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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Lois Lane
reporter, wife of Clark Kent (Superman)


From: Bruce Bachand, "Interview: Elliot S! Maggin", published in Fanzing (The Independent Online DC Comics Fan Magazine) Issue #9, August 1998 (http://www.fanzing.com/mag/fanzing09/iview.shtml; viewed 6 December 2005):
Elliot S! Maggin was the principal scriptwriter for DC Comics' Superman titles during the 1970's up until the mid-1980's. He has written two Superman novels (Last Son Of Krypton and Miracle Monday, both which are currently out of print) as well as numerous other stories, articles, interviews and projects. One of his most recent publications is the novel KINGDOM COME (which is available through Warner Books) which came out in February 1998. It is based on the very successful DC comic book mini-series KINGDOM COME by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. (It is well worth mentioning that Ross contributes a number of new painted illustrations to the Maggin novel!). Sales have been steady for the Maggin novelization. It is over one hundred thousand words full of action, characterization, and plot sculpting.

BRUCE BACHAND [interviewer]: Do you see Superman as a man who prays and/or worships God regularly? If so, what would the Man of Steel pray about from your perspective?

Elliot S! Maggin: I give all my characters religions. I think I always have. It's part of the backstory. It's part of the process of getting to know a character well enough to write about him or her. Jimmy Olson is Lutheran. Lois is Catholic. Perry is Baptist... Clark - like the Kents - is Methodist.

The wedding of Clark Kent and Lois Lane

Both Clark Kent and Lois Lane are traditionally religious enough that they wanted to be married rather than cohabitate without legal and religious sanction.

As the wedding picture below shows, Lois Lane and Clark Kent were married in a church. The picture provides few clues about their religious/denominational affiliation, however.

From: "We're Back!", originally presented in Superman (volume 2) #151 (December 1999), page 15; written by Jeph Loeb, pencilled by Mike McKone, inked by Marlo Alquiza; reprinted in Superman: The Daily Planet (DC Comics: New York, 2006), page 185:

wedding of Clark Kent (Superman) and Lois Lane

How Catholic is Lois Lane? The comics do not clearly answer this question. The character of Lois Lane was created during a time when there was a strong taboo in the American comic book industry against overt references to real-world religious denominations. Yet nearly all Americans at the time strongly identified with a specific religious denomination. Lois Lane was probably considered by the writers as a traditionally religious person, but not overtly identified as such.

It is quite possible that Lois is only a nominal Christian. It is also possible that she is a sincere religious believer. Published comics do not clearly address Lois Lane's religious leanings.

If Lois is anything like her sister Lucy, she is not a very devout Catholic. Not only did Lucy Lane violate Catholic strictures by having premarital sex and becoming pregnant out of wedlock (with her Daily Planet reporter Ron Troupe), she also considered having an abortion to get rid of the unborn child. It is widely known, even among non-churchgoing Catholics, that this violates Catholic Church teachings and ethical standards.

But Lucy's lack of devotion to Catholic ethical principles is not necessarly an accurate way to ascertain Lois Lane's religious practice. Lucy specifically told Ron to not tell Lois about her pregnancy and the fact that she was considering having an abortion. Perhaps Lucy knew that Lois would react negatively and try to persuade her against aborting Lois's unborn neice or nephew.

From: "Save the Planet!", originally presented in Superman: Save the Planet! one-shot (October 1998), page 6; written by Louise Simonson, pencilled by Scot Eaton, inked by Denis Rodier and Jimmy Palmiotti; reprinted in Superman: The Daily Planet (DC Comics: New York, 2006), page 138:

Lucy Lane (Lois Lane's sister) considers having an abortion after becoming pregnant out of wedlock

Religiosity of Lois Lane in the TV series Lois and Clark

The TV series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman is unique among television and film adaptations of Superman in its consistent focus on the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. As a title character in this series, Lois Lane (played by actress Teri Thatcher) received screen time nearly equal to Clark Kent.

Lois Lane in Lois and Clark retains the essential elements of the classic character, such as her strong, independent, rational nature. In addition, Lois Lane in Lois and Clark seems to be more consistently religious and spiritual than she was portrayed in the comics. This doesn't represent a change in character so much as a loosening of the religion taboo long faced by comics. The producers of the Lois and Clark TV series, which aired during the 1990s, seemed less reticent about portraying religiosity and spirituality than the writers of the original Superman comics.

