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Super Lois

DC Direct All Star Superman
by Artemis

Fun fact: Lois Lane was inspired by a movie character named Torchy Blane, the most notable of a wave of intelligent, independent 1930s B-movie female characters. Blane was a newspaper reporter who typically solved crimes before her well-meaning but dim detective boyfriend. She featured in nine movies, but Jerry Siegel presumably had Torchy Blane in Panama in mind when he came up with Lois, since that was the film in which Torchy was played by actress Lola Lane. Of course, I had to look all that up on Wikipedia - I don't know jack about Lois.

Lois Lane is transformed into Super Lois after Superman gives her temporary superpowers for her birthday.

Superman can do that? Is it limited somehow, or can he just give anyone he wants superpowers? Because if the latter, you'd think that'd make the whole "secret identity" business a bit redundant. I mean, what good would it do for a villain to learn, say, Green Arrow's true identity if everyone he holds near and dear were invulnerable and could bench-press a battle tank? You'd have to go so far down the degrees-of-separation scale to pull the old "get at a superhero by targeting their defenseless loved ones" tactic that it'd just be worthless - oh no, Lex Luthor's kidnapped some kid who used to go to the same school as Clark Kent back in fifth grade for half a term! You might as well just hold random strangers hostage and save on the time and effort you put into the research.

Or maybe Superman's just being a dick (he is, you know - there's a website and everything), and refuses to give superpowers to anyone who won't have sex with him. (So that's how he and Lois get around the ol' "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" problem everyone wonders about.) Mind you, if it got me flight, invulnerability, super-strength, telescopic and laser vision, freeze breath, etc. etc., I'd be up for it. C'mon, superpowers - don't tell me you wouldn't give it some serious thought. You could just close your eyes and pretend it's Power Girl with a strap-on.

Anyway, let's review an action figure, huh? (I bet the other OAFEs are regretting letting me join the crew now.) The All Star series is another of those artist-inspired ones, with Frank Quitely being the inspiration for this Lois. His work is pretty plain to see, in the sleekness of the whole figure, but especially the head, with a soft and almost geometrically perfect face shape, and minimalist narrow features cleanly and sparingly applied. She's got one eyebrow raised in icy disdain, and a sneer to her lips that suggests that she's having a ball terrorizing people with her newfound abilities. Her trademark dark hair has a mild brunette highlight keeping it out of the pure black range, but it remains pretty dark.

Super Lois is very much your standard DC Direct 6½" figure in all but one respect: she's got her legs closed, which is ironic considering the aforementioned suspicions re: how she got her powers. Normally any superheroine worth her salt would stand in a stalwart action-y pose with her feet apart, but Lois is new to this, I guess. Her costume is a mishmash of Superman family costumes, with a roughly Power Girl cut in the long sleeves and skirtless bare legs, Supergirl booties and waist-length cape, and the basic Superman chest logo reflected in the yellow chest and shoulder section, and a series of gold ovals standing in for a belt. Everything's very sleek and uncluttered, but it looks kind of generic - even with a circular version of the "S" on her collar, it's almost as if Super Lois was worried that Kal would sue her for copyright infringement if she got too close to his look.

Articulation is the standard DC Direct allocation: balljoint neck, swivel/pin shoulders, pin elbows, peg hips, and pin knees. The sculpt of the inner shoulder keeps her arms angled outward a bit at all times, while her left foot is sculpted a bit oddly - preview images of the prototypes showed a semi-raised foot, bent so as to have only the toes on the ground, but the final figure doesn't match that. It's almost like they changed their minds late in the game, and whacked the foot with a hammer until it rested kind of flat - it pokes out to one side a bit, and is never truly flat, although it's close enough for stability.

Like Superman, Super Lois evidently doesn't need any gadgets or whatnot to get her superheroing done, so all she's got for accessories is the standard All Star base, a small disc with a single peg. Luckily (considering the slightly off foot) it's a snug fit, and holds Lois stable even if only her right foot is properly on the base; I've had her in an alternate pose (with her left foot back and just the point of the toe resting on the base) since I bought her a couple of months ago and she's never even looked like tilting, let alone falling over.

She's a bit of an odd figure - on the one hand, she's kind of dull to look at as a superhero, although the Quitely face and sleek costume are to her benefit aesthetically. But on the other hand, she's Super Lois - how many times do you see a character as obscure as Lois Lane with superpowers made into a figure? If you're a Quitely or All Star Superman fan she shouldn't disappoint - if not, she's worth a look anyway.


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