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  1. #61
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    There's an unexplored possibility for adult Lana Lang to uniquely serve in Superman's life without losing her purely civilian status, but a) it's a doozy and b) there'd probably need to be some retconning involved to make it work.

    Superman's therapist.

    Hear me out. Mental health, and the awareness of it, is more important now than ever. Clark has been going through traumatic stuff since at least his LOSH days (or if we count super-memory, since his forced separation from his birth parents) and I doubt any writer has ever actually addressed this. Lana could be the way to address that need while giving her a perpetual role in Clark's adult life.

    It's a big swing, and it comes with some caveats, mainly that Clark and Lana's romantic history and feelings (but not the truly platonic aspect) need to be minimized to the point of being negligible. There could be no dormant / unrequited love from either. Lana and Clark would have to be want to be like siblings in their adult life, and even then Lana as Clark's therapist would mean severing that social friendship in favor of this new professional relationship.

    Think THE SOPRANOS with Clark as Tony and Lana as Dr. Melfi.

    But, you know, completely different.

    There's a way to make it work, but the pushback from some of the fanbase would be a lot.
    Last edited by daBronzeBomma; 04-30-2020 at 02:13 PM.

  2. #62
    Truth and Justice DC Classics's Avatar
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    Lana Lang only really had a use to fill the Lois Lane girlfriend role in the Superboy stories, outside of Superboy, Miss Lang doesn't really have a purpose in the adult adventures of Superman when he's got Miss Lane, unless Clark is a swinger.

  3. #63
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daBronzeBomma View Post
    There's an unexplored possibility for adult Lana Lang to uniquely serve in Superman's life without losing her purely civilian status, but a) it's a doozy and b) there'd probably need to be some retconning involved to make it work.

    Superman's therapist.

    Hear me out. Mental health, and the awareness of it, is more important now than ever. Clark has been going through traumatic stuff since at least his LOSH days (or if we count super-memory, since his forced separation from his birth parents) and I doubt any writer has ever actually addressed this. Lana could be the way to address that need while giving her a perpetual role in Clark's adult life.

    It's a big swing, and it comes with some caveats, mainly that Clark and Lana's romantic history and feelings (but not the truly platonic aspect) need to be minimized to the point of being negligible. There could be no dormant / unrequited love from either. Lana and Clark would have be want to be like brother and sister in their adult life, and even then Lana as Clark's therapist would mean severing that social friendship in favor of this new professional relationship.

    Think THE SOPRANOS with Clark as Tony and Lana as Dr. Melfi.

    But, you know, completely different.

    There's a way to make it work, but the pushback from some of the fanbase would be a lot.
    It's interesting. I know a lot of fans didn't like the issues when Superman was seeing a therapist, but if he HAD to, would Lana make sense? Not sure I could answer that right away.

    I think we should take away Lois' Pulitzer Prize-winning status. She should always be exceptionally good at what she does, but I think it might be more interesting if she were great yet not fully-appreciated. My understanding is that to win a Pulitzer, you have to submit an entry, kind of like how an Emmy for local news reporting is selected. I think what's not up for compromise is if Lois is good at her job, but especially in this day and age, it's almost more believable or more enjoyable if either a) she didn't apply b) she lost to a sellout whose goal is to win awards, not tell a story with integrity or c) she probably should've won, but didn't get the award for whatever reason. It's like the writers of Superman Returns and Man of Steel had to mention "Pulitzer" in order for us to believe she's good, and I think that backfires.

    EDIT: Actually, upon reconsideration, I'd say the Returns just mentions that she's won Pulitzers so they can tell us that she's good, without actually having to show us. In Man of Steel, it's just a clunky exposition line.
    Last edited by DochaDocha; 04-30-2020 at 02:30 PM.

  4. #64
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    She should always be exceptionally good at what she does, but I think it might be more interesting if she were great yet not fully-appreciated.
    I think she could theoretically start way, but she couldn't stay way - not when she breaks the kind of stories she breaks in the comics. That's will make people sit up and take notice. I personally prefer her doing so before Superman shows up, because that would prove it wasn't Superman that made her, that she didn't make her name by stumbling into something lucky because he took a liking to her.

    The only way for her not be a phenomenal success to me is for her not break those stories. For them not to get published. For her not to be exceptional. And I want Lois exceptional. Yes, I'm for more ordinary non-amazing-achiever people as supporting characters. But I'm not for Lois being one of them.

