Superman, or: How My 9th Grade Book Report Went All Wrong
Superman doesn’t end up with Wonder Woman. Isn’t that wild? I had
always seen them as an item, traveling around in space on some great
big adventure—they’re an obvious, natural fit. But they don’t. Fit, I
mean. Instead, Superman, this invincible, amazing hero, falls for Lois
Lane. And, like, who is Lois Lane, anyway? She’s just a journalist. In
Metropolis. Which could be, you know, anywhere. Ohio, maybe. She
doesn’t have a magic lasso or superpowers. She can’t fly. She doesn’t
even wear a disguise. I bet she’s never even left her hometown of
cornfields and grain and Sunday School and listening to her mother. Lois
Lane is ground-tied: all she can do is watch him fly off to work, saving
the world. While Wonder Woman fights by his side. I wonder if Lois Lane
was ever jealous of Wonder Woman. Superhero and superheroine seem
more compatible than superhero and journalist. Superhero and mortal.
And yet. He doesn’t love Wonder Woman. Even though maybe
he should. He loves Lois Lane. The journalist. Maybe the hero, the super
part of Superman, would naturally be drawn to Wonder Woman. But
that’s not who he is. Not completely, I mean. Because Superman is also
Clark Kent. He’s a journalist, too. A nobody, a nerd. With glasses. From
a place called Smallville. And what he wants is lovely, lonely Lois Lane.
He could go for the super woman. He’s a super man, after all. But he is
also normal. So he goes for the normal girl. He is both and can have
either. And he chooses Lois Lane.
The Clark Kent in Superman is stronger than the superpowers
he possesses, is what I’m saying.
And, well, I love that story. Lois Lane doesn’t have to be a
goddess, or even a super woman. To win his love—get his attention, I
mean. And I just think, since it happened for Lois Lane, that maybe
there’s hope out there for all of us. The girls that are more like Lois Lane,
you know, than Wonder Woman.
This selection comes from the book, Pretty to Think So, available from Selcouth Station Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Alex DiFrancesco.
Samatha Edmonds am the Fiction Editor for Doubleback Review, a new lit journal in the Sundress Publications family, as well as the new Assistant Fiction Editor for Sundress Publications. My work appears in Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, Black Warrior Review, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. I currently live in Columbia MO, where I’m a PhD student in fiction at the University of Missouri.Alex DiFrancesco is a multi-genre writer who has published work in Tin House, The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The New Ohio Review, Brevity and more. In 2019, they published their essay collection Psychopomps (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press) and their novel All City (Seven Stories Press), which was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards. Their short story collection Transmutation (Seven Stories Press) is forthcoming in 2021. They are the recipient of grants and fellowships from PEN America and Sundress Academy for the Arts. They are an assistant editor at Sundress Publications.
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