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Off My Mind: Why Breaking Superman and Lois Lane Up Doesn't Matter

They've been married for fifteen years but will the 'separation' make a difference to who the characters are?

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There are many changes coming to the DC Universe in September. Information on the "New 52" is being released and some previous suspicions are being confirmed. One in particular involves Superman and Lois Lane. Lois has been the love interest for Superman/Clark Kent since they all first appeared in 1938's Action Comics #1. Their courtship lasted decades and finally they were married in 1996's Superman: The Wedding Album. Now after fifteen years, the marriage will be over.

This is something that will clearly anger many. Readers generally don't like retcons. If they've been reading for a while, they feel they've invested their time in the characters and to have certain elements simply wiped away feels like an insult.

Will doing away with the relationship Lois and Clark have developed really make a huge difference? Superman will still be the Man of Steel and Lois Lane will still be a tough-as-nails reporter. The marriage may soon be over but does it really matter?

== TEASER ==

Before fans of the marriage start gathering their pitchforks against me, let's see a show of hands, how many have actually been reading Superman before their marriage in 1996? A lot of today's readers never really read stories while Clark was pining over Lois. This went on for 58 years. People don't like change but I don't recall an uproar in '96 when DC decided to have the two get married after 58 years. Sometimes change is good.

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I do want to clarify that I'm not a fan of history being erased, no matter how clever the execution. Just as I did not like Spider-Man and Mary Jane's marriage being dissolved in Brand New Day, I'm not crazy about Lois and Clark's marriage going away. But that doesn't mean I will stop reading comics based on characters I dig. There have been several excellent story arcs with Spider-Man since.

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Thinking back over the last fifteen years, were there any stories that really focused on or centered on their marriage? Getting married did show a sign of evolution in their relationship but nothing really resulted afterwards. The only story that comes to mind is when they wanted to adopt Christopher, Zod's son but in today's age, it's not like they really needed to be married to adopt an 'orphan.' Recently Superman spent a year on New Krypton away from Lois. When he returned to Earth, they shared a few pages in a comic and then he immediately left to go on his walk across America in the Grounded storyline. What difference does it make if they're married or not through all of this?

In TV shows, we know how it goes. Two characters teeter on the edge of hooking up for a while. Once they do, the show and relationship loses its charm (the show Moonlighting is often used as the prime example). Just as the marriage didn't the characters before they tied the knot, it didn't necessarily define them afterwards either. We had some moments where Superman could fully share his life and adventures with Lois but if anything, it almost put her in the backseat. Once they were married, the courtship wasn't there. Superman might fly home some times and they could share a moment but that was about it.

How many adventures and appearances has Superman had with no mention of Lois? Superman spends a lot of time saving people around the world or hanging out with the Justice League in the Watchtower, which isn't even on Earth. Superman has an obligation to saving innocent lives but because of the vows he made, he also has obligations to his wife.

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Erasing the marriage may not be the solution to his problem. It is important to try to look at the bright side. For one thing, we still don't know what is the cause for this change (and those in other books although we can assume it deals with Flashpoint). Lois will have a new boyfriend and this re-opens the door to the thrills and excitement over whether or not Superman and Lois or Clark and Lois will get together. Many of today's readers never got to experience that aspect of the characters. Again, this game went on for 58 years. There's always reprints and trades of the old stories but as fun as it is to read those, there's something about reading the current stories as they happen.

Superman and Lois should be together. Come September, they won't be. We all have to deal with it. Lois will have a new boyfriend and this is something we haven't really seen. Whether or not Superman and/or Clark gets one is just another aspect that could mix things up. Make the stories a little more unpredictable. Will they eventually get back together? It's possible and extremely likely. For now, we need to focus on what makes Superman who he is. Unless you've been reading the stories just for the marriage, it doesn't seem like we'll be seeing a huge difference.