Lois Lane is portrayed as overtly religious many times in the Lois and Clark TV series.

In Season 4, Episode 1, the episode opens with Lois Lane praying for the quick, safe return of her fiance, Clark Kent, after he has left Earth to journey to New Krypton.

In Season 4, Episode 9, titled "Ghosts," a ghost named Katy (played by actress Kathy Kinney, who played "Mimi" on The Drew Carey show) haunts the new brownstone home that Lois and Clark move into after their marriage. The ghost can not pass on to the other side until she learns the identity of the person who killed her. In her conversations with the ghost, Lois Lane expresses a strong belief in an afterlife. Lois tells the ghost that she knows that she will go to a better place now that she will pass on to the other side.

In Season 4, Episode 10, titled "'Twas the Night Before Myxmas", Lois Lane and Clark Kent celebrate Christmas together for the first time. Lois Land and Clark Kent are both clearly accustomed to celebrating Christmas each year. Lois clearly loves the Christmas season, but Lois has a slightly cynical view. When Clark asks Lois what she sees when see looks around at the many Christmas decorations visible in downtown Metropolis, Lois complains about the commercialism that has infected the season, and then says that maybe she is confusing the Twelve Days of Christmas with the "Seven Deadly Sins." The concept of the "Seven Deadly Sins" is not unknown in broader Christian circles, but it is primarily a Catholic concept, and provides an additional clue that Lois Lane's particular Christian denomination may well be Catholicism.

Discussion

Excerpts from: "Superman Wedding -- why a Christian ceremony?" newsgroup discussion started 11 October 1996 in rec.arts.comics.dc.universe (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.dc.universe/browse_thread/thread/4d17a1ff0ee9c715/d141c36005b90ea4; viewed 5 June 2006):
From: Jim Cowling
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: scowl...@islandnet.com

OK, so I bought the Wedding Album [featuring the wedding of Clark Kent/Superman to Lois Lane]. It wasn't bad, but man-oh-man, did it seem rushed.

My big gripe: why was it a Christian wedding? I mean, it seems obvious to me that Clark's not a Christian. Sure, he was raised in Kansas by parents who probably are.

But Clark? He's not even human. And somehow Lois strikes me as atheist. :)

Any thoughts?


From: Joseph T Arendt
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: jare...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu

It doesn't bother me that it was a Christian wedding. Just as you did, I figured Ma and Pa Kent were probably Christians, given their background and past history. I would think this might be enough for Clark to want a church wedding even if he himself seldom goes. As for Lois, I don't know whether she is an atheist or not, but I haven't seen signs she would reject the idea of being married in a church even if she doesn't much care. I'd suspect Clark, the Kansas farmboy, might push harder for a church wedding than Lois, the modern city girl...


From: David Markowitz
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: dmark...@dept.english.upenn.edu

Interesting. I thought the wedding was exceptionally non-denominational as weddings go. There wasn't a creche anywhere, no references to Christ, and significant deviations from any wedding format I've seen in person (although it did remind me of TV weddings). Other than them putting Jerry Siegel in some sort of ministerial robe, I didn't see anything that could be called exclusively Christian. The hall did look like a church, but Conservative and Reform Jewish buildings frequently appropriate European-church style architecture.

Not fond of the idea of putting a Jewish man in a [Christian clerical] collar for the sake of cheesy commercial sentimentality...


From: Mike Chary
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: fch...@ezinfo.ucs.indiana.edu

re: "...And somehow Lois strikes me as atheist."

Lois and Clark are both too intelligent to be atheists.


From: Elayne Wechsler-Chaput
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: fireh...@panix.com

Did you see it [the wedding of Lois and Clark] as Christian? I didn't notice any mentions of Christ (but I'm at work now and the book is at home, so I could be misremembering).

I thought it was a fairly non-denominational religious wedding. Unlike my wedding (and I did marry an atheist), "the G word" (as we call it) [i.e. God] was present [at the wedding of Lois Lane and Clark Kent], but I didn't get the feeling it was a specific religion.

I always figured the Kents were Presbyterian, although I'm not that good at identifying various branches of Christianity. I don't think Lois is an atheist (I don't know that anyone in the DCU is, given the proliferation of gods and godlike creatures about... I mean, Spectre's the Wrath of SOMETHING, right?), but she strikes me as someone for whom religion has been a purely private matter and not all that relevant to her day-to-day interactions, certainly not to her career.

