EVERY MONDAY – WHETHER YOU NEED IT OR NOT – I POST COOL, ABSURD, AND/OR AWESOME PANELS FROM COMIC BOOKS I READ AS A KID. THIS IS

MEMORY MONDAY

Memory Monday – Lois Lane Gets Real

Some explanation is necessary here…

DC decided to do a brief, two-issue Lois Lane mini-series back in the eighties. Lois had had her own comic in the sixties and seventies, the aptly-yet-condescendingly-titled “Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane.” That comic was canceled before I started reading comics, and then along came this two-parter.

Writer Mindy Newell wanted to tackle the issue of missing, abused, and exploited children. For the mid-eighties, this was pretty heady territory for comics, and Newell’s script is remarkably nuanced, given the time period. Yes, there are elements of the “afterschool special” or “very special episode” to it, but in general it’s good stuff.

But, truthfully, what fourteen-year-old Barry most admired about the series was its character work, the way Newell treated Lois Lane as an actual person, a real working woman with thoughts, fears, and concerns of her own that transcended such Silver Age nonsense as figuring out new ways to bedevil Superman.

In one sequence, Lois has become so obsessed with missing children that she basically shuts everyone she knows out of her life. Who comes to her rescue? If you said “Superman,” you’re only part right…

 

Lois and Clark

 

This scene goes on for a couple of pages, actually, and it’s a nice bit of characterization between Lois Lane and Clark Kent as adults, not as projections of childish fantasies. I wouldn’t want these characters to be written like this all the time, but it’s refreshing here.

Cool bits: Damn right Clark knows about alienation, Lois! And I love that in the final panel, he’s standing in the classic Superman pose…helpless to save Lois when the villain menacing her has no jaw to punch…

(From Lois Lane #2, 1986. Written by Mindy Newell. Art by Gray Morrow.)

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