Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAction Comics #60 (May 1943)
Created byJerry Siegel
George Roussos
In-story information
Alter egoLois Lane
Luma Lynai
Lois Lane/Diana (Earth 3)
Donna Troy (Earth 3)
Kristin Wells
Dana Dearden
Lucy Lane
Lana Lang
AbilitiesLois Lane:
Superstrength, superspeed, flight, invulnerability, heat vision, X-ray vision
Kristin Wells:
Teleportation, precognition, telekinesis
Dana Dearden:
Enhanced sight, electricity projection
Lana Lang:
Electro-magnetic energy manipulation

Superwoman is the name of several fictional characters from DC Comics. Most of them are, like Supergirl, women with powers similar to those of Superman, like flight, invulnerability, and enhanced strength.

In 1942, DC Comics trademarked the name and an ashcan copy (publication produced solely for legal purposes) was created with the title of Superwoman to prevent competitors from using it. The cover was a reproduction of More Fun Comics #73 with the interior being a reprint of the third issue of Action Comics.[1] The first true appearance of Superwoman was in Action Comics #60 (May 1943).


Lois Lane

Lois Lane's first appearance as Superwoman in Action Comics #60 (May 1943). Art by Joe Shuster.

The first appearance of "Superwoman" in a DC comic Was in a May 1943 story in Action Comics #60[2] by Jerry Siegel and George Roussos, where Lois Lane dreams that she has gained superpowers from a blood transfusion from Superman and launches a career as Superwoman.[3]

A 1947 Superman #45 (March–April 1947) comic revisits the theme in a story titled "Lois Lane, Superwoman!" in which a pair of fraudulent magicians cast a "spell" on Lane, making her believe she has superpowers. Circumstances force Superman to play along with the ruse temporarily by using super-speed to invisibly intervene in Lane's adventures to support the illusion. She briefly sports a costume modeled on Superman's before the spell is broken. A story from Action Comics has Lois actually gaining superpowers from one of Lex Luthor's inventions and launching a short-lived career as "Superwoman".[4]

Later stories sporadically feature tales in which Lois gains superpowers and functioned as a "Superwoman" of sorts, but all of these are, like the 1951 tale, temporary. The powers always wear off by the end of the story. A typical example of this is "The Turnabout Powers" from Superman Family #207 (May–June 1981) where the Earth-Two Lois Lane gains powers from her husband (the Earth-Two Superman) through the unexpected effect of an exotic extraterrestrial plant Superman brings into their home. The plant's death reverses the effect. Another example is the Batman/Superman: World's Finest mini-series where Mr. Mxyzptlk briefly transforms Lois into a "Superwoman" with costume and powers.

At the end of All-Star Superman #2 Lois Lane is presented with a formula called "Exo-Genes" created by Superman that allows her to have his powers for 24 hours, and she becomes Superwoman. During her adventures with her new Kryptonian powers,[5] she is wooed by two superhumans named "Samson" and "Atlas", and she is captured by a time-Ultrasphinx. Her powers fade away at the end of the day. Her costume seems to be exactly the same as that of the Anti-Matter Universe's Superwoman, but in Superman's colors. Both outfits were designed by Frank Quitely.

In other pre-Crisis imaginary stories—set outside the main DC continuity within an alternate history or hypothetical future—Lois Lane gains superpowers. In one of these, Sam Lane is a scientist and astrophysicist. He discovers that Earth's sun will go nova and obliterate the solar system. Sam and his wife Ella place their infant daughter Lois in a starship and send her to Krypton within a "power beam" that enables FTL travel and permanently modifies the baby's molecular biology. This gives Lois super powers after she reaches her adopted world. Once there, adopted and raised as "Kandi Khan", Lois becomes a zookeeper's daughter in Kryptonville. Like Superman in mainstream DC continuity, Kandi/Lois establishes a superhero career, and like Lois and Superman in the mainstream continuity, Supermaid and Kal-El fall for one another. Like Superman in the mainstream DC continuity, Supermaid was also vulnerable to fragments of her perished homeworld ("Earthite", in this version of events).[6]

Another imaginary story has Clark Kent and Lois exchange places so that she is from Krypton and Kent is an ordinary human, inquisitive about whether or not Lois Lane was Krypton Girl's secret identity.

