Rebooting Superman

Rebooting Superman



He’s due to go into the public domain in about eleven years.  

I should make a few notes now.

First, update his job.  In 1937 reporters were a very blue-collar job and were fitting for a farm boy who went to a Moo-U.  Today, reporters are journalists and are very white-collar.  That’s fine for Lois Lane but it undermines Clark Kent’s character, he’s the kind of guy whose favorite food is his Mom grilled cheese sandwiches and his Dad’s chili.  He has to stay blue collar and he can’t do that as a journalist.  But he can do that as a photographer.  That is something you can work with pretty easily. The alien who is capturing moments in time of the adopted world and its people, both of whom he loves enough to fight and die for.  

Bonus: Jimmy Olsen was originally a teenage “cub reporter” learning the ropes from Clark Kent.  Make him Clark’s assistant and you can revive the apprentice relationship and close friendship. 

Superman’s love life has developed a problem.  There was famously a triangle problem of Lois being in love with Superman but not giving Clark the time of day.  A big part of that was Clark’s disguise of being a milquetoast, whereas Lois wanted the ultimate man.  

Sidenote: In 1937 there was enough of a stigma to wearing glasses that was acceptable as a disguise in terms of “a guy that wears glasses couldn’t possibly be Superman.” Today, I think the glasses would have to contain a mini-holoprojector giving Clark Kent visibly different features from Superman.

Regardless, in the Silver Age comics, Clark Kent is the disguise and Superman is the real personality.  But over the past fifty years that situation has been reversed.  Clark Kent is the real persona of Kal-El of Krypton, Superman is the disguise.  Consequently, it’s more than a little off-putting to have Lois Lane mooning after Superman and spurning the unrequited love of Clark Kent.  It’s fundamentally dishonest in the relationship if Lois is in love with the frontman but not the real guy underneath.

The easiest way to deal with this is to invert the trope.  Lois pursues a relationship with Clark Kent.  I can see that pretty easily.  A hard-charging focused career woman who is about to hit thirty probably wants a power imbalance in her relationship that favors her.  A farm boy who can do all the many, many repairs that need doing on her new townhouse is just the ticket. If Martha Kent is out of the way, then he even owns a farmhouse in the country just perfect for fashionable weekend getaways. She may need to make it look more like a Joanna Gaines farmhouse, than a real one. Again, she has Clark for that.

But this Lois wants absolutely nothing to do with Superman. Maybe she feels that even with all the good he does Superman is too dangerous to have around.  Maybe she is just straight-up xenophobic, she doesn’t hate aliens any more than a claustrophobe hates tight spaces, she just finds aliens terrifying on an instinctive level. Superman is the part of his life that Clark absolutely has to keep hidden from the woman he loves.  Somewhere inside he knows that reversing the power imbalance in their relationship could well destroy it. 

Also, this is the 21st century.  Lois Lane won’t wait until there is a ring on her finger.  Which creates a few problems of its own. 

Lois: Why do you always have to keep that weird red lamp on whenever I sleep over?

Clark: It’s better this way.  Trust me.

Which leads to the point where the deception has to end.  When she greets Clark with a huge smile on her face and a positive pregnancy test in her hand. At that point, he has to tell her the truth.  

Any decent romance is going to need conflict in it. 

Okay, I’m done here.

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