Thursday, July 21, 2011

Does Clark Kent need Lois Lane?

DC Comics recently revealed that Post-Flashpoint, Superman will no longer be married to Lois Lane. It's a move that surprised few but outraged many. Combine this with the undoing of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's marriage and the Big Two seems to have decided that marriage no longer sells books or makes for interesting characters. Still that's not what I'm here to talk about, I'm debating the simple question: Does Clark Kent need Lois Lane?

There are a few things that everyone knows about Clark Kent: 1. He's a reporter. 2. He's Superman. 3. He's married to Lois Lane. Ask about Clark Kent and usually one of those three will be mentioned. For the purpose of this discussion we're going to ignore the Superman aspect and just focus on Clark Kent in this relationship. So how do you go about separating these two iconic characters? Simple, show the characters functioning in the real world independent of each other. Show both to be competent reporters, friendly people, and most of all don't attempt to foreshadow some sort future romantic involvement.  Both characters should be able to be a part of stable relationships that are natural fits with their respective characters. Think about how people in the real world act. The truly good/stable people do not stalk/pine over someone who they wish was their partner when said person is already in a relationship. They feel happy for that person and move on with their life and eventually someone else fills that place in their heart.

Unfortuantly DC Comics seems to have ignored that idea presenting a Clark Kent who is a loner, who is pining for Lois, and who feels defeated after meeting her boyfriend.

From Superman #1, written by George Perez. Art by Jesus Merino
For a bit of context, Clark goes over to Lois' apartment to apologize for something he said and find Lois with her new boyfriend. I have no problems with the fact that he's there to apologize, it's mature and it's a very Clark thing to do. What I do have a problem with is how defeated he looks after leaving. Also, he's listening in on their conversation. No offense but most people, even if they had super-hearing, wouldn't want to listen in on a conversation that (to be quite blunt) is probably going to be a precursor to sex nine times out of ten.

In contrast, look at the John Byre reboot of Superman back in the 80's. (I couldn't find scans so you'll have to take my word on it) In those issues, Clark Kent was not pining for Lois Lane, in fact at times they downright hated each other. Not only that but Clark Kent and Lois Lane date other people without the story attempting to foreshadow any relationship. As such those stories felt much more natural because that's how people in the real world act!

So does Clark Kent need Lois Lane? The answer is quite simply that he shouldn't. Clark Kent is a strong character that is entirely capable of living a complete and healthy independent life. As long as writers portray him this way, the DCnU will have at least one character right.

No comments:

Post a Comment