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Author Topic: Superman's Best Girlfriend?  (Read 28141 times)
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2005, 02:52:07 AM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
PAD is Peter A. David, the very popular writer of S.F. novels and comics.

We posters have gotten into the lazy habit over the years of just using his initials to save on our typing.

Also, he actually signs most of his correspondance as "PAD", and doesn't object to anyone calling him "PAD".  

DJ Superman and Liza Landis 4 ever...  Smiley
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2005, 06:25:13 PM »

Ah, Peter David. Makes sense.

I just got confused because people on the forums are now not only using PAD to refer to Peter David, but also the Supergirl that he created. (i.e. will Kara ever meet PAD Supergirl?)

That's where I got confused.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2005, 07:22:30 PM »

Just to stir the pot a bit, and get back on-topic, Fleischer engaged in some disturbing Freudian analysis of Superman in his The Great Superman Book.  He suggested a lot of who Superman is stems from his Oedipal attachment to his mother Lara.  Like most children, he wished his father dead so he could marry his mother.  The horrible thing is, Kal-El got his wish, only he also lost Lara and his entire world.  In a child's mind, he subconsciously believes his wishes affect reality and he now fears his wishes and their consequences.

In one sense, his mother is perhaps his first and best 'girlfriend' as it is for most boys growing up.

In another sense, that tragic relationship colours how he approaches all other women.

Perhaps part of the reason he's made his Clark Kent persona weak and ineffective was a reaction to the terrible power of his wishes.  Also, a normal man in Liliput wouldn't see himself as a giant anymore than we see ourselves as gods when next to an ant hill.  Ergo, Kal-El doesn't see himself as a Superman but weak, baby Kal-El escaping Krypton's destruction, weak Clark Kent fleeing confrontation.

Thoughts?
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Captain Kal

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nightwing
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« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2005, 07:43:08 PM »

I dimly recall a couple texts that mentioned Lara looked like Lois Lane, so maybe this is true.  But the reason I say "dimly" is because I intensely dislike the idea and try to ignore it.  :wink:

Personally I think Fleischer's grasping at straws.  Sounds like he just got out of a community college course in psychology theory.  I also think Freud is all wet, but that's another rant.

The truth is Lara is an also ran in the Superman mythos.  There is a tremendous fascination with Jor-El...it's always his inventions that come crashing to Earth, his journals, etc.  He invented the Phantom Zone, for example; the projector is a physical reminder of Jor that Kal handles often, and Jor's role as jailer motivates the villains in their schemes against Kal.  Mon-El's origin is tied to Jor-El, that Kandorian scientist (Nam-Uk?  Can't remember) is "an old friend of Jor-El." Kara is related to Kal through Jor-El's side of the family. In short, Jor-El casts a very long shaodow over Kal's life and Lara, in contrast, is a fairly undeveloped character whose role seems to fit the 50s mold of "dutiful housewife."  Later attempts to flesh her out as an astronaut did little to fix this.

If Superman has any hang-ups at all about his parents, I'd say he has an inferiority complex when he compares himself to his father.  I seriously doubt he has a Freudian hang-up over Lara.  The bottom line is, you have to read between the lines to get to that stuff, whereas the imposing legacy of Jor-El is right there on the page as plain as day.

Anyway, Kal was two when he left Krypton.  Can a two-year-old have an Oedipus Complex?  (I hope not...I'll have to keep a closer eye on my son!)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2005, 08:56:44 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Just to stir the pot a bit, and get back on-topic, Fleischer engaged in some disturbing Freudian analysis of Superman in his The Great Superman Book.  He suggested a lot of who Superman is stems from his Oedipal attachment to his mother Lara.  Like most children, he wished his father dead so he could marry his mother.  The horrible thing is, Kal-El got his wish, only he also lost Lara and his entire world.  In a child's mind, he subconsciously believes his wishes affect reality and he now fears his wishes and their consequences.


It IS true that Lara does look a lot like Lois Lane, which actually may be unintentional and say more about the intriguing mentality of the artists and animators.

It is true that men marry women who are like their mothers. Perhaps that accounts for Superman's interest in Lana Lang; she is an honest, folksy product of middle America just like his Earth-Mother, Mrs. Kent.

Although I've never seen any sign of Superman having anything resembling a degree of resentment toward his father. If anything, he idolizes and idealizes him, along with his mother, for their sacrifice to save his life.

