Thanks to a series of strange and unfortunate events (some involving me weeping on the floor of a server room–the less said, the better), our celebration is getting off to a bit of a late start. But don’t worry, we’ve got a week of awesome Lois Lane posts queued up, and a blog carnival to share with you.
When I was putting together this week’s guest posts, I asked my aunt, a Lois & Clark superfan, if she wanted to contribute something. She sent me this email:
Thanks for asking me about Lois. I’d just like to share with you that Lois always seemed to me not dumb about recognizing Clark but subversive. After the second world war, the American-British culture slammed women back into the box–housewife and mother, not career. The removal of options was brutal in its pervasive, unexamined invasion of women’s rights. Lois could work, and incidentally have a voice as a reporter, only as long as she was single. Why would she want to give that up? So as long as she “failed”–ie refused–to recognize her “super” man, she could continue to be a real person. Lois & Clark was great to me, because it recognized the cultural change that made it possible for Lois to see and acknowledge the whole man but still have her life. The most cultural troglodyte of my acquaintance at the time of Lois & Clark only liked the first year when Lois was unable to see both Clark and Superman. Some people work hard to not grow.
There is something more to Lois Lane, than being Superman’s girlfriend, or the archetypal plucky girl reporter. There is something more to her than her 75 year publishing history, or numerous screen and animated portrayals. She’s a character of tremendous cultural and personal significance for so many women, and we’re going to explore that, and celebrate it, this week.
(On the blog).
It’s so ironic (and amusing) to me when men who identify themselves as Superman fans engage in sexist, “putting women in their place” type behavior in regards to Lois Lane that is so far removed from the core of who Clark Kent is supposed to be that if he actually were a real person…you’d be on his shit list.
I mean he’s Clark….so he’d try to solve the problem with words and would forgive you for your behavior. That’s just who he is. (Or worse yet, he’d sick Lois on you and then you’d have no chance in hell cause she’d humiliate you far worse.)
But you’d be on his shit list. He wouldn’t like you.
SUPER-MAN. The meaning is literal. He’s supposed to be a man who is better than the average man in a world of patriarchy which means while you still live in a culture that encourages you to go on to your little tumblr and shit all over the efforts of women because it “bothered” you….he would be standing there totally and utterly embarrassed for you. The whole concept of a “SUPER-MAN” means he’s going to be more sensitive and more understanding and more enlightened about the meaning of true equality, worth and oppression than many men who great up in a culture that encouraged patriarchy. Particularly now in the year 2013.
And then you get some of these men who worship this character—-who idolize the very idea of a Super-man who truly understands oppression and equality and justice and love and then act in such a gross way about the very existance of human, flawed woman like Lois Lane that so misses the f***ing point that it’s incredible.
You sit there and you make these ignorant little arguments where you downplay her importance and career achievements in an unjust professional context, downplay what she means to women, call her plain, judge her age, judge her body, judge if she’s “hot” enough for him, judge his choice to not want to sleep around, judge if her vagina can be pounded hard enough for your male gaze liking during sex, judge her aggressive personality, call her a bitch, judge everything about her which usually boils down to a bunch of sexist, misogynist bullshit….and the irony of your behavior as you worship this “Super” man is so severe, so poignant that it smashes through like a sledgehammer.
You want to love the “SUPER-MAN” but you don’t even know what the f*** that means. Which is, I guess, why you aren’t him.
For Lois Lane’s 75th anniversary, please read this amazing piece by Dee Emm Elms. An excerpt:
Because Lois as a character is about one thing to me: that arrogance I mentioned at the start of this piece, and keep mentioning - but arrogance to a purpose, I came to realize at a relatively early age. It’s the arrogance of being right. Of telling the truth. Of being a good person. Of being able to stand with authoritative certainty that what you’re doing is the right thing to do - and being right. A lot of people talk about villains in comics thinking they’re doing the right thing in their actions. This is not the kind of certainty I am talking about with Lois.
I’m talking about the certainty that one is taking a stand on the right side of truth, on the right side of justice, on the right side of the American way. Armed with truth, legitimate ironclad journalistic integrity and the honest understanding of knowing the fundamental difference between the broadest issues of right and wrong.
