Let's Be Honest: Idelson Hasn't Let Clark And Lois Happen FOR YEARS
There are times when I really don't envy Sue at the DC Women Kicking Ass tumblr. Part of this is because she constantly deals with trolls, much like many outspoken female comic bloggers do. But more of it is because she often has to be the messenger for some really ill-conceived thoughts, opinions, and decisions on the part of DC management.
The latest piece of bad news was this. The post was titled "Lois and Clark back together? Not on my watch! says Superman editor", and it included Superman Group Editor Matt Idelson's response to a reader named Will Jones on the Superman Homepage.
Reader Will: After reading the latest interview with Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens, whose plans honestly gave me a sense of ‘been there, done that’, along with the disturbing implication that Lois and Clark are inevitable,which to me is another word for lazy and unimaginitive, I’m wondering why there seems to be such an aversion to taking chances with Superman. In a previous "Ask Matt", one fan brought up the possibility of another book in the Superman line, in which you questioned him starring in it, and I’d like to know why Bruce Wayne can have four books of his own but it’s too much for Superman to even have three. And I can already see the whole sales argument coming, as valid as it might be, so what about a miniseries for Superman fans who aren’t fans of the traditional trappings of the character, in my case the Lois and Clark nonsense.
Matt: Hey, Will! Despite what you took away from that interview, Clark and Lois are NOT inevitable, and in fact it isn’t going to happen, at least while I’m on watch duty. There will be romance of varying degrees in both characters’ lives in the months to come, but not with each other, so you don’t have to sweat that.
Coming from the lead editor on the Superman line, the guy overseeing the Man of Steel's destiny, this was really aggravating.
But it wasn't surprising. Not to me. And not just because of Idelson's earlier comment at an SDCC that the "New 52" Supes didn't have a "trophy wife" (which I also heard via Sue.).
It's because, let's be honest, folks:
Clark and Lois hadn't really happened much on Idelson's watch while they were still married. At least not since 2008, anyway.
When Idelson first took over from Eddie Berganza as Superman Group Editor in 2006, he worked with writers Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns for his first 2 years, and together they produced some great characterization of the nature of Clark's relationships not only with Lois, but with the Kents and other members of his family. We even saw Clark and Lois working together to raise Chris Kent as a surrogate son. But then....
Exit Pa Kent. Exit Busiek and Johns. Enter New Krypton. And, as it turns out, exit any development of Clark and Lois as a married couple.
First there was Clark....oh, sorry..Kal-El...living away from Lois on New Krypton for a year. Then he was off fighting "The War Of The Supermen". Then, when he finally gets back to Lois and Earth, what happens?
Yep, Superman walks around America for a little over a year. Spending even more time away from Lois.
Even more time Idelson got to spend not dealing with the Clark-Lois relationship. Hell, the Lois Lane robot in Paul Cornell's concurrent Lex Luthor arc got more panel time and characterization than the real Lois did!
Here's an experiment for you fellow married guys out there: Try going away for an indefinite length of time and giving that exact same response to your wife when she asks you about it. On second thought, better not!
The reality is: If Clark and Lois had been written like a real married couple, "Grounded" would never have lasted more than one issue. But apparently, Idelson didn't want to deal with how a real marriage works. I'd attibuted much of this avoidance to the writers in the past, but Idelson has been the constant, the one who's been steering the ship, since 2008. I'm not sure when or how he got soured on Clark/Lois, but the proof is in the stories.
So let's not kid ourselves, folks: Idelson wasn't letting Clark/Lois happen before the reboot.
But the silver lining here is that, in the end, Idelson is dead wrong: Clark and Lois are inevitable. They were inevitable before Idelson arrived.
And they'll be inevitable long after he's gone.