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Top Five Most Iconic Lois Lane Covers

Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Lois Lane (with iconic being determined mostly subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Lois Lane, but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character). The notable exception is no covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in)! Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.

Enjoy!

Just so you can’t say that I never did anything for you folks, I’m going to extremely bend the rules and just make #5 a tie.

5 (Tie). Artist: Kurt Schaffenberger

Schaffenberger drew more stories starring Lois Lane than any other artist around, so I had to have a Schaffenberger cover, which is a bit of a pain, because he was never seen as a big enough draw, cover-wise, so there are relatively few notable Schaffenberger covers. Luckily, he contributed this classic 80 Page Giant cover, which also includes two bits that I think have to be included on any piece on iconic Lois Lane, which is her relationship with Lana Lang (the driving force behind a ton of Lois Lane comics) and also Lois gaining superpowers (the concept itself is quite iconic, but you’d be surprised by how few iconic COVERS with “Super Lois” that there are).

5 (Tie). Artists: Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson

The infamous “Lois Lane turns into a black woman” issue of Lois Lane.

4. Artists: Kerry Gammill and Brett Breeding

The reveal!

3. Artists: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye

This striking cover goes with one of the most notable Lois Lane stories of her entire series. It’s one of the more famous Lois Lane covers, as well.

2. Artists: Curt Swan and Neal Adams

This is THE most famous Lois Lane cover, though. However, while it is the most famous cover from Lois Lane’s own comic…

1. Artists: José García-López and Dick Giordano

This one still takes the cake for Lois Lane covers, period.

I was worried at first that Win Mortimer’s brilliant “Superman marries Lois Lane” cover from Action Comics #206 would be too much of a direct inspiration for this cover, but examining the two, it’s really just the idea that is the same (Superman flying away with Lois after they marry), and really, as cool of an idea as that is – it’s not exactly some unique concept. Otherwise, there are barely any similarities between the two covers, and most importantly, García-López highlights Lois Lane in particular on his cover, giving us perhaps THE most iconic image of Lois Lane we have. There’s a reason this guy is the man behind DC’s licensing style guide.

COVERS THAT ALMOST MADE THE LIST INCLUDE: A neat Neal Adams cover with Lois holding a Kryptonite boulder over Superman’s head, John Byrne’s intro of Lois Lane in Man of Steel, Byrne’s homage, of sorts, to the classic Lois/Lana fights of old, a tribute to the armed services from the 1940s with Lois walking arm in arm with servicemen (that’s a real favorite of mine, but I just don’t think it was famous enough for this list) and an early issue of Superman with Lois as Superwoman.

75 Comments

Surely the I Am Curious (Black) is iconic. Or at least just infamous…

Surely the I Am Curious (Black) is iconic. Or at least just infamous…

I went with the latter.

I don’t really think people even know the cover to that issue very well, they just know that at some point, Lois Lane (hilariously) became a black woman.

Brian, please look up the word “iconic” in the dictionary. Just because you like a cover doesn’t mean it is iconic. I believe you would be more accurate in your choice of words if you simply ditched the word “iconic” from the title of this series, and just call it “favorite” covers.

A truly iconic cover is that of Action Comics 23, a classic instance of Superman rescuing the impulsive reporter: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=723&zoom=4 .

Plus you really do need a Shuster-pencilled cover when paying tribute to his co-creation!

(That Wayne Boring cover of Superman 29 is one of my favourites too but it is itself a homage to the cover of issue #12.)

Yeah, I would be interested to know how iconic is being defined here. Because I don’t really think there’s a single Lois Lane cover that could realistically be called “iconic”, and most characters certainly don’t have five.

How about All-Star Superman #3 as a representation of Lois getting superpowers?

Funny how cover three has Green Arrow and Aquaman on there, both dated Lois in Smallville. You’d almost think that the shows producers had actually glanced at a superman comic.

Yeah, Action 662 is the one I was thinking of as well. That cover was EVERYWHERE.

nice choices and two legendary swan covers. and always wonderded exactly what the story was for number three who the blond is being upset lois is kissing the other heroes.

ya GOTTA go with Lois turning into the black lady…

Great choices as usual! I agree with those who mentioned the great Action Comics 662 cover. A pivotal moment and nicely rendered. But my first thought was that wedding issue. A terrific image right down to the throwing of the bouquet which, while subtle, really gives just as much of an “action” feel as Superman’s flight.

Yep, Action #662 was one of the first that came to my mind.

The very first thing that came to mind was I Am Curious (Black). I can appreciate you not going with that, but I do have to say I’ve never seen the leopard girl one, and I used to troll back issue bins for Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen comics all the time.