That’s Lois to me. That’s what makes her work as a character. That’s what makes her strong. That’s what makes her powerful as a force of ideal good, and that’s what makes her dangerous to the forces of evil. She uses that arrogant, stalwart stance of absolute truth and authority to further herself and her ideals. One could say that Lex Luthor or Morgan Edge use those same tactics, yes - but the difference is that we as the reader know from the context of the story and the ideal nature of the character that Lois is correct. And that’s her power.
Read the rest here.
Celebrating 75 Years of Lois Lane (in May)
Action Comics #1 was released in June of 1938. It featured the debut of not only Clark Kent and Superman, but plucky, independent reporter Lois Lane. Love interest, competitor, sometime thorn in Clark’s side, and full time journalistic superhero, Lois has been an integral part of Action Comics, Superman, and the superhero mythos ever since.
In honour of the property’s 75th anniversary, Women Write About Comics is dedicating May 19-25 to a celebration of Lois Lane. 75 Years of Lois Lane will include essays, creator interviews, and a blog carnival featuring–we hope–you.
What’s a blog carnival, you ask? Basically it’s a giant blog crossover, where a bunch of people get together to share their views on a specific topic–in this case, a celebration and exploration of the long history of Lois Lane, and your relationship to the character. What we want to know is: what does Lois mean to you? The carnival is open to established bloggers and journalists, and especially to all fans. Just write, vlog, podcast, or comic, and get a link to us by the 19th. We’ll go live on WWAC with a master post on the 22nd, linking to all submissions.
It’s been awhile since we’ve run a blog carnival, and we hope you’re as excited about Lois 75 as we are!
Check out the carnival FAQ for more details on the mechanics, and our Back Issues for past carnivals.
Use #wwacomics and #lois75 to talk about the carnival on Twitter.
During today’s Gender through Comic Books online discussion with Mark Waid, a question arose about why there is not a Lois Lane comic. Mark Waid gave an intelligent, informed answer, that basically boiled down to “It would not sell.”
I totally respect Mr. Waid and think he is awesome, but I also think he is wrong. Dead wrong. Not just because of the immediate twitter discussion that sprung up, but because I think we are starting to see a trend of female characters holding their own in comics. So I figured why not look at some numbers and see what is up. All of these facts and figures are taken from amazing articles over at the ComicsBeat new site.
Batgirl is currently (as of February’s stats) DC’s #6 book in the direct market.
18 - BATGIRL
02/2010: Batgirl #7 — 29,524
02/2011: Batgirl #18 — 24,390
02/2012: Batgirl #6 — 53,151 (- 6.8%)
03/2012: Batgirl #7 — 50,761 (- 4.5%)
04/2012: Batgirl #8 — 48,878 (- 3.7%)
05/2012: Batgirl #9 — 58,710 (+ 20.1%)
06/2012: Batgirl #10 — 47,050 (- 19.9%)
07/2012: Batgirl #11 — 45,004 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Batgirl #12 — 43,804 (- 2.7%)
09/2012: Batgirl #0 — 50,441 (+ 15.2%)
10/2012: Batgirl #13 — 50,074 (- 0.7%) [71,109]
11/2012: Batgirl #14 — 77,468 (+ 54.7%)
12/2012: Batgirl #15 — 75,341 (- 2.8%)
01/2013: Batgirl #16 — 72,470 (- 3.8%)
02/2013: Batgirl #17 — 65,751 (- 9.6%)
6 months: + 50.1%
1 year : + 23.7%
2 years : +169.6%
Wonder Woman is selling at around #21 of their 52 main titles.54 - WONDER WOMAN 02/2008: Wonder Woman #17 -- 41,948 02/2009: Wonder Woman #29 -- 33,237 02/2010: Wonder Woman #41 -- 25,354 02/2011: Wonder Woman #607 -- 33,053 ------------------------------------- 02/2012: Wonder Woman #6 -- 54,190 (- 6.0%) 03/2012: Wonder Woman #7 -- 51,314 (- 5.3%) 04/2012: Wonder Woman #8 -- 50,450 (- 1.7%) 05/2012: Wonder Woman #9 -- 48,750 (- 3.4%) 06/2012: Wonder Woman #10 -- 47,229 (- 3.1%) 07/2012: Wonder Woman #11 -- 45,669 (- 3.3%) 08/2012: Wonder Woman #12 -- 44,584 (- 2.4%) 09/2012: Wonder Woman #0 -- 49,778 (+ 11.7%) 10/2012: Wonder Woman #13 -- 43,731 (- 12.2%) 11/2012: Wonder Woman #14 -- 42,384 (- 3.1%) 12/2012: Wonder Woman #15 -- 41,641 (- 1.8%) 01/2013: Wonder Woman #16 -- 40,105 (- 3.7%) 02/2013: Wonder Woman #17 -- 39,110 (- 2.5%) ----------------- 6 months: - 12.3% 1 year : - 27.8% 2 years : + 18.3% 5 years : - 6.8%
Supergirl is doing pretty good numbers consistently hanging out around 30,000 copies.
