New Year, Same Ole Song
A Lois-less week in the comics. Yes, I know she’s not the ‘main’ character in the mythology but apparently Clark Kent isn’t either. No Lois Lane or Clark Kent in Superman 15, Superman Family Adventures 8 or Smallville Season 11 #28, Effigy. What a let down after Geoff Johns put Lois in the first two issues of his Throne of Atlantis crossover.
DC Comics seems to be pulling another WONK or Grounded during this fauxmance phase. Superman is alienated so his human aspect is to be ignored. Has Clark even done a blog/newspaper story since Superman #1?
In the narrative boxes of Superman #14, we found out Lois has won a Pulitzer – how & why? That five year gap is very convenient for tossing bricks into, but DC is not building anything with them. And in so doing, we have no foundation for new readers or loyal readers to know who these new 52 characters are. Villains we have by the boatload, but knowing the main characters . . . not so much.
Pardon me, but I’m a bit of a wing nut regarding this next topic: Where in the hell are the results of the 2nd Nielsen survey done six months ago? The reason I keep harping on this is because I want to know if the results were different than what DC Comics publishing perceived as their target audience (males 14 to 34 years old)? Why is that important? Because if DC misunderstood their audience and they write stories through a male gaze for a male focus group then sales are going to fall. In other words if there are more females (> perceived 7% or 1st electronic survey 20%) reading their comics, they are not going to appreciate what is being done to female characters or to their favorite male characters if DC is making them a douche.
Case in point: Wonder Woman in the bullship. Diana is kickass Wonder Woman in her own book even though she is confronted by male subplots at every turn. BUT in Justice League and Superman, because of the fauxmance, she doesn’t know herself and she follows Superman’s lead. This alliance is doing nothing for her character development. In Justice League & Aquaman #15s she defers to Superman in defying Batman or the rest of the League. Since she’s confessed to not knowing her own mind, this is a problem. Wonder Woman is better than that. She doesn’t deserve her only line in Superman #15 to be asking Superman if he called them (her) while the guys strategize about the situation. Really? That’s what you’ve reduced her to – arm candy for Superman? She wants to call him beloved . . . two kisses and a pair of glasses and she’s totally enamored? How far did he put his tongue down her throat? Is this DC editorial’s way of blaming Diana for the bullship like they blame Clark’s despondency in Superman #1 on Lois? See what a male gaze does to female characters?
Superman and Lois Lane’s legendary love story has been put on hold since the reboot because of the planned fauxmance. So Lois has not been investigating on her own. She had one appearance in Superboy #1 but that was dropped. She made another appearance in Batgirl, but not sure what that was about. And now Clark is accusing her of selling out her integrity for cover ‘puff pieces’ as an television producer. This is in Lobdell’s Superman. In Justice League, Lois appears to be reporting with Jimmy Olsen in the present timeline. So which is it? If fans have to have the bullship in both books shouldn’t Lois’ position at the Daily Planet be clear? Is she back to reporting or is she a sell out producer in the new media division? And how in the hell did she get off that roof in the rain? She can save herself and probably had to with the power twins completely deaf to what Vulko was telling them. At least readers can count on Geoff Johns’ Lois – always to be Lois.
Scott Lobdell gave interviews this week about his H’El on Earth crossover with the other Super books (except Action) . He said that Lois is her own person. Lois is Lois, but none of the writers have shown us Lois hard-news investigating. In recent Superman issues, we’ve seen she is moving in with her ‘place holder for Clark’ boyfriend. So it’s about her boyfriend and not Lois being an independent, intrepid reporter. That’s not being her own person. Next time we’ll see Lois, apparently, is when she has a housewarming party – at her apartment. Clark will be there, but the visit will get interrupted – remember he can’t spend 5 minutes with Lois without the obligatory interruptus. He can pump iron in the middle of the Earth for 5 days and not do any reporting – but once he gets into a panel with Lois, it’s am-scray. So predictable and boring. It’s the ‘Anyone But Lois’ show again. Where is the legendary love story? It has served the mythology well for 75 years. And if DC has a larger female audience than previously perceived, could mean a rise in sales if they wrote it — but, but . . . they’ve had this love triangle crap in their heads for 2 years . . . it’s going to be a lonnnnnngggg collllldddddd winter. And may not get better in the Spring when the 75th anniversary of Superman happens. Or the Summer when Man of Steel debuts. Sounds a little hopeless, huh. *sigh* I have no faith in the current administration of DC Comics where Superman is concerned.
Andy Diggle expressed a desire to write Lois Lane, but if editorial says no, then his hands are tied. Lobdell appears to be placing Cat Grant into the fray of Clark’s ‘women’. Scott Snyder’s yet-unnamed-title . . . I’m not sure about this one. He said Lois would be in the feature, but that was after a fan (Chris) asked him why he didn’t mention her. He’s mentioned Lana quite a bit – so expect Clark to have yet another female distraction.
So far Johns and Lobdell have written Lois as Lois. She’s about the only character fans can grab onto during this bullship mess. Because of this very bad editorial idea, icons are going to get damaged. Johns knows this. And maybe that’s the reason Lobdell said Superman is going to be too busy (1.5 hour battle & multiple crossovers) to have his alliance with Wonder Woman in the Superman book. In fact, the narrative box Lobdell put in Superman 15 regarding the fauxmance seemed to up the stakes from Justice League, but Scott did say in the interview that it is the same relationship as JL. Better to let Johns handle it. Having multiple writers would be a catastrophe – this is intricate storytelling – like trying to disarm a bomb. Since the Trinity War was born in books with Justice League in the title, let Johns handle it. It’s all about damage control. We’re talking multi-million dollar, multimedia properties. Ones that a corporation depends on to be successful in future ventures. Damage those and heads will roll.
Action Comics – Grant Morrison still has two issues left at this writing. In #16 next week, Superman battles the corporate Superman, Superdoom (Action #9). Let’s hope Clark kicks his ass for twisting a successful, viable mythology into a alienated, angsty, no heart or soul villain. I’m kind of liking these ‘behind the scenes’ storylines. Lord Vyndktvx – who is that in real life? I am hoping Mxy comes back to set it all straight. He is my favorite villain. Not Lex Luthor or Zod . . . gimme Mxy. Why, you may ask? Because like Superman, Mxy is a powerful being (probably the most powerful in the universe) and yet his thing is messing with Superman – and Superman gives as good as he gets. It’s fun. Something sorely lacking in the new 52. After issue #17 (Morrison’s last) maybe we’ll be able to see what the past 18 issues have been about. No real character foundation – and there’s still the five year gap that has miscellaneous bricks in it. When DC wants to do the legendary love (Clark and Lois), then we might get a glimpse of what’s in there. Big maybe with the current administration.
I am still in the foxhole waiting for it all to blow over . Like it says in the song . . . Somebody saaavvvveeee meeee. I’m a Superman fan with a pocketful of money that DC Comics doesn’t want. Oh, I forgot . . . I’m female.
Oh yea, my other favorite topic:
When in the hell is the Trinity War so this bullshit can end???
Join us this Sunday on G2Factor as we discuss Superman Family Adventures #8, Smallville Season 11 #28 Effigy and Superman #15.