois Lane comic can range in topics from epic battles and the bystanders they affect to smaller conflicts, or just the ethical implications of daily life in a super powered and increasingly technological world. Maybe sometimes her journalism and writing could halt a villain or inspire others to stop them. Superhero comics aspire to show the strength of hope and morality and other similar ideals, but in the end some bloke in a cape punches someone really hard. Wouldn’t it be nice if words actually spoke louder than actions for once?