    I think what's not up for compromise is if Lois is good at her job, but especially in this day and age, it's almost more believable or more enjoyable if either a) she didn't apply b) she lost to a sellout whose goal is to win awards, not tell a story with integrity or c) she probably should've won, but didn't get the award for whatever reason.
    To me, the second is just cynicism. I like a good-triumphs-over-evil norm in comics. Wasn't always that way, and certainly sometimes not recently. But it's my thing.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 04-30-2020 at 03:07 PM.

  5. #65
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I think she could theoretically start way, but she couldn't stay way - not when she breaks the kind of stories she breaks in the comics. That's will make people sit up and take notice. I personally prefer her doing so before Superman shows up, because that would prove it wasn't Superman that made her, that she didn't make her name by stumbling into something lucky because he took a liking to her.

    The only way for her not be a phenomenal success to me is for her not break those stories. For them not to get published. For her not to be exceptional. And I want Lois exceptional. Yes, I'm for more ordinary non-amazing-achiever people as supporting characters. But I'm not for Lois being one of them.

    To me, the second is just cynicism. I like a good-triumphs-over-evil norm in comics. Wasn't always that way, and certainly sometimes not recently. But it's my thing.
    Fair enough. Even if it's just a starter for her not to be highly-recognized, I think it's still better if we see the story of how she won her first Pulitzer compared to "And here's three-time Pulitzer winner Lois Lane." And it can be for a story other than "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman."

    Anyway, sorry for the sidetracking. Back to Lana...

  6. #66
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Anyway, sorry for the sidetracking. Back to Lana...
    Right, right. I'm not fond of Superman in therapy, in general. Partially because it doesn't sound very interesting as an ongoing storyline, and partially for other reasons. And if there was a therapist, it shouldn't be someone he knows in any personal context (though I get the appeal of the idea of someone who knows his secret identity). I know the romantic history is downplayed in the angle referenced, but any sort of personal dynamic is touchy. And I don't really trust that a new writer wouldn't come along and reinstate a heavier romantic history. Hopefully no new writer would try pursuing it again, because with her as his therapist that'd be an even worse nightmare for her character's integrity. Even without that there's the element of Lana in some ways theoretically knowing Clark more intimately than Lois, which is problematic given their publishing history.

    The more I think on it, the more I think Lana works better as part of his past and not playing a role in Clark's life in the present. Although I know that would leave her fans out in the cold if she wasn't used elsewhere (and I think it's better for other characters to have their own supporting characters created/developed than to have ones that are so intrinsically tied to Superman or any other major hero).

    EDIT: And, as my sister just pointed out to me, Lana as Superman's therapist makes her presence all about him. You don't get to explore anything about her character and she doesn't get anything out of the relationship (except her fee). I've long said that we need to feel like supporting characters have a life outside the hero, and this role seems tailormade for a very tertiary character that exists only to facilitate the hero's storyline, rather than as a character you'd want to see more of learn about.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 04-30-2020 at 03:59 PM.

  7. #67
    Astonishing Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Clark View Post
    Not sure about Lana as a sheriff. Nothing in any of her various incarnations really struck me as being law-enforcement. Superwoman struck me more as Lana having powers and trying to make a difference rather than her having a strong drive to deal with crime. If she isn't going to be the small-town girl/farmwife incarnation from the immediate Post-Crisis, I'd go for the Superman TAS idea of her as a fashion designer over her being any type of action figure. Not that i find the fashion designer a great idea, but is one where she isn't taking character cues from Lois or Clark (reporter, adventurer, crime fighter).



    I've been on the same "we need more average joe supporting cast members" for a while now. I'll gladly sign the petition.
    So when I say sheriff, I'm not thinking of an action hero. More James Marsden in the Sonic movie; he just helps out around town wherever needed. I think Lana would be great as that while also needing to play hardball if necessary.

    I don't want her being Clark's therapist for the same reason most want the Kents dead. Writers abuse that to have Clark run off and sound his problems off when they want him to solve his problems, or at the very least discuss things with his wife, Lois (who arguably has a better PoV to discuss since it's not just Clark's, but older and wiser like Pa Kent).

  8. #68
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    I didn't really have a defined role in mind for Lana until I read the article Smallville 58.

    Since then, the orle I had in mind for Lana was that she was Clark's girlfriend in his teenage years, and how it was ultimately an unhealthy relationship that left both with a lot of hang ups, though they've become closer friends since the break up.

