Superman & Lois Makes A Lois Lane Running Gag Into Arrowverse Canon

Warning: SPOILERS for Superman & Lois Season 1, Episode 4 – “Haywire”

Lois Lane is one of the most respected reporters in the DC Universe, but Superman & Lois made the running gag that she can’t spell into Arrowverse canon once more. One of the biggest twists of Superman & Lois is that the intrepid Ms. Lane quit the Daily Planet, which is now owned by her nemesis, billionaire industrialist Morgan Edge (Adam Raynar). Instead, Lois is applying her journalistic talents to the Smallville Gazette after she and her husband Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) moved their family to his Kansas hometown.

There have been numerous incarnations of Lois Lane in TV and film since the 1940s, but the curious invention that the Daily Planet’s top reporter has problems with her spelling was introduced in 1978’s Superman: The Movie. Margot Kidder’s shocking ineptitude at spelling was played for laughs when Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent first joined the Daily Planet; Miss Lane was penning a hot scoop about a gruesome murder and she didn’t know how many “T”s are in “bloodletting” or that there’s only one “P” in “rapist”. Lois’s spelling problems then became a running gag in the next few adaptations of Superman’s girlfriend. Teri Hatcher’s Lois in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman couldn’t spell words like “aquifer”, and Erica Durance’s Lois in Smallville was teased by her reporter cousin Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) for her constant “typos”. In Superman Returns, Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane didn’t know there are no “F”s in “catastrophic”, but she was also playing the same Lois as Margot Kidder five years later.

Related: Arrowverse Fixes Superman Returns’ Creepiest Problem

Since Superman & Lois began, Lois’s crusade against Morgan Edge has been a highlight of the show, and Tulloch’s version brings a wiser and more tenacious Lois to the Arrowverse. Ms. Lane has been suspicious of Edge, her former boss, since the start and she investigated why he’s been investing in towns like Smallville that have abandoned mines but has a history of not delivering on his promises. In Superman & Lois season 1, episode 4, “Haywire”, Lois finished a damning expose about Edge and his business practices, which was lauded by her new editor at the Smallville Gazette, Chrissy Beppo (Sofia Hasmik). But when Lois proudly announced, “I even did my own copywriting”, Chrissy suddenly demurred and noted, “That part still needed some work.” No doubt, there were numerous typos and spelling errors in Lois’ feature article, and she has no business being her own editor.

Lois Lane not being able to spell is a hilarious but also endearing ongoing joke, which was invented by Superman: The Movie‘s screenwriter, the late Tom Mankiewicz. After all, Ms. Lane’s name is regularly associated with the Pulitzer Prize for her research and determination to risk her life to get a story (which usually involves being rescued from danger by Superman). Depending on which version of Lois, she is either a Pulitzer Prize-winner or she’s been nominated for it. Superman & Lois‘ version of Miss Lane has been twice shortlisted for the Pulitzer according to Morgan Edge. But it seems that Lois’s successes can be partially attributed to her editors, usually, Perry White, who always did his job and saved her copy.

Lois’s problems with spelling bled back into her comic book counterpart and became canon in DC Comics. The running joke was also referenced several times in the DC Animated Universe, as the Lois in the DCAU TV series and movies also has trouble spelling words properly. Of course, Crisis On Infinite Earths established that Erica Durance and Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lanes (among other incarnations) are all part of the Arrowvere, so Lois not being able to spell is canon across the Multiverse. And, since the Multiverse was rebirthed at the end of Crisis, with numerous changes still being discovered throughout the Arrowverse, Superman & Lois‘ joke about Lois’ bad spelling now makes the running gag canon in the post-Crisis Arrowverse.

Next: Superman & Lois Episode 3 Repeated A Smallville Story Almost Exactly

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