If you remember the Clark Kent of yore, he pretty much always had that hang-dog sort of "love at a distance" thing going on with Lois Lane. While as Superman he was not adverse to taking her to a trip to his Fortress of Solitude and other such delights (for purely journalistic reasons, you understand), Clark was always the mild-mannered friend/colleague/lap-dog of Lois.
But not in "Superman" #14, which hits stores today. No, in this issue Clark basically confronts Lois about another guy she's seeing and notes: "he seems like your random booty call."
Yes, I can see how this, in terms of the mighty and long-lived "Superman" mythos, is sort of tantamount to "sacrilege." But between this and a young Clark basically getting the "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" sex-talk from his adoptive father in "Superman Earth One Vol. 2," we're certainly not dealing with our parents' Superman anymore.
Depending on how you look at it, a jealous Clark spying on Lois's phone to find out more about said "booty calls" could be seen as stalkerish, or maybe just "romantically proactive" in a sort of violation of privacy sort of way. Ironically, Superman's Justice League co-member Batman also recently "spied" on him and Wonder Woman.
Is this all a reflection of the society in which we live, where "stalking" can be as easy as using Facebook or Foursquare and TMZ had to deny reports that they were buying drones to spy on celebrities? Or should our superheroes "know better"?
At any rate, Clark's jealousy over Lois's new relationship seems rather "enh," considering that he has been (and we're assuming here) "doing it" with Wonder Woman.
Which brings up another bugaboo that's riling up fans lately: the very fact that Superman and Lois are not currently an item. The pairing ("Man of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex" notwithstanding) are pretty much sacrosanct, as well as the character of Lois herself. We have Clark "sort of" dating another woman in the "Superman Earth One" graphic novel, and conducting a rather high-profile relationship with Wonder Woman. Is all of this, as some critics have said, "disrespectful" of Lois Lane?
Or is this more the natural "arc" of how relationships work, with people perhaps having several partners before settling down?
"Superman" #14 remains a very contentious issue. In some ways, it's shocking and almost refreshing to see Clark Kent speak up and demand to know where his friendship/relationship is going. On the other hand, he really shows his "human" side in a sort of lame way by using his powers to spy on the lovelife of the the love of his life -- as well as being hypocritical when he himself is involved with someone else.
And in the end, is that what really bothers some readers about this issue? Maybe it's too realistic? It takes both Clark and Lois off an infalible pedestal where their relationship is ideal and fated? Does it show off flaws on both sides that sort of takes the shine off the iconic quality of the duo? Was having both a strong Super-Man with a meek Clark side who would take any sort of disregard or command (and go back to some of your earlier Superman comics to see that in action) sort of an attractive fantasy boyfriend that has now been shattered here?
One thing is for sure: Clark and Lois, they've got issues (and I don't mean the comic book kind).
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