We Need To Talk About Lois Lane

Lois Lane doesn’t get enough credit. I don’t know how else to say it—the DCEU is a $3 billion (and counting) franchise with tons of iconic characters that have already been introduced and are the subject of analysis and discussion among fans and yet the one person I don’t see getting her due is Amy Adams’ portrayal of Lois Lane.

Lois is a badass. It’s as simple as that. I will never forget watching Man of Steel in theaters and hearing her shut down Nathan Hardy’s false attempts at being concerned: “Look, let’s get one thing straight, guys, okay? The only reason I’m here is because we’re on Canadian soil and the appellate court overruled your injunction to keep me away. So, if we’re done measuring dicks, can you have your people show me what you found?”

This is someone who is here to get the job done at any means necessary. She doesn’t care if you’re her enemy or her friend, if you’re in her line of investigation she will get what she needs so it’s best to just give it to her. She knows that she’s good and that’s what makes her a threat. This kind of confidence usually teeters on the edge of being arrogant, but we never get this impression from Lois because she works twice as hard as her colleagues. Any woman in a field as competitive and sexist as journalism can relate but the best thing about the DCEU’s interpretation of her is that her gender isn’t the reason why she faces the challenges that she does.

The fact that she’s a woman does come up in conversation but years of experience have taught her how to respond in order to move forward. Lois’ introduction in Batman v Superman is just as powerful as her opening lines in Man of Steel: Lois arrives in Nairomi with Jimmy Olsen to interview the warlord Amajagh and the first thing he says to her is that he didn’t know he a lady would be interviewing him. She responds with the simple yet effective line, “I’m not a lady, I’m a journalist.”

Her gender isn’t the reason why she’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Her intelligence is. Her determination, her refusal to abandon stories even when Perry White tells her that she should for the sake of the Daily Planet’s reputation. They both know that she won’t. She chases the best stories and doesn’t let the risk of her job’s name get in the way of finding the truth.

Meeting Clark Kent is the first time that she’s had to keep a secret. When he uses his heat vision to save her from bleeding to death, her natural instinct is to craft an investigation around the identity of this mystery hero. When Perry refuses to publish it, she goes as far as getting a gossip journalist to leak parts of the story but after learning the entire truth and hearing it from both Clark and his mother Martha, she decides to drop the piece altogether.

Even Perry was surprised when she agreed to do so—when has she ever dropped a story? As crazy as her claims were, she’s still a reliable reporter. Clark’s power would’ve been revealed regardless so publishing the story would only skyrocket her credibility but she refuses to in order to protect Clark.

Her methods could be considered destructive but she still has a heart. Clark’s story spoke to her; he’s spent his entire life struggling to hide his alien identity while at the same time wondering where he came from. Knowing all of this made her care for him. It’s a bond that they share throughout the movie and that’s why their eventual romance doesn’t feel forced.

Their relationship is complex but it isn’t what motivates her actions. She isn’t guided by what Clark says but by what she needs to know in order to discover the truth. Lois is the one who finds out about Lex Luthor’s plan in Batman v Superman—without her, both Bruce Wayne and Clark wouldn’t have seen the reality. They were so focused on their own investigations to tear each other down that they weren’t looking in the right place—and that’s where Lois came in.

Her investigation in Batman v Superman is crucial because it once again shows her importance as a character. She doesn’t have superpowers but her strength lies in her detective skills. Batman may be the World’s Greatest Detective but Lois is just as good as him in during the events of the film. Although she’s super in her own right, she’s still human so Clark has to swoop in to save her a few times but it isn’t repetitive and it only happens in life or death situations.

Clark knows that Lois can handle herself but that doesn’t mean he’s exempt from worrying about the woman he loves. Knowing his secret and eventually finding out that Lex is behind everything puts her in a dangerous situation but she doesn’t let her lack of physical superpowers prevent her from trying to help Clark so Lex can be stopped.

Just like Clark saves Lois, Lois saves Clark. Batman and Superman’s battle ends with Batman pointing a Kryptonite spear to his face, ready to kill him. Lois, finding out where the fight is at, heads there and throws herself in between a crazed Batman and an unresponsive Superman to tell Batman that Martha is the name of Clark’s mother. She put her life on the line to protect not only Clark but also his adopted family’s name. If Lois wasn’t there, Batman would’ve killed Clark without remorse or knowledge of who he is or what he means to the few people who are left in his life that he trusts.

Lois is never reduced to being a superhero’s girlfriend. She would reject that title and that’s why she continues to be just as determined and great at her job after meeting Clark as she was before he came into her life. We know all too well how blockbusters portray women in superhero films but the DCEU has always given us women who are more than just love interests or side characters.

Even before Wonder Woman, the supporting characters alongside Lois in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman aren’t limited by their gender; they’re important characters because they signify various levels of power and add to the discussion at hand. Senator Finch may not have had a lot of screen time, but all of her scenes left an impact because of what she had to say regarding the topic of Superman. Faora is a compelling villain, not because she was wronged or hurt by men, but because she genuinely believes that her alien race is superior.

If any of them didn’t exist, the story wouldn’t have been able to move forward. That’s why Lois is important—she evolves so much between the events of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and without her, the outcome of both movies would be significantly different. As we prepare ourselves to watch Justice League in November, don’t forget Lois. The fact that she’s saved the day multiple times by just being herself is enough to consider her a hero.

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