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Lois Lane: A Commentary

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  • mcmaenza
    Sitting in the darkened open landscape area of news room, at a desk lit only by a single green trimmed florescent desk lamp, a dark haired woman dressed in a
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 1, 2002
      Sitting in the darkened open landscape area of news room, at a desk
      lit only by a single green trimmed florescent desk lamp, a dark
      haired woman dressed in a white blouse and cranberry skirt typed
      rapidly. Though the Daily Planet had started migrating to a
      computerized system for story composition, Lois Lane still preferred
      to compose her drafts on worn but reliable Smith-Corona typewriter.
      Something about the click-click-click of the keys and the ding-swish
      of the carriage return said "journalism" to her.

      She was alone in the newsroom, working on a column. With the
      craziness of the Invasion still going on, most of the staff was
      already working overtime to try and get all the news covered. Most
      of it wasn't very good news though.

      The attacks were still happening all over the globe. Though
      victories were occurring, it seemed like a never-ending assault. The
      mood of the city was down, and it reflected that of many cities. It
      didn't help that Superman had not been seen for weeks either. That
      concerned everyone.

      It concerned her.

      And, in part, that's where this assignment had grown out from. Lois
      heard the rumblings and grumbling all over: on the subway, at the
      corner newsstand, at the coffee shop, even around the news room
      itself.

      Where are all the heroes?

      Lois had something to say about it!

      It didn't take much to convince the Planet's editor-in-chief to run
      with her idea via a commentary column. Usually she would have to
      compete with Clark Kent for the spot; Perry seemed to prefer Clark's
      down home personal approach to Lois' sometimes biting words. But
      Clark had taken some time off for personal reasons. If it had been
      any other reporter asking to put in a favor at a time like this,
      Perry would have said no. But the editor respected Clark and was
      glad to have him back on staff again after his foray into broadcast
      news. Good reporters were hard to find. Perry knew the value of
      respect and loyalty too. Clark had all those good qualities and more.

      Lois stood up to stretch and picked up the most recent copy.

      A light flashed outside the building!

      She rushed over to the window to see what it was, that reporter
      instinct in her kicking in.

      Something had fallen from the sky and started a small fire on the
      street below. Already she could see the red flashing of crews coming
      to handle it.

      She shook her head. "No ambulance chasing tonight," Lois said to
      herself. "Got to finish this first." She went back to her
      typewriter so that she could finish the final draft for tomorrow's
      edition.

      ***

      WHERE HAVE ALL THE HEROES GONE?
      a commentary by Lois Lane

      Although it seems like so long ago, it has been just barely two years
      since the blood red skies, strange weather patterns and time jumbled
      events that threw our world into a crisis unlike it had seen before.
      Our world persevered despite what seemed like unbeatable odds, and
      eventually life returned to the norm once more.

      With the advent of this recent incursion by inhabitants of other
      solar systems, it appears that we face unparalleled crisis yet
      again.

      The onslaughts come without warning and without reason. Many people
      across the globe have found themselves without homes, their lives
      turned upside down in a matter of moments. The global economy is on
      a downward spiral. Children go to bed at night crying in their
      pillows, wondering when it will all end. Some adults do too.

      Naysayers are always going to be around, quoting interpretations from
      the writings of Nostradamus, the 16th Century astronomer, as if those
      vague predictions carried any weight. The horoscopes in the
      entertainment section are as reliable but at least those are labeled
      properly for amusement purposes only.

      I saw a man today wandering the streets of this city wearing a sign
      that said 'the End is near!'. I don't buy it! Everyday, the sun
      rises. Just as it has since the dawn of our solar system. Just as
      it will tomorrow.

      What gets me though is those who are sighing with despair 'where have
      all the heroes gone?'. It reminds me of the lyrics of a song from a
      popular movie soundtrack couple years ago:

      "Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? Where's
      the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?"*

      People of late are acting as though our mighty protectors have
      abandoned us, that our champions of justice have turned a blind eye
      to the society that needs them, that dark times are approaching.

      That is far from the truth!

      Its not uncommon for the people of Metropolis to catch glimpses of
      Superman streaking overhead, on his way to put out a four-alarm blaze
      or corral a criminal who has just broken out of Strykers' Island.
      Even when Kryptonite rained down from the skies and covered our fair
      city, the Man of Steel found a way to put Metropolis back onto the
      road to recovery despite the dangers to himself.

      And now, we have a Superwoman too. The mysterious Thorn, as her name
      implies, still strikes at the sides of organized crime in the urban
      corners of our great city. Even someone like Cannonball, who lends
      himself out to commercial endorsements, serves in his own way.

      And our city isn't alone with its heroes.

      The Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin patrol the rooftops of Gotham
      City along with various allies that work best under the cover of
      night. New York City has the Titans, operating out of their gleaming
      tower off the East River. Star City and its gritty streets are
      brightened by the presence of Green Arrow and Black Canary. The
      Green Lanterns and the Titans West serve and protect California and
      the West coast regions. Even once forgotten heroes like Captain
      Comet have returned to active duty as well.

