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August 25, 2012

OR why having Superman in a romantic relationship with Wonder Woman in the new 52 is a VERY BAD IDEA.

Basically if Superman has met Lois Lane and has feelings for her then falls into a relationship with Wonder Woman for whatever reason, it is harmful to him as a character and icon.

Both superheroes are hurt by this. Wonder Woman probably suffers the most because she is the female, “the other woman” since Lois & Superman have been together since 1938 in the public’s mind. She also is placed in an out of character situation. She is subordinate to a man and that is not Wonder Woman.

Just see the GMA clip for the general public’s reaction. All were disgusted with the idea and attacked Wonder Woman as a homewrecker and defended Lois Lane. So the general public are not the customers who will be buying this. So who was the target audience? Lapsed comic readers and collectors of the cover which was promoted a week before its release?

Superman will be damaged, too. He will no longer be a super man. He will not have a dual identity because none is needed if he hooks up with a fellow powerful being. He doesn’t have to relate to humans at all in any way, have a dual life, or acknowledge his nurturing by his adoptive human parents — that all goes out the window. Basically Clark Kent is gone. Despite what Quinton Tarentino says, Clark Kent is how people/readers/buyers of comics and movie tickets relate to Superman. He loves humanity so much he wants to live amongst them and have a life. Yes, Superman is an alien but he was raised as a human with self discipline and good morals.

Because Superman had a normal human life with the Kents, he must have had toilet training, learned how to feed himself, etc. When he became older and developed his powers, he obviously adjusted his normal way of doing things. Otherwise Ma would have no glasses to drink out of. Clark would be tossing the tractor with regular frequency or physically battering his parents when he simply wanted to show affection. So Clark must have control of his physical powers so he can live amongst humans without being detected.

Both of the Kents are dead within the new 52. We’re not sure how, when or where they died. Was Clark responsible or does he just think he’s responsible? We as readers of Action, Superman and Justice League have not been privy to this information. Also Clark initially doesn’t wear the armor suit. He wears t-shirts, jeans, workboots with the cape. He received the suit while in Metropolis still working for the Daily Star not the Daily Planet with Lois. This was during a mission to save Lois per General Lane from the Bottled City of Metropolis. This occurred in Action whose timeline has not moved from the past.

Superman makes a cameo appearance in issue #1 of Justice League wearing his Kryptonian armor. So it is after he has met Lois Lane. Justice League timeline initially started six months after Action’s. By issue #7, the book was in the present. Steve Trevor was alive and well and he and Diana had a budding romance.

In Superman issue #1, five years after Justice League #1, we see Lois is dating someone and has been trying to fix up Clark with friends. He’s such a loner, but she knows what a great guy he is. He is distraught when he realizes Lois has a boyfriend. By issue #2 General Lane is asking Superman what is his relationship to Lois. Later in the same issue Superman in the Fortress of Solitude is thinking of Lois and wishes things could be different.  We also get a glimpse of the famous couple in a picture in Lois’ office. Superman is wearing his t-shirt, jeans, workboots and cape balancing Lois on one arm up in the skies of Metropolis. He’s bodybuilder posing with the other arm as they smile joyously at the camera. So Superman has met Lois and Clark eventually works for the Daily Planet. This is in present time. Sidenote: In this book Lois Lane knows the secret. “She’s known from the beginning.” – that’s a quote from the author of the first six issues of Superman.

The often incomprehensible timeline obscures not only the past with the present but the present with the present. We have seen Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet in Justice League. He definitely knows Lois Lane. And Geoff Johns has her saying “Superman is waiting on me.” If Lois knows the secret, then there will be no Silver Age chasing of Superman. Thank God. Lois will wait until Superman/Clark starts chasing her.

So what makes a super man not chase the woman he has feelings for and settle for someone else? Bad writing? A stunt? Pretty much. But the point is, no amount of book sales is worth damaging Superman as an icon. He should inspire good, not be a reflection of human society. When the Kents died, did all that they taught him die too? There’s being alienated and then there’s acting like you just got hatched from a giant Kryptonian egg without human contact.

IF he and Wonder Woman have sex when he has feelings for Lois Lane, he is no longer Superman. He is just a guy with powers with no dual identity using the Superman mythos as a backdrop. In fact, why have Superman and Wonder Woman on Earth at all? Let them go off and propagate some other planet. Who cares about them if they can’t relate to humans? Apparently since they cannot relate to humanity, the beautiful and powerful turn to each other for power sex. That’s nice, right? While their family of support characters twiddle their thumbs awaiting the clipboard to clack. Boring!

Steve Trevor was missing from the last ‘age’ of comics, but Johns introduced him for the new 52 in Justice League – and the event that will throw Superman and Wonder Woman together? The death of Steve Trevor. Isn’t that clever? A man gets refrigerated this time for the plotline instead of a woman. How progressive. But don’t think too highly of the DC execs. At a writers retreat in October, 2010, the premise was “How to get Superman in a love triangle?” and once they got rid of the “marital detail” (Kent marriage) the ideas flowed and the reboot was born. The Superman Wonder Woman hookup was planned from the very beginning. They rebooted a whole universe to save Superman and Wonder Woman’s iconic reputations in order for them to have a booty call ‘without the marital detail’.

Execution is everything. This reboot has been mishandled and micromanaged and now DC has pulled the magic stuffed rabbit out of the hat. Not even the Court of Owls story in Batman which crossed over into every Bat family book got the promotion that Justice League #12 did. Jim Lee revealed the Justice League #12 cover which he said was based on THE KISS painting and the V-J Day kiss photograph, but fans knew better. It was actually a rip off of a 2004 Superman v2 issue #212 full page panel by Lee (see above) where the Lane- Kents were reunited and Superman expressed his love for his wife, body and soul. One woman is as good as another, right? WRONG!

DC Comics is going for numbers (and not necessarily large numbers since they are going for a small niche of audience) not good stories. For scandal sheet material not substance and character development. And they are willing to destroy Superman and Wonder Woman to do it. Short sightedness by people who have the responsibility of caring for these seventy plus year old icons which are loved by generations of people around the world.

Let’s hope with the multiple obscure timelines, many mind altering villains and even moving from alternate universe to universe that the new 52 doesn’t damage the icons that feed them. That somehow DC will be able to pull Superman and Wonder Woman’s reputations out of the fire with integrity and delicacy. And that they will soon stop disenfranchising the fanbases they already have and the icons fans love so much.

Otherwise it’s the situation normal, all fucked up clusterfuck AKA the new 52.

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