Editorial: The Kiss Seen Around the World
When I’m at work, I sometimes get too wrapped up in what I’m doing to look at all the fan sites and see what’s going on in our world of geekdom. There are times I make it to MSN or Yahoo News to get some info as to what’s going on out there, and sure enough there’s something from our corner sitting there waiting on discovery. In this case; comic book news! It seems that every time I turn around they’re reporting a character’s death, or some new storyline about to be (or has been) put into the pages. This time around, the Associated Press caught Superman kissing Wonder Woman on the cover of Justice League #12 and much like everything they report, they made it a REALLY big deal.
I’m sure you’re curious as to why I’m not tossing some sort of viscous bile at the site, talking about how wrong it is to rip asunder the relationship that was Lois and Clark. In truth, there is a part of me that does feel like I should be giving a hate-filled letter to the writers and runners of DC for this. This is the part that read the Death of Superman and stuck with the character through a lot of ups and downs. A part that saw Lois Lane as something more than the sum of the stereotypes that have plagued the character for years. To non-fans of the books, this must seem like an everyday affair. Not my Lois Lane. My Lois Lane was the one that looked Perry White in the eye and said that she never got into anything that she couldn’t get herself out of. The way she was written, I believed it! That’s the Lois I know and fell for as a reader.
The other part of me is looking at the gimmick that I knew was coming. This New 52 DCU is filled with them, and this wasn’t unexpected in any shape or form. Let’s face it, if Superman were to end up with any other woman in the long line of women in the DCU; Wonder Woman is the obvious choice. Honestly, I don’t know a thing about THIS Wonder Woman, besides the fact she’s now the direct daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. I can’t really tell you what her personality is besides what little I’ve gleaned. Superman, on the other hand, I’ve heard a lot about. He’s without the Kents and no Lois influencing his life past being coworkers. It says that the human perspective is out and someone like Diana is far more attractive as he’s one of the most powerful men in the DCU (if not THE most powerful), and she’s a demigod. It puts a spin that makes me a little more than uncomfortable reading. Luckily, I’m not.
It’s a fact that this isn’t the first time that this has happened. There was an issue of Action Comics devoted to a date between Superman and Wonder Woman. Issue #600 told this interesting story of the two’s first date and how awkward it became. Then to make it even better, the two end up fighting Darkseid in Olympus. The story sent out that nod to fans that have always wanted to see this, but in the end the powerful couple would walk away friends and Clark would inevitably end up with Lois.
In Kingdom Come, a story about a dystopian future about to push itself towards Judgment Day, Clark and Diana found themselves together. To push this even further, Diana was pregnant with Clark’s child. It should also be pointed out that this was an Elseworld’s story. This meant a story that didn’t really happen within the confines of continuity. However, Kingdom Come was so popular that many writers tried their best to weave elements from it into the fabric of the DCU. Many others tried to steer clear of its influence, because it would lead to places that comic writers would inevitably have to go. Meaning that Superman would have been faced with the death of his Daily Planet colleagues at the hands of the Joker. He would eventually face down with one of the main antagonists of the story; Magog. A character who makes the Punisher look like the Prankster. Wonder Woman would’ve become far more violent after she was stripped of her title by the Amazons, because she was deemed changed by her mission instead of changing the world. Batman would be in a metal frame that was welded to his bones. This is due to the abuse he put up with in his tenure as the bat. He would sit in the cave a lead a team of others towards goals to stem the tide of evil. He also employed a series of Bat-mechs. There are so many others to talk about, but the crux of this story is that circumstances surrounding years of history made the characters who they were and why in the end Diana and Clark found one another. They needed each other in a very bad way after all the horrors and pain they had suffered.
And one more, which I’ve never read, happened in Frank Miller’s TDKR sequel; the Dark Knight Strikes Again.
So what’s the point of it all? The point is really this, I don’t think things like this should be made that big a deal. In the New 52, anything is possible and they prove it time and again. Johns, Lee, and DiDio have a special place of dishonor on my list because they can’t seem to understand what made these characters great in the first place. Many have said that a lot of DC’s stable of characters were too old fashioned. To quote Agent Coulson from the Avengers:
The world could use a little old fashioned.
The point of books, comics or otherwise, isn’t just to scare the hell out of you or see how much gore you can put on the page. The best stories, at least to me and a host of others, are the ones where the hero inspires us. Where the most powerful of beings shows some truth in humanity. An idea worth fighting for. When I speak of Clark Kent, I always think Lois Lane. The two are synonymous with each other, just like Romeo & Juliet. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wonder Woman a great deal (the version from the Post-one and ONLY-Crisis). I think that given the back story I’m most familiar with, I wouldn’t mind seeing where they went. She understands Clark in a way that only Lois and the Kents ever could. However, I’ll also never forget that for as long as Lois Lane was still breathing, Diana would see that her friend would always be there for his love.
For now, chalk another one up to the uninspired writing of the current DC staff.