It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a violent, backstabbing, misogynistic alien in spandex and a cape!
Superman is widely regarded as the most powerful superhero in the DC Universe, probably having saved hundreds of thousands of lives across every comic, TV show, and movie that he's been in. He's prevented so many tragedies, stopped countless villains, and has acted as an American symbol for so long, that his true character is often forgotten... his true character being a massive jerk-bag.
Yes, it's true, Superman is indeed a jerk-bag. Unfortunately, more often than not, the recipient of his awfulness is none other than his coworker, best friend, love interest and sometimes girlfriend/wife, Lois Lane. While she might be a little obsessive over Superman's affection, a little naive about how the world works, and a little bit of a try-hard, she's always remained hard working, persistent, and constantly tries to make the world a better place as an award-winning journalist at the Daily Planet.
You might think that Superman would never treat her poorly. He would never give her a reason to worry, be upset, or fear for her life, because he and Aquaman had her attacked by a giant octopus in order to teach her a lesson about not relying on Superman to constantly save her from peril... right?
Wrong. Here are the 15 Worst Things Superman Has Ever Done To Lois Lane.
15 Superman Prosecutes Lois Lane For Murder
Lana Lang is dead, Lois Lane is responsible, Batman is her lawyer, and Superman is the prosecuting attorney. It's the most ridiculous two-part court-room drama that's ever been conceived.
In Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #99 & 100, Lois Lane and Lana Lang are verbally and physically fighting over who deserves to marry Superman. Then Lois, who is driving with Lana in the passengers seat, accidentally drives off a bridge into a lake.
Lois escapes, but Lana drowns and Lois is charged with first-degree murder. Batman believes in her innocence, though, and Superman decides to the prosecutor. What follows is Superman presenting overwhelming evidence of Lois' guilt, begging her to plead insanity, and relentlessly reminding Lois that she appears to be guilty and is going to receive the death penalty if she doesn't cooperate.
Throughout the ordeal, everyone is constantly wondering why Superman is trying to have his girlfriend put on death row, and while the story is eventually resolved and the case is dismissed, Superman's true intentions are never revealed other than his need to "do stuff by the book."
Way to look after those you love, Superman. Good work.
14 Caveman Superman Drags Lois By Her Hair
"You be my woman! You cook for me, in my cave!" Superman says as he drags her by her hair from her place of employment. Does anymore need to be said?
The gist is this: in World's Finest #151, Superman and Batman discover a Kryptonian evolutionary ray with the power to accelerate the evolution of a human being. Batman, being Batman, decides to blindly use it on himself and manages to accelerate himself 800,000 years into the future-- giving himself a massive head and significantly more intelligence in the process.
Apparently, he becomes an evil-genius, so when Batman uses the ray on Superman, he decelerates Superman's evolution until Superman becomes a caveman. Cave Superman then goes on a wild and crazy adventure around Metropolis nearly killing hundreds of people and trying to turn everything into a "cave." Then, in the grand finale of his caveman behavior, he grabs Lois by the hair and demands that she cook for him.
Isn't it comforting to know that the world's greatest superhero, when reduced to just his primal instincts, is just a raving maniac with abusive intentions?
13 Lois Almost Dies Of Poison
Lois Lane is poisoned by the Joker in Action Comics #719. When Superman confronts him, demanding the antidote, the Joker reveals that the only way to cure Lois is to inject the poison into the Joker, allow it to mix with his chemically altered blood-- thereby producing antibodies to make the antidote (???), and let the Joker die of the poison in the process.
However, Batman-- doing his Batman thing again-- won't allow Superman to kill the Joker because taking his life wouldn't be just. So Superman agrees to let Lois die. Nice, Superman.
Superman brings Lois to the hospital, and we wait for him to save the day. Lois is dying in front of him, and still we wait for him to save the day. Then Lois flat-lines and... Superman just lets it's happen. We won't go into too much about what happens next, because whether or not Lois lives it's completely inconsequential to the fact that Superman just let it happen to let the Joker win.
12 Clark Kent Commits Suicide... In Front of Lois
Lois Lane will do anything to get a story-- a quality that most should find admirable. When Lois Lane, in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #1, disguises herself as a famous actress in order to get an interview with a foreign ambassador, Superman-- instead of being awestruck by her passion for reporting and espionage-- decides she must be punished.
