Since making her first appearance in the original issue of Action Comics in 1938, Lois Lane has been a mainstay of the DC Universe for nearly eight decades. When most people – those who aren’t diehard comic book fans – think of her, the version that comes to mind is pretty simple. They think of the prototypical damsel in distress that has appeared in numerous movies and television shows over the years; the woman who always finds herself in trouble and has to rely Superman to save her. However, the Lois Lane that has developed over the years, and even the one that appeared in some of the early days, is much more complex.
As the DC universe has progressed over the years, and as more advanced timelines and universes have developed, the characters, including Lois Lane, have also changed. Lois has proven on numerous occasions that she’s capable of being a strong, powerful woman and she doesn’t necessarily need superpowers to do it. Superpowers definitely help, though, and whenever Lois has gained them, the results have at least been interesting. Sometimes she’s used her powers for good, sometimes she’s used them for evil, and sometimes for neither.
Here is a look 15 Times That Lois Lane Has Gained Super Powers:
15. Superwoman – DC Rebirth
In June of 2016, the DC Rebirth was launched, reverting the DC universe back to a pre-Flashpoint timeline while also including the continuity of the recently completed series, The New 52. In this new series, the death of The New 52 Superman results in a solar explosion. This explosion gives Lois all of Superman’s original powers and she turns to Lana Lang, who had helped a young Superman control his own powers, to train her. She discovers that Lana too has gained superpowers from the explosion and now has the ability to absorb and release solar energy. There are now two versions of Superwoman!
The two women work together and mount an attack on a battleship base owned by Lex Luthor, but encounter a Bizarro Superwoman. Lois is attacked by this evil Superwoman and is killed in a similar manner to Superman, absorbing too much solar power. Lois sees a vision of Clark and claims, “I understand now” before turning to dust.
14. Superwoman – Action Comics #60
Lois’ very first appearance as Superwoman came in Action Comics #60. In this story, Lois Lane gets hit by a truck and, while unconscious, she dreams that Superman gives her a blood transfusion, thus giving her all of his superpowers. Now Superwoman, Lois attempts to stop crime, but the first man she hears yelling for help turns out to just be a guy dealing with an angry wife. After helping the couple reconcile, she stops Clark Kent (remember, at this point she’s unaware that he is Superman) from being mugged and when he recognizes her, she confesses her true identity to him.
After that, Superwoman moves on to saving Superman from the evil Dr. Skowl. She then asks the Man of Steel to marry her. Superman finds the offer impossible to refuse, but while the pair are basking in the glow of their engagement, Superwoman’s super hearing catches Clark Kent revealing the truth of her identity in a news story. A short time later Lois awakes from her dream in the hospital.
13. X-ray vision – Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #22
After Lois’ sunglasses break, an energy burst gives her new pair x-ray vision. Using her new spectacles, she sees through Clark Kent’s clothes that he is wearing the Superman costume. Lois then becomes determined not only to get him to propose to her, but also to prove that he is, in fact, the Man of Steel. Lois then plants a bomb in Clark’s desk so that he’ll be forced to reveal his powers in order to stop it. However, Clark is able to steal Lois’ x-ray glasses to use to justify his abilities.
After Lois reveals that the desk bomb is a fake, a gangster runs into the office and shoots Clark. Clark, of course, is unaffected by the bullet, leading Lois to believe that she has finally caught him in the act of using his super powers. However, Clark counters with a simple explanation: he borrowed Superman’s “indestructible costume” to keep himself safe and attend a masquerade party.
12. Ultra Woman – Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
In this season three episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, a pair of sisters, Lucille and Nell Newtrich, try to use red kryptonite to rid Superman of his powers so that they can successfully steal $20 million. However, they end up accidentally transferring his powers to Lois. With the responsibility of stopping the crime now on her, Lois gets Clark to train her and has Martha Kent fashion her a costume, taking on the role of Ultra Woman.
As Ultra Woman, Lois tries to stop Lucille and Nell, but fails and instead has her powers taken away as well. Now both merely human, Lois and Clark are able to trick the pair of sisters and Superman’s powers are restored. The sisters go to prison and, with Lois now fully aware of how difficult it is to fight crime on a daily basis, she and Clark are more in love than ever. Clark asks Lois to marry him and she agrees.
11. Power Girl – Superman #125
In another story involving a dream sequence, Lois falls off a ledge, suffers a head injury, and is rushed to the hospital by Superman. While unconscious, she envisions herself with superpowers and a superhero identity of Power Girl. Power Girl is quick to recover from her head injury. She is up and out of the hospital in no time and off to do good, helping Superman to repair a bridge. Later in this dream, Clark Kent is injured and receives a blood transfusion from Lois, giving him the same powers as her and she persuades him to join forces with her as Power Man.