73 - SUPERGIRL
02/2008: Supergirl #26 — 34,186
02/2009: Supergirl #38 — 34,225
02/2010: Supergirl #50 — 33,338
02/2011: Supergirl #61 — 22,048
02/2012: Supergirl #6 — 38,719 (- 6.6%)
03/2012: Supergirl #7 — 37,041 (- 4.3%)
04/2012: Supergirl #8 — 36,042 (- 2.7%)
05/2012: Supergirl #9 — 35,129 (- 2.5%)
06/2012: Supergirl #10 — 33,309 (- 5.2%)
07/2012: Supergirl #11 — 31,879 (- 4.3%)
08/2012: Supergirl #12 — 30,420 (- 4.6%)
09/2012: Supergirl #0 — 34,457 (+ 13.3%)
10/2012: Supergirl #13 — 29,450 (- 14.5%)
11/2012: Supergirl #14 — 31,270 (+ 6.2%)
12/2012: Supergirl #15 — 30,814 (- 1.5%)
01/2013: Supergirl #16 — 30,350 (- 1.5%)
02/2013: Supergirl #17 — 30,146 (- 0.7%)
6 months: - 0.9%
1 year : - 22.1%
2 years : + 36.7%
5 years : - 11.8%
Birds of Prey currently lives around 22,000 copies
99 - BIRDS OF PREY
02/2008: Birds of Prey #115 — 23,157
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 — 21,424
02/2011: Birds of Prey #9 — 30,641
02/2012: Birds of Prey #6 — 30,376 (- 4.2%)
03/2012: Birds of Prey #7 — 29,196 (- 3.9%)
04/2012: Birds of Prey #8 — 28,661 (- 1.8%)
05/2012: Birds of Prey #9 — 41,521 (+ 44.9%)
06/2012: Birds of Prey #10 — 28,457 (- 31.5%)
07/2012: Birds of Prey #11 — 27,389 (- 3.8%)
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12 — 26,587 (- 2.9%)
09/2012: Birds of Prey #0 — 30,574 (+ 15.0%)
10/2012: Birds of Prey #13 — 25,851 (- 15.5%)
11/2012: Birds of Prey #14 — 24,904 (- 3.7%)
12/2012: Birds of Prey #15 — 24,026 (- 3.5%)
01/2013: Birds of Prey #16 — 23,182 (- 3.5%)
02/2013: Birds of Prey #17 — 22,112 (- 4.6%)
6 months: - 16.8%
1 year : - 27.2%
2 years : - 27.8%
5 years : - 4.5%
Now these may not be as spectacular as an X-men or Justice League book, but the thing to notice is that these books have an audience, and they are above DC’s cancel point which seems to be around 12000-16000 copies.
Plus and this I think is a real kicker. Lois Lane is much more well known in the mainstream than the Birds of Prey, SuperGirl or Batgirl. In the realm of comics fans she is at least as well known.
