MTV Geek's Steven Smith Talks Comic Book Romance In a Retcon World

By Steven Smith

I’m all for new spins. Take a well worn concept and shake it up. I’m not talking about making Greedo shoot first (LAME), but I am referring to what John Byrne did with Superman in the "Man of Steel" series, Frank Miller with "Dark Knight" and DC in general with "Crisis on Infinite Earths". Mess around with the continuity and then have new writers and artists play around with old themes. What could Alan Moore do with the Joker? Give Mike Grell a go with "Green Arrow". I’m a big fan of Marvel’s Ultimate line though I loathe LOATHE the "Brand New Day" storyline in Spider-Man. THAT feels like cheating. But DC’s "New 52" intrigues me. And they really shook it up in the romance department by finally putting Superman together with Wonder Woman. Makes sense, right?

It’s not like it’s a new idea. Superman and Wonder Woman were made into an item by Mark Waid in "Kingdom Come" plus had a child. Kevin Smith remarked through Brody in "Mallrats", “...only Wonder Woman has a strong enough uterus to carry his kid...” so this concept of Clark and Diana getting together isn’t too original. What’s original is it’s happening in a quasi-retconned world. It’s really the truest of jump-offs for new readers. Of course they’re going to be asking the same question we are, “What about Lois?”

And what about her? I tell you what’s going to be cool is if she is actually into Clark and not Superman. THAT would be a great storyline to explore, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be relegated to the back of the Daily Planet bullpen until this meta human Valentine’s Day is over. And it will be over eventually, no doubt about it. No matter how much creators want to shake things up and alter timelines they always go back to old wheelhouse. It might take a few decades (see Barry Allen and Barbara Gordon) but it will happen. All Lois has to do is bide her time until she finds out his secret identity. Which I really hope she does easily. Come on, glasses? Really? Why couldn’t we retcon that? It really is the lamest of all disguises.

I don’t mind the super love story. It makes sense to me. Two of the most powerful people on the planet? Of course they are going to hook up. It’s the same adage as “you date people you work with.” You’re with them all the time so you know their backstories, plus, “Hey, you’ve got a secret identity too? And wait, you don’t wear a mask but wear GLASSES to hide your secret? Me too!” Supes and the Amazonian Princess have a LOT in common. Aside from the same hair color and penchant for patriotic color schemes, both of their aliases are their secrets. Wonder Woman and Superman are really who they are while Diana Prince and Clark Kent are the faux identities. Who else in the League has that issue? Who? Nobody, that’s who. Okay fine, Martian Manhunter. Nerds.

What interests me about the romantic entanglements is how their non-cape and -magic lasso wielding lives will be impacted. For instance, how do these two go on a date? There’s crimes being committed every second so how do they live with the guilt while they are watching a movie when they could be out saving lives? And where can they go out for dinner? Just another hot couple in glasses having lasagna. And how is Batman going to feel about this? Protective of his best friend or nervous how their impending break-up will affect the League? Because he KNOWS it’s going to happen. Just like the writers.

For the nay-sayers out there I say let Clark and Diana have their fun. She can miss Steve all she wants and he can pine for Lois because in the end there can be only one outcome. And that’s for Bruce and Talia to finally tie the knot – sorry, wrong romance, but see there, how retconning gets weird? Bruce is off fighting crime with Damian, his son from a previous continuity, while Clark and Lois’s wedding is no more? Bit dodgy there, DC, but I digress – Superman, Wonder Woman, may your short time in each other’s arms be one you shall treasure and Lois, when you and Man of Steel finally do get together, try not to get jealous, cuz DAMN, you know you will.

Steven Smith reads trade paperbacks because he hates waiting each month for new issues, his podcast Going Off Track is weekly and wants you to hear it, and as for Kevin Smith films, Chasing Amy is the bomb yo.

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