In 2016, Lois again became Superwoman in the DC Rebirth initiative and appeared as Superwoman in the comic book series Superwoman. The series marks the first ongoing comic book series featuring the Superwoman character. In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Lois and Lana gained superpowers due to the solar energy explosion caused by the death of the New 52 Superman. This results in both Lois and Lana becoming Superwoman with Lois possessing all of Superman's powers, while Lana has the ability to absorb solar energy and release it in other forms. Lois was later seemingly killed, in a similar fashion to the New 52 Superman, while fighting a female Bizzaro.

Luma Lynai

Main article: Luma Lynai

A woman from the distant planet of Staryl, Luma Lynai wins the heart of Superman. Just as Superman derives his powers from a yellow sun, Luma derived her gifts of super-strength and flight from an orange sun. Their romance does not last, as Luma becomes deathly ill under the rays of a yellow sun, and Superman cannot leave Earth undefended. She physically resembles an adult Kara Zor-El, with a similar costume, except instead of being blue-and-red with a pentagonal S shield, Luma's costume is white-and-green with a circular S emblem.

Superwoman (Crime Syndicate)

Main article: Superwoman (Crime Syndicate)

Superwoman is the alias of several alternate universe counterparts of Wonder Woman from various versions of Earth-3, all of whom are supervillains and members of the Crime Syndicate of America. Unlike her heroic counterpart, this Superwoman is known for her ruthless and manipulative nature, often using her powers for personal gain, domination, and oppression.

Gender-swapped Superman

Superwoman along with Batwoman and Superlad from Superman/Batman#24. Art by Ed McGuinness

In Superman #349 ("The Turnabout Trap!"),[7] Superman returns from an interstellar mission to find that everyone on Earth is of the opposite sex. Among them are Penny White (a female Perry White), Jenny Olsen (a female Jimmy Olsen), Louis Lane (a male Lois Lane), Batwoman (a female Batman, rather than the actual character), Wonder Warrior (a male Wonder Woman; DC Comics could not use the name Wonder Man at the time because Marvel Comics holds the trademark), Black Condor (a male Black Canary), Superlad (a male Supergirl), and Superwoman (his female counterpart) herself. Believing he crossed into a parallel universe, Superman flies back to space to find a dimensional portal but is blocked by an invisible barrier. He notices the parallelism fails when he sees Superwoman and Clara Kent (Superwoman's presumed secret identity) are two separate people.

When he confronts Superwoman he discovers that he is regarded as a super-villain in this gender-reversed world, which leads to a battle with Superwoman, Superlad, and Wonder Warrior. They manage to trap Superman with Wonder Warrior on guard, but he manages to escape and takes Wonder Warrior's magic lasso with him. Superman figures out that his foe Mr. Mxyzptlk is behind this gender-reversed world. This was partly due to the discrepancy of Clara Kent and Superwoman being different people. However, Mxyzptlk's biggest mistake was being too vain to give himself a reverse-gender counterpart in Superwoman's rogues gallery in The Daily Planet morgue; all of Superwoman's foes were reverse-gender counterparts to Superman's foes (Leslie Luthor (Lex Luthor), Bizaress (Bizarro) and the Toywoman (Toyman)) - except for Mxyzptlk. Superman discovers as well that he was never in a parallel universe, but rather on Earth, which Mxyzptlk had altered with his magic. After using Wonder Warrior's magic lasso to make Mxyzptlk say his name backwards and thus returning him to his native dimension, the effects of Mxyzptlk's magic (including the existence of Superwoman) vanish, returning the Earth to normal. Upon his return to his Clark Kent identity, he is startled to discover there is still a Louis Lane, but he turns out to be Lois Lane's cousin.