Now another argument I expect to hear is well she doesn’t have superpowers or she isn’t a superhero. Yes, that is correct, but that has not kept a whole plethora of books from selling. I think DC could benefit from having a high profile title on their line that isn’t about a superhero. Look at the popularity of television shows like The Closer. The popularity of movies like The Hunger Games. Men and Women who want to read about heroes who do the right thing despite a lack of superpowers are out there. They buy media that has these characters.
This year is the 75th anniversary of Lois Lane, plus she has a movie coming out this summer where she is played by megastar Amy Adams. Why not capitalize on that with a comic? It could really take off, or from the numbers at the very least sell around 20,000 copies a month. That is still better than the bottom 15 books in the New 52. Plus in a world where we have 4 Batman books and 3 Superman books plus a batman/superman book, I think there is some room to at least try out a Lois Lane book.
I didn’t really anticipate that I was going to write about this today but enough people are talking about it that it’s time to break it down.
There are some pretty serious and disturbing gender connotations to the way DC Comics is approaching the 75th anniversary of Superman. These gender connotations take on an even more insulting and personal complex when one understands that DC recently was granted the copyright from the Siegel family and understands the personal history that Jerry and his wife, Joanne Siegel (who was part of the inspiration for Lois) had with DC Comics.
There are only two characters known to the Superman mythos that appeared in Action #1 75 years ago: They are Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman himself. That’s it. She pre-dates Lex Luthor, Jonathan and Martha Kent, Supergirl, Superboy, the Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang and every other supporting player in the mythos. She pre-dates Jor-El and Lara and the S shield as we know it. She pre-dates the concept of “the kindly couple” finding Clark Kent. She pre-dates FLIGHT. Clark Kent had asked her out on a date before BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN even existed. Lois Lane was introduced as a career woman in 1938 when the idea of that would have been unheard of. Even moreso, she was introduced as a career woman who was, in fact, an object of desire despite her brash personalty and many character traits that, in their time (and even today) would have been associated with a male figure. And if you don’t understand why that’s a big deal…..then really need to consider the way we treat powerful career women in this country through mass media—-the way we deem them “un-sexy” and “cold” and un-feminine. So yes—-it’s a big deal that Lois Lane was allowed to be both hard-ass career woman AND the object of Superman’s (Super—as in “better” than your average sexist man’s) desire.
Lois was the first woman of comics. She was one of the first and only female love interests to be introduced with a JOB and her own ambitious career path. She was introduced as aggressive and ambitious in a landscape when the female love interest would have almost ALWAYS have been introduced as being a passive figure. If Lois was in danger it was because she ran INTO the fire. To understand WHY this was important you need to understand the history of feminism. Lois was not a passive damsel. She was not Sleeping Beauty waiting to be kissed. She had a job. She sometimes had a freaking MACHINE GUN. She was often in the middle of the action before Superman even got on the scene. As the AVclub.com first noted, “She was the first response and Superman was the cavalry.”
Let me be clear here: Every time you cheer a relationship in comics where the female in question is presented as strong and smart and ambitious——you are benefitting from Lois Lane existing.
Pepper Potts (who I love btw) being the CEO of Stark Industries? You wouldn’t HAVE that if Lois hadn’t already been there first. The very idea of Pepper Potts even showing up as Tony’s equal in the first Iron Man movie as a brilliant business woman hinged on the history of Lois and Clark already EXISTING for years on end in various forms of mass media—the very idea that a human woman without the privilege of physical power could be the the “one thing that I can’t live without” and the backbone for a MAN of great power whether that “power” came in the form of alien superpowers or a suit made of iron and wealth. This concept did not evolve overnight. It was 75 years in the making, people. And there was another comics’ couple that debuted in 1938 who did the legwork through years of sexism in our culture to get you here. Understand that. Understand the circle of feminism.
Mary Jane Watson (who I freaking love btw and has a legacy of her own) being written as a strong-willed love interest for Peter next to Gwen’s more “pleasing” personality at the time? You wouldn’t HAVE that if Lois hadn’t been there first. There was a template there to create a female partner for Spider-Man with fire in her personality who wouldn’t just nod and smile but would fight back. Again, this concept did not evolve overnight.
