Lois Lane has existed in comics as long as Superman and is just as iconic. At her best, she's a tough-as-nails reporter risking life and limb to get a story. At her worst, she's a ditzy damsel in distress. Learn the turbulent 80-year history of the woman only a man of steel could keep up with her, and see how she has reflected and inspired real women in the ongoing battle for gender equality.
In a universe full of superheroes, Lois Lane has fought for truth and justice for over 75 years on page and screen without a cape or tights. From her creation by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938 to her forthcoming appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, from helming her own comic book for twenty-six years to appearing in animated serials, live-action TV shows, and full-length movies, Lois Lane has been a paragon of journalistic integrity and the paramour of the world's strongest superhero. But her history is one of constant tension. From her earliest days, Lois yearned to make the front page of the Daily Planet, but was held back by her damsel-in-distress role. When she finally became an ace reporter, asinine lessons and her tumultuous romance with Superman dominated her storylines for decades and relegated her journalism to the background. Through it all, Lois remained a fearless and ambitious character, and today she is a beloved icon and an inspiration to many. Though her history is often troubling, Lois's journey, as revealed in Investigating Lois Lane, showcases her ability to always escape the gendered limitations of each era and of the superhero genre as a whole.
About the Author
Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Heroine. His blog, Straitened Circumstances, discusses women in comics, and his column “Gendercrunching” runs monthly on Bleeding Cool. He has also contributed to several comic book sites, including DC Women Kicking Ass and Women Write About Comics.
“A wonderful introduction to the character and history of Lois Lane, and how she has continually served as a canary in the coal mine for the treatment of women in comics in general.” —Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Bitch Planet, Captain Marvel, and Pretty Deadly
“Tim Hanley finally gives the iconic, enduring first lady of DC Comics the deep exploration and historical analysis she deserves. The result is a decades-long story as absorbing and filled with twists as any of Lois’s front page scoops.” —Gwenda Bond, author of Lois Lane:Fallout and Lois Lane: Double Down
“This smart, funny, and thorough biography of the long-suffering woman behind the Man of Steel and her world-renowned multimedia career will have you rethinking damsels in distress and their central role in Western media faster than a speeding bullet. If only I’d had this book as a young journalist and Superman fan!” —Anne Elizabeth Moore, author of Unmarketable and cofounder of the Ladydrawers Comics Collective
“Comic book historian Hanley has written a great follow-up to 2014’s Wonder Woman Unbound in this exploration of the history and development (or lack thereof) of Lois Lane.”and “An excellent entry in the history of graphic novels, this work should appeal to a wide range of readers including fans of Superman and DC Comics, as well as historians of popular culture.” —Library Journal
“Hanley writes from an unapologetically feminist slant (his previous book was about Wonder Woman) and has an obvious, appealing affection for his heroine.” —Toronto Star
“[T]his book is a reminder that our girl Lois has come a long way.” —BUST
“Hanley’s strength is in enthusiastically retelling each Lois Lane story as it rolls out. In Hanley’s hands, even the most popular stuff feels fresh and alive.” —Comics Grinder
“Fans of Lois herself and books like Glen Weldon’s Superman: The Unauthorized Biography or Jill Lepore’s The Secret History Of Wonder Woman will enjoy Hanley’s engaging, affectionate telling of Lois’ story, but it’s worth picking up even if you’ve never read a comic book before.” —The A.V. Club
“Hanley’s book does a great job of putting her highs and lows in a cultural and historical context. The book is useful and thoughtful and educational – just be prepared to get really, really mad on Lois Lane’s behalf.” —Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
“Hanley’s strength is in enthusiastically retelling each Lois Lane story as it rolls out. In Hanley’s hands, even the most popular stuff feels fresh and alive.” —Comics Alliance