Later stories, including Countdown and The Multiversity would revisit the concept of a gender-reversed Superman known as Superwoman, and designated those stories as taking place on Earth-11 of the DC Multiverse.

Laurel Kent

A new Superwoman named Laurel, apparently a female version of Superman from a parallel Earth (now identified as Earth-11), appeared for the first time in Superman/Batman #23-#24. In Earth 11's alternate universe, much like in the one featured in "The Turnabout Trap!", reversed-gender characters exist relative to that resident on New Earth: there is a Batwoman (female Batman), Superlad (male Supergirl), and a female Darkseid known as the "Dark Queen". It is notable that in pre-Crisis continuity, "Laurel Kent" was the name of a 30th-century descendant of Superman who occasionally appeared in stories featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes, and was replaced in continuity by Laurel Gand.

In December 2007, Superwoman and Batwoman were featured in Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1. It features Earth-11 as part of the new DC Multiverse and presents a male version of Wonder Woman called Wonder Man, who originates from a society of male Amazons. It also depicts that world's version of Amazons Attack!.

The Multiversity Guidebook, released as part of The Multiversity showed new versions of the characters from Earth-11, more closely resembling New Earth after the Flashpoint event, with equivalent costumes to their New Earth counterparts, indicating their world had also been affected by the Flashpoint storyline, though the exact nature of those changes is unrevealed. The Aquawoman of Earth-11 would become a member of Justice League Incarnate, a team which formed as a result of the Multiversity event. She would go on to help Superwoman of Earth-11 as well as a number of other Superman counterparts to escape from a being called Prophecy, who was attempting to drain their powers in order to fight an unknown future threat. Together with Aquawoman, Superman, The New Super-Man of China, and the Justice League Incarnate, Prophecy was defeated, and Superwoman and the other Superman counterparts would return to their worlds and times.

Kristin Wells

Superwoman (Kristin Wells). Art by Gil Kane, 1983.

Another version of Superwoman, this one a heroic character, came about in the form of Kristin Wells, who was created by Superman comic writer Elliot S! Maggin. Wells first appeared in Maggin's Superman novel Miracle Monday, but he later introduced her in the pages of DC Comics Presents as Superwoman. The character Wells is a 29th-century descendant of Jimmy Olsen. Wells time travels to the 20th century, where the technology she had brought from the future gives her superpowers. It is this iteration of the character which appears briefly in Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? which creates a continuity problem in that she had already revealed Jimmy Olsen's final fate: to become a great editor like Perry White.

Dana Dearden

The Dana Dearden Superwoman

Obsessed Superman fan Dana Dearden dated Jimmy Olsen to get close to Superman, and when that did not work she stole mystic artifacts which granted her the strength of Hercules, the speed (and flight) of Hermes, the thunderbolts of Zeus, and the sight of Heimdall. Dana donned a green-and-purple uniform, with "Superwoman" written down the leggings, and called herself Superwoman, and tried to get Superman to fall in love with her. He rejected her advances, and Jimmy called her "Obsession". She vanished attempting to help Superman rescue people from a burning ship.[8]

When Superman was split into his Red and Blue energy forms, Superwoman returned hoping that one of the Supermen would return her feelings, but Maxima intervened, and used her telepathy to convince Superwoman that she would destroy Superman with her love.[9]

The telepathic illusion wore off and she would try to win Superman over again, this time in a red-and-blue costume very similar to his, and claimed to be his wife in response to a recent photograph of Superman wearing a wedding ring. During a subsequent attack of humans using the DMN drug—which turned the users into violent demons until the "high" was over—Superman convinced her to help him stop the DMN users, arguing that, if she truly loved him, she would help him do his duty rather than attack him for potentially picking someone else over her. She died trying to protect him from one of the DMN users when it almost struck him in the back while he was distracted since she knew he was vulnerable to magic.[10]