Action 662 was the first one that came to my mind too. I agree with Pink Lantern. You really have to change the name of this series.

Not really feeling any of these strongly, although it’s tough to argue against #2. As for #1, I’m sure I saw the comic and even bought it at the time. But if you asked me to visual Superman’s wedding issue, I couldn’t have done it. Which I could do for Spider-Man’s wedding issue. Therefore, I’d say the Spidey cover is iconic but the ACTION cover isn’t.

I don’t recall ACTION #662 well, but if others say they thought of it, it’s worth considering.

These are some covers I might’ve chosen:

http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j142/el_machetero/lois_lane_i_am_curious_black_cover.jpg

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/thumb/8/89/Lois_Lane_001.jpg/300px-Lois_Lane_001.jpg

As with Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl, I think the 80 pg. giants represent the madness better than individual issues:

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/thumb/a/a6/Lois_Lane_77.jpg/300px-Lois_Lane_77.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3321/3591780366_27f6e79413_o.png

Lois fighting someone for Superman is a recurring theme, which might justify one of these:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0aF72ivaEJI/SKN5Tk_1nmI/AAAAAAAAB8A/BPhbV2lkonE/s320/LoisLane_087.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rLV-ZuNPwJ4/SbhDKpOCspI/AAAAAAAAD7M/pAb8T05bwOo/s1600-h/LoisLane073.jpg

This is the first cover that came to MY mind. It may be because it’s the first LOIS LANE I bought. I also think it’s striking (pun intended). More to the point, it represents a whole subgenre of Lois stories where she’s willing to get down and dirty to save her (Super)man. There are a lot of covers where she’s literally or figuratively lashing out. That combative attitude isn’t represented anywhere except partially in cover #2.

http://www.supermanartists.comics.org/batman/catwoman-loislane70.jpg

If you want combative AND Lois vs. Lana, you could go with this one:

http://api.ning.com/files/TC5zg8xqcgGMEa7Fb*F4JIr7cuUVwEWzEnVorCPlOxNKOn7wSEFSHGocsgNogPhSrLxLawIkHzQe*642A5Ln0Q-qOyH5*aK3/300pxLois_Lane_21.jpg

Surely “iconic” needs to include the more recent (that is, almost twenty-year-old now) issue of Action Comics in which Superman officially revealed his identity to Lois. I of course am blanking on the issue number now, but it had Lois removing Clark’s glasses with the ‘S’ reflected in the lenses and the phrase “At last”

Ah, I see it’s been mentioned. Well that’s what I get for not reading every comment closely. My apologies.

Yeah, I would be interested to know how iconic is being defined here. Because I don’t really think there’s a single Lois Lane cover that could realistically be called “iconic”, and most characters certainly don’t have five.

If a character had only five covers, said character’s five covers would therefore be their five most iconic covers. If a character has, say, 300 or so cover appearances (like Lois Lane) then it becomes a more interesting task naming the five most iconic covers.

Brian, please look up the word “iconic” in the dictionary. Just because you like a cover doesn’t mean it is iconic. I believe you would be more accurate in your choice of words if you simply ditched the word “iconic” from the title of this series, and just call it “favorite” covers.

I mention ONE comic as a “favorite” on this list, and it’s a comic that I omitted because it WASN’T “iconic” enough, so I can’t speak too highly about the persuasiveness of your comment.

Wouldn’t iconic be showing a representative version of the character, everything that is them in one cover? I’m not quite sure these show what Lois is really all about. Now, if you called these most memorable, classic or well known covers I could agree with that.

As for Action #662, I think there is a major recency bias involved in the remembrances of that cover, but what the heck, I don’t mind being flexible enough to include the cover – I’ll put it in place of the Cheetah cover, which I’m telling you, kept popping up all over the place in histories of Lois Lane, but it’s certainly not a cover I would have personally thought of myself, so I don’t have a major problem losing it.

“I don’t really think people even know the cover to that issue very well, they just know that at some point, Lois Lane (hilariously) became a black woman.”

That was what I thought would be a lock for #1.

I’m shocked it’s not even in the top 5.

Wouldn’t iconic be showing a representative version of the character, everything that is them in one cover?

I agree with the first clause, but I don’t think the second is necessary at all.

A representative version would be a good description, though, sure – and obviously all of these covers represent an important aspect of Lois Lane’s character as presented in comic books.

Tell ya what, Scott, I’ll let the people decide – they can have I Am Curious (Black) or they can have Action Comics #662.

Another vote for I Am Curious (Black)!

