Farewell Mr. & Mrs. Kent: “Just Remember….No Matter What Happens…I’ll Always Love You. ALWAYS.”
Farewell Mr. & Mrs. Kent: “Just Remember….No Matter What Happens…I’ll Always Love You. ALWAYS.”
In rebuilding their comics for the new 52, DC made a number of decisions that were applauded by readers and a number that were upsetting to readers. One of those decisions was to erase the marriage of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. With the debut of Action Comics #1 next week and Superman later this month DC begins its new set of Superman stories where Lois and Clark are single. Here is a tribute and farewell to the Kent/Lane marriage by one of my favorite readers, Mary. I hope you enjoy it. Her thoughts start below.
Next week, DC Comics will welcome the new Action Comics #1. This new origin story will bring sweeping changes to the Superman mythos as we start the Last Son of Krypton’s story over again for a new generation. Renewed passion for the character and the desire to celebrate Superman is exciting; however, change can be emotional and difficult particularly when it comes with the added blow of losing things that are dear to us.
It’s been a difficult and emotional time to be a fan of the Lane/Kent marriage. It’s been more than difficult to watch the way the marriage has been handled in the press surrounding the relaunch. The purpose of this article is not to rehash these arguments again nor to criticize the way this issue has been handled. The purpose of this essay is to say farewell to Clark Kent and his wife, Lois Lane-Kent and to pay tribute to what they meant to each other and what their marriage meant to those who loved them.
However, just so there is absolutely no confusion let’s just clear this up once and for all: The marriage of Clark Kent and Lois Lane in the modern comics was not a stunt that only occurred because of the hit ABC television series, “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” Clark Kent and Lois Lane were engaged in the comics before the television show went into production.
The marriage in the comics was stalled because of the television show and the famous and beloved “Death of Superman” arc was born as a stalling mechanism to give the television series time to catch up to the comics. It was not the other way around. Had it not been for the television series, Lois and Clark would have been married longer in the modern comics. As it stands, they were committed to each other for over 20 years in the modern canon. The idea that Lois and Clark would be committed and married and would evolve past the Triangle For 2 was not a new concept as the Golden Age Clark and Lois had already been married in 1978 on Earth-2. That doesn’t even touch all of the famous stories such as ”Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” that concluded with Clark and Lois married (with a child with superpowers) and it doesn’t touch the countless Silver Age stories in Lois’s own comic book that featured Superman and Lois married—stories that today should be considered extremely sexist and inappropriate but which were very popular in their day.
The modern marriage of Superman and Lois Lane was a love story that developed maturely and organically in a narrative that was finally free from the confines of sexism and was finally allowed to progress rather than remain stagnant. It bravely and boldly took two iconic lovers who had been been trapped in a seemingly endless tortured passion for each other for decades and dared to allow them to grow. On the surface, Lois and Clark appeared to be polar opposites. And in some ways they were. Clark Kent was a mild mannered farm boy, talented reporter and a super powered hero with godlike abilities. He was both gentle and strong. Beautiful and humble. Funny and serious. He fell hard for the determined reporter, Lois Lane—a woman with a knack for getting into trouble. Much like Clark…Lois is also a study of opposites. She is both driven and sensitive. She can be stubborn and abrasive; however, she can also be extremely heartfelt and kind. She is utterly flawed; yet, loving and compassionate. She’s the diamond in the rough. However, underneath some of these differences, Lois and Clark shared similar values and morals that brought them together. They believed in truth and justice and were willing to fight for these things without hesitation in their own unique ways. They never stopped believing in the good in humanity—-or in each other.
Lois and Clark were work partners and life partners. Their connection encompassed levels of competition, rivalry, friendship and sexuality all at once. In times of tragedy, they held each other emotionally high about the clouds…savoring the feeling of being together and lamenting the time that they had to spend apart. They passionately made love. (Make no mistake, there was sex in this marriage and it was good for both parties.) In times of confusion, they sat on top of the Daily Planet roof with the city below them just to talk. They were sarcastic, playful and hopelessly romantic.
They survived Clark’s literal death and resurrection. They survived relentless attacks from every villain imaginable. They survived public attacks on Superman and public scrutiny of the nature of the relationship of the Man of Steel and the famous reporter. They survived deals with Lex Luthor and the interference of former flames. They survived Superman being trapped for 1,000 years with his dear friend, Wonder Woman, and in the words of Diana if he had died in that battle it would have been with Lois’s “name on his lips.” They survived the attack of the Parasite, trickery and kidnapping. They survived mind control and Maxwell Lord. They survived Manchester Black attempting to use Lois to push Superman into violence. They endured when Lois was shot in a war torn country and gasping for life.
They had a child named Chris and they loved him deeply—-then they endured the pain of losing him much too soon. Like many couples, they survived the death of parents and loved ones. When Clark Kent broke down after Jonathan Kent’s funeral it was his wife who comforted him. They survived even when Superman was forced to renounce their marriage and spend a year on New Krypton. Even millions of miles away, Superman’s heart still belonged to “Ms. Lane” and she belonged to him. In a world where I can’t turn on my television without seeing another famous celebrity or political figure engaged in a sex scandal…there was Lois and Clark. In a genre that has suffered all too often from disposable love interests—-a world where women often come and go never to be heard from again—-their love stood the test of time.
