I’m ready to let you in on a secret. The first TV show I was obsessed with was Smallville, and I mean OBSESSED. It was pictures on the wall, reading message boards to figure out plot lines, and buying DVDs and other paraphernalia obsessed. One thing that Smallville introduced me to was intelligent women who had power (regardless of whether they had actual powers). In the years since Smallville went off the air I’ve looked for other female characters that are interesting and complex—I was so excited when Supergirl was announced last year—but sometimes these characters are harder to find than you think.
On Smallville, the first character I found that made me excited was Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). Over the course of 10 years she went through so much, but she never stopped helping people, even when giving up was easier. I held out hope for years that Chloe would somehow need to adopt her cousin Lois Lane’s identity and would become that mythical hero, but alas, she didn’t. Chloe had a bigger story, but that didn’t stop the true Lois from coming in and becoming the reporter we all know and love. If none of this made sense you should binge-watch Smallville ASAP, and you’re in luck it’s coming to Hulu this month.
In the wake of the recent blockbuster and mega-hit Batman v Superman, I had a lot of feelings. I was disappointed by the handling of beloved characters I’ve come to know and love although I was impressed with the scope of the storytelling, I felt it was quintessentially not a Superman story. This was the most taciturn Superman I’ve ever seen. Of anyone on screen, he said the fewest words. It had very few of the elements I’ve come to associate with the famous alien/farm boy and very little that made me feel like I was watching the hero.
Except for his moments with Lois. In the midst of a dude-heavy movie those moments reminded me why we root for Superman and Lois. She reminds him of the humanity he strives so hard to protect and she protects him in turn when she can. Lois is a fierce person. She doesn’t hold back or apologize for wanting the truth about a crime. Plus Amy Adams is gorgeous and I didn’t know I needed a fiery red-headed Lois until I had one.
Regardless of who is playing her I’ve always loved Lois. In all her incarnations she is sassy, smart, unapologetic, and Superman’s equal. Even when she isn’t playing his romantic lead she is still relevant and central to the story. Lois’ stories encouraged me to be curious. The first time I saw Lois was in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Teri Hatcher) and she was a whirlwind. You think Clark Kent is fast until Lois runs around the newsroom chasing Perry White down about a lead or story.
My love for Chloe is great. It’s on par with Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars. They are all amazing characters and I love their stories, but there is something particularly special about Lois Lane. She started with Superman in the comics. She was right next to him in Issue #1, and later had her own comic pretty much all about being Superman’s girlfriend, but she has pervaded pop culture to be the quintessential smart, sassy, take no prisoners, reporter.
Recently, my favorite incarnation of Lois Lane has come from a book series. Gwenda Bond’s Fallout series has everything we’ve come to expect with little to no Superman. In Bond’s stories, Clark is just an internet friend named SmallvilleGuy who Lois chats with about the trouble she gets herself into and the weird things happening at her high school. Lois doesn’t exist in this story to prop up Superman’s ego or expectations. She is the main character, and she is just as interesting and captivating as the Man of Steel, but I do love the budding flirtation with SmallvilleGuy.
Bond is set to release a sequel to Fallout on May 1, 2016, entitled Double Down. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from Switch Press Pub, and I devoured it in one sitting. I’ve loved so many incarnations of Lois. I love when she is bold, romantic, stupid, smart, and adventurous. I love that she is equal to Superman in almost everything and she’s taught me a lot about the person I want to be at my office or with my friends and family. Throughout Lois’ life in the comics there have been dozens of times she’s had powers, but she doesn’t need superpowers to be compelling and someone to admire.
One of my favorite things in Double Down was Lois’ growing relationships with the women in her life. As a younger sister myself, I loved how Lois and Lucy’s relationship evolved into more than the obligatory “she’s my sister” feeling that many teens possess. She was a big sister to Lucy in some moments that had me downright teary-eyed. She realized she wasn’t keeping any secrets from her mom (moms know all) and that pursuing justice at the expense of her family was more complicated than she thought. She also learned what it meant to be a friend. As a girl who moved a lot and seems to get in trouble just as often Lois has anxiety about how her friends will react to arguments or hurts. It was nice to see a smart confident girl struggle to see if she measured up and keep going no matter the fear.
If you are a fan of Lois Lane, comics, or just a fan of awesome women you definitely need to check out Bond’s Fallout series. Start the series or catch the latest book. Don’t forget to check out the two prequel novellas about Lois’ time before Metropolis. You might even learn a thing or two about sleuthing yourself.
Lindsey received Double Down at no cost as a potential product for review.
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