Lucy Lane

Lucy Lane, New Krypton Superwoman

Lucy Lane first appeared as Superwoman in Supergirl (vol. 5) #35 (January 2009), her costume a nod to that of the Bronze Age Superwoman Kristin Wells and containing a containment field that simulated Kryptonian powers. However, Lucy's identity was not revealed until near the story arc's end. During her tenure as Superwoman, she was blackmailed by her father, General Sam Lane, into performing acts of villainy such as murdering Agent Liberty, who had been spying on General Lane and Lex Luthor.[11] This resulted in her being the focus of the Supergirl Faces of Evil issue.

Lucy Lane later attacks Reactron, which tipped off readers that Superwoman was not Kryptonian, since the villain's Gold Kryptonite power source had no effect on her.[12] Supergirl unmasks Superwoman,[13] and accidentally kills her by rupturing the containment field of her suit, causing Lucy's body to contort and explode.[14]

In the Supergirl annual Lucy is brought back to life by the suit as it steals the life of another person. The suit is then revealed to be a magical creation of Mirabai of the Forlorn, ally of Sam Lane, who mystically infused in it the genetic abilities of several alien races of Kryptonian might: when Supergirl ruptured it, the backlash permanently altered Lucy Lane into being a composite alien being of human appearance herself, with inherent Kryptonian abilities.[15] This Superwoman was last seen as a prisoner after Sam Lane's machinations during the War of the Supermen storyline came to an end, though it was hinted she would escape at some point in the future. The launch of The New 52 however ended that storyline.

Lana Lang

Superwoman #10 (July 2017) art by Ken Lashley.

When Superman died, Lana Lang and Lois Lane both absorbed energy released from his body and the two women developed superhuman powers. Lana gained the power to convert solar radiation into various forms of electromagnetic energy, while Lois developed powers similar to Superman's. Both Lana and Lois became Superwoman. After Lois' death, Lana became the sole Superwoman.

During Superman Reborn, it was revealed that the powers Lois and Lana received were the leftover energy from the New-52 Superman. The Post-Crisis Superman took that energy into himself to become an amalgam leaving Lana seemingly powerless and confused. Some energy remained within her suit which was later found to be Red Kryptonite radiation.

Other uses

Various comic stories, pre- and post-Crisis, offer glimpses of possible futures assuming that one of the various incarnations of Supergirl would eventually change her codename to Superwoman upon reaching adulthood. One example is The Superman Family #200 (April 1980) in which all the stories are set in the then-near future 1999 or 2000 (the timeframe is cited only as "the turn of the century") with the characters aged appropriately, including an older Linda Danvers (Kara Zor-El) who divides her time between her career as Superwoman and serving as governor of Florida.

Alternatively, some stories assume one of Superman's female descendants would assume the name "Superwoman", like his daughter Kara and great-granddaughter Lara from the Elseworlds series, Superman & Batman: Generations.

In other media



The Lois Lane incarnation of Superwoman appears in All-Star Superman, voiced by Christina Hendricks.


  1. ^ "Action Comics #3". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2006.
  2. ^ "Lois Lane -- Superwoman", Action Comics #60 (May 1943)
  3. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 428. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  4. ^ Action Comics #156 (May 1951)
  5. ^ All-Star Superman #3
  6. ^ Edmond Hamilton: "Lois Lane, the Supermaid of Krypton !" Superman #159 (February 1963)
  7. ^ Superman #349 (in a story entitled "The Turnabout Trap!")
  8. ^ Adventures of Superman #538 (September 1996)
  9. ^ Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #10 (January 1998)
  10. ^ The Adventures of Superman #574 (January 2000)
  11. ^ Action Comics #873
  12. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #38
  13. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #40
  14. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #41
  15. ^ Supergirl (vol. 5) #50 (February 2010)
  16. ^ November 12, 1995 (Episode 7)