A Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Lane once hosted a monkey namedTitano before he was launched into space, whom his daughters played with. Titano was believed lost in an accident, but wound up in suspended animation in a comet. Twenty years later, Titano was discovered, but had been mutated by exposure to radiation and gas in the comet, growing to an enormous size. Sam hurried to Metropolis, bringing an old toy of Titano's which helped calm him down. He also attended martial arts classes for some time and ended up with a black belt.
Later, he helped Lois get into the facility that Superman and Supergirl were being held in.
In the Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Comics, Sam Lane was a simple horse farmer. Post Crisis, Lane was reenvisioned as a hard major in the United States Army. His relationship was Lois was always difficult, and he disapproved of Clark Kent, almost to the point of missing their wedding. Lane was appointed Secretary of Defense when Lex Luthor was elected President of the United States, mainly as a way to silence any criticism from Lois or Clark, or to put Lois into a situation where she would have to oppose her father. Lois being Lois, she continually questioned Luthor's administration, while General Lane proved more honest and dutiful than Luthor would have preferred. He was apparently killed during the Our Worlds at War storyline by an Imperiexprobe.
Following an appearance hinting at his survival during the Infinite Crisis crossover, Lane returned as part of a shadow cabinet dedicated to "protecting" the Earth from Kryptonians following the discovery of a section of Krypton populated with two hundred thousand survivors. After the actions of Lane and his associates (which included a then-disgraced ex-President Luthor) resulted in the deaths of most of the survivors, leading to a bloody war between the remaining New Kryptonians and Earth, Lane committed suicide rather than face justice for his actions.
In the television series Smallville, General Sam Lane was played by Michael Ironside.
Superman: The Animated Series
- "Target" (Mentioned Only)
- "Monkey Fun"
- "Legacy" (Mentioned Only)