Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Since it's Valentine's Day, it seems like a good idea to talk about romance! Well, really, I just want to talk about why I love Superman and Lois Lane.

I think everyone's heard of the Moonlighting curse. It's based on that tv show with Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd. There's lots of sexual tension and eventually the characters get together and the show fizzles.

TV shows, ever since, have been endlessly terrified that this will happen to their tv shows. Of course, this invariably leads to something worse. The anti-Moonlighting curse. Which is when the tv shows (or comics, or book series) go overboard thinking of incredibly stupid reasons why their leads should not get together.

You know, things like viruses that will kill one of them if they touch. Or deals with the devil. Amnesia. Fake deaths. Things like that.

Because god forbid writers take an organic storyline development and USE it. Anyone whose been married knows deep down that the tension and conflict doesn't end with "I do" and good writers know how to use that. Marriage doesn't have to be the end of the story. It doesn't have to be relegated to alternate universes or secondary futuristic dimensions.

That's why I love Clark and Lois. By all rights, their marriage shouldn't have worked. They spent what, half a century, as an on-again-off-again, will-they-won't-they couple. Marriage should have ruined everything.

But it didn't.

Clark Kent and Lois Lane got married. And they didn't stop being them. Lois is still bossy, hen-pecking and prone to trouble. Clark still keeps secrets for really bizarre reasons (as much as Decisions bored me, I can imagine Clark amusing himself by never telling Lois his voting inclinations just because she wants to know so much).

Clark and Lois have been married for 13 years. That's pretty impressive for a real life couple nowadays. And for comics, where certain writers couldn't possibly conceive of stories involving a *gasp* married Spider-Man without resorting to wiping the slate clean, it's even more impressive. I'm sure there are advocates arguing that Clark and Lois should not be married out there. And maybe some day they'll win. But right now, the writers have embraced this massive change in status quo and worked with it. And neither Superman, Lois, or our precious childhood memories have suffered in the process.


  • At February 14, 2009 6:24 PM, Blogger ARS said…

    Well said.


  • At February 14, 2009 10:23 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    I remember hearing about how Grant Morrison and Mark Waid made a Superman story pitch around 1998-1999 which involved Brainiac somehow wiping out everyone's memory of Clark and Superman being the same person. This memory wipe included Lois and excluded Clark/Supes. Hence would the dreaded Clark/Lois/Supes triangle be restored.

    Thank God it was rejected, even i it meant Morrison not working on the regular Supes books.

  • At February 15, 2009 8:50 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Attraction, romance and even courtship are easy. Marriage is hard. Hard, and therefore, worthwhile, because you actually have to work at it.

    Lois and Clark work at it. So did Ralph and Sue, Scott and Barda and yes, even Peter and Mary Jane...until the devil got invovled.

  • At February 15, 2009 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's always stunned me that marreid writers in television and comics lack such imagination for the challenges of a working marriage.

    I never got to excited for a relationship on Buffy/Angel, because I knew that Whedon so believes that good drama only comes from relationships going sour. And sadly, many writers in comics seem tied to that idea. Even the best of marriages-actually, especially the best of marriages (and ones that make it to the "death do us part" part of it)-go through rough patches. There are fights, heartaches, temptations, etc.

    I mean, I don't mind a story where you wonder if the marriage will survive...but it is not like great drama can't be found in nearing that edge and then backing away from it.

    I give DC credit for sticking it out and not giving in to an easy out of just undoing the marriage. I would not mind a storyline where a super-villain manages to make everyone but the hero forget their marriage-imagine the horror of coming home to the person you love and they have no memory of your life together? But that's the story-how does the hero rectify the situation and fix it?

  • At February 16, 2009 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I give LOIS & CLARK at least partial credit for this; for that show to work, Lois had to grow past her silver age arch-nemesis role and become a viable partner for Superman. DC seemed to be committed to keeping some consistency with the show. I admit I wasn't reading Superman then, but seeing Lois as Clark's partner, rather than his girlfriend, sold me on them as a team.

    -- Jack of Spades

  • At February 17, 2009 6:15 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    "Attraction, romance and even courtship are easy. Marriage is hard. Hard, and therefore, worthwhile, because you actually have to work at it."

    Wish me luck, then, because I'm officially going to find out in the latter part of this year. I just took the big step a few weeks back.


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