Imagining a Louise Brooks feature as Lois Lane in Action Comics

March 15, 2023 3 mins to read
Michael Garcia Mujica
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In 1938, Action Comics premiered, introducing readers to the iconic character of Superman. But have you ever wondered what it would have been like if Louise Brooks played Lois Lane in the 1920s? And what if the film had been directed by G.W. Pabst, who was known for his innovative style? It’s a fascinating thought experiment to consider how the portrayal of the character might have differed from the traditional image of Lois Lane.

During the 1920s, women’s roles in film were still very limited, and the idea of a female reporter was still a novelty. But what if Pabst and Brooks had approached the character with a more feminist perspective, emphasizing her independence and intelligence? Brooks’ signature bob haircut, seen as scandalous at the time, could have given Lois Lane a modern and daring look. And with Pabst’s use of lighting and camera angles to create moody and atmospheric visuals, the film may have had a more noir-ish feel than the brightly colored superhero films of today.

But what if the film had been made in 1938 or 1940? Women’s roles in film were still limited, and they were often portrayed as damsels in distress or love interests for male protagonists. In that case, the film adaptation may have played up Lois Lane’s romantic interests in Superman or Clark Kent, rather than focusing on her career as a reporter. Or, with the world at war in 1940, Hollywood was increasingly using films as propaganda tools. If a film adaptation of Action Comics had been made during this time, the character of Lois Lane would have been portrayed as a patriotic symbol, highlighting her bravery and commitment to the war effort.

Regardless of the time period, a film adaptation of Action Comics starring Louise Brooks as Lois Lane and directed by G.W. Pabst would have been groundbreaking and innovative, challenging traditional gender roles and expectations. It’s possible that Pabst may have drawn inspiration from Nietzsche’s concept of the Übermensch (superman) in his work, as he was known for exploring philosophical and psychological themes in his films. If Pabst were to incorporate these themes into his film adaptation of Action Comics, he may have used the character of Superman as a representation of the Übermensch.

If Pabst used the concept of the Übermensch as a subtle inspiration for Louise Brooks’ portrayal of Lois Lane, the character could have been depicted as a strong and independent woman who challenges traditional gender roles and societal norms. Lois Lane could be portrayed as someone who is fearless, self-assertive, and confident in her own abilities. But it’s important to note that while the idea of the Übermensch may have some positive connotations, it has also been associated with negative and dangerous ideologies in the past. Therefore, any interpretation that promotes harmful beliefs or behavior should be avoided.

Overall, a film adaptation of Action Comics starring Louise Brooks as Lois Lane and directed by G.W. Pabst would have been a fascinating and groundbreaking film, showcasing the talents of two of the most innovative artists of the time. While we can only speculate about what the film might have looked like, it’s clear that it would have challenged traditional gender roles and expectations, and it may have incorporated philosophical and psychological themes that were ahead of their time.

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