  9. #69
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Like I said, Lana as Clark's therapist only works with a big retconning / rebooting / AU / new media project.

    Within continuity, she probably can't make that jump without time-travel shenanigans ... and Bendis soured me on that with his putrid age-up of Jon.

    But honestly, barring that, there is NO compelling role for Lana in adult Clark's world. There just isn't.

    She'll never measure up to Lois as a romantic relationship.

    She'll never measure up to Kara as a familial relationship.

    She'll never measure up to Jimmy or Bruce or Krypto or even John Henry as a strictly platonic relationship.

    She's a Superverse role player without an active role where she is unique. Keep her in the past. Until the Next Reboot.

  10. #70
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    EDIT: And, as my sister just pointed out to me, Lana as Superman's therapist makes her presence all about him. You don't get to explore anything about her character and she doesn't get anything out of the relationship (except her fee). I've long said that we need to feel like supporting characters have a life outside the hero, and this role seems tailormade for a very tertiary character that exists only to facilitate the hero's storyline, rather than as a character you'd want to see more of learn about.
    Is this necessarily a bad thing? If we were to prefer Lana as someone who only shows up sporadically, and primarily a player from Superman's past, then I don't find myself invested in Lana herself, just how she plays into Superman's life.

  11. #71
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Is this necessarily a bad thing? If we were to prefer Lana as someone who only shows up sporadically, and primarily a player from Superman's past, then I don't find myself invested in Lana herself, just how she plays into Superman's life.
    For someone like Lana, who was once important in Clark's personal life - yes, IMO. Of course, I have previously stated that I think we need to feel like supporting characters have lives and friendships and things going on outside the main character, even if we don't see those things. They may be supporting characters, but they shouldn't act like they know they are supporting characters.

    Now, as I've said, I like Lana as part of Clark's past, not present. That would basically mean her not around at all, and I acknowledge that. But this sort of role is, IMO, for a non-character, someone who only exists as window-dressing to hear Superman talk about his issues out loud to the audience or to convey that he thinks he needs the support. IMO, that's a waste of any character that's ever been significant. It's not a place for a friend or someone the main character has a personal connection to. I don't like one-sided friendships, and way too many exist in comics. Lana can be someone who is or has been his friend, or she can be someone who has a strictly professional relationship. Can't be both, IMO, and this ends up with her essentially being Lana in-name-only or (more likely) with the entire thing going down the crapper and her as a very unprofessional therapist as some writer some where brings their personal history back into the story. It's worse than not using her, because she can always be used well for a one-off storyline in the future if she's off somewhere unknown. Once she's in this role, she's locked in to a place where anything personal (and personal is what's interesting) is off-limits.

    Moreover, it's kind a bleh that when we see the girl he left behind and tried to win him back (in another continuity, but still happened), we only see her spending her present serving his needs. That's her life (in sofar as we see it on page) is all about him. A newbie minor character wouldn't have that baggage. And would be expected to be forgettable and a non-entity by the audience so not disappoint any fans that expect the character to actually matter to either Clark or the plot.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 05-01-2020 at 10:31 AM.

  12. #72
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Have a question: were teenage Lana and Clark ever a couple before COIE? I understand they were in a committed relationship as adults in the bronze age. And they certainly occasionally dated in the the Superboy stories I've read. But never consistently or in a steady relationship as boyfriend/girlfriend in the stories I read (both dated other people, etc.).

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    It's interesting. I know a lot of fans didn't like the issues when Superman was seeing a therapist, but if he HAD to, would Lana make sense? Not sure I could answer that right away.

    I think we should take away Lois' Pulitzer Prize-winning status. She should always be exceptionally good at what she does, but I think it might be more interesting if she were great yet not fully-appreciated. My understanding is that to win a Pulitzer, you have to submit an entry, kind of like how an Emmy for local news reporting is selected. I think what's not up for compromise is if Lois is good at her job, but especially in this day and age, it's almost more believable or more enjoyable if either a) she didn't apply b) she lost to a sellout whose goal is to win awards, not tell a story with integrity or c) she probably should've won, but didn't get the award for whatever reason. It's like the writers of Superman Returns and Man of Steel had to mention "Pulitzer" in order for us to believe she's good, and I think that backfires.

    EDIT: Actually, upon reconsideration, I'd say the Returns just mentions that she's won Pulitzers so they can tell us that she's good, without actually having to show us. In Man of Steel, it's just a clunky exposition line.
    No, it is not “more interesting” to take away Lois’s most prestigious accomplishment and make her “good but unappreciated.” This is an extremely loaded comment that I want to believe you didn’t think through fully before you said it.

