Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Superman's Family

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving which means it’s time for family which may be cause for celebration or condolences, depending on whether or not crotchety old Uncle Travis is sufficiently inebriated to stay docile or is riled up to tell you just how Donald Trump is going to fix this country, by God!

Family is the subject of today’s comic book post, specifically the family we’re getting to know over in Superman.

Just to bring you up to speed a bit:

  • Lois Lane and Clark Kent were happily married until the Flash tries to keep his mother from getting murdered, fracturing time and creating an event known as Flashpoint.
  • In the world created by Flashpoint, the plucky investigative reporter and the mild mannered alter ego of Superman were not married.
  • But in 2015 during the Convergence event, we find out that the Lois and Clark we knew and loved were  alive and well.
  • They also have a son named Jon.
  • Lois, Clark and Jon are stuck on post-Flashpoint Earth so they keep their heads down and try to stay out of trouble.
  • But the Superman of post-Flashpoint Earth dies so our Clark decides to put on the cape once more and be Superman for this world.

Yes, Superman is pretending to be Superman even though he really is Superman. And if that ties your brain stem into a knot, just relax and roll with it. It seems the DC Universe has done pretty much the same. Everybody’s interacting with this Superman as if he’s always been their Superman.

Meanwhile, Clark and Lois Smith (Yes, Smith) and their son Jon are living on a farm in Hamilton County so there’s that. How long is that going to go on?

Issue #7 is a fun once and done story with the family getting together at the county fair. Lois gets Clark to promise no super hero stuff. But some punks looking to rob the ticket booth have other plans. Clark thwarts the thieves pretty much off camera and it looks like Lois may be none the wiser. Except for a mishap at the ticket office with a loudspeaker microphone that squirrels the whole deal.

This story is followed by a special 2 parter where Superman and Jon wind up on the island of the War That Time Forgot, fighting off dinosaurs and other beasties. The story links up nicely with Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier where this island is instrumental in launching the story line for Cooke’s masterwork. It’s a fun and thrilling adventure and a worthy tribute to the life and work of Darwyn Cooke who we lost way too soon.

The next two part story has the son of Superman meet the son of Batman. Poor innocent Jon has the deal head on with Damian Wayne, aka Robin. Superman and Batman decide that Jon and Damien should learn to play nice and work together. So in plot right out of a 1960’s issue of World’s Finest, our two heroes put their sons through a serious of exercises to force the boys to cooperate. Nothing works. Until Jon and Damian are convinced Superman and Batman are in real danger so they work together. It all ends with Bruce and Clark picking out Christmas trees, Clark inviting Bruce and Damian to dinner and, oh look: Jon and Damian are beating the crap out of each other.


If I overlook what a muddle of continuity that the current Superman mythos are in, I find I'm enjoying the adventures of Superman as Super Dad teaching his young Super Son the ways of the Super Hero world. But only feeling that at an objective level, like this whole thing is some alternate reality Elseworlds project. Perhaps if the readers had been there from the beginning, Lois and Clark the power couple of the Daily Planet suddenly finding their world changing with the discovery that Lois is pregnant. I hate that fans missed those days, those adventures. Instead my favorite couple in the DC universe got shunted aside without a proper farewell and then they're brought back as refugees from another Earth while Lois pops out a baby. And in the blink of an eye, Jon is 10 years old and beginning to manifest super powers.

Whoa! Hold up! I'm glad to have my Superman and Lois back but... slow down, huh? And they're still not quite my Superman and Lois, are they? Clark and Lois living under an assumed last name on a farm miles and miles away from Metropolis. It's a nice life, a nice dynamic for the super hero who still has Smallville in his veins and a go-getter reporter from the big city making adjustments to a different way of life as a wife and mother in the country. Yes, a nice life but part of me wishes it was a life we could've seen Clark and Lois earn, not just thrust into.

But maybe I'm over-analyzing this. Maybe I should just accept that Lois and Clark are back together again as they always should've been and should always be.

Tomorrow, it's Thanksgiving. Is there anything to be thankful for? I'll give it some thought and I'll get back to you on that.

In the meantime, remember to be good to one another.  

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