Superman is a dad.
This is one perhaps my favorite thing in all of comics right now, and has been for the two years since Rebirth happened. Lois and Clark being married and having a son have taken the Superman story to a new level, one that had formerly only been seen in imaginary stories.
There are so many wonderful stories that could still be told with a married Superman, a Superman trying to be a good dad. He is an idol to millions, probably saved the lives of just as many, but being a father completely changes your focus. Nothing is more important than doing right by your child and that is usually much harder than lifting a car, even if you’re not Superman.
So much of Rebirth was about returning the DC characters to their roots, but Superman was one of the few characters that was also moved forward. Given how static corporately owned comics are, this is pretty amazing.
But Rebirth is over and many of DC’s titles are getting new directions and new creative teams and I think the Rebirth branding is even going away. The biggest change of all is that the Superman books will be written by former Marvel superstar Brian Michael Bendis, and based upon the the press releases, he is also bringing changes.
Emphasis on Lois and Clark
One of the great things about Superman being a dad is that it has only amplified the focus on Superman as a husband. This has also meant increased focus on Lois Lane. Lois is a singular character in all of comics for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Superman is forever associated with her just as much as she is forever associated with him.
She’s also had her own title, regularly guest stars in other character’s books, and is the realist to Clark’s dreamer. She’s confident that she’s an equal partner in their relationship, too, which speaks volumes about her.
Could Superman stories give as much attention to Lois if she and Clark didn’t have a child? Of course. But being a parent with someone introduces an entirely new dynamic and ends up forcing you to rely upon each other more than ever before.
Besides, Lois is now the only member of a family without superpowers. And even this doesn’t get to her.
Shoot, now I really wish we were getting a solo Lois Lane comic.
Jonathan Kent Is Actually Pretty Cool
I’m sure there’s a group out there that just hates Jon Kent. I suppose that’s the case with any new character that upends a long held status quo while simultaneously taking a revered name. If I remember correctly, a lot of people really hated Damien Wayne when he was introduced.
Jon is just a nice kid which, I suppose, shouldn’t be all that surprising given who his parents are. He’s definitely benefitted from the fact that his appearances have mostly been chronicled by Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Dan Jurgens. Jon seems like the same kid from comic to comic.
He also acts like a kid, but not in the obnoxious way children are usually portrayed in fiction. Jon isn’t a tool for drama, he’s an actual character. He’s not the story, he’s a part of it, and this allows him to have some depth; he’s not just the newest Superboy.
I love that both Bruce and Clark are parents. The fact that that they both have boys is even better. It amplifies the father/son dynamic that Bruce has tried to recreate for years, but that Clark has managed to go without for just as long. It’s also great that Bruce’s fatherhood comes in a typically dark and messy way as opposed to the relatively straight forward way Clark becomes a dad.
And the juxtaposition between their baby mamas is even better.
If the New 52 taught DC anything, it’s should be that Superman isn’t meant to cater to some theoretical cool teen demographic which, if we’re being honest, doesn’t even read comics anymore. Superman exists outside of fly by night trends. Superman is perhaps the one character that can actually evolve and grow because his core character isn’t defined by a singular event. Peter Parker will still try to live up to what he thinks was his uncle’s view of him. Bruce Wayne will forever try to make his parents’ deaths meaningful. Superman isn’t burdened with such things.
So, DC, let Superman grow. He’s the one character who can do it without changing him in a drastic way.
Let Superman be Superman.