I’ve been on a bit of a Superman walkabout. Mostly, I’ve been trying to find the essential components – precisely what makes a Superman story feel “right.”
That Clark gets to enjoy being “Metropolis-Clark” so much is part of the second most Important Thing of a a Good Superman Story: He falls in love with Lois Lane immediately.
And when done right, the reader is pretty much next in line.
Because Lois Lane is unlike anything he could ever imagine. Going to Mark Waid’s Birthright notes:
“What does Superman love about Lois? Her compassion. Her intense dedication to a job that, when done right, makes the world a better place. The way she constantly surprises him, a man who is almost impossible to surprise. And in no small part, that when he’s Clark, she’s hard to get.”
Superman writers, generally, get Lois. Particularly since she’s a writer’s fantasy – a reporter who’s stylish, stubborn, capable, quick-witted and above all else principled. She’s considered the best writer at the Planet, with her distant second competitor being…Clark Kent.
If you can’t write Lois Lane as an immediately engaging woman, then I don’t know what to do with you. (more…)