As the gentlemen behind Hanna-Barbera said at the wedding of Pebbles and Bam-Bam, the now grown children on The Flintstones, “They Were Made For Each Other.”
That adage can be applied to Lois and Clark.
Waaaay back in 1938, during Action Comics first issue, we not only get introduced to Superman, but his alter ego Clark Kent, who longs for fellow reporter Lois Lane. A romance for the ages is quickly set-up, which comes with the inevitable love triangle, but with only two people. Sounds crazy, but you all know what I mean.
The romance mutates and evolves and enters the silly zone several times over the next couple of decades. And these are the times when I dislike the series and slightly ignore it. But with the John Byrne Man Of Steel miniseries revamp in the 1980’s, the romance was reset back to the beginning and given a slight bit of new hope. Over the years after, Lois unthaws abit towards Clark, and suddenly in an emotional issue, they start dating. After awhile, in Superman #50, they get engaged. One last detail to attend to, revealing that he is really Superman, in another brilliant issue.
So with the story in place, the creators start dreaming up The Wedding Of The Century. But temporarily derailing these best laid plans is the debut of the Lois and Clark television show, which asks for them to delay the wedding in order to co-ordinate with them. So the comics killed Superman instead. He got better. They also broke them up. And no one liked it.
With the television show silliness finally settled, the comics could do what fans have been aching for since the 1930’s, marry the two. In a whirlwind story, Lois sees the error of her cranky ways and comes back to Metropolis, argues with Clark, realizes she still loves him, and promptly gets re-engaged.
Most of this happens in Superman The Wedding Album, released in October 1996. Once the happy couple are reunited, the tale rockets along through all the tropes virtually every wedding adheres to. A bridal shower, bachelor party, dress fitting, suit fitting, apartment hunting, Batman popping in, guest stars galore, fights with Lois’s jerk father, Lex Luther being creepy, and, of course, the actual nuptials, are all featured prominently. DC rotates various famous Superman creators into this issue, with several writers getting mutual credit and the artist changing every few pages. All to make this a group effort for one of the pinnacles of Superman’s history.
Right away in the next few issues we are treated to the reception, an adventure filled honeymoon, and the happy couple settling into a new life. With Bruce Wayne as their new landlord.
In the years that followed, multiple creators with limited vision came to DC with plans to nullify the marriage. Thankfully they were all shoved out the door, until they tried one more day when The New 52 was being planned and the idiots relented and allowed the marriage to be voided. Much knashing of teeth by geeks such as myself ensued, which included a facebook page dedicated to Saving The Happy Couple being set-up.
All for naught.
Taking one of the most beloved stories of all time for Superman, leading to a massive change for the better, and trashing it out for what could best be called mediocre whatever over the last two years, is a travesty. Several writers put much heart and soul into making the marriage work, notably Greg Rucka, and those stories are amoung the best for the run. The current Superman books hint and hedge around a possible Lois and Clark romance, but I fully believe this is simply teasing to shut-up the long time fans. The real shame here is that DC is stunting the natural progression of the characters, all because of a lack of guts.
I am an old fashioned romantic, so I still carry a torch for this wedding and the lovely couple. Maybe with Hollywood pressure because of the movie DC will finally rectify their stupidity. It is not late to alter their universe. This wedding could easily be put back into continuity.
Where it belongs.
…is currently reading The Joy Of Writing by Pierre Berton.
P.S. This post is one of several I hope to do this year to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Superman. Happy Birthday Kal-El! Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
P.P.S. Superman Man Of Steel opened last Friday, June 14th 2013. For an indepth look at the creation of this landmark movie, check out Jeffrey Taylor’s columns.