By SaintWildcard 19 Comments
For all those who know me, you know that I'm a fan of the Superman Wonder Woman relationship. I never really cared much for the Lois Lane and Superman dynamic/romance, even now that I've been more exposed to it I've come to even be annoyed by it. That being said, I do see an appeal to it on some level. While not so much for how it's been written, but for the potential that lies within.
So where I may lose any credibility in this, is that I dislike ton of the things people love about her. Her personality often comes off as grading to me. In my mind, all I have is this caricature of an annoying ball busting character, who always needs to be saved and was too dumb to figure out the man she comes to marry is Superman. Personally, I feel like I'm taking crazy pill and anyone who likes this character is insane.
In recent years it's swung hard in the other direction and they've tried to make her hypercompetent and involve her in the action to make up for years of being a Damsel in Distress. It's not even entirely her fault, Disney has tried to rewrite history that their empire isn't built on the backs of Damsels who were saved by men (Example- Ralph Wrecks The Internet). I've seen scans of her wearing tech suits to save Jon in Rebirth, or we got that cringey War Hammer scene in Elseworld, where she had to save her useless husband. You'd think this would rectify the "Damsel In Distress" label, but it just feels like over the top damage control. While it's an apples and oranges comparison, I liked how she was in MoS. She was thrown into the danger and in her own way fumbles through it with the help of AI Jor-El.
To be fair to her it isn't just her fault, but how they've written the Superman side of that pairing. He always just feels like the dope in love with her while she makes constant zingers. People find it endearing, I find it as grading as nails on a chalkboard. But that's just my opinion.
So this mini side rant is about an argument I constantly see from some CLois shippers. I'm going to give these people a brief schooling in the ridiculousness of this argument, and anyone who believes it has any merit. cus quite frankly it's a counter-intuitive argument to make.
The "Anchor" belief is one that states that Superman needs Lois, cus she's human and Clark needs that tie to humanity or he'll go nuts. While some stories like to depict that, there are also just as many that debunk it. But at it's core, for any mainstream Superman it's a rather demeaning one to have. It throws the Kent's and his upbringing in Smallville under the bus. It all depends on how you like your Superman written I suppose, but Clark was raised on Earth, he's human, famously stated to be more human than any of us.
So there have been multiple breakdowns of what they all believe is the appeal to why this iconic pairing works, and none of them really ever won me over. With some tweeks and an attitude adjustment, she could work. But before I get to the face lift, ya'll must be curious as to what in the core of the character actually appeals to me? It's ironic really, when people talk about the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing, they always say how simple and convenient it is, but honestly it's the deeper relationship out of the two. Two halves that complete each other and make the other better. The Lois and Clark relationship, for me at least, works better as a simple office place romance. It's more about the aesthetics, rather than the actual heart.
I may get some angry CLois shippers in the comment section trying to tell me off, but that's just how I've seen it so far. Admit tingly though, I haven't read every Superman and Lois story, I'm basing it off the good chunk I have seen.
Anyway I've blathered long enough. What was that core that made it work? It's something that has been there since the Golden Age and can still exist today. Clark is an immigrant who moves to America in search of the American Dream. Sure it's been warped and lost it's meaning to many people, but it's a noble aspiration for him to have. The idea of coming to America, getting a job and having a wife and kids. I think deep down, Clark wants that sense of normalcy and still romanticizes the American Dream. Lois lends herself to this purpose. In my opinion, if Clark wasn't Superman he would be fine with being a reporter and having a simple life with Lois Lane.
- As stated above, I haven't read every Superman/Lois story and I'm simply going off everything I've read. Any alterations that may seem similar to an other run are just coincidences. I'm making the changes because it's not ones I've seen in major depictions of her character. Some charictaristics may match up with some, but this is a complete rundown of everything I need, not just one or two aspects that are IMO cancelled out by bad ones.
I'll always just see it as an office romance, and I think that's all it should be. The appeal should be it's simplicity. Here I'm just going to fine tune Lois. For the most part, this Lois fits within the canon of the Superman Animated Series Pitch I wrote up a while ago, which is a whole 3 seasons mapped out. The new additions to it are pretty much the reason I wanted to do this. Like Busiek, I want to prove to myself that I can even write character romances even if I prefer the other. Busiek being the opposite to me, in that he prefers Lois and Clark but went on to write the best Superman Wonder Woman stories with Astro City.
Personality- In terms of attitude adjustment, it's really all about keeping the traits she has but in moderation. She wouldn't be so on all the time. I'd like her to be closer to something like Velma from Mystery Incorporated. She could hang with the guys, but it doesn't come off as overcompensating. Very mellow. That being said, having grown up in an Army Base, she can throw a punch and protect herself a bit.
Looks- She isn't this beautiful woman in the office as often depicted. When starting out, she's a gritty reporter and dresses more like Jessica Jones or the female version of Eddie Brock from Venom. She isn't all dolled up, but it doesn't mean she can't rock a dress if she has to, but only does it for important occasions or to work a man into giving her a story.
Social Life- I want this Lois to be more dedicated to her work to the point where it hinders everything else. She has trouble keeping a man. She's even dated Lex Luthor, but it didn't work out, but they both respect each other (of course at some point this relationship splinters after Superman comes to town). She has this frenemy relationship with Kat, where Kat constantly makes fun of her for not being able to keep a man and how "no mortal man is good enough for Lois Lane"
Intelligence- Lois has to find out Clark is Superman... PERIOD! Not told, she has to figure it out on her own. In the Pitch, I had a moment where Lois is so astute, she sees through Batman's mask of Bruce Wayne. What started out as a simple fluff piece interview about a charity, turned into a big investigation into how Bruce Wayne went from solitary Academic, into a socialite playboy after his journey.
Reporter- She takes being a reporter really seriously. And dedicates her life to it 110%. To the point where other parts of her life are falling apart. Not in a bad way, more comically. Like she forgets to pay rent and her apartment is a mess. We'd often see her spend long nights hunting a story and passing out at her desk the next morning to finish a story. Only reason Perry doesn't fire her for sleeping at her job is because she's a great reporter.
Values- As stated above, she loves journalism and wants to honor the tradition. She hates the toxic and shoddy journalism practices and tries to set a better example. She hopes to use Journalism to make the world a better place and loves to hit people with the hard truth. That being said, when she finds out Clark is Superman, she couldn't bring herself to break that story. She's loyal to her friends but will call you out when you need to be. One thing she learned from her years on a base, is that sometimes you need to take a bullet for a friend.
Clark- It's in stages. First she treats Clark as a rival since he breaks the Superman stories. Then when he starts working at the Daily Planet, the rivalry is still there but it become a friendly rivalry and they both respect each other. It's not love at first sight for either, but a romance does slowly form after months/years as friends.
I've written a massive 3 Season Arc for how I would do Superman, and I'd just pair him up with her. But if I'm being honest if Lois was written more subtle, I'd probably would be fine with her and a more traditional Superman. But on the flipside, I wouldn't be find with my Superman dating the mainstream take on Lois, since she bugs me. So yeah, fixing her fixes my problems with her
Cat- Frenemies. Lois works on the serious stories while Cat is on the celebrity side of the news. A very catty and contentious dynamic.
Perry White- He's not just her boss, but he's her hero and they develop a Father/Daughter relationship since Lois wasn't really close to her father. In my Pitch, Perry White dies and recommends Lois in his will to be the Editor. A job she always knew Perry wanted for her, but never took until that moment to honor him.
I don't know, tell me whether you agree or how wrong I am in the comments. How do you feel about Lois?