by Mark Mitchell
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!
So much of Rebirth-ed Superman has been focused on Clark and Lois as parents. These familial dynamics are an interesting lens through which to view such storied characters, but doing so has largely left Lois cast in a passive role. The cover of Superman 31 promises fisticuffs between the Man of Steel and Deathstroke, but the issue is really all about Lois Lane, Ace Reporter, and how sweet it is to have this version of Lois back.
Whenever I’m reading an issue like this — an issue that gets Lois Lane so right — I always wonder why we can’t have an entire book dedicated to Lois’ exploits as a hard-nosed journalist. I know that realistically there isn’t much of a market for such a niche title in DC’s lineup, which is why books starring Lois Lane tend to give her superpowers. Those books can be mildly amusing diversions, but they never have any real staying power because they completely misjudge what makes Lois appealing. Lois Lane is a badass journalist who doesn’t take no for answer. She’s smart, driven, and successful; her gumption is her superpower.
So while my dream Lois Lane/All the President’s Men mash-up may never happen, it’s always exciting to read an issue of Superman that takes her and her abilities seriously.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?
The idea that, in a market that can currently support things like Omega Men, the Vision, Unstoppable Wasp, Catwoman as a mob boss, Squirrel Girl, Jessica Jones, Starfire, Black Canary, Mockingbird, Howard the Duck e, Coates’ Black Panther work, the idea that there is not enough of a niche for a Lois Lane book is laughable.
Many of these books had short runs, but you don’t necessarily need to have a long run. I mean, I think you could easily tell all the Lois Lane story you really need to tell with somewhere between 6 to 12 issues. And if it is a success, you could easily expand it and continue like Squirrel Girl has.
The only reason we won’t see a Lois Lane book is not because the market wouldn’t support it, but because a Lois Lane book would be creative, imaginative and female focused. Hell, it might even be good. And DC aren’t willing to support anything that fits that criteria at the moment.
Shame, because I would really want to read this book (actually, I want to write it. I have a pitch in my head, ready. And, weirdly, a pitch for a Vicki Vale book)