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Sam Lane
Samlane.png
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #13
(November 1959)
Created by Robert Bernstein
Kurt Schaffenberger
In-story information
Alter ego Sam Lane
Team affiliations United States Army
Supporting character of Superman

Sam Lane is a fictional character, the father of Lois Lane and Lucy Lane in Superman comics. Along with his wife Ella, he was introduced in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #13 (November 1959) as a horse farmer in the town of Pittsdale. The recent storylines of the comics have portrayed Lane as a villain, plotting to destroy New Krypton and Superman.

Contents

Fictional character biography

Following Crisis on Infinite Earths Sam Lane was reinvented as a hard-bitten and outspoken US Army General, with an awkward relationship with his daughter. It was explained that Lane had wanted his eldest child to be a boy, so had treated Lois as a surrogate son, when he was present at all.

This version first appeared in Adventures of Superman #424 (January 1987), the first retitled issue of the former Superman title. He became a more significant character following Lois' engagement to Clark Kent, being highly unimpressed with the mild-mannered reporter despite his obvious commitment to Lois. This almost, but not quite, extended to refusing to attend the wedding.

When Lex Luthor became President of the United States, he made Lane Secretary of Defense. This inevitably led to Lois, as an investigative journalist trying to prove Luthor was crooked, opposing her father, especially during the build up to the Imperiex War. During the War, General Lane was apparently killed by an Imperiex probe, when he detonated the nuclear engine of his tank to crack the shell of the probe and give Black Lightning the chance to get through its armour.

In Action Comics #832 (December 2005), set at Halloween, Sam Lane's ghost appeared to Lois while she was trapped in a car, enabling them to talk through their unresolved issues. However, the last scene of the issue showed the "ghost" leaning against a wall and watching the sunrise, implying that General Lane might still be alive.

The full extent of this revelation however is shown only years later, in the one shot Superman: New Krypton (November 2008) in which, while Lois still mourns him deeply, and Lucy after his death even joined the military in a post-mortem attempt to appease his desire of a son to follow in his footsteps, General Sam Lane finally reveals himself alive, and drafts an imprisoned Lex Luthor in a secret operation against Superman and the Kryptonians of Kandor, believed by the government to be a risk for world's security. Though the full implications of the operation are yet unknown, Lane has apparently been monitoring the activities several of the new superhumans introduced into the DC following Final Crisis. One of the superhumans of particular note is Icon, who like Superman is an incredibly powerful alien who is living on earth.[1]

Other media

Superman: The Movie

Sam Lane makes a brief cameo appearance in Superman: The Movie from 1978. Kirk Alyn, the first actor to portray Superman in live-action (in two low-budget serials from the 1940s) is seen when Lois witnesses young Clark Kent racing the train on which he and his wife (portrayed by his serial co-star, Noel Neill) are riding.

Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

In Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Sam Lane was a cyberneticist, and he and Ellen were divorced. He first appeared working reluctantly in illegal "augumentation" of boxers. In subsequent appearances he had created a robot girlfriend. In his first appearance, Dr. Sam Lane was played by Denis Arndt, and in later episodes by Harve Presnell.

Superman: The Animated Series

In Superman: The Animated Series, General Lane is involved in the space program. He appeared in one episode, with a flashback to when he was a Lieutenant. He was voiced by Dean Jones.

Smallville

General Sam Lane as he appeared on Smallville.

In Smallville, Lieutenant General Sam Lane appeared in the second and third episodes of Season 4. When Chloe Sullivan and her father were put in protective custody, Lex Luthor managed to get General Lane in to shield her from the blast when they got into the "safe" house.

In the fourth season episode Lucy it is noted that the General was unable to cope with raising his daughters alone after the death of his wife. He modelled his parenting on that of his Army career, where he implemented a chain of command. He was in charge of Lois and Lois was in charge of Lucy. Both his daughters resented their father for this. At the end of the episode he sent Lois to Europe in order to locate his younger daughter Lucy, but it is unclear if the efforts were successful.

In the second episode of season five, 'Mortal', General Lane also provided Chloe with covert surveillance equipment to help Clark Kent infiltrate the LuthorCorp building and rescue his family, though offscreen.

In Prototype, the twenty-first episode of the sixth season, Lois told Clark and Chloe that he liked Wes Keenan. Wes was the only soldier that General Sam ever respected. General Lane was played by Michael Ironside, who also voiced Superman villain Darkseid.

References

  1. ^ Superman#688

External links

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