Every freaking sci-fi romance that you read now (and I’m not talking about Twilight who took the wrong lessons from Superman, I’m talking about the GOOD ones that took the RIGHT lessons about female power) you owe in some form to Lois Lane. The very idea that a heroine with the ambition and sharp tongue who was going to do things her way and only accept the best in love on the side like Elizabeth Bennett or Jo March could be juxtaposed into a SUPERHERO narrative—-you owe to Lois Lane.
There is serious, bad gender commentary that hinges and infects DC Comics’ choices right now with regards to this character. And if you don’t understand this or if you are one who tries to make excuses for it bc it doesn’t suit your interest to do so, then you are not understanding feminism or gender in the genre and you are an active contributor to the problem.
Lois Lane is a female character who is very hard to objectify. She is very hard to make male gaze. She is usually identified more by her job and her brain than by some physical factor which is why yes, she can be ANY race or have any color hair. She doesn’t exist to be a sex object or to be a male escape fantasy. The CW tried their damnest to objectify her with Erica Durance in the role and yet Durance was so conscious of Lois’s agency and power that she just refused to allow it to happen. The character is so strong-willed that it’s virtually impossible to strip her of agency. She’s always in control. She is very, very hard to objectify and that makes her poison for an industry and a company who really only cares about their female icons when they can exploit them for the male gaze in some capacity. (See the current treatment of Wonder Woman for an example on the way DC has taken a character who was designed to empower women and put her through the lens of the male gaze to instead make her a male power fantasy. DC can’t handle Wonder Woman as she is supposed to be written anymore than they can handle Lois Lane as she is. They just fake it better with Diana because Diana punches shit every once and a while for the cheap seats in the back which allows the company to pretend that they are empowering her even as they continue to devalue her.)
Lois Lane deserves a variant cover for the 75th anniversary of Superman celebration. Lex Luthor, a character who btw is not 75 years old, has not only not been featured in as many comics of media properties as Lois as…but it’s not even close. But he’s an important figure in Superman history. So if they want to feature him on a cover….fine. That’s great. But not at the expense of the feminist icon of the narrative. This comes on the heels of the new 52 where Lois has been continually downplayed, marginalized and shoved out of roles she has held in this mythos for 75 years.
Jim Lee apparently told a fan at Wonder Con today that they might consider putting Lois on a cover “with Perry White and Jimmy Olsen.” So they want to shove the only other character from Action #1 and the DEBUT FEMALE CHARACTER OF THE DCU on a cover with two supporting MALE characters who debuted years after she did. They want to do what many, many employers and companies across media do daily to women: they want to downplay the contributions of the female player by forcing her to share space with two men who are nowhere near as important to downplay her power.
There was a WOMAN who debuted in Action Comics #1. And she was wearing a business suit. She had a JOB in the Great Depression. She had her own comic book for years on end that outsold Batman at one point. She endured years of sexism as women were shoved back into their traditional gender roles after World War 2. She endured terrible sexism at the hands of male creators only to rise from the ashes again in the Bronze Age through the Modern Age as the powerful career woman she was intended to be. She has been in more media properties than any other female character in the DCU roster. She headlined a TV show watched by 20 million people—-many of whom were women.
Oh yeah…and in the ultimate recognition that career women were allowed to CHOOSE their own paths she was married to f***ing Superman on and off in various continuities (including the MAIN DCU CANON) for 30+ years. She was the mother of his child in-canon both biologically and in an adopted capacity depending on what era you were in. So with all due respect, this stunt with Wonder Woman should go burn in the insulting hell fire from which it was spawned. Let’s just hope that the two feminist icons that DC offered up as sacrifices survive the burns from those assanine flames.
There was a woman in Action Comics #1 and she was an icon for millions of women who grew up seeing her on television and in comic books. So ask yourselves why DC Comics is now trying to erase the influence of the first woman of comics and more importantly, ask yourselves if it wouldn’t just be easier for Dan Didio and Jim Lee to just openly spit on Jerry and Joanne Siegels’ graves.
You claim to care about sexism in comics? Got news for you…THIS is sexism in comics at play. This is the attempted erasure of a feminine icon on her 75th anniversary. It’s not right. It’s not fair. And it shouldn’t be something that ANYONE who claims to care about women or gender in comics has tolerance for.
