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I know in Lois and Clark that Lois figured out that Clark Kent was Superman and the series continued and she didn't lose the memory. Is this the only version of Superman where Lois knows Clark's secret and doesn't forget it?

I know in Superman II, Clark reveals this to her, somewhat unwittingly, but he also makes her forget it at the end of the movie when he kisses her. This is not the kind of example I'm talking about. I mean are there any adaptations (movies, TV), or any Superman comic series where Lois knows his secret and has to keep it?


(Note: While this could be a list, it's a finite list, as I've discussed with moderators previously. It's not an open-ended list that would go on and on. There are limited versions and adaptations of Superman and I"m sure only a few would fit this qualification.)

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Wasn't Lois Lane married to Superman/Clark Kent for 15 years? –  OghmaOsiris Mar 2 '12 at 7:29
    
I don't know -- I'm still quite new to comics. –  Tango Mar 2 '12 at 7:29
    
I can't recall specifically, and it's no longer on Netflix so I can't verify, but I believe she knew Kent was Superman in one of the shorts featured in DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection. –  Chad Levy Mar 2 '12 at 7:31
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en.wikipedia.org/w/… Lois knew Clark's secret for a long time. –  OghmaOsiris Mar 2 '12 at 7:33
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"There are limited versions and adaptations of Superman" - I'm not sure I can buy that theory... –  DVK Mar 2 '12 at 12:14

4 Answers 4

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Almost every iteration of Clark Kent eventually reveals the secret of his identity to Lois Lane when they enter into a long-term relationship, but there have been exceptions over the seventy plus years of publications, movies and television series the characters have appeared in. This list is certainly not all inclusive:

  • Earth 2: Pre-Crisis/Golden Age Superman (1938-1950's) maintains his secret identity for years. Lois suspects Clark Kent is Superman and sets out to prove it. She is always thwarted but eventually Superman marries the love of his life, Lois Lane during a time when Kent has lost his memory of being Superman.

  • Superman (animation) 1940s - The Fleischer & Famous Superman cartoons are a series of seventeen animated Technicolor short films. Lois Lane is a crafty pit-bull of a reporter in this series. She tries to both get the identity of Superman and compete in a man's world of journalism. She pulls no punches but never manages to tumble onto Superman's identity; not for a lack of trying.

  • Adventures of Superman television series (1952-1958): One of the main shticks of this particular series was Lois' repeated attempts to discover the identity of Superman and the tricks he has to play to keep his secret.

  • Earth 1: Pre-Crisis Superman (1950s to early 1980s) Superman plays cat and mouse with Lois literally for decades before revealing his identity. During this time, Lois Lane became officially "Superman's Girlfriend" and she even had a series of her own "Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane". He has the advantage of Superman robots, Batman and the Martian Manhunter to help in his escapades of hiding his identity. Silver Age Lois Lane becomes the definitive version of the character. Curiously enough these versions of the characters do not officially marry.

  • Post-Crisis Superman, the Man of Steel (1986-2000) - In the John Byrne rewrite of the character Superman is the secondary personality and Clark Kent is more primary. Lois is not involved with Superman though she thinks he's attractive. Clark and Lois are more like rivals than even friends since Kent scooped her on the first interview story with Superman. Kent and Lois will eventually tie the knot in a few years, and Clark will reveal his secret AFTER they are married. This version of Superman remains the definitive one until the early 2000's.

  • Superman the Movie (1978): Clark Kent maintains his secret identity never revealing he is Superman.

  • Superman II (1980) - After an accident reveals Clark Kent is Superman, he agrees to remove his powers to be able to marry Lois. During the time he is powerless, the Phantom Zone villains escape. He tricks them into losing their powers and restores his own. Superman erases Lois' memory to keep his identity secret and to keep her safe from his enemies.

  • Lois and Clark - The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997) - television series - In this series, Clark and Lois work together and Clark does his best to keep his secret identity. Lois figures it out in the last episode of season two just as he is about to ask her to marry him (as Clark Kent). She is initially ticked because he kept is identity a secret but they eventually and happily marry.

  • Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000) Clark and Lois return to being rivals as Kent apprentices under Lois for a time when he comes to Metropolis. She affectionately calls him "Smallville." Lois has returned to her tough-as-nails identity, fearless and independent and isn't all that impressed with Superman. While their interactions remain friendly, their relationship doesn't ever seem to be developed by the writers and by the end of the series, there is only a glimmer of anything promising. He does not reveal his identity to her. This series has one of the least romantically entangled versions of the characters.

  • Superman Returns (2006) Superman returns to Earth after a journey to Krypton, looking for what happened to his homeworld, to find Lois Lane with a five year old child and engaged to Richard White. After winning a Pulitzer for "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman their relationship seems all but over. It is unclear if he has revealed his secret identity to her or whether he maintained the secrecy for her protection.

  • Smallville (2001-2011) One of the longest running Superman series, the relationship of Clark and Lois is complicated, difficult and trying for all concerned. Add to the equation, Lana Lang, childhood sweetheart, and Chloe Sullivan, bursting with unrequited love, a large cast of characters and a soap opera writing style and you can see how complicated the series could be. Suffice it to say, Clark eventually reveals he is the "Red-Blue Blur" and after parental and relationship angst, the two are eventually engaged and marry.

  • DCnU Superman Action Comics Vol. 2 #1 (2011) - a complete reboot of the character, he is single and has no current relationship to Lois Lane at all. They are once again rivals working for competing newspapers.

  • Man of Steel (2013) is a movie that reboots the Superman movies franchise. In this version, Lois Lane investigates a series of suspicious events involving a superpowered man and discovers Clark Kent before he even becomes Superman.

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I rarely change my "selected answer" choice, but, wow, Thaddeus - you have a lot of good info here. Thank you! –  Tango Jul 23 '12 at 21:59
    
Thank you. I have been trying to be a good member of the community. I am glad it is being noticed and appreciated. –  Thaddeus Jul 23 '12 at 22:48
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I allowed myself to add the Man of Steel point. Feel free to rollback or edit it yourself though. –  Kalissar Jul 11 '13 at 8:30
    
Normally I would rage and be incensed. Then I would realize its a good call and thank you for your addition. So I will skip the raging and show my appreciation for your effort. Thanks for the update. So many pages, so little time... –  Thaddeus Mar 24 at 20:32

He told her in the comics (post crisis) before he married her. Also before his death. Post 'recovery', they got married.

The status of her knowledge in the new 52 is less sure (I'm behind still).


She also was told during the series Lois and Clark. In fact their real marriage in that coincided with the marriage in the comics. Please forget about the frog eating clone of Lois in that show.

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In Smallville (the TV Series) Lois learns of Clark's secret identity and keeps it.

(In this version it is the opposite: Superman (or "The Blur" in this case) is the secret identity and Clark is the real person).

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Well, we now have Man of Steel, where Lois learns that Clark Kent is a Superpowered being before the debut of Superman.

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Correct. I added the point to Thaddeus' wonderful answer. –  Kalissar Jul 11 '13 at 8:31

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