- Elayne (got a kick out of the Jewish minister, though)


From: Matthew Daly
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: d...@PPD.Kodak.COM (Matthew Daly)

Clark was clearly raised with Christian values that he continues to hold. Whether he's a believer or not, people are married in churches with less than that. And if Lois was married by the same priest who confirmed her, then she's got a history in the church as well.

So, it seems to me that the Lanes are Catholic and the Kents are also religious... Methodists, perhaps?


From: scme
Date: Fri, Oct 11 1996 12:00 am
Email: s...@sprynet.com

Lois, no doubt, was raised as a Christian. Clark, being from Kansas, probably was to. Thus, a Christian ceremony....


From: PatDOneill
Date: Sat, Oct 12 1996 12:00 am
Email: patdone...@aol.com

Let me note that, generally, the wedding takes place in the BRIDE's home church, if different from the groom's.

Therefore, the question is what religion is Lois Lane? Does anyone doubt--with what we've seen of her parents--that Lois was raised in one of the mainstream Protestant denominations? Given her mother's social outlook, I'd argue for Episcopalian or Methodist.


From: Andrew Krepela
Date: Wed, Oct 23 1996 12:00 am
Email: iceb...@eskimo.com

...I thought it [the wedding of Clark Kent and Lois Lane] was tastefully done, showing that it was a religious ceremony but not denoting any specific denomination.

From: "There Are No Lions Here", posted 15 October 2006 on "Pretty, Fizzy Paradise" blog website (http://kalinara.blogspot.com/2006/10/there-are-no-lions-here.html; viewed 30 May 2007):

[Reader comments:]

At 4:12 PM, Tom Foss said:

Adherents is a good site, but I'm not sure I agree with all their assessments... their "evidence" for Lois Lane being Catholic is specious and shaky at best (the page they have with Ron and Lucy is out of context, and interpreted in a horrendously wrong fashion -- Lucy didn't want Lois to know she was pregnant, not that she was considering an abortion).

From: "Denominational Affiliations of Superheroes", posted by Sheridan Voysey on 2 July 2006 on "The Open House (life, faith, culture)" blog website (http://www.theopenhouse.net.au/2006/07/denominational_affiliations_of.html; viewed 19 June 2007):

With all the hoopla this week of the Superman Returns movie, you might be interested to know that almost all our superheroes have some kind of denominational affiliation. Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, Catholic - you'll find connections in the storylines of our best hooded, caped, spandex-covered, super-people...

Superman's other close colleagues have denominational connections too. Jimmy Olson is a Lutheran, Lois Lane is a Catholic, Perry is a Baptist, and Lex Luthor is Jewish (although a non-observant one, as Jews today thankfully remember).

From: "Superheroes/villains and their religions" forum discussion, started 16 March 2006 on "Animation Insider" website (http://www.animationinsider.net/forums/archive/index.php?t-17835.html; viewed 28 June 2008):

Daikun
03-16-2006, 05:16 AM

Someone pointed this out at another forum. I found it to be quite amusing that someone would actually have enough time on their hands to ponder about this.

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html


Wolf Boy
09-19-2006, 09:25 AM

...Lois is Catholic, though? I always pictured her as an atheist.

From: "Jews and Catholics rule" forum discussion, started 9 July 2006 on "Pop Culture Shock" website (http://www.popcultureshock.com/pcs/forums/showthread.php?t=13549; viewed 28 June 2007):

07-09-2006, 09:18 PM
Magneto X

Default Jews and Catholics rule. [By this, the poster means that Catholics and Jews have the most representation among comic book superheroes.]

The Mormons are rocking out too!

(Fastest growing religion though, I hear, so I guess they deserve the reppin [i.e., representation].)

But the Muslims (22% of the world), the Hindu (15% of the world), the Sikhs ( totally typecast as supporting characters only!), Confucianists (7% of the planet), (and Athiests/Agnostics (17% of the world and growing fast!) all get the raw deal from comics:
http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_collage.html

Fascinating stuff!

Also be sure to check out the individual portraits. (i.e.: Superman is a Methodist but Lois is Catholic, Power Pack were all Mormons, Wolverine's a Buddhist, and Colossus, Booster Gold, and Iron Man are atheists. Their practices and more are described here:
http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html


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