Iconic should mean when you think “Lois Lane cover,” what pops up in your mind? That to me is most representative. The aforementioned cover along with your 1 and 2 are what came immediately to my mind.

Iconic should mean when you think “Lois Lane cover,” what pops up in your mind? That to me is most representative. The aforementioned cover along with your 1 and 2 are what came immediately to my mind.

Agreed.

I just don’t think I Am Curious (Black) hits that level, but yes, I totally agree that that is what “representative” should mean in this sense.

Iconic should be a Cover that’s most associated with the character. The I am Curios issue is the iconic cover for Lois.

Iconic should be a Cover that’s most associated with the character. The I am Curios issue is the iconic cover for Lois.

Well, be sure to vote for it, Zdenko, as it gets slaughtered by the more recent cover in the above poll.

There’s nothing “iconic” about the “Curious” cover. It’s representative of a goofy aspect of the character’s history, but only in the same way that Spider-Man once drove a ridiculous dune buggy or Batman having a blowtorch in one of his ears. If this were a poll on “Top 5 ridiculous covers,” I’d buy it.

The Action cover, on the other hand, fundamentally altered the Lois/Clark relationship, and it’s stuck since it happened 18 (18!) years ago.

There’s nothing “iconic” about the “Curious” cover. It’s representative of a goofy aspect of the character’s history, but only in the same way that Spider-Man once drove a ridiculous dune buggy or Batman having a blowtorch in one of his ears. If this were a poll on “Top 5 ridiculous covers,” I’d buy it.

Essentially agreed (that was one of the the main reasons for its initial omission, coupled with the more important “I don’t think people remember the cover” aspect).

I’m not super-sold on Action #662, but I’m sure as heck more sold on it than I am I Am Curious (Black). But, again, the people can decide which one they want, and I’m fine with whatever gets chosen. It’s not like I Am Curious (Black) would be a terrible choice.

please do iconic Rogue covers. Other than that I never new lois turned black. was this as badly done as the punisher turning black?

was this as badly done as the punisher turning black?

Noticeably better than that, really.

I hope so cause as an African American I was i dunno if disgusted is the right word but I definitely chuckled at Frank becoming Black. I remember when Starman the Will Payton version tried to turn black and his partner told him well you gotta work on the hair a bit….classic.

Cover 3 is… well, this is a family website. But l can’t wait for a Garth Ennis adaptation of that issue!

What about All-Star Superman #3 ?

http://comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/286/34269_20080917084129_large.jpg

great cover but iconic? Not so much. The one with Superman on the clouds maybe. Its already been referenced, but does All Star fall in the same category as Astonishing X men Brian? I still have to say that some of those Astonishing covers are definitely iconic, esp the Kitty one and the Cyclops Emma Frost. Same to be said for some of the Morrison ones, but i understand your argument.

All Star Superman has one cover that has a shot (#1) because that’s a notable one that’s not specifically riffing on covers of the past. It’s actually presenting a new view of Superman.

It probably has too much competition to make a top five Superman list (as, damn, that’s a LOT of famous covers to overcome), but it is definitely a legitimate contender.

The amazing All Star Superman #3, cover, is “just” a riff on old Lois Lane with superpower covers. It’s a brilliant riff, but if I were to go with a “Super-Lois” cover, it’d be one of the covers that inspired Quitely’s cover.

What about the “Death of Superman” cover? No love for that one?

What about the “Death of Superman” cover? No love for that one?

Lois is barely visible on the cover of the Death of Superman.

Something voters may wish to consider: The Curious (Black) cover is the only one up there that actually shows Lois the Journalist as opposed to Lois the Girlfriend. It illustrates the lengths she would go through to get a story.

Why was Lois Lane’s hair turned brown post-Crisis? And has it since returned to black again?

I meant the one she´s holding Superman´s body… i can see her there :)

I dont´t remember the exact issue, but it´s iconic to me because i remember the image.

I meant the one she´s holding Superman´s body… i can see her there :)

I dont´t remember the exact issue, but it´s iconic to me because i remember the image.

Aha!

Yeah, that’s the cover of the trade paperback of the Death of Superman.

If I’d been a kid when it was on the newsstands, no way would I be buying a comic with three guys trying to mack on Lois Lane.

I voted for the Swan, but if I had to pick one iconic cover from the ‘what were they THINKING’ era of SG,LL, it would have been #110 (“Lois– you must give up that Indian papoose now, for your own safety!” “Never! He’s my baby!”) ( http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=24249&zoom=4 ) instead of that one.

Sign me on as a big yes vote for Action #662. (I love me some “I Am Curious (Black)!” but it’s not iconic, just notorious.) Action 662, however, is a very well-conceived and smartly executed cover. (I even bought it, and I don’t typically buy Superman’s solo titles.) Probably even deserves to be higher than #5 in the ranking.

