Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lois loses her way

There have been so may changes in the Superman story since I was a boy that one more twist is no surpize. First there was Jor-El's advice to Kal-El to give up his power so he could bed his true love in Superman II, and then there was the courtship and finally marriage in Lois and Clark, and now Lois turns to the arms of her boss' nephew in Superman Returns! Where will the revisionism stop? Of course, it is all fiction. And all the changes seem to have the "blessing" of his creators any way.

The really shocking thing with this new movie, I guess, is the son of Lois and her boyfriend, with whom she lives. I have not seen the movie, but I did look through official print versions of the plot line. It seems that when Clark disappeared, and Superman was nowhere to be seen, the poor woman falls for Perry White's nephew, a corporate officer with the the Daily Planet. The child is apparently his, though he seems to be a prodigy of sorts. Her son is in poor health, suffering from asthma, but Lois seems to be really devoted to him.

The out of wedlock child, and the luxurious lifestyle with his father, is presented in the literature as a lifestyle to be expected. Lois reportedly tells Superman as he comes, once more, to her rescue, that she "does not need a savior." If she persists in such an attitude, then she truly is lost, with no hope of redemption in the long-running legend of Superman. Of course, her boyfriend really does love her - so much that he is willing to sacrifice their relationship to the Man of Steel, whom he admires. I kind of suspect the mild Mr. White will be the real hero of this saga.

And by the way, the "Superman" emblem is not an "S," but the "serpentine symbol of the house of El." Does this not strike you as odd. The word "El" in the semitic original languages, is the word for God. In fact, its primary idea of "strength" is just about lost in the Old Testament, for it is found everywhere as an indicator of the divine. The commentary I have read has mysteriously avoided the term "Messiah" or "Christ-figure," though it refers to the "Jesus" figure. I think this is in deference to the producer of the film, who is Jewish. But if Superman is EL wearing a "serpent," on his chest, can he represent none other than the "Anti-Christ"?

Maybe Lois has made the "right" choice after all.

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