I know everyone can guess at least one female character I’m going to discuss this week. And I promise, we’ll get to that. But for now, excuse me while I take a short break to do the Dance of Joy.
Still here? Good. I guess I should probably explain that, huh?
I have to confess that Superman isn’t exactly my favorite character. It’s Lois Lane.
I had ambitions of being a reporter once. (Okay, so maybe I still think about it sometimes.) It was my thing in college. I learned about journalism terms like writing leads (and burying them), the inverted pyramid, and the importance of sources. Sometimes I even slip into reporter mode when I’m writing this blog.
Every so often, we hear about reporters “protecting their sources.” It seems to me the ultimate protection of a source–and no, I don’t care that it’s only a comic book–is Lois Lane’s knowledge that Clark Kent is Superman. Talk about sitting on the story of a century!
But hey, I could go on forever about the character development of Lois Lane. The one piece of information that has bugged me over the last couple of months though, is when Paul Cornell announced that Lois would be featured in his Action Comics run as Lex Luthor’s girlfriend.
Superman’s been gone for a year, he finally gets to reunite with his wife and not pretend like they’re simply acquaintances, and then they go and break them up? There was no way I was going to buy that.
Okay, so this is where I’m going to get spoilery for Action #890, so skip ahead a bit if you haven’t read the issue yet.
Lex’s “girlfriend” Lois Lane? She a freaking robot! Oh, I wanted to roll over laughing. I almost felt ashamed for questioning it in the first place. But I love the execution. She’s made from pieces of Brainiac’s ship, which of course is very advanced Kryptonian technology. And while it was creepy to have that image of Lois’s skin peeled back to reveal her cybernetic origin, it was totally awesome to see her open fire like she did.
Crisis averted. Knowing that Lois isn’t going to be stepping out on Clark just as he returns from his disaster of a family reunion makes me feel much better.
It also says a great deal about just how sad a character Lex Luthor is right now. He actually programmed a robot to look like Lois and be his conscience. Riiight. Good luck with that, buddy.
Ever since this news was announced earlier in the week, I’ve been sitting on my thoughts and opinions, mostly because I wanted a chance to really cultivate them before I spouted off a bunch of nonsense that made me sound like an idiot. So…
I like it. I really do.
I almost liken it to Superman wearing a military uniform during World of New Krypton. It’s part of a story arc. From the comments I’ve read this week, a large part of her redesign is story-driven and not just for the sake of getting attention.
And would DC really tell us if that was the case?
I guess my point is that I’m okay with costume changes as long as there is a reason for it, as opposed to just doing it to liven up the character. I saw someone on the Internet mention the Electric Red/Blue Superman of the 1990s as a costume change that went horribly wrong. But wasn’t that a story-driven decision as well? It would be one thing if Wonder Woman was wearing the classic outfit in issue #44 and then went to this one in #600 (or what would have been #45) without any kind of explanation. Are we supposed to assume that she was doing her laundry when I crisis broke out and that was all she could scrounge together?
I actually applaud DC for making a great effort to explain the reason for the change and put it in context of the story that JMS is going to tell. Sure, this is what she’ll be wearing in the foreseeable future, but I don’t think anyone has written in stone at this point that she will absolutely never go back to the classic.
One thing DC has made resoundingly clear over the last few months is that they DO listen to their fans. They renumbered Wonder Woman as well as Adventure Comics. They brought back Aquaman. Batman Beyond has a mini-series that just started up.
So, I’m going into this new era of Wonder Woman with an open mind. Who knows? Five years from now, we might all be looking back at this costume change as one of the best things that ever happened to the character. Only time will tell.