Lois and Clark go on adventures together as their superhero personas, but Clark’s clumsiness is quick to mess up every one. The biggest mishap occurs when Clark attempts to change into his Power Man costume in a mirror showroom and his identity is revealed to those who see inside. Not long after this, Lois awakes in the hospital and tells Clark Kent that he wouldn’t be a very good Superman.
10. Elastic Lass – Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #23
In this issue, Lois becomes convinced that Raphael Byron, a sculptor, is actually a terrorist known as the Wrecker, who has been visiting the City Park to blow up its statues. In need of proof but lacking the powers needed to investigate, Lois gets some help from Jimmy Olsen. Olsen is in possession of a serum, made by Professor Potter, that he uses to turn himself into Elastic Lad and Lois needs some in order to do her crimefighting. Olsen gives her just enough to complete ten feats because he’s worried that any more would be harmful to Lois.
Lois uses the potion to become Elastic Lass and uses her first nine feats to help others and entertain some orphans before pursuing her main objective. She then gathers the evidence she needs and proves that Byron is, in fact, a terrorist and was exploding the statues out of sheer jealousy that his own work wasn’t featured in the park.
9. Krypton Girl – Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #47
In this story, Superman takes Lois to the Fortress of Solitude, where he leaves her alone with a super computer. Obviously the curious Lois has questions; she asks to see what life would be like if she had come to Earth from Krypton instead of Superman. In the video that’s shown, Lois becomes Krypton Girl and has to constantly deal with a human Clark Kent trying to reveal her secret identity. After a couple failed attempts by Clark to catch Lois using her powers, she quits working at the Daily Planet and takes a job as a television spokesmodel. However, Clark gets fired from his job and then joins Lois at the same network.
When a ship begins sinking that night, Night Girl, dressed as Krypton Girl, is sent to the scene by the Legion of Super-Heroes and is seen on television making the rescue while Lois is still at work with Clark, keeping her identity intact. Later, Clark steals Red Kryptonite from the Fortress of Solitude and uses it to turn Lois into a giant. An angry Lois then zaps Clark into the Phantom Zone for good before the computer simulation ends.
8. Super Brain – Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #27
One of the most outdated stories on this list focuses a lot on Lois Lane being more concerned with her appearance than using her superpowers for good, and likely would receive backlash for promoting beauty over brains if it were done today. After agreeing to volunteer for a “brain bank”, Lois accidentally puts all of the bank’s accumulated knowledge into her own head, giving her an extremely large super-brain. She then becomes determined to keep her new appearance a secret, hiding from Superman and Daily Planet editor Perry White, and even sticking her head in the sand so that Jimmy Olsen will not see her.
Lois enters and wins a contest for being a “freak” and later runs into Bizarro, who instantly falls in love with her large brain and proposes marriage to her on the spot. However, the next day Bizarro changes his mind after he sees that the affects from the bank have worn off and Lois’ brain has returned to its normal size.
7. Goddess of Integrity – Superman: Man of Steel #126-127
This two-part story begins with Lois Lane leaving work and heading to a cafe to be interviewed by a journalist student, Kiki. In the meantime, Superman fights off a giant Midas, the man with the golden touch, with the help of four strangers. He meets with them and finds out that they are gods and members of the Interfaith Deity Council Of Active Polytheistics and want to make him a god as well, but he is not interested.
While this is going on, Kiki asks Lois which type of goddess she would like to be, if it were possible. After selecting the goddess of integrity, Kiki, who is actually the lord of the underworld, transforms Lois and she suddenly appears above Superman to reveal that the four gods are actually demons.
While Superman fights off his new foes, Lois heads to the cemetery to mourn her father’s death. Here, she has a heart-to-heart chat with Wonder Woman, who ends up fighting off a demon as well. After defeating the demons and Midas, thanks to an iron weakness, Superman is thanked by four true gods and then heads off to the cemetery to meet his wife, who no longer wants her powers. Lois rejects the powers in her heart and is returned to normal.
6. Superwoman – JLA: Earth 2
The JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel features a battle between the Justice League of America and the antimatter universe’s Crime Syndicate of Amerika, whose members are all evil versions of the JLA. The story’s main plot involves Alexander Luthor, the antimatter universe’s solo hero, opening a portal to both worlds, resulting in the two teams attacking the other’s planet.
The antimatter universe’s Lois Lane, is Superwoman and she possesses the ability to fly, as well as super strength. This Lois is married to Ultraman, the evil Superman counterpart. Their marriage isn’t a strong one though, as Superwoman often has an affair with Owlman, the evil version of Batman. This creates further tension between Ultraman and Owlman, who already disagree on how to run the CSA. Furthermore, Owlman is in the possession of photographs that he uses to blackmail Ultraman in order to continue the affair with Superwoman.