Superman as an orphan, probably has all sorts of hang-ups psychologically. He has, however, a titanic strength of will and purpose so that he overcomes them to the point where they never even manifest except as unavoidable, crushing loneliness. I would say Superman's loneliness is the strongest part of his character, emotionally, which makes him sympathetic; the LIFE OF CLARK KENT backup stories wouldn't work without it, and conjures up incredible poignancy with moments like seeing Superman and Supergirl keep Kryptonian holidays despite the fact their world no longer exists.

That said, Superman's love life must be very frustrating, because as he is a fundamentally lonely person he must have an incredible desire to connect with others, and one that because of his duties as Superman can never truly be met. In this context, his Fortress of Solitude room with details and objects from Lois Lane makes more sense.

Here's a question: around the Daily Planet Office, is it a known fact that Clark Kent is an orphan?

Quote from: "nightwing"
The truth is Lara is an also ran in the Superman mythos. There is a tremendous fascination with Jor-El...it's always his inventions that come crashing to Earth, his journals, etc. He invented the Phantom Zone, for example; the projector is a physical reminder of Jor that Kal handles often, and Jor's role as jailer motivates the villains in their schemes against Kal. Mon-El's origin is tied to Jor-El, that Kandorian scientist (Nam-Uk? Can't remember) is "an old friend of Jor-El." Kara is related to Kal through Jor-El's side of the family. In short, Jor-El casts a very long shaodow over Kal's life and Lara, in contrast, is a fairly undeveloped character whose role seems to fit the 50s mold of "dutiful housewife." Later attempts to flesh her out as an astronaut did little to fix this.


Well put.

I can think of one exception to this rule, however: the Superman movie, where it is Lara, not the sleepwalking, tipsy Marlon Brando, that carries the full emotion and tears of that particular scene. It was she who got all the poignant lines and was able to express true emotional tenderness.

Quote from: "nightwing"
Anyway, Kal was two when he left Krypton. Can a two-year-old have an Oedipus Complex? (I hope not...I'll have to keep a closer eye on my son!)


Just as long as you stay away from those creepy robot kids. Those guys suck!

SQWAAK! "No need to plug me in, Da-da! I'm alive, just like you!"
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2005, 09:21:59 PM »

As I said, guys, I'm just stirring the pot.  I don't necessarily buy into Fleischer's analysis, but he does make some controversial points that stimulate conversation.

Another exception is Waid's Lara in Birthright.  BR Lara devised the simulation routines they were using to extrapolate Kal's chances in outer space.  BR Lara was the source of emotional strength and courage of the couple for saving Kal when Jor started to falter and nearly gave up.  Waid showed the best renditions of traditionally cardboard, stereotyped, foil characters like Lara and Martha and made them more fully equal in the supermythos for the first time.

And BR is in canon.  Superman: The Movie isn't.

Good point, Nightwing re: Jor-El casting such a large shadow while one has to search for Lara in the books.  It must be noted that a Maggin story with GL in World's Finest indicates Kal has not only inferiority but resentment issues towards Jor.  He resents being sent away like that and his father never came to get him again.  Maggin revisited this in his Last Son of Krypton novel.  (Maggin liked to steal from himself.)
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Captain Kal

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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2005, 09:58:16 PM »

Random bits:

- Pre-Crisis Superman has total recall dating back to his birth, and possibly before that.  It'd sure be creepy to remember your mom breastfeeding you, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.  

- Speaking of creepy Superman, few things creep me out more than watching that part of Superman II where he's just about ready to get it on with Lois.  He looks like a repressed molester stalker dude.

- I think Martha really came into her own with K Callan's portrayal in L&C.    I like the Kents being younger, but they got carried away with Smallville. (If Annette O'Toole were my adopted mom, I might have a complex!)

- Lara really started looking like Lois in the '70s, which is (coincidentally?) when Lois stopped being quite so obnoxious.  Lois looked like the Charlie Brown "Lucy" character all grown up for the longest time.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2005, 03:23:46 AM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
- Pre-Crisis Superman has total recall dating back to his birth, and possibly before that. It'd sure be creepy to remember your mom breastfeeding you, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.


It has been stated that Superman has gaps in his memory as a result of exposure to Green K over the years, which is why, for example, he does not remember as an adult his meeting with Brainiac as a baby, and why he has to use a hypnosis machine as a frame story to remember his Superbaby tales.

At least that's what I'm *HOPING* - for Superman's sake -  is going on here.

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
- Speaking of creepy Superman, few things creep me out more than watching that part of Superman II where he's just about ready to get it on with Lois. He looks like a repressed molester stalker dude.


Yeah, that goes down in history as being the least successful love scene in the history of ever.

Strange how it followed up by that wonderful scene of Superman cooking for Lois by going to the Amazon rainforest to get coffee beans and flowers and whatnot.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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