      Around the world, most countries have protectors of their own: the
      Paladins in Great Britain, the Bushrangers in Australia, Doctor Light
      in Japan, the Rocket Reds in the Soviet Union, and the Global
      Guardians and its many diverse members that hail from all seven
      continents.

      And high above the Earth, the Justice League satellite once again
      orbits like a watchtower in space. It monitors our world, allowing
      that team to handle disasters and situations as soon as they arise.
      The crisis two years ago saw their satellite fall from the stars in a
      fiery blaze, but nothing could keep Earth's mightiest heroes down
      forever! Like a legendary Phoenix, they rose again to their former
      glory, rebuilt their satellite headquarters and reinstated many of
      the members who had left the team in years prior. Over sixteen
      members strong, they continue to be a primary source of protection
      and inspiration to us all.

      And where we had lost some great champions in recent, others have
      come forth to take on those legendary names: the Atom, Batwoman, the
      Flash, the Knight and the Squire, Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Though
      they might carry the same names and even wear similar costumes, make
      no mistake - these individuals bring with them a unique perspective
      and fresh view without compromising the reputations they have chosen
      to carry on. They are true heroes in their own rights and do not
      merely rest on the laurels of the previous heroes' careers.

      On a related point with something else I've observed recently, many
      people have grown frustrated, and rightly so, because of the recent
      attacks from space. Anti-alien sentiment is rising with a fevered
      pitch, washing over the population with a paranoid sense much like
      the unAmerican activity probes during the McCarthy-fueled 1950's.

      I want to remind those leading such alien-hate groups that they
      should not judge everyone by their planet of birth!

      Some of the members of the Justice League and the Titans, as well as
      most of the Green Lanterns, hail from other worlds. Yet, these
      individuals stand tall with those born of this world to help defend
      it and promote peace. Some in recent years, like the Martian
      Manhunter, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, have sided with the Earth against
      those from their own home worlds who have sought to attack our
      world.

      One should not be judged solely by the color of his skin nor be
      watched with suspicious eye just because he speaks in a different
      tongue.

      Today, more so than before, we have plenty of heroes out there. Some
      wear masks and costumes but many do not. Firefighters, police,
      doctors and nurses, rescue workers, teachers, anyone who can make a
      difference can be seen as a hero.

      Where have all the heroes gone?

      Take a look in a mirror. Maybe you'll find one that close to home.


      (* Lyrics from "Holding Out For A Hero", written by Jim Steinman and
      Dean Pitchford, performed by Bonnie Tyler, 1984.)

      ***

      "Your column has gone down to the printers, Lois," the brown haired
      man in a white shirt, sleeves rolled up, said as he put down some
      papers. "That was a good idea you had."

      "Thanks, chief," Lois said with a yawn. "If you don't mind, I want
      to run back to my apartment for a quick shower and a brief nap before
      the mayor's news conference at two."

      "Go ahead," Perry White said. "You've earned it."

      ***

      That night, about ten o'clock, a Hispanic man dressed in a short
      sleeved shirt and tie dropped his copy of the Daily Planet into a
      wire trash receptacle on the street. Even hours after the sun went
      down, it was still hot in the city. He couldn't wait to get back
      home after a long day at work to relax with a cold beer and a few
      innings of the ball game on television.

      Suddenly, he heard the sounds of muffled screams coming from an
      alleyway nearby.

      With little hestitation, he zigzagged through the light traffic to
      investigate. From the open end of the alley, he thought he saw
      something moving in the shadows near the back. He then heard the
      sound of a something or someone being thrown against a dumpster.

      The man ran in!

      "Hey! You!" he shouted as he came upon two young punks roughing up
      an older man.

      The one closest to the man took a swing. The Hispanic ducked
      quickly, his old Navy boxing reflexes were still sharp. He swung a
      fist and connected with the punk's nose. The punk hit the floor.

      The man turned to the other guy and saw fear in his eyes. Messing
      with an old man was one thing. Messing with a man in his late
      twenties with a solid right hook was another. The punk dropped the
      wallet and ran.

      While the Hispanic was helping the old man rise to his feet, the
      other punk ran off too. He thought about chasing after them but
      decided to let it go. Their crime had been stopped. "Are you all
      right, sir?" he asked the elderly man.

      "Yes," the man said with a cough. A little blood was on his lips
      where the punks had hit him. "I'm fine."

      "You should go see a doctor," the Hispanic man said. "Just in case."

      "Thank you..." the old man said. He strained to see the name on the
      badge that hung from a strap about the Hispanic man's neck. "Thank
      you, Mr. Del... Del..."

      "Delando," the man replied. "Juan Delando." He reached down and
      picked up the wallet, handing it back to the older man.

      "You're a good man, Juan Delando," the old man said. "A hero."

      Juan shook his head. "No, sir, just a good Samaritan. That's it.
      Nothing more."

      The old man nodded. "Let me at least buy you a cold soda or
      something," the man offered. "Least I can do for your troubles,
      risking your life to help me and all."

