For the longest time Lois pined after Superman, always trying to get him to marry her in childish ways. As comic books matured along with their reading audience, the relationship between the pair matured as well. Finally, the two married, both in the comic books and on TV. But is that a good thing?
In the latest instalment of our “Great Debate” feature, we ask the question…
Should Superman and Lois be married?
I remember being so excited when Lois and Clark finally got engaged in the comics. Then Clark revealing his identity to her was amazing. We were going into an exciting time for the Superman books. After “Exile” going forward was such fun. You didn’t know what to expect. After the engagement I was so excited that they were heading towards the wedding. Then “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” was announced on TV. Again I was thrilled that a new show taking place in current continuity (more or less) was on its way. But this proposed a problem. They were supposed to be married in “Superman #75”. Or at least a story leading up to the wedding was supposed to begin. I’m a little hazy on the details. But because it was decided that the characters wouldn’t get married in the comic books until they were married on the TV series that all changed. I think we know what story they went with instead that more than softens the blow. Point is, I was waiting almost 20 years for this union. I started reading Superman comic books in the early eighties but between the “Super Friends” and the George Reeves show, not to mention that incredible piece of heaven that was “Superman: The Movie,” I’ve been wanting this union. So when the actual wedding was approaching I was surprised that there were many fans who were not excited about the impending wedding. What!? After almost 60 years there were fans who didn’t want this?!
I see it this way. Lois and Clark getting married was the end of an arc that had been going on for nearly 60 years. Since the comics began the relationship between Lois, Clark and Superman has been something that many fans enjoyed following. Early on it seemed Lois couldn’t stand Clark in favor of Superman. But as time went on Lois and Clark seemed to become friends with some fans hoping they might get more romantic. Of course it was never to be because Lois was so in love with Superman that nothing could stop that infatuation, despite the way Superman treated her. Which at times was completely awful. Still there was hope. That “Lois and Superman” strip that was a backup in “Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane” was very silly and was probably a warning that the two shouldn’t get married. But I think we know even in the 50s and 60s it wouldn’t go quite that way. This was a Comics Code Authority marriage after all. Later books seemed to ignore the Comics Code Authority and went much darker and told deeper stories. But Lois and Superman seemed destined to be married, which means Clark would finally be married to Lois. Because how could he hide his secret identity once they were married? Well perhaps he would try but that wouldn’t make for a happy marriage.
I guess my wishing for the marriage stems from being brought up in the 70s and 80s with parents who grew up in the 50s. It seemed the thing to do. Those old fashioned values. Still why would this be such a bad thing? We know now people can be in love without marriage but these are characters that had been around for decades. You know they cared about each other, even loved each other. There is nothing wrong with Superman having a family. The argument is how can he always be out fighting the good fight with a wife at home? He wouldn’t have time. He should be free so he could be Superman. There really are so many reasons fans point out why Superman shouldn’t be married. But I feel he should. Clark deserves to fall in love like anyone else. His Kryptonian parents were happily married (until John Byrne) and his human parents were as well. Yes, there are plenty of complications with a human and a Kryptonian being married and having a family, but if you truly love someone you deal with those complications. It’s not easy, but a Superman deserves to be in love and so should Lois. Her character has changed through the years but she’s human and at some point, despite her hectic career, might very well fall in love. Can you tell good stories with the two of them married? You can tell great stories! As they’ve proven over the past 20+ years. We all need to be happy. We all deserve to fall in love and have families, and while I know many people spend there lives not wanting marriage or even a relationship, these characters have spent decades pining for each other. And to finally see them married and with a child gives me satisfaction and I hope there are fans who feel the same way.
Superman’s been married for what feels like forever. It was one of those creative decisions that was both a major event and a natural evolution for the character. The marriage of Superman and Lois is largely only seen within the pages of the comics, with a few exceptions. I’d venture to say that the general public has no idea that Clark Kent and Lois Lane have been married for nearly 30 years. Perhaps that decision should be undone.
Arguing against Superman’s marriage might be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. However, there are certainly arguments for why Superman should not be married to Lois. For starters, I think it would eliminate a method for writers to turn Superman evil. If there’s anything more cliché than evil Superman, it’s using the death of a hero’s romantic interest to turn them evil. Lois is her own character, and she should not be defined by her relationship to Clark. Putting her in danger or even killing her to reach the end result of an evil Superman might work, but it’s also incredibly cheap.
From a humanitarian standpoint, Clark’s marriage to Lois could sometimes prevent him from saving people. That isn’t to say that Clark doesn’t have his own needs or deserve time off, but a marriage is a lot of work. It requires time and effort. Time and effort which could be used to rescue people. How many times do you think he’s tuned out the screams of someone in danger because he’s having date night? Do you think Lois lets him fly off to save someone while they’re in the middle of a serious discussion? Clark isn’t expected to be Superman all the time, but he’s defined by his caring nature and devotion to his responsibilities to help others.
On the flip side of that same coin, it must be hard to have Superman as your husband. Even with all the patience in the world, it must get old having to cancel a dinner reservation or put off a vacation because Clark has to put an end to a villain’s reign of terror or prevent a volcano from decimating a village. Lois is understanding, but I can’t imagine it doesn’t wear her down sometimes. Their wedding in the comics was postponed for a few years because the man seemingly died! It just seems like she’s making more of a sacrifice than anything. She’ll always be waiting up for him to come home, she’ll always be a potential target in a villain’s scheme, and she’ll always have to cover for her husband’s absence. Well, not anymore thanks to a certain writer…
The fact remains that it seems like the marriage is more beneficial to Superman than to Lois. They clearly love each other, but the sacrifices and compromises Clark makes for the relationship pales in comparison to those made by Lois. It’s almost unfair, and if they were a real couple, they probably would have filed for a divorce years ago.
Many thanks to our Great Debaters – Marc Lax and Mario Bennese.
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