For as long as there have been comic books, there has been the feud between DC and Marvel. Both are heavy-hitting comic companies that continue to gain legions of fans every year. The purpose of this column is to take one DC persona and one Marvel persona of equal measure and popularity and pit them against each other to see who would come out on top and who is a better character overall.
Lois Lane grew up an army brat and eventually became one of the top investigative journalists for Metropolis’s Daily Planet working under Perry White. Her claim to fame came when she was the first reporter to break the story on Superman, whom she followed closely ever since not knowing that her co-worker and future boyfriend Clark Kent was the superhero himself. Since her appearance in 1938 Lois has been involved in many storylines not only involving Superman but also Wonder Woman, Batman, and various other DC heroes. In some timelines Lois marries Superman (sometimes before even knowing his true identity) but in all she is known for being his main girl and a stand-up character all her own. Lois’s rich backstory is too much to cover in this article but suffice it to say, she is one of DC’s premiere characters.
Pepper Potts began working for Stark Industries and was quickly promoted to Tony’s personal assistant. Despite having feeling for Tony, Pepper married Happy Hogan but later divorced him. Tony trusted Pepper with his most secret endeavors and she even had control of a special remote that could shut down Iron Man in case of emergencies. Pepper has been in charge of numerous organizations associated with Tony Stark including The Order and Stark Dynamics. She occasionally steps up as a superhero (named Rescue) with her custom Mark suit and even rescued Tony Stark himself. Since her appearance in 1964, Pepper Potts has been an integral part of Tony Stark’s life and the Iron Man history. Despite this, her background doesn’t quite compare to the rich and long-lived one of Lois Lane.
Point: Lois Lane
Although Lois Lane is not a superhero, she does possess some combat training; a benefit of growing up as an army brat. Over the years she has had some temporary powers but nothing substantial or long-lasting. Pepper Potts is also a regular human being. However at some points she does end up having a Repuslor Tech node implanted in her chest which allows her to interact with energies in a super-human way. In some universes the node also allows her to create a force field and gives her somewhat enhanced senses, strength, and healing.
Point: Pepper Potts
Lois Lane is employed by The Daily Planet. Although not an official member of the Justice League, Lois has often worked with them and other superheroes such as Batman and Wonder Woman. Pepper Potts has been affiliated with Stark Industries from the very beginning. As the superhero Rescue she has sometimes worked with The Order, an initiative to redistribute America’s superhuman protection. Both ladies are mostly independent women, working with their leading men but have also ventured into affiliation territory by working with bigger organizations.
Lois owns a red Lamborghini and has a concealed Blaster Rifle in her apartment for protection. Other than that, Lois’s greatest weapon is her voice which she uses to influence public viewpoints through her position of power in the media. She’s a feisty leader and a take charge woman who gets by without weapons. Pepper has used the Iron Man Armor Mark 1616 suit and been equipped with the repulsors that go along with them. Her suit has allowed her to become the superhero Rescue. This gives her the edge over Lois in this category.
Point: Pepper Potts
Lois Lane is one of the most well-known characters in the DC Universe; where there’s Superman, there is also Lois Lane. She was ranked 78th in Comics Buyer’s Guide’s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list. Besides the multitude of comic book issues Lois has appeared in (including her own line) Lois Lane has also appeared in a radio series, video games and a Broadway musical. Lois has been in over 10 animated television shows and movies including Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Superman: The Animated Series. Superman is one of the most widely used comic-book characters in live-action film and television and Lois is always with him. She first appeared in Adventures of Superman in the 1950’s by Phyllis Coates and then Noel Niell (who also played Lois in the Sunday serial films). In the 1970’s and 1980’s Lois was played by Margot Kidder in the Superman films Superman, Superman II, Superman III, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. In the 1990’s Teri Hatcher played Lois in the 4 season long television show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The latest Superman television show, Smallville, has Lois being played by Erica Durance. Kate Bosworth played Lois Lane in the 2006 Bryan Singer directed film Superman Returns and Amy Adams will be playing her in the upcoming reboot Man of Steel. Lois Lane is so popular that she has streets and songs named after her and is referenced anywhere with automatic recognition.
Pepper has appeared in various animated television shows and films including Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Invincible Iron Man, and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Her character has also shown up in various video games. Pepper is portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow in the films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Up until the recent revival of Marvel films, Pepper Potts was a name known only to comic-book readers. With the popularity of the Iron Man films and Gwyneth Paltrow’s performances she is becoming more and more popular. However she is nowhere near as popular or relevant as the feminist symbol Lois Lane.
Point: Lois Lane
WINNER: It’s a tie!
We try to avoid having these battles result in a tie but in this case, it was inescapable. When you boil it down to each category, meticulously examining both Lois Lane and Pepper Potts you find that they are both popular characters in their respective universes representing strong women and playing important roles in various story lines.