Comics Daily – Superman Lois and Clark No. 8 – There is a certain satisfaction this comic gives me. Almost a smugness. It isn’t earned. I’m not in comics. I’ve never sat down with a writer or editor and explained my take on plenty of heroes. However I have heard lots of people (not just whiny internet trolls but comic book professionals) talk about how certain characters have a certain arc. They exists as a brand or icon or thing. That because there are pajamas and action figures and coloring books with their names on them that those characters can’t evolve. I’ve never liked that idea. Comic books aren’t exactly high art. There is an element to the IP that has to keep it recognizable. However that doesn’t mean the character has to stay the same.
For as long as I’ve been reading comics it seems like people haven’t known what to do with Superman. They killed him. The married him. Then gave him new powers. The most interesting thing I’ve read him do is take down DC’s faux The Authority and asserting what exactly a superhero is about.
I’ve come to think of Superman as a big brother. He isn’t your dad. He doesn’t have all the wisdom of a full life time. He isn’t there to answer your questions. He isn’t Jesus here to answer your prayers. He isn’t me. He a guy like me. Yes he is a superhero. No he isn’t one that is overpowered. He isn’t full of angst. He is a good guy. He was raised well by two good parents. His conflict comes from knowing how to use the tremendous power he has. He isn’t dark or brooding (that is the other guy). He is the guy that can keep us from getting bullied. Knowing he is around makes the people of Metropolis feel like the bad guys aren’t winning. They have their personal struggles. The world is hard, but there is at least one good thing in it. Superman is flying around and if they’re decent, he is on their side. That is who Superman is.
And now he is a dad. Making him a dad makes way more sense than killing Ma and Pa Kent and making Clark a fireman. He died. You can’t play that card again. He is married and Superman can’t get a divorce also Superman can’t court anyone buy Lois Lane. It feels weird otherwise (although something about the New 52 Wonder Woman relationship clicked well). You can give him new powers or a new costume but you do have to come back to that image that goes on birthday cakes.
Making Clark Kent a dad and a family man is more significant character development than he has had since he died. The four issues of this comic that I have read have been great. I am psyched for this Rebirth Superman. It seems like I always want to like Superman more than I end up. Lets see what happens this time around.