Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fictional Role Models, Part Seven: LOIS LANE

From the title of her comic book, one might think Lois Lane's only claim to fame was her being Superman's Girlfriend. That tag was emblazoned on every cover, giving her an identity based only on the man she loved. But Lois Lane was so much more. She was a star reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper. She would do almost anything to get a story. She was single, attractive, made good money, had a great career, and although she was head over heels in love with Superman, she never defined herself in so limited a manner.

Lois was a liberated, hard-working woman who was courageous to a fault, dug deep for her stories, and wasn't afraid to show the world her intelligence (except when something caused her to have a giant, outsized brain. That was always a bit embarrassing). She was considered on a par with her male counterpart at the Daily Planet, Clark Kent (he of the glasses and red cape sticking out of his shirt tail). They would often fight for stories and despite Clark's obvious advantages, Lois would hold her own.

Her biggest downfall was how desperately she wanted to marry Superman. Time after time she would plot ways to ensnare the Man of Steel, only to lose him in the end. Did some of her methods border on the ridiculous? Oh, yeah, one could say that. But dangit, at least she was imaginative!

It wasn't that Superman was the only man in her life, either. She fell in love at the drop of a hat, sometimes, and had more than her share of admirers. Naturally, something always went terribly wrong, but despite tears and a broken heart she was always fine by the next issue. Heck, she was over it in the next story in the same book. That's resilience!

In the 70's, Lois got a lot hipper and more "relevant". She changed herself into a black woman to experience prejudice (look for revisit of that issue in the coming weeks in my other blog, (Comic Books Revisited), marched in protest, wore clothes with fringe – she was a mod, contemporary chick who was far out and right on and 100% groovy. Dig it?

I absolutely adored reading Lois Lane comics when I was a little girl. She had no superpowers and yet she was fearless, wore her heart on her sleeve, was smart and had her own career. Wowzers, what's not to love? Surely one can ignore the occasional insect body and giant brain when there's so much else to admire.

This concludes my weeklong tribute to fictional role models. Tomorrow, I'll give some final thoughts and then I'll move on to other topics.

1 comment:

F.S. said...

Great entry, thanks. Love the pics, too; the mantis thorax and abdomen, antennae, and bridal veil are a good look. Looking forward to the wrap-up. BTW, the Comic Books Revisited link has a typo and doesn't work.