    Superman is an ::aspirational:: story. Female journalists have often cited Lois as an inspiration to go into the profession and her gender as a WOMAN who succeeds as the BEST is important and part of the aspiration aspect of the narrative.

    It’s important to understand that even now, in 2020, it is statistically more difficult for women to earn a Pulitzer Prize than men. This has been documented at length. Women win these awards LESS due to several factors intrinsically linked to institutional sexism which is why, several years ago, when the winner of the Pulitzer was the young female journalist who broke the Jerry Sandusky story (the Penn State abuse scandal) it was a huge deal that she won. So it is not unrealistic—it does happen and that woman was proof. https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1018123054.htm. This report is dated but it outlines the issue which is that women who do win are required to have higher qualifications than their male peers. They have to be better than the men to have a chance at the same award. It’s a good piece and it puts in pretty good perspective why Lois, as an aspirational figure, is important.

    I’m not sure why, in an ASPIRATIONAL story, where a man quite literally flies, the female lead has to supposedly be subjected to the same “unappreciated” status where she works and works but never gets ahead as so many of the REAL women doing that job day in and day out but I would argue that it completely misses the point of this narrative to not allow her that level of success.

    I agree that not every supporting character can or should be some kind of superhero and I agree that it’s to the detriment of the story when they are. I’m not in favor of Lana Lang as Superwoman nor did I care for her 20th reinvention as a super genius engineer. But Lois Lane is not just a supporting character. She’s the deuteragonist of the franchise and given that her role has often been to provide women specifically with an aspiration of their own separate from superpowers and flying and heat vision, I fail to see why the women who look up to her—who likely aren’t going to win a Pulitzer anymore than any guy is going to be able to fly—can’t see her ::-appreciated:: and recognized as the “best” as part of the aspiration and fantasy given we live in a world where institutional sexism against female reporters is still such a problem. That you would so casually argue to take away this accomplishment without considering what that little throwaway line might have meant to lots of women who internalized it and maybe, just maybe, for a split second believed they could one day—in a more fair world—win this award too is really bothersome.
    Last edited by Nelliebly; 05-07-2020 at 06:11 PM.

  14. #74
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Agree with you that Lois' talent should be recognized, Nelliebly. For me Iris and Linda and Vicky can be good but not prominent (Vicky's even in a position where she doesn't have to be good, but I prefer the versions where she is), but Lois must be the best at what she does and being that good, breaking the stories she does, has to draw notice.

    I’m not in favor of Lana Lang as Superwoman nor did I care for her 20th reinvention as a super genius engineer.
    Do you have a role you like for her in the present? Do you even like her in Superman's present?

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Agree with you that Lois' talent should be recognized, Nelliebly. For me Iris and Linda and Vicky can be good but not prominent (Vicky's even in a position where she doesn't have to be good, but I prefer the versions where she is), but Lois must be the best at what she does and being that good, breaking the stories she does, has to draw notice.

    Do you have a role you like for her in the present? Do you even like her in Superman's present?
    So...this is a hard question. I could? I don’t often like the way she is used because she’s reinvented constantly usually at the whim of whatever male writer is at the helm or, worse, she’s just outright weaponized against Lois and used as a misogynist tool which makes me loathe her. But I could be fine with her in the present if I thought male writers could use her properly.

    I actually grew to love Kreuk’s Lana. It could be that I was influenced by the friendship between Erica Durance and Kreuk (they are like best friends which I think is so sweet) but I liked when she went kind of dark and embraced that sort of...shady side of herself that was always there but she didn’t act on. I almost liked her as an anti hero vs. a straight up hero? But I’m not sure that’s a great use for her in the present. It worked for that show because it further outlined how unsuited Clark and Lana were for each other but I wouldn’t want to tie her to an abuser like Lex in the present.

    I would love to know what Gwenda Bond (the author of the Lois books) would do with her. I feel like she could have done her well in Lois’s books. I wish we had seen that.

    Oh ....and Lana can’t ethically be Clark’s therapist, guys. The role of a therapist is to be an uninvolved and objective 3rd party and she is neither of those things and couldn’t possibly be given their history even as just casual high school relationship or good childhood friend. She couldn’t ::ethically:: treat him as a patient.
    Last edited by Nelliebly; 05-07-2020 at 06:27 PM.

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