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A book review by Bruce Dettman

Investigating Lois Lane:
The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter

by Tim Hanley
Chicago Review Press, 2016

In addition to a sidekick -- quite often of a comedic nature -- most fictional male heroes usually require a female as part of the standard equation. The dynamic does not necessarily demand a true romantic relationship between the two participants although in most instances a certain noticeable chemistry is more often than not both hinted at and desired by the public. Yesteryear’s comic book characters in particular always tread a fine line between friendship and romance and this is never more glaringly apparent than in the myriad of depictions of girl reporter Lois Lane and her curious relationship with Superman.

Lois has been around nearly as long as Superman, who made his own debut way back in 1938. Over the years a great many things have changed about Lois -- her hairstyle, fashion sense, her initial verbal viciousness usually leveled at poor Clark Kent and on occasion even her marital status -- but one thing that has really never deserted her has been her sense of independence, defiance of authority and drive to achieve her journalistic goals. Whether it is in the comics, in cartoons, feature films, the stage or on TV, Lois Lane has always emerged as a force to be reckoned with and a no-nonsense battering ram of a reporter. The word “intrepid” has become synonymous with her and for good reason.

Lois’ crazy quilt of a life and career has now been meticulously researched and documented in Tim Hanley’s new and highly entertaining book Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter. Hanley, a noted comic book historian and author of the earlier Wonder Woman Unbound, takes on the somewhat daunting challenge of sorting out Lois’ life and career, no easy task given over seventy-five years of adventures and exploits, many of which placed her in fantastic situations and scenarios often equaling those of her costumed cohort. For fans of “The Man of Steel”, comic book history in general and that pugnacious girl reporter in particular this is a volume not to be missed.

"Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"