But hey — what’s the Cheetah cover, Brian? I know Lois tangled with Catwoman, but with the Cheetah too?

#3 Gangbang!

The Curious Black cover is the first one I thought of when I saw the topic, but then again, I would personally place both of the #5 choices above any of the ones at #2-4…

“As for Action #662, I think there is a major recency bias involved in the remembrances of that cover, ”

I definitely think that of the calls for All-Star Superman #3 (from 2007), but #662 was almost 19 years ago. I wasn’t even reading comics then.

Is it just me, or is the Lois from All-Star Superman #3 not immediately recognizable as Lois Lane (I mean, obviously it is her because she is next to Superman and it a Superman comic, but taken out of that context, that Lois Lane just does not look like any other Lois Lane I am familiar with)

I just wanted to say that I personally think Brian is doing a great job with these. I’m not sure why people feel the need to bag on him every day just because they don’t agree with the choices. His criteria is posted right in the opening paragraph and he has shown he will consider alternate choices, so if you don’t agree, just suggest something else.

On an unrelated note, that Curious (Black) cover is itself something else. I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet, but the title is a reference to a famous movie from the time period called “I am Curious (Yellow)” which was banned in some parts of the country as being pornographic and ended up going to the Supreme Court in order to allow it to be shown in the U.S. because of the full nudity (both male and female) and graphic (for the time period, that is) sex scenes. It’s more of an art film than porn, but at the time it was a shocking and controversial adult movie; seeing it blatantly referenced on the cover of Lois Lane is just downright weird. I don’t know what the guys at DC were thinking on this issue.

Definitely “The Secret Revealed!” cover for #5. The design of that one is brilliant, and the “I Am Curious (Black)!” cover is remembered more as a goof than anything else.

I’m still amazed that DC named a story after a PORN FILM (even one that was as mainstream as “I Am Curious (Yellow))…

The trade cover of Lois holding Superman was what first came to my mind too.

I don;t know if TPB covers count (If they do, the cover of CABLE AND THE NEW MUTANTS is definitely one of the 5 for Cable though).

I was also going to suggest the cover to the Death of Superman trade; and I’d root for the Man of Steel re-intro cover, though I’m not sure that it belongs.

“I am curious” over “Secret Revealed,” even though I’m not old enough to remember the former firsthand.

I *do* remember “Secret Revealed”– but I’m amazed at how dated and unattractive I find the artwork now. Great cover concept and design, but the actual depiction of Lois’ face kind of creeps me out…

Action 484 (#1) and Action 662 (#5b) are the only ones I would consider “iconic” for this character.

Well, be sure to vote for it, Zdenko, as it gets slaughtered by the more recent cover in the above poll.

I did. ;)

Seriously, there isn’t a better “Superman has Lois in the Lois Lane pose flying” cover? Because I don’t think of the one Brian picked at all when I think of that image.

“I Am Curious (Black)” is the only cover I recognize. I am a younger reader, and so it would seem to be the one that has stood the test of time, goofy or not. If Jimmy Olsen being a giant turtle can be iconic, Lois Lane going to great, ridiculous lengths Lois will go for a story.

Along the lines of “what were they THINKING?”:
This is where the title of “I am Curious (Black)” comes from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Curious_%28Yellow%29
A Swedish porno film!!!
wait…what?

A representative version would be a good description, though, sure – and obviously all of these covers represent an important aspect of Lois Lane’s character as presented in comic books.

Good choices, Brian. I smiled at every one.

I voted for Action #662. It is a great image and Lois finding out the Big Secret is a recurring theme. Sadly, the story itself could not have been any more anti-climactic. I don’t associate Lois with transformations in quite the same way as Jimmy. However, it is a bummer that there isn’t a reporter image in the series. Lois is defined by her job more than any female character in comics and maybe even Pop Culture.

#4 is a huge part of Superman Mythos and the role of Lois within it. Ditching the Lois-Superman/Clark-Lana triangle was one of the worst decisions that Byrne made in the revamp. There are issues from the Silver Age that had a ton of energy generated by that dynamic. It is also absurdly contemporary.

#3 is another example of the traditional dynamic. Lois cannot get Superman to commit, so she dates his co-workers. That obviously disappeared with the marriage.

#2 has a great image of Lois. In retrospect, I really miss the on-again/off-again nature of their courtship. To me, the basic hook of Superman is that he can change the course of mighty river, but he cannot change the mind of a 122 lb. woman. That is classic battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy stuff. They may fight. Superman may not want to truly end it with Lana and be monogamous. Lois may make out with Green Arrow AND Aquaman in revenge. However, they cannot live without each other.

