Spoilers ahead for Action Comics #978, on sale today.
In a minor retcon that will please a lot of Lois Lane fans, Superman revealed in today's Action Comics #978 that Lois Lane was "too smart" not to have figured out his identity before he revealed it to her in 1991's Action Comics #662.
The comment comes in the context of a Superman who knows that something isn't quite the same as it was before Mr. Mxyzptlk arrived and two versions of himself were "merged" to form a new reality in "Superman Reborn."
The specifics of that encounter with Mxy have already started to fade, though, and Superman only remembers that merged reality and his new history. It's an opportunity for the Man of Steel to examine his personal history, to make sure that time isn't broken as a result of his showdown with a Fifth Dimensional imp, and ultimately for the readers to get a sense of what does and doesn't "count" in the newly-merged reality.
Shortly after Superman proposed to Lois in the '90s, he confessed his secret to her, telling her that she deserved honesty from him. After a brief period of shock, Lois acclimated and agreed to marry him.
When that moment comes back around in the Fortress robots' history of the era, though, Superman stops the recording to say that while his wife would never admit it, she was too smart not to have known. The playback computer agrees with him, and the pair move on.
It may seem to non-fans like a very minor change -- the idea that Lois knew before Superman told her doesn't change the fact that she did not confront him about it, and he was allowed to tell her on his terms. Still, what it will do for Lois Lane fans is to reinforce that she isn't a world-class, Pulitzer-winning journalist who somehow managed not to notice that her boyfriend and a personal friend she used to see on a weekly basis were the same person.
(Or, if you want to go all Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on it, this proves that she isn't as monumentally stupid as the time-traveling Tempus would argue.)
As controversial as the decision was to make Lois deduce Clark's identity on her own in Man of Steel, there was a vocal segment of the fandom who loved the idea, and it sat particularly well with readers who felt Lois had been on the short end of the stick when DC decided to erase the Super-marriage during the 2011 reboot and left Lois more or less without a direction.
Since the return of the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois Lane, those complaints have largely been addressed, with this latest instance being a case of writer Dan Jurgens and artist Carlo Barberi taking the opportunity to give a nod in the direction of Lois Lane, fiery reporter.
You can pick up a copy of Action Comics #978 at your local comic shop today, or order a digital copy here.