In 1938, one of comics most iconic and enduring characters made their debut in the pages of ‘Action Comics’ #1. Except unlike a certain milquetoast Big Blue Boyscout, this character was tough as nails, snappy, ambitious, cut-throat and impeccably put together. I’m speaking of course, of Lois Lane, possibly the most famous supporting character in all of comics. A character so iconic that despite not actually being a super hero herself, starred in 137 issues of her own comic book series, running from 1958 to 1974.
Okay sure those comics revolved around her turning into a witch or a cavewoman or even… well, an African-American in one issue, and her sole motivation was trying to prove that Superman and Clark Kent were the same person, but… well, I don’t see Mary Jane Watson or Alfred Pennyworth starring in their own books that run over the course of three decades! (A book, by the way, that outsold Batman for a time!)
Her rivalry/romance with Clark Kent finally came to fruition in the mid-90s and the pair were wed in 1996. This was reflected in the TV show ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’. (See who got top billing there?) However, in the current comics, the marriage was erased. Lois has a new guy and Superman is dating Wonder Woman. That leaves one of comics’ most iconic female characters relegated to background status.
Or does it? At New York Comic Con, DC publisher Dan DiDio, in response to a question about the Super/Wonder pairing, stated “We love Lois. It’s her 75th Anniversary, too. We have big plans for Lois Lane in 2014, and who knows, her name can look just as good on the title of a comic as Superman’s, can’t it?”
So while he didn’t come right out and say it, it sounds as if comics’ most intrepid journalist might get her own comic next year. I have to say, despite some problems with The New 52, DC has clearly shown an effort to offer more than straight super heroics. They’ve done westerns, war, horror and supernatural comics just to name a few. Unfortunately in this economic climate, fans have been reticent to step outside the spandex circle. (Sucks for them– some of the best New 52 books have been non-superhero titles!) Can a book starring a mortal journalist survive in this day and age? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I can pretty much assure you, I will be buying the heck out of this book!
What about you? Are you willing to take a chance on a book starring a non-super supporting character?
In the meantime, DC is releasing a Lois-centric graphic novel, collecting some of her most memorable stories. You can pre-order it here.