      Juan merely nodded. Best to let the man show his appreciation in
      some small way.


      the end
    • Brian Asbury
      Excellent, Martin! With all the cosmic goings-on that we re collectively chronicalling, it s nice to consider occasionally how the ordinary people of this
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 1, 2002
        Excellent, Martin!

        With all the cosmic goings-on that we're collectively chronicalling,
        it's nice to consider occasionally how the 'ordinary' people of this
        fictional universe would be reacting to it all. Also, the E-1 Lois
        Lane has been a somewhat neglected character, especially since Supes
        took up with Kirsten.

        Now are we going to see some stories in the vein of the old
        classic 'Superman's girlfriend -- Lois Lane' comic? We can only
        hope...

        BKA
      • mcmaenza
        ... Brian, thank you for the comment. I m having fun when I archive it some too - the column will be laid out as if taken from the newspaper. I actually
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 1, 2002
          --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@y..., "Brian Asbury" <basbury@s...> wrote:
          > Now are we going to see some stories in the vein of the old
          > classic 'Superman's girlfriend -- Lois Lane' comic? We can only
          > hope...

          Brian, thank you for the comment. I'm having fun when I archive it
          some too - the column will be laid out as if taken from the
          newspaper. I actually envisioned this, if accompanied by art, to
          include various shots of the heroes and such as mentioned in the
          column.

          I did realize though, when I labelled it, that I couldn't put
          Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane - as her series was often entitled
          up to the Crisis since she, in fact, is no longer his girlfriend.

          Maybe I'll do another one for her, one with more action, if an idea
          comes to me. Her knack for investigative journalism often got her
          into some very action filled situatins reminiscent of good TV dramas -
          dealing with real people and everyday types of crime and such (the
          non-superpowered variety). I found those stories of her worked best
          for me.

          Martin
        • immortalwildcat
          This touched a nerve with me. I ve always beleived in heroes, the common, everyday ones, the people who step outside of their routine when a problem arises, to
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 1, 2002
            This touched a nerve with me. I've always beleived in heroes, the
            common, everyday ones, the people who step outside of their routine
            when a problem arises, to help someone else out. That's kind of the
            person I've tried to be, if not always successsfully. The
            conclusion of Lois' column is the sort of thing I've tried to tell
            others for a long time.

            Your use of a Jim Steinman tune just added to the enjoyment for me.
            <grin>

            And will Juan Delando be appearing again? Or is he one of those
            everyday heroes who slips back into his normal routine again?


            da 'Cat!
          • mcmaenza
            ... Cat, I m the same way. Glad it did not come off as too schmaltzy. ... I am a HUGE Steinman fan!!!! His stuff, especially when he wrote for Meatloaf, is
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 1, 2002
              --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@y..., immortalwildcat <no_reply@y...>
              wrote:
              > This touched a nerve with me. I've always beleived in heroes, the
              > common, everyday ones, the people who step outside of their routine
              > when a problem arises, to help someone else out. That's kind of the
              > person I've tried to be, if not always successsfully. The
              > conclusion of Lois' column is the sort of thing I've tried to tell
              > others for a long time.
              >

              Cat, I'm the same way. Glad it did not come off as too schmaltzy.

              > Your use of a Jim Steinman tune just added to the enjoyment for me.
              > <grin>
              >

              I am a HUGE Steinman fan!!!! His stuff, especially when he wrote for
              Meatloaf, is some of my favorite stuff to listen to.

              > And will Juan Delando be appearing again? Or is he one of those
              > everyday heroes who slips back into his normal routine again?
              >

              Funny thing: originally I was going to make it Jose Delgado and
              allude to a Gangbuster thing. Then I found that Wuff used him on E-2
              already. To avoid the doppleganger thing, I tweaked the name a bit
              and made it close but not quite. Then, I figured go a complete 180
              and don't go for the "I'll don a costume" thing. He might show up
              again someplace - never say never - but probably as a supporting cast
              member in something.

              Martin
            • immortalwildcat
              ... The real irony here, is that as I read this story, I was listening to the soundtrack of Whistle Down The Wind , the musical that Steinman co-wrote with
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 1, 2002
                --- In Earth1AftertheCrisis@y..., mcmaenza <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > I am a HUGE Steinman fan!!!! His stuff, especially when he wrote
                > for Meatloaf, is some of my favorite stuff to listen to.
                >
                The real irony here, is that as I read this story, I was listening
                to the soundtrack of "Whistle Down The Wind", the musical that
                Steinman co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Weber.

                > > And will Juan Delando be appearing again? Or is he one of those
                > > everyday heroes who slips back into his normal routine again?
                > >
                >
                > Funny thing: originally I was going to make it Jose Delgado and
                > allude to a Gangbuster thing. Then I found that Wuff used him on

                That's who I was expecting.

                da 'Cat!
              • GooseGansler
                A very insightful look at the world. Well done. Lois certainly captures the definition of heroism. Goose
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 4, 2002
                  A very insightful look at the world. Well done. Lois certainly
                  captures the definition of heroism.

                  Goose
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