Once a year, as late November/early December rolls around, the cold air rushes in and on its breeze you can hear the seasonal sounds of The CW's DC Universe annual crossover event. Last year, we got to see what it would have been like if the Nazis had won World War II and several of our own had joined their number. This year, it’s all about body swaps and Batwoman, but while the most anticipated element of the massive event is certainly Ruby Rose’s first appearance as the caped crusader’s red-and-black-clad cousin, there’s another iconic comic book character making her first appearance in the event: Lois Lane.
After more than three years existing only as references offscreen, Grimm's Bitsie Tulloch was cast to play the Daily Planet’s ace reporter in two of the three crossover episodes. Her role in that story is as yet unknown, but whatever part she plays, it is far from what the character deserves. That’s because the character deserves her very own series.
Lois Lane is arguably one of the most important characters in comic book history, yet despite her decades on the page and a story that is nearly impossible to separate from her blue-and-red-clad paramour, Lois has always been treated as a second-tier character. Not only has she existed for just as long as Superman, appearing in the very first story in 1938, but she has always been a fully formed character with her own backstory, personality, goals, and motivations. There simply is no Superman without Lois Lane. So why, then, has Lois rarely been treated as a character important enough for her own adventures?
In the 1960s, DC Comics launched a series titled Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, a companion book to the successful Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen series, but despite its title, the Superman’s Girlfriend stories were rarely tales of Lois’ solo adventures. Rather, more often than not, they were adventures from which Superman commonly had to save her, or, even worse, they were tales of her exploits in convincing Superman to marry her.
This is not to say that Lois’ tenacity and drive have been ignored altogether. On a few occasions, the character has been given the chance to shine outside the looming shadow of Superman, but those instances have been few and fleeting. Lois has been the subject of a handful of one-shot comic adventures, or miniseries installments of a larger DC Comics universe-altering event (see the Lois Lane and the Resistance three-part piece of the Flashpoint event), but those moments serve more as proof that the publisher should give the character a chance than an actual substantive effort to provide Lois fans with their own monthly series to consume.
Fans of the character nearly got everything they had been asking for in 2016 when DC announced a new series arriving along with the Rebirth line of stories. Superwoman was to be the Lois Lane solo adventure they had been waiting so long to read, as an alternate version of Lois, newly gifted with Superman-like abilities, was going to get her very own chance to be a hero. The series was billed as a Lois Lane story, but upon the debut of the first issue, fans discovered that description was a bait and switch. The series, while starting off as a Lois Lane story, quickly became one about Superman’s other famous girlfriend, Lana Lang, and the first issue ended with Lois’ untimely and violent demise.
Outside of the ill-fated Superwoman, DC has made a few half-hearted efforts to delve into the rich and interesting backstory of the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. In 2016, author Gwenda Bond was given the opportunity to pen an original trilogy of young adult novels chronicling her own version of Lois’ origin. The stories, which took on a Nancy Drew or Veronica Mars-like teen noir slant with a supernatural flavor, explored the events that may have led to a teenage Lois eventually pursuing the kinds of stories she that would one day make her famous. The series also explored the very early days of her relationship with Clark, her family history, and those parts of her personality inherent to making her the kind of person who would become a hero to a person like Superman.
A few years after the release of the YA series, DC Entertainment announced it would be launching its own streaming video platform, which, in addition to holding a library of its popular films and television series (and a few not-so-popular ones) would also be home to a slew of new original series. The first of these titles was to be the recently debuted Titans, but on the list of those to follow soon after was a series titled Metropolis. While very few details were ever released about the specific plans for Metropolis, the initial details were that it was to be a series starring Lois Lane before she ever met the Big Blue Boy Scout. Finally, after nearly 80 years, fans were about to be treated to the Lois Lane series they been demanding, but that hope was offered too soon. Quickly after the initial announcement, Metropolis was changed to co-star a young Lex Luthor. Eventually, it was shelved entirely, its possible future now completely in doubt.
That brings us to "Elseworlds," the latest CW Arrowverse crossover, and the newest attempt to bring the character of Lois Lane to the small screen. While the character is unlikely to play a giant role in a three-part series designed to introduce Batwoman to the shared universe, the fact that they felt compelled to cast the character at all spells at least a small nugget of hope to fans. While we know Batwoman will headline any future spin-off in that universe, there is always a question as to the plans down the line, and though it is far more likely we will see Lois make guest appearances in Supergirl, does this mean the CW might consider bringing the character to the network full-time? If so, then allow us to make a humble request:
Give us a damn Lois Lane solo series, you cowards.