Tonight's episode of Supergirl features the first appearance of Lucy Lane, sister to famed Daily Planet reporter Lois and ex-girlfriend to James Olsen.
Although, for the sake of this story, her relationship with Lois isn't quite as significant as the one she has with Lois's longtime co-worker James Olsen, now Art Director at one of Cat Grant's publications and a co-worker and confidant to Supergirl herself.
Since much of what we're seeing this season on Supergirl comes from the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint comics published between 1986 and 2011, it seemed worth a look at what Lucy -- and her relationship with Olsen -- looked like during that publication period.
Lucy and Lois both had a bit of a tough childhood, with a mother who was often sick and a domineering father who had hoped for a son and wanted to be hard on his daughters essentially to "make a man out of them." They bounced around a lot due to the demands of Sam's military career, and eventually each of the two would come to believe that the other was Sam's favorite and had it comparably easier.
When we first met her in John Byrne's The Man of Steel, Lucy had recently left her job as a flight attendant due to the sudden onset of an unexplained blindness. She was cured when a version of Bizarro exploded into dust, and the dust got in Lucy's eyes. It was the second time she had been rescued by the creature in one way or another: at the start of the story, she had attempted suicide by jumping off a building, only to be rescued by Bizarro on the way down.
Lucy would then enter into a relationship with Jimmy Olsen which lasted about two years, but never got particularly serious. The two would make up, break up (usually without drama or even having it depicted on the page), and then re-enter each other's orbit. Eventually, during one of the times they were dating, Lucy met Daily Planet journalist Ron Troupe, and the two were taken with one another. Lucy didn't do anything until after she and Jimmy broke up, but it wasn't long after she was single that she and Ron started dating. The two eventually married and had a son, named after Lucy's father Sam.
Not long after Lucy and Ron started dating, there was a bit of awkwardness as she served as the Maid of Honor at her sister's wedding to Clark Kent, and Jimmy was the Best Man.
After the wedding, Lucy vanished from the comics for a while and reappeared in an unexpected way: following General Sam Lane's apparent death, she learned that he was alive and started working with him on a government project aimed at curbing the influence of Kryptonians on Earth. During the World of New Krypton story, Lucy was given powers from a sophisticated costume and appeared as the masked figure Superwoman, hiding amongst the Kryptonians.
After an accident involving Supergirl left her presumed dead, she would return again later and go on a crime spree for which Supergirl eventually brought her to justice. Her return was explained because while the accident had destroyed the suit that gave her powers, it had by then altered her physiology, leaving Lucy actually superhuman.
With Sam Lane expected to play a major role on Supergirl and both the DEO and Maxwell Lord scared of the impact aliens have on humanity, it seems possible if not likely that the Superwoman story will be explored at some point. Much of the story thus far has made references to the Supergirl run by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle, during which much of that story was dealt with.
Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle's Supergirl: Who is Superwoman? is available at Amazon for $9.99 on Kindle or a little bit less as a used paperback. You can also get it at comiXology.
Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.