A Gross "Injustice"
(WARNING! I will be discussing major spoilers to Injustice: Gods Among Us #3, the comic miniseries setup to the upcoming video game of the same name. Also, I will be linking to some imagery that was so horrifying to me that I am refusing to show it directly on my blog. You might be advised to just read my descriptions instead.)
There's a running "Gilligan's Island" joke that goes "Ever see the one where they almost got off the island?"
Well, you could make a similar joke about alternate-continuity Superman stories from the past 22 years: "Ever read that alternate-continuity Superman story where Lois Lane gets brutally killed?"
In Armageddon 2001, back in 1991, two of the three featured "10 years later" alternate futures for Supes featured Lois dying, once from an Inter-Gang-triggered atomic bomb during her own wedding, and the other from a miscarriage due to her and Clark's genetic incompatibility. Since then, Lois has met horrible ends in a multitude of Elseworlds Superman stories, including Kingdom Come, JLA: Created Equal, Superman: Distant Fires, and Superman: Kal (in which Lois had the "honor" of getting raped as well). Even in the last 2 years, we've seen Flashpoint: Project Superman, DC Online Legends, and the Earth 2 ongoing.
It's not just seeing Lois degraded and killed once or twice in an alternate-continuity that's the problem. It's seeing her degraded and killed like this AD NAUSEUM!
And this disgusting trend continues with the backstory for the new Injustice: Gods Among Us video game that DC Comics is putting out. The premise of this game is a dark, dystopian future where Superman has become a despot who is ruling Earth with an iron fist, and the other heroes find themselves on two different sides in this conflict. The accompanying digital comic miniseries released this month shows the readers how things got to this point, beginning with showing us a married Clark and Lois expecting their first child, only to have Lois kidnapped by the Joker and Harley Quinn and Supes apparently attacked by Doomsday. So what happens next?
(WARNING: This is the link I was warning you about.)
Long story short, Superman fights what looks like Doomsday and flies him into space, only for Batman to find out, too late, that Superman is under the influence of the Scarecrow's fear gas hallucinogen and has actually flown Lois into space, unborn baby in tow. So not only are Lois and her unborn child horribly killed in a comic setup for a video game aimed at teenagers, but it's Superman, the prospective father, who does the killing.
Now imagine reading a scene like that as a new father approaching the 1-year anniversary of his wife's pregnancy. A new dad whose favorite superhero just happens to be Superman.
I don't have to imagine that. It's ME.
I remember like it was just yesterday how we went through the constant worry over the long 9 months of something going wrong. It could have taken only one bad slip-and fall, be it on an unseen patch of black ice on the sidewalk during winter or on the stairs or a household object indoors, to put the pregnancy in jeopardy. We had to skip bicycle riding together, an activity we both normally enjoy. We had to have sex, when we could have it, radically differently. At a certain point I even had to hug my wife radically differently.
So you can see how a reading a comic with the world's greatest superhero beating up and killing his pregnant wife, albeit unintentionally, could be deeply disturbing.
And at least I have the consolation now of reading this after everything has already gone well. I can't imagine how I would have felt reading this four months ago. Worse, what if it hadn't gone well? I know people who have lost a baby at some point. It happened to one of my best friends. It also happened to my mother decades ago.
Picture someone who actually has undergone that traumatic loss. Now picture that person picking up this particular comic looking for a temporary escape from his or her pain. And finding THAT.
The reason that I didn't post the actual scans here was not only to spare you readers but also to spare myself. I just can't stand to look at those fucking images on my own blog.
There are a lot of people, young readers and gamers who haven't faced the specter of becoming a parent yet, who are calling this plot twist "great drama".
I call it "exploitative trash".