As usual during these tournaments, I requested guest posts to provide the case for why the finalists for in the matches to decide your favorite DC couple should win today. Here’s the post I received for Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman. I had no volunteers for Dick and Babs so I’ll link later to one written two years ago.
This essay is by reader Amelia Faulks. Her thoughts follow.
At its very heart, at its very core, this is a story about one of the greatest double acts in popular culture. It’s a story about friendship, loyalty, love. It’s a story about contrasts and similarities, and a relationship that while currently marginalized, sidelined, and largely absent from the New 52- in a way that fundamentally damages the Superman mythos- has stood the test of time. But enough yabbering about Jimmy and Perry; I’m here to talk about Lois and Clark.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe how it feels to be a woman and watch a female character you love and respect be brutalized, tortured or raped. It’s not as though this is a new phenomenon. Women have been brutalized in comics - hell, in all kinds of media - as a plot device for a very long time. It’s so common that it’s a trope: “Women in refrigerators”, used to describe when a female character is brutally killed or sexually assaulted, often purely in order to give a male character the motivation to do something “extreme”.
Still, there’s something about coming across it once again being perpetrated on a widely-known and beloved character that makes me sick to my stomach.
I want to talk about this.
But at the same time, I don’t. I don’t want to give any relevance to it.
It’s insulting, really. And I can already feel a blood pressure spike in just typing about it. I’m generally pretty passé on things when it comes to characters I’m invested in. That’s why I don’t get too up-in-arms over the new 52. Lord knows there have been several incarnations I haven’t cared for since I started reading comics as a kid. It’s cyclical. It’ll come back around and something will be stellar again, it’ll just take time to get there. Always does. So I’m usually patient, and silent. When someone asks me what I think of New52, I just smile, nod my head, and say “I’m not really their demographic anymore. But I will be again someday.” And I’m fine with being patient. There’s still plenty of Superman to love. Smallville Season 11 and the recently axed Superman Family Adventures were nice escapes. There’s a new movie coming out in less than five months. And there’s a whole history to enjoy that doesn’t force me to be a part of the new régime. And let me preface the rest of this by saying, I don’t *hate* Action Comics or the running Superman title. They’re just not for me. I supported the titles, buying the first five or six issues of each and giving them a chance, but that was that for me. If I see or hear of something coming that will spike my interest, I’ll pick it up. But right now, that hasn’t happened and nothing I’ve heard of coming down the pipeline in the future didn’t interest me so, really all the new 52 has done is save me some money. I don’t get angry over it, there’s no point. They are going to do what they want to do, everyone has an opinion, I’d just rather not pick up the titles if I don’t care about what’s happening. It’s not the first time I’ve done that and it won’t be the last in any incarnation of Superman. There’s plenty of stuff I haven’t liked in the past, and plenty I won’t like in the future.
[I make no bones about the fact I’d love to write for the character. I’ve tried. Pitched. Been asked to do some rewrites. All fallen through. It’s really all that I hope that I get to accomplish one day. I’ve gotten close, and close is good. But I want it to happen for real and hopefully it will one day. That being said, none of this is written out of jealousy or my being bitter. I’m free to not care for something as a fan, and that isn’t fanboy-bashing or immature criticism. I’m old enough to appreciate things for what they are without taking to the Internet to write diatribes/troll people for their beliefs. I despise drama. I don’t go looking for it. If I don’t care for something, that’s that. No need for an essay on the matter to sway people my direction, whether or not someone else’s opinion is right or wrong. But these are special circumstances.]
Injustice: Gods Among Us. “Well, at least it’s only a game.” I can get by saying. I’m not a huge gamer. Give me the Lego version of something and you’ll keep me content. I never finished Arkham Asylum or City. I just don’t have the attention level to keep me still for that long. ADD all the way. I wouldn’t have played the game whether or not these digital comic prequels had been released. But now that they have been…
…When I don’t care for an incarnation of Superman, I usually satisfy myself by saying, “Oh. Well. That just wasn’t written for me. That’s someone else’s Superman.” And that’s GREAT. Totally fine. Different people have different Supermen. Whether it’s an actor portraying it or a writer defining it, people are allowed to have different likes and dislikes for an iconic character that’s 70 years old.
