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May 30, 2016

Lois Lane has enjoyed a remarkable run, considering she has been around for more than 75 years in the pages of Superman comic books. But life has never been easy for the journalist best known as “Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane.”

TIM HANLEY podcast excerpt: "You get a lot of stereotypes about women when it comes to Lois Lane, a lot of hysterics and very emotional. Superman is the calm, level one throughout whatever emotional relationship ups and downs they have. Whereas Lois has to fly off the handle and instigate the drama for the relationship."

Seriously, what modern professional woman would want to be introduced that way? After a few days, it would grow old. But as months turned into years and then decades – pushing into a century now – even the most liberated woman with a sense of humor is bound to find it less than funny or ironic. What’s worse, however, is that in her 21st century DC Comics incarnation – thanks to the publisher’s relentless rewriting of history – poor old Lois Lane barely exists in print, having been replaced in Superman’s affections by Wonder Woman. He doesn’t even know that he and Lois were once married!

How’s a gal with ink in her veins supposed to compete with an Amazon with a magic lasso, anyway?

TIM HANLEY podcast excerpt: "I liked (the 1993-97 ABC-TV series) 'Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman' because Lois never comes off as dumb. It's really easy with the Clark Kent/Superman dynamic for Lois to look like a moron for not figuring it out. In 'Lois & Clark,' she figures it out and then they're partners, which, I think, it the ideal situation for Lois and Clark together."

In Tim Hanley’s fascinating history, Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter, the author brings together decades of multimedia treatments of the durable reporter – mostly at the hands of male writers, artists and editors – and tries to make sense of the way she has been battered and beaten, loved and lost, since her June 1938 debut in the pages of Action Comics #1.

Key interview moments:

• 2:50 Lois Lane '"biographer" Tim Hanley describes the ups and downs of his subject across more than 75 years of adventures in comic books, radio, TV and movies;

• 13:20 Hanley acknowledges the many negative female stereotypes about women applied to Lois Lane over the decades by male writers, but notes how much better her character fares in the hands of female scribes;

• 24:10 Hands down, Hanley thinks many of Lois Lane's best moments can be found in the mid-1990s ABC-TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman."

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