Lana Lang

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Art by Curt Swan
Battle Royale! Art by Curt Swan Lois by Kurt Schaffenberger

Lana Lang

The lovely red-haired newscaster for Metropolis television station WGBS-TV who has been a central figure in the life of Superman. As a contemporary of the teen-aged Superman (i.e., Superboy) during their days in Smallville, she had a crush on Superboy, was alternatively friendly to, and contemptuous of, mild-mannered Clark Kent, and generally "tormented and pestered" them both in her never-ending quest for the secret of Superboy's dual identity (SB No. 10/1, Sep/Oct 1950: "The Girl in Superboy's Life"; and many others). As an adult, first as a reporter for the Daily Planet and later as a celebrated TV newscaster, she is one of Superman's best friends and Lois Lane's arch-rival for the affections of Superman. Superman has described Lana as a "beautiful woman" and as "the swellest girl I ever met... except for Lois Lane!"

Lana Lang, the daughter of archaeologist and explorer Lewis Lang and his wife Sarah and the niece of Professor Potter, grew up in Smallville, where she was in Clark Kent's class at Smallville High School. Lana's senior-class yearbook cited her as a "class wit," but Superman No. 78 describes her as "pretty, prying, and pestiferous," and draws a pointed parallel between Lana Lang's relationship with the teen-aged Superboy and Lois Lane's relationship with the adult Superman:

"Superman has had his troubles from the reckless rashness of Lois Lane—but that's nothing new to him! For years ago in Smallville, when he was Superboy, pretty, prying, pestiferous Lana Lang also used to give him headaches!"

Lana has at least three brothers: Larry (SB No. 13/2, Mar/Apr 1951: "The Confession of Clark Kent!"), Ronald (Adv No. 168, Sep 1951: "The Boy Who Outsmarted Superboy") and Alvin (SB No. 26/1, Jun/Jul 1953: "The Super-Tot of Smallville!"; SB No. 48/2, Apr 1956: "Lana Lang's Super Powers!"). Also, in one 1958 chronicle, it is revealed that Lana has one descendant in the 30th century, a young female ciminal named Lorac-K7 (Adv No. 250/1, Jul 1958: "The Imposter from the Year 2958").

From time to time, Lana assumes the identity of the superheroine Insect Queen (SB No. 124/1, Oct 1965: "The Insect Queen of Smallville!"; and others). As Insect Queen, Lana is a reserve member of the 30th Century teen superhero club the Legion of Super-Heroes (Adv No. 355/2, Apr 1967: "The Six-Legged Legionnaire"; and others).

Lana also has adopted other, short-lived, costumed identities. These include Sky-Girl (Adv No. 189, Jun 1953: "The Girl of Steel"), Flying Girl (SB No. 72/3, Apr 1959: "The Flying Girl of Smallville"), and Gravity Girl (Adv No. 285/1, Jun 1961: "Gravity Girl of Smallville").

In September-October 1952, Lana Lang leaves Smallville and arrives in Metropolis. She works for a time as a reporter at the Daily Planet - and shares an apartment with Lois Lane - before moving on to a new journalistic post with the Federal Syndicate. During this time, she renews, for the first time since her teens, both her romantic interest in Superman and her determination to unravel the secret of his dual identity (S No. 78/3: "The Girls in Superman's Life"). This story is similar in many ways to one told in Showcase No. 9/1, Jul/Aug 1957: "The Girl in Superman's Past". By January 1961 Lana has acquired a job as a news reporter for WMET-TV, a post that has made her a TV celebrity (Act No. 272: "Superman's Rival, Mental Man!"). In November 1977, Lana is hired by Galaxy Communications president Morgan Edge to co-anchor the WGBS-TV 6 P.M. newscast with Clark Kent (S No. 317: "The Killer with the Heart of Steel"). During this period, the alien superhero Vartox becomes a persistent rival of Clark Kent for Lana's affections (S No. 373, Jul 1982: "Lana Lang's Farewell to Earth"; and others).

(See also: Lana Lang of Earth-2; Bizarro-Lana Lang)

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