Putting the Playboy Back in Clark Kent

If this blog seems repetitive, it is because I already kind of covered this topic once before in relation to Bruce Wayne. Anyway, against my better judgment I decided to pick up the conclusion to that weird episode of Superman last month and I ended up reading Superman #20 this week. I should first of all say that I am a little disturbed by how people can find this to be entertaining (spoiler alert). Hector Hammond is introduced as a villain for Superman, but he is quickly disposed of after Orion is done beating him around Metropolis (decent fight scene though). The thing which is kind of strange though is that Lois is still clearly on his mind, as is Diana, but now so too is Lana. In the previous blog which I wrote about Bruce Wayne, it kind of made sense to have the character be depicted with a lot of women, because that is who Bruce Wayne is (not Batman, but Bruce Wayne, if you get the difference or didn't read the linked in blog.) With Superman though it seems to be a case of vicarious pleasure.

Here is Lana to add another point to the love triangle, which turns it into a love trapezoid.

As I pointed out in the previous blog about issue #19, Superman is being done a disservice by his supporting cast acting in such a two dimensional manner. The same is true here, that Superman is all the worse for only having women on the brain. Is this the all-American hero really? The guy that can't keep his romantic feelings straight in his own head? I am not a big Superman fan, though as I always say I don't mind the character. I have read some exceptional Superman arcs (For Tomorrow for instance) which have done the character justice, but this is not it. DC seems to be resorting to cheap tricks to get the fans interested, while at the same time chipping away at the core of who the character really is. So really there is no putting of the playboy back into Clark Kent because the playboy was never there to begin with.

11 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by Veshark

I don't really see how this is Clark being portrayed as being a playboy. It's perfectly normal for individuals to feel conflicted about who they truly love. Lana is Supes' childhood crush, so naturally he still harbors some feelings about her that remind him of his younger days. I think she just appears in this 'mental simulation' because he still cares for her. If it's a mental thing, it isn't even necessarily definitive - it could just be a case of memories or something.

Also, you enjoyed For Tomorrow? I thought general consensus was that the arc sucked, which is why I've avoided it.

Edited by RazzaTazz

@veshark: I don't think it is natural to harbor feelings for one's first crush. I had a crush when I was teenager, but I never think about it or the guy now that I am in a dedicated relationship.

For Tomorrow was great, or at least I thought it was. It went a bit deeper than most comics where "hero punches villain, villain goes to prison" The beginning was better than the end, but still was a pretty strong story overall.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

Firstly about superman thinking about women, read superman earth one vol.2, it's really hard for him. Secondly,Hammond was manipulating his happiest memories, it's not superman that's lusting after all the women in his life. It was mentioned like twice in #20 that Hammond was the reason for all his weird thoughts. N Clark's not much of a playboy but he's been with a fair share of women,there's an entire forum post about it on this site.

I understand ur not a superman fan but for tommorow is hardly exceptional,try birthright,all star superman and superman last son for starters.

Posted by Veshark

@razzatazz

I suppose things might be different post-Flashpoint, but Pre-Crisis Superman explained it this way, "Lana was the only girl I ever loved. She still represents Smallville to me, that part of my life." Personally, I feel that still applies to the current Superman. Lana was more than just his first idle crush, she was the girl that he first truly fell in love with, and a close personal friend who still means a lot to him.

I think this mental bit is a little non-definitive, but I don't think that Clark still wants to be with Lana, but more like he still cares very deeply for her and the time they spent together, even if they're no longer in love. Which was why she manifested in this mental scenario, because she was a big part of his earlier life. If that makes any sense. The lyrics to 'My Boo' are playing in my head now for some reason...

Posted by Perezite

@veshark said:

I don't really see how this is Clark being portrayed as being a playboy. It's perfectly normal for individuals to feel conflicted about who they truly love. Lana is Supes' childhood crush, so naturally he still harbors some feelings about her that remind him of his younger days. I think she just appears in this 'mental simulation' because he still cares for her. If it's a mental thing, it isn't even necessarily definitive - it could just be a case of memories or something.

Also, you enjoyed For Tomorrow? I thought general consensus was that the arc sucked, which is why I've avoided it.

For Tomorrow was quite interesting, though I will admit that it starts off stronger than the note it ends on.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@ultimatesmfan: It is not so much the in continuity explanation, rather that he has a number of women in his life as we can observe from the outside perspective. For those living vicariously through the character it is easier with him when they get a pick of dream girl.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@veshark: That all makes sense in continuity to some degree, though I do find the story telling to be pretty weak and to be treating the female characters like props. Superman is not supposed to be defined by who he is dating rather by what he stands for. Recently though it seems that all the fans want to see is him kiss a different woman than usual.

Posted by Veshark

@perezite Hmm, I might check it out. Funnily enough, I've noticed that while Superman fans abhor this story, readers who are less informed about the character or those that don't like Superman seem to enjoy it.

@razzatazz I wouldn't know about that, I haven't followed Superman since the first three issues, so I can't exactly say if I agree or disagree. But in light of the recent Wonder Woman situation, I suppose I can see where you're coming from.

Posted by SandMan_

SA Superman was a pimp.

Posted by Eternal19

Im not a big fan of multiple love interests. And i dont like the idea of clark having to struggle with which woman he loves, thats a spiderman problem not a superman one. Lobdell is trying his hardest to make the new 52 superman the opposite of the post-crisis Superman that most people loved

Posted by PowerWoman

@sandman_ said:

SA Superman was a pimp.

WTF?!