What you aren’t allowed to do, is tarnish. There’s a difference between something you dislike, that just isn’t your style, and just not bothering to pick it up - and something that you feel so strongly against on every level that makes you actually like the status quo of the way things are right now. I have not paid for a single one of these titles. Call it a boycott, or a stand. I don’t care. My $0.99 per three issues isn’t going to amount to a single line-item change in DC’s profits. I’ve read enough to know I don’t want it in my hands.
Now, I’ve got nothing against the team on this. Tom Taylor is a good guy. He gets it. He’s up against a wall. Honestly, I have to ask myself how I’d be in that position.
DC: Hey Derek! We know you’ve wanted to do it for years - here’s your shot. Your own weekly digital title. You game?
Derek: Does one ring rule them all?! Sign me up!
DC: Great. We’ll get all the paperwork over to you. Go ahead and get us an outline together of a story where Superman and Lois are pregnant.
Derek: I would LOVE that!
DC: Cool. Cool cool cool. It’s a prequel series for this game we’re going release in 2Q 2013.
Derek: A video game of Lois and Clark having a kid?
DC: Oh HELL no. You gotta kill her off in like the most grisly way possible, then Superman gets mad. Like fireants at a picnic everyday for the rest of your life mad. Then shit gets crazy.
Derek: Uh huh. Um…
Honestly, I don’t know what I’d say. I get what I want, but by their rules? Well, that’s just business. Anyone’s going to tell you that. Creator controlled content is scarce these days. I’d like to tell you my morals would kick in, and I would say no. Honestly, would I want my mother reading this? My daughter? Not really. But…COULD I say no? None of this is really the point but as a reader, as a writer, I HAVE to consider it when I get frustrated by it. I have to be unbiased, whether or not I agree with it.
What I don’t have to be unbiased about is something that would totally tear the fabric of what I love away. This is just wrong. As one of my closest friends [president of our local SAFE chapter, and a female reporter, to boot] put it: “just what we need. the world’s greatest superhero, beating the shit out of a woman. his wife. and his child she’s pregnant with. great.”
The tide may turn and we may see this was all a ploy or something. You beat the game when it comes out and none of this really happened. Superman turns the Earth back on its axis and makes it all go bye-bye. And great, if that happens. But this still happened. I still had to see panels where Superman battles Doomsday!Lois and carries her off into space just to hear the heartbeats of her and their child stop.
No. Absolutely not. Not even from a sexist point of view, not from a brutality/domestic abuse point of view, not even from a comics/make-believe point of view…from a HUMANITY point of view. For the sake of morality. It’s wrong. Don’t even bother getting into the argument of a man beating up a woman, it’s wrong on ten different levels BEFORE you have to get to that argument. Don’t tell me it’s a story. It didn’t have to be written. Don’t tell me to not read it. I didn’t read it. I didn’t pay a dime for it. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I don’t go down to the bad part of town and watch a guy hit his girlfriend either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
I’m not a damn fanboy. I’m just a fan. Have been my whole life. I don’t get on my horse often. Not a lot pushes me to that point. But if I feel strongly enough about something to point a finger at DC and say, “No.” then it definitely means that something. is. wrong. I’m fine with saying something is not for me and moving along but this is something that’s not for anyone. It exists purely because it exists. To hype a video game release in April. To set in motion something SO big it would make these characters, friends, tear each other to shreds over battle lines.
Release the game. Make up any number of other reasons why they have to fight. But do not do something so grim that people actually have to question your morals over it. If they have to, you already messed up. I sincerely hope that what has been done will be undone, over the course of the digital series or in the game itself but it still was a grisly way to die for Lois Lane. A character who was already getting treated badly enough without this embarrassment.
As a fan. As a writer. I’m embarrassed.
Sufficed to say, I’m a fan of the original. That said, if anyone needs to know how integral to Superman she is, and why, then these podcasts are for you: