Sunday, October 01, 2006

Profile: Lana Lang

Lana Lang
First appearance: Superboy #10 Vol. 1, 1950

Current status: she’d been married to Pete Ross, the vice president of the DCU’s United States, for a couple years, but their marriage later became a shambles.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: there aren’t many I know of that Lana went through, certainly not as many as Lois Lane during the Silver Age (in fact, no, I don’t know of anything so far from around that time). But, in 1987, in Superman #2, she was captured by a fluke by two of Lex Luthor’s goons while they were trying to search the Kent farmhouse estate to see if there were any clues there that could tell who the Man of Steel was, and while in the clutches of Luthor back in Metropolis, she had the stuffing beaten out of her, all in order to get Superman into action to confront Luthor and his gang about this. In the Lost Hearts storyline from 2003, she’d fled from the vice presidential residence to look for an Asian teenager called Girl-13 who’d asked for her help, and while spending her time down in the gutters of D.C, she was taken in by a porn pimp who hoped to exploit her. And, there was even a storyline a few years ago in Action Comics where you could say she came under the exploitive pen of Chuck Austen, a would-be writer who’s now been forgotten with good reason, in a very poorly written story in which she and Clark try another fling with each other.

What’s wrong with how this was done? Referring to her assault at the hands of Luthor’s gang, that was all in order to give Clark Kent, who, at least in the post-Crisis era, had made her one of the first people to know his secret ID as the Man of Steel, and hardly any developments for her, if at all, a leading problem with some of the works of writer/artist John Byrne from around that time. And the Austen-scripted manure-fest was just typical of the incredibly insulting portfolio that he put out within just three years, about the time in which he lasted in the comics medium.

Was there anything good to come out of this? In the case of the assault in Superman #2, I guess it’s that Lana recovered pretty well in the aftermath. In the case of Lost Hearts, what works there is that Clark, when rescuing Lana from the pimp, gave her a wooden board and told her to let him have it, to show that she’s no pushover. And that, if you ask me, is much better writing.

Other than this, there’s little I know about what Lana’s history is like, so I cannot provide much further data.


At 11:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't she also the Manhunter mole in that Millenium storyline from 1988?

At 2:37 PM , Blogger Avi Green said...

If she was, I'll add it to the writeup as well in time. Thanks for the note.


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