In the real world, couples aren’t forced to fight literal monsters like Doomsday but the challenge of staying together when the odds seem to be stacked against you is very real. It’s the hidden reality for millions of people in this world who don’t make the headlines because of deceit or cheating or scandal. Because you see…beyond the statistics about divorce and the headlines about infidelity…there is another untold story in our world. It’s a story about people who wake up every morning and choose to stay together even through difficult circumstances—-people who stand by each other through the worst recessions, through the insecurity and pain of unemployment, or the debilitating effects of cancer or illness. There are people who have watched their spouse or significant other leave to go to Iraq or Afghanistan not knowing if they will ever come back; yet, finding the courage within themselves to make that incredible and selfless sacrifice to serve others because they believe it’s the right thing to do. There are people like Jerry and Joanne Siegel (the original inspiration for Lois Lane) who stayed together through periods of poverty and remained together until they were parted by death. There are people like Christopher and Dana Reeve who stayed by each other’s sides through paralysis and serious illness until the very end.
You see there are those who remain cynical that this kind of connection can truly exist between two people. There are those who would suggest that the very idea of “true love” is a fantasy or childish and that the very idea of finding one person who is “the one” for you doesn’t actually happen in this world. There are those who would claim that this type of commitment is not relatable. There are those who would claim that the decision to get married or commit to another person is “the end” of a story and fail to recognize that it’s actually a new beginning filled with new challenges, natural tension and new dreams that we work to fulfill. Then there are those of us—no matter our gender, race or sexual orientation— who wake up every single day and prove those cynics wrong. We’ve seen it in our parents, grandparents or in our close friends. Or maybe we see it in the person that we are lucky enough to wake up next to every morning. We’ve watched people we love make the difficult decision to stay together even through times of tragedy and we’ve watched the incredible strength that it takes to choose to remain loyal and true to each other rather than to give in to fear.
In a world full of cynicism about the very nature of love, Superman—-the hero who is supposed to be our greatest symbol of hope——was a man who was sending a different message about what it meant to love and be loved in return. Clark and Lois chose love over fear. They chose to stay as opposed to giving in when it got tough. They chose to believe in each other rather than run away even though the deck was often stacked against them. They chose to stay together even when the circumstances proved difficult or tragic or frightening or even downright impossible.
In the famous words of Greg Rucka, Clark and Lois chose to “live in hope” while others lived in fear.
They lived in hope that they would find their way back to each other in times of peril. They lived in hope that they would find a way to have a child even though it seemed impossible. They never lost sight of the hope that Superman brought to the world and they worked together in a constant fight for truth and justice. Paul Cornell gave Lois and Clark a particularly thoughtful and beautiful farewell in Action Comics #904. He reminded everyone that in a world full of doubt and pain, Lois understood the heart and soul of Superman in a way that sometimes even Clark himself, through his humility, couldn’t see.
Other thoughtful writers such as Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Joe Kelly, Kurt Busiek, Chris Roberson and Jeph Loeb deserve special kudos for taking the time to write Lois and Clark’s marriage with respect and dignity over the years. At the end of the day, the love story of Superman and Lois Lane is about learning to see someone for who they truly are. It’s about looking past the exterior and seeing into another person’s soul to see the beauty inside.
Clark Kent and Lois Lane both wear disguises in their daily lives. Like all of us, they both hide things from the outside world. They are both afraid of being exposed in different ways. Yet, through their love, they were able to see the incredible potential for heroism and good within each other in ways that other people weren’t able to see. They were a lesson in looking past the outer disguise that we all wear each day to see the true soul of another person and loving every beautiful side of them truly and completely.
Today, as we bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Kent and prepare for the coming of the new Superman titles, many fans remain full of hope that this relationship that meant so much to so many people will be treated with the dignity and respect that it deserves as it’s retold for a new generation. Because, despite the fact that this is painful….We love Superman. We want to see his legacy succeed and continue. So, I challenge DC Comics to prove me and every other fan out there who has been struggling with this emotional change wrong. Show us that you understand just what this relationship meant to people. Show us that you understand that the way the Triangle For 2 was written 50 years ago is not a fair or appropriate way to tell this love story now and that the glorification of a narrative that did not treat men and women as equals is not fresh but regressive. These characters deserve better. The Triangle For 2 is an important and essential part of any Superman origin story but it must be updated to reflect the dignity of these characters. Above all, I challenge DC Comics to never forget that it’s more powerful to choose love over fear.
Just as no one can ever and will ever replace Barbara Gordon’s incredible legacy as Oracle….no one can ever or will ever change what Clark and Lois meant to each other. Too much has been said and done at this point. The line has been crossed and there is no going back. We’ve seen them clutch each other refusing to let go and we’ve seen them promise that even death won’t truly keep them apart. Superman and Lois Lane will never love anyone else more than they love each other. Outside forces may pull them apart from time to time. But they will find their way back. They always do. For the moment, we bid farewell to everything they stood for and for the incredible message that their relationship sent about choosing to love over choosing to fear and we wait patiently until they find their way back to each other.
And until that time comes…
”We live in hope.”
Because that is what Superman and Lois taught us to do.
Yeah, I copied and pasted this whole article because I need it in my blog, so people can remember one of the greatest things we lost about Superman to the DCnU.
im so sad right now.