When the two factions battle, the Crime Syndicate of Amerika is easily defeated on Earth 1, where good triumphs over evil, and the Justice League of America fails to do any good on the antimatter Earth, where evil and destruction are the natural order. In the end, both teams fail and return to their respective planets.
5. Super Lois – Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #21
As was the case with Lois’ super-brain, this early issue also features outdated concepts about women as Lois and Lana try to use their superpowers to impress Superman, rather to fight crime. The two gain their powers after a bath in an underground lake and decide to have a competition to become the Man of Steel’s wife. They begin with a cooking contest and Super Lana makes a super pizza while Super Lois counters with some super flapjacks and freshly squeezed maple syrup. In another effort to impress Superman, Lana brings Superman some jewelry from a shipwreck and Lois provides clothing from an Egyptian tomb. Then they both carve their own faces into Mount Rushmore.
When the time for Superman to pick his bride arrives, the two of them lose their powers and therefore neither can marry him. Although there won’t be wedding bells anytime soon, Superman leaves a hint about who his choice would’ve been by carving the initials, “LL” into a rock – which, of course, reveals nothing.
4. Leopard Lady – Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #28
When a strange man comes into the Daily Planet trying to promote his weapon that can accentuate the good or evil in anyone, Lois volunteers to be a guinea pig in order to humor him. The man uses his machine to turn Lois evil and she develops a supervillain persona, Leopard Lady. After Lucy Lane discovers that the criminal is, in fact, Lois, Leopard Lady chloroforms her own sister and takes her back to her secret lair, where she makes a plan to rob the Daily Planet. This robbery is disrupted by Superman, as Clark Kent, who pretends to be knocked unconscious in order to find Leopard Lady’s secret hiding place. After following her, Superman takes out Leopard Lady’s goons but she then strikes him with kryptonite before confessing her plans to marry Lex Luthor.
The service is held the next day and afterward, the two newlyweds head back to Leopard Lady’s lair to laugh at Superman. However, the Man of Steel bursts in and uses his heat vision to turn Lois to dust. He then reveals that this Lois was a robot and he had rescued the real Lois, who was trapped in Luthor’s basement the entire time.
3. Red Tornado – Earth 2
In the reimagined Earth 2 series in The New 52, Lois is killed in an Apokoliptian war by an assassin of Darkseid, and many superheroes, including Superman, are also wiped out. However, it is revealed five years later that Lois’ consciousness was kept alive by her father, Sam Lane, and transferred into the body of Red Tornado, a robot who has the ability to control the wind and create cyclones. She teams up with some new heroes to continue fighting the war and they end up doing battle with what they think is a brainwashed Superman who’s managed to survive. However, they discover that he is in fact Earth 2’s version of Bizarro. Lois blasts him with a cyclone and destroys him.
During the battle, Lois and others find Val-Zod, a Kryptonian who had been hiding in a cell under Arkham. After convincing him to join forces with them, Lois trains Val-Zod to use his superpowers and he eventually assumes the role of the Earth 2’s new Superman.
2. Superwoman – All Star Superman
A romantic superhero love story if there ever was one, the 12-issue All Star Superman features a Superman who thinks he is dying from a dosage of solar radiation courtesy of Lex Luthor, and reveals to Lois his true identity. The two then go to the Fortress of Solitude for Lois’ birthday. Here they dine in a room from the Titanic and Superman presents Lois with a gift: a serum using Superman’s DNA that will give her the same powers as him for 24 hours. He also gives her a costume he fashioned and Superman and Superwoman begin going on adventures together.
The pair stop an attack on Metropolis and enjoy the entire day in each other’s company. The day ends with them sharing a kiss on the moon before Superman confesses his loves for Lois. As the day ends, Lois loses her powers, falls asleep, and Superman takes her back home.
1. Green Lantern – Tangent Comics: Tales of the Green Lantern #1
In 1997, DC introduced a whole new universe of characters with Tangent Comics. The basic idea was to take the names of all of the pre-established characters and throw everything else out, recreating those same characters from scratch. Each one now had a new identity and origin story. The character of the Green Lantern was now a woman who carried a green lantern which she used to bring heroes back from the dead. When the first Tales of the Green Lantern comic was released, it included three possible origin stories, one of which involved a secret identity of Lois Lane.
This story’s version of Lois Lane was an archaeologist who worked for billionaire Booster Gold, exploring a nuclear devastated area off the coast of Florida. There, she comes across the Sea Devils, a group of mutant life forms inhabiting the area. Lois tries to protect them, but is killed by Gold. Her body is then taken to an underwater castle and brought back to life as the Green Lantern.
Are there any other instances of Lois Lane gaining powers that we’ve missed? Share them in the comments!