Tough Chicks/Damsels: Lois Lane
Lois Lane is one of the best female characters in comic book history. She is strong willed, dependable, tough, and easy on the eyes. Her appearances throughout the history of Superman stories haven’t always been as the helpless damsel in distress and I think that explains why she is such a great character. Lois isn’t afraid to get into the thick of things for a story and that often times creates situations where Superman does need to swoop in and make the save but it’s only because of her tenacity to find the truth that many of those criminals are put behind bars.
Because she is such a great character in the comics, it was only a matter of time before her character was cast in the Superman films. In fact, except for the big guy himself, I would say that the casting of Lois is the most important part of a good Superman film. Let’s take a look at the ladies who’ve played Ms. Lane over the years.
Lois has always been featured as an aggressive, career minded reporter working for the Daily Planet (formerly called the Daily Star) in the city of Metropolis. For the past 75 years she has gone through a number of changes in the comics but until recently she has always been either Superman’s girlfriend or wife. The original films starring Margot Kidder gave us a look at a woman who would stop at nothing to get the story but after finding out Superman’s secret, also fell in love with the bumbling idiot Clark Kent.
During her time at the Daily Planet, Lois has won countless awards and written pieces that have changed the world. The one story she was unable to break when it hit was the appearance of Superman. That one because Clark Kent had a little bit of ‘inside knowledge’ when it came to “Big Blue”. As the show progressed Lois would eventually find out the secret of Clark Kent’s identity as the hero and the two would get hitched.
The 2006 film Superman Returns was an attempt at a sequel to the first two Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve. I say it was an attempt because in my eyes it was an absolute failure. The film was a mess as it tried to change so much from its predecessors that it completely ruined the film for me. Lois was now a single mother with a young boy and she resented Superman for leaving when she needed him the most. She was still a very career-minded woman who wanted to get the scoop first but now that she had the kid her priorities had shifted a bit.
Durance played Lois on the TV show Smallville and while I kept up with the show for the first 5 seasons or so I can’t say that I watched any of the final 3 seasons or so. Durance had the job of playing the younger Lois Lane character who was not yet the career-focused journalist that she would become once she made it in the big city of Metropolis. I would say that concept of Smallville didn’t do the character any favors as it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the character would be later in life. The whole point of Lois was to get into trouble so Superman could fly in and save the day. It’s hard to do that without Superman.
Amy Adams was given the role in the most recent flick Man of Steel and will continue to play the character in the next few films. Her portrayal is pretty much the classic character; a hard-hitting reporter who is out to get the scoop on a possible alien artifact found in the Arctic. When that leads to a family in Smallville, Kansas, she starts to unravel details about the identity of the alien hero and much like her predecessors, she gets into all sorts of trouble. I thought she did a fine enough job but I never really liked that it was so easy for Lois to find out the true identity of Superman. I know she’s a great journalist but what does that say about the rest of mankind?