So, while ironically donning his own disguise as Clark Kent, he decides to jump off a building in order to reach a speeding truck on the street... in front of a disguised Lois. She looks away as Clark changes to Superman mid-fall and, when she opens her eyes, she believes that Clark has killed himself.
When she makes it to the street, presumably to find Clark's pancaked self on the pavement, she finds Superman who immediately assures her that Clark has been saved.
Yep, we're sure that won't stick with Lois for eternity.
11 Parasite Sucks Lois' Brain While Superman Watches
Superman needs to protect his secret identity at all costs. If he doesn't, then those he cares about will be in danger. Understandable, sure, but in Superman Annual #2 when Lois Lane learns of his secret identity-- and is in grave danger, Superman turns a blind eye in order to help her forget.
When Parasite, a knowledge-absorbing creature-guy and enemy of Superman, gets a hold of Lois Lane, Superman just lets him go at it... even though he knows that if Parasite sucks too much, Lois will die.
Like the careful art of making perfect scrambled eggs, Superman waits for the right moment to stop Parasite: somewhere between forgetting his secret identity and having her brain turned into... well, scrambled eggs. He's successful, but it's a close call. Just be a bit more careful next time, Superman.
10 Superman Tells Lois That He Never Wants To See Her Again
In Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #2, Hollywood decides to make a film about the true story of Superman. Like all typical Hollywood biopics, they actually cast Superman and everyone at the Daily Planet as themselves-- except Lois Lane. She gets rejected in a screen test and, shortly afterwards, the movie set appears to become victim to sabotage. Was it a jealous Lois Lane?
No, it was not. It was jerk-face Superman. He purposely sabotaged the set in order to solicit dramatic emotions from her, to the point of telling her that he "never wants to see her again."
Why? Because he was filming it all on hidden camera, of course. He wanted to show the director that Lois is really a great actress and that she's beyond capable of crying hysterically which, apparently, is the primary duty of Lois Lane in this "true story" of Superman.
9 Superman Shows Lois What It's REALLY Like To Be Cinderella
Superman takes Lois Lane back to the time of Cinderella in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #48 in order to settle a bet. If Lois, as Cinderella, can guess who Superman is disguised as in the world, then Superman will reveal his secret identity to Lois.
What sounds like a playful game quickly turns sour when Superman turns Lois into the real Cinderella and, before she knows it, she's being worked, starved, and bossed around by her step-mother and step-sisters.
To add insult to injury, Superman's secret identity in Cinderella's world is not that of Prince Charming, like Lois suspected, but instead, it's revealed that Superman is actually Cinderella's evil step-mother in disguise. So, the person being terrible to Lois the entire time was none other than our favorite nice-guy superhero, Superman.
8 Superman Bakes Pretzels Onto Lois' Fingers
In Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #4, Lois is approached on the street by a theatrical agent who promises that he can turn her into a star. Lois quits her job at the Daily Planet, and begins to train as an actress.
Lois auditions for the big role of a "working girl" in front of a producer. However, the producer says that she can't play a working girl, as she doesn't look like she's worked a day in her life. The producer and agent then force Lois to get job in a pretzel factory, with the idea that if she can last for two weeks, she'll get the role. How's that for a lengthy and bizarre (and pretty sexist) plot line?
You know what else is lengthy and bizarre? The pretzels Superman bakes onto Lois' fingers with the "heat of his X-Ray vision" to help her avoid getting fired. See, the dough is coming out too fast and the boss hates when dough is wasted, so, by giving Lois pretzel fingers, she can tell the boss that it's her "suggestion for a new pretzel product" and not get fired. What?
7 Superman Tells Lois That She Killed A Dog
As previously stated, Lois will do anything to get the story. Most of the time, this includes putting herself in danger. Superman, tired of saving her in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #30, decides that he's going to teach her a lesson.
Granted, Lois kind of "expects" Superman to always be around to save her, so we can't entirely blame him for thinking this way, but his approach is all kinds of wrong.
Basically, in short, Superman convinces Lois that she has inadvertently poisoned a dog due to her reckless behavior. This is pretty traumatizing for anyone. However, it's a good thing that the dog is actually Krypto, Superman's super dog. So no dogs were actually harmed in the making of this comic, just Lois... it's always Lois.
6 Superman And Aquaman Attack Lois With An Octopus
Also in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #30, shortly after Lois thinks that she's killed a dog, Lois goes diving in search of a murder weapon that, if found, would help prosecute a criminal. This is somewhat admirable, since she's doing her job as a reporter and going above and beyond the call of duty, right? Definitely.
However, according to Superman, Lois is a "reckless little fool," and she needs to be taught a lesson. His big plan is to have Aquaman sic an octopus on her. Yes, Superman, that'll show her.
As Lois is being strangled to death, Superman watches from nearby and thinks to himself that "maybe now she'll be sorry." After a minute or so of struggling with the massive aquatic demon, another diver-- actually Aquaman-- swims by to distract the octopus and Lois is freed.
We suppose that the plan works, because Lois now thinks that she "can't rely on Superman anymore." The less Superman is around, the better.
5 Superman Cheats On Lois... With A Mermaid
In a different Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #30 story, Lois visits a famous astronomer to write a story on his new telescope, that has the power to see and hear activity on other worlds. What should be a typical work outing (by Metropolis standards) quickly turns into another Superman drama story, when Lois discovers that, on a distant planet, Superman has a wife and child... a mermaid wife and child.
This is devastating to Lois. The thought of the man she loves being married to a mermaid makes her think that perhaps she was never good enough for him in the first place. She believes that Superman just laughs at her romantic advances behind her back, knowing that he's married and will never be with her.
Well, it turns out that it's not actually Superman, but a robot Superman who's married to the mermaid. Still, it is kind of Superman's fault. He also doesn't deny it until he sees it for himself, probably because he leads double lives all over the universe and just thought that he couldn't remember his mermaid wife.
4 Superman Forces Lois To Live In A Bubble
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #25 asks readers to imagine a world where Superman and Lois Lane actually get married. Pretty quickly the obvious happens: Lois becomes the target of violence because she's married to Superman. So, unable to lock her up in the Fortress of Solitude forever, Superman forces her to drive around in a protective bubble whenever she leaves the house.
Lois gets laughed at and made fun of, and some people are even terrified of her. She gets called an "invader from mars" and even gets kicked out of a department store. In the gist, she's unable to live her life.
If only Lois could read these comics like we do, maybe then she'd finally see things objectively and understand that-- for her own good-- she should never be married to Superman, or even somewhat involved with the jerk.
3 Superman Dunks Lois' Face In A Hat Filled With Ink
When Lois consumes a serum allowing her to breathe underwater, in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #60, she's initially unaware of the side effect: she must submerge herself in water every hour, otherwise, she'll die. So, she sets off to find the lead scientist behind the project in order to obtain the antidote.
The scientist is heading towards a fountain pen convention, so Lois boards a plane to follow him there. On board, she discovers that there's no water to save her, and she only has her dear friend Clark Kent to turn to.
After explaining her ordeal to him, Clark comes up with a genius idea: empty all the fountain pens on board into Lois' hat so Lois can dunk her face in it. This leaves her face stained blue, but keeps Lois alive for another hour on the flight. Thanks, Superman!(?)
2 Superman Makes Lois Gain 100 Pounds
Using a modified ray gun, Superman makes Lois gain 100 pounds in order to help him catch some criminals in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #5. Putting the "why" aside, that's... real nice of you, Superman.
Lois desperately tries to lose weight, with her main concern being that Superman will never marry her if she's overweight. She becomes subject to fat jokes from people all over Metropolis, including Superman himself, who apparently also possesses the power to make fat puns in every sentence. This all makes Lois (reasonably) upset. She desperately wishes to be how she was before, especially since no one notices who she is when she's suddenly heavier.
Additionally, in 1958 Metropolis, the only store that sells plus size clothing is called the "Fat Girl Shoppe." Perhaps we should be blaming Superman less and blame the writers more.
1 Superman Forcedly Kisses Lois
Lois Lane is desperate to know the secret identity of Superman. We can't exactly blame her-- who wouldn't want to know the alter ego of the person you love?
We also can't blame Superman for not wanting Lois to find out. It's for her safety, right? Well, maybe the real threat to Lois' safety isn't Superman's enemies, but Superman himself.
In Superman II the movie, when Lois finds out that Superman has actually been Clark Kent all along, Superman forcedly kisses Lois. While this may initially seem romantic, his actual intentions are all but not.
Instead (and this is not considered canon whatsoever), Superman has the power to erase people's memory by kissing them on the lips. So, this is exactly what he does-- he erases Lois' memory with a kiss.
That's definitely an invasion of some kind...
Will Superman ever learn? More importantly, will Lois ever realize that Superman doesn't deserve her? Let us know what you think in the comments!