Lois Learns Superman's Secret: Then and Now

In tomorrow's Superman #42 from DC Entertainment, the publisher's just-released preview pages confirm that Lois Lane will learn, incontrovertibly, that her former co-worker Clark Kent is indeed Superman.

it's no great surprise, since we've seen the story playing out in other DC titles -- she writes an article that compromises his identity and causes him to go underground, all while his powers are on the fritz.

This is, of course, not the first time Lois has discovered Superman's true nature. Even notwithstanding the dozens of Elseworlds/Imaginary Stories that use the concept, a then-in-continuity story took place in Action Comics #662 by writer Roger Stern and artist Bob McLeod (cover art above by Kerry Gammill), in which the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint version of Superman told his fiancee Lois Lane that he was Clark.

We thought it might be interesting to take a look at how these things played out, and spoke briefly with Superman writer Gene Yang about his and artist John Romita, Jr.'s take on the story.

"It’s been a long time since I read that one, but they were in a romantic relationship already, right? And it was his own volition to tell her," Yang told ComicBook.com in an interview, the full text of which will go live tomorrow so as to minimize how much of the issue is spoiled. "There was an emotion behind that. When somebody shares with you their secret versus when you find out their secret, there’s two different emotions that go with that. In the new version, he doesn’t voluntarily share it with Lois, Lois has to figure it out on her own."

And while we obviously haven't seen the full issue yet -- just the preview pages -- it seems pretty clear that Lois isn't taking the revelation all that well.

Following the events of Action Comics #662, Lois and Clark's conversation spilled over into Superman #53, in which writer/artist Jerry Ordway revealed that Lois wasn't totally clueless, but has talked herself out of drawing the conclusion:

...That's not entirely unlike what we see in the preview pages, where she says that she's long suspected but "I still need to know for sure."

Of course, that's hardly the only thing to get a modern reinterpretation. The stories taking place within the new status quo of a secret identity-free Superman have been titled "Truth" and "Justice," while Superman #53 from the '90s, in which Lois deals with the ramifications of learning Clark's secret, was subtitled "Truth, Justice and the American Way."

Superman #42 from Gene Yang and John Romita, Jr. is on sale tomorrow at your local comic shop and via ComiXology. Check back for our full interview with Yang and more coverage of the landmark issue.

The pre-Flashpoint Lois Lane and Superman, along with their son Jonathan Kent, will soon be appearing in Superman: Lois and Clark, which launches in October from writer Dan Jurgens and artist Lee Weeks.