The Death of Superman : Loïs Perfectly Knows That Clark Is Superman, part 4 (2500