I don’t work in the comics industry, as much as I’d like to, and I’m not a comic book or entertainment critic either. I am, however, and as my friends will tell you, a HUGE fan of comic books, particularly of Superman. This is a letter I just sent to DC trying to express how upset I am at their recent treatment of Lois Lane, which I also feel compelled to post publicly, since so few people seem to be talking about it.
"In the long standing battle between DC and Marvel, I have never been shy in stating my support for DC. I’ve also been very vocal in my support in Superman, even if the majority opinion seems to be that he’s an inferior character. Despite that, I’ve been a fan of Superman for pretty much the full 21 years I’ve been alive. I’ve studied the character’s history, both on the comics page and out, and one though, like all comics characters, he’s changed much over the years, there’s always been one thing that’s remained consistent since the very first Superman story, Action Comics #1, way back in 1938. That is, of course, Lois Lane, the most important character in Superman comics next to Superman himself.
But some people seem to disagree with this. And lately, DC, you seem to be one of those people.
In the main continuity right now, Lois Lane might as well not even exist. The iconic character who has literally been with Superman since the beginning has been all but “retconned” out of the comics, and instead Superman/Clark Kent finds himself with Wonder Woman. I was disappointed when I heard the news. I love both characters dearly, but I’ve never seen them as a couple. Superman and Lois Lane were undisputably the proper pairing, weren’t they? Still, I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t offended. I gave the change a chance, and when it didn’t leave an impression on me, I regrettably dropped Geoff Johns’ Justice League title.
Then, Injustice: Gods Among Us #3 came out. Lois Lane is an important character in this story, obviously. Which is odd, after you seemingly insisting that she is NOT important in the main DC continuity. But what offends me isn’t this contradiction, it’s that in Injustice, Lois Lane isn’t important as a character. She’s important as a plot device. The pregnant wife of Superman is kidnapped and mutilated by the Joker, and then her husband is tricked into brutally killing her and their unborn child himself, all to give an excuse for why Superman would fight his fellow superheroes from the Justice League in a fighting game. Nevermind the fact that this is incredibly uncharacteristic of Superman/Clark Kent, no matter how upset or angry he may be. Nevermind the fact that this is an “imaginary story” and these characters are not real. I’m even going to ignore the fact that you seem to be contradicting yourself on whether or not Lois Lane is important. This is just the latest, horrifying and disgusting case of “putting women in refrigerators.” Lois Lane was once a good example of strong, independent woman in comics. She was the girlfriend and eventually wife of quite possibly the biggest superhero ever, but she was never in her shadow. She remained a strong character in her own right, and in fact, Superman quite often mentioned that it was that strength that made him fall so deeply in love with her. What you’ve chosen to do with the character in the main continuity and in Injustice is just a horrible offense to her character, the Superman mythos, and for women in general.
I won’t touch on other issues you seem to have with women, both the female characters in your comics and the female creators you’ve hired, like how you actively ignore and try to erase from continuity and collective memory fan favorite characters like Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. As a lifelong Superman fan, the issue of Lois Lane’s mistreatment is what hurts me the most.
It also hurts me to see that so many fans don’t even seem to think about this issue. The “twist” in Injustice #3 has been widely praised, and the game is expected to be a best seller. But there are others, like me, who are highly offended by this. Not all of them are women, either. I myself am a 21 year old male who simply loves your comics. Titles like Batman, Batgirl, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and Wonder Woman are at the top of my pull list every month. You may notice I didn’t include any Superman titles. I’ve long ago dropped them, because the absence of Lois Lane only hurts the character.
I was very much looking forward to Scott Snyder’s upcoming Superman comic and the new Man of Steel movie as well, the latter of which looks like it will have a positive interpretation of an active Lois Lane, since the role is played by Amy Adams, a talented and well-respected actress. However, in light of all this mistreatment to women, I’ve made the decision to drop all your titles from my reading list. It’s entirely possible that I will not be seeing Man of Steel or reading Scott Snyder’s new Superman title as well. But I sincerely hope that DC Comics will begin to reform very soon, and I will be more than happy to pick up your comics once it’s done so.”
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