#1 is the sexiest wedding cover of all time. You just know Krypto was covering his eyes with his paws a few minutes after that shot.

You did a great job covering the “Superman’s Girlfriend” aspect of Lois Lane. Honestly, she was a lot more interesting in that role than as Superman’s Wife. Her personality really shown through more. I guess the marriage is one of those “be careful what you wish for …” deals.

Some of those are great covers, but I gotta be honest, I didn’t even RECOGNIZE any of them.

Reading through this list, it strikes me that DC married Lois and Clark off at exactly the wrong moment. For most of their history, you could describe Lois and Clark as competitors at work and on-again/off-again lovers away from it. That is certainly the dynamic that these covers capture.

Also during most of their history, the comics were written for kids and the Comic Code caused the writers to show very little and say even less about the intimate side of the relationship. Weisinger managed to slip in Freudian imagery, but for the most part everything was very wholesome.

It was a complex, adult relationship in which most of the complexity happened off-screen.

DC settled them down into a very happy, but very conventional marriage just as the Comic Code was falling apart and the readership started to steadily age. You wonder what the response would have been to Superman dating two women at the same time, or Lois having a brief fling with Green Arrow, in the post-Code world.

I’m sure I’m the only one, but my personal all-time iconic LL cover comes from issue#11.

Lois runs with leopards will ever be tops with me.

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=15173&zoom=4

I like all options and voted for Action 662, but I’m sort of surprised none of them represent Lois as

a) the “Damsel in Distress” that for too long I dismissed her as, or

b) the harpy she was portrayed as always tearing open Clark Kent’s shirt in search of the big S underneath to prove her long held suspicions

Are these iconic covers strictly “floppies” covers? Superman: Funeral For a Friend’s cover is one that comes to mind when I think of Lois Lane.

See, I would have dumped the Schaffenberger cover and kept the two you’ve got duking it out for #5, with Gammill’s Action Comics cover at #4, and Curious Black at #5.

I Am Curious definitely belongs on there. More for infamy than anything else, but it was definitely the first one that came to mind when the title showed up in my RSS feed. The one that I’m surprised didn’t make it was Lois Lane 135.

Why was Lois Lane’s hair turned brown post-Crisis?

They re-colored it between MAN OF STEEL and SUPERMAN #1 (vol 2). I don’t know for sure, but Byrne cited the Fleisher cartoons as an influence. Lois has brown hair there.

And has it since returned to black again?

It appears that she has: http://17.media.tumblr.com/yZChWGr3kqpr1vf7BYvvUmlJo1_500.jpg

Not really feeling any of these strongly, although it’s tough to argue against #2. As for #1, I’m sure I saw the comic and even bought it at the time. But if you asked me to visual Superman’s wedding issue, I couldn’t have done it. Which I could do for Spider-Man’s wedding issue. Therefore, I’d say the Spidey cover is iconic but the ACTION cover isn’t.

The ACTION COMICS cover is pretty old. This is for the Wedding of the Earth-2 Lois to the Earth-2 Superman.

The Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez pencils and Dick Giordano inks on the cover are stunning. That is what a DC Comic should look like to me. The cover of the actual wedding issue was a very average drawing by John Byrne. Whatever strengths Byrne brought to Superman, his take one the central couple was less appealing than the pre-COIE versions.

I always found the art on Spidey wedding issue to surprisingly flat as well.

I’m liking the revised list here better.

Thanks Brian!

Both wedding issues were rushed out to tie-in with the characters’ weddings on other media (TV for Superman, comic strips for Spider-Man).

Yes, tail wagging the dog and everything.

Spidey’s marriage was already reversed. I’m expecting Superman to get single again someday. The Superman/Lois Lane/Clark Kent love “triangle” is WAY too important for the series to be dropped like that!
Just check All-Star Superman.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

I like them being married. The triangle had played itself out long ago, and I think it’s more challenging for a writer to write them as an interesting married couple. If I want to see 2 women having a catfight, I’ll watch the Bold and the Beautiful instead.

As for the covers, I’d have picked # 4 as mine…but hey, you can’t argue with the awesomeness that is José García-López. Why isn’t he a much bigger name?

Looking at cover # 3…Lois, you skank!

If youwere going to put a Scaffenberger cover, i think you should have gone with the famous ‘Catwoman Vs. Lois’ cover from LL #71. Watching Lois thow blows with Catty while Supes in turned into a cat may be campy, but it’s still the best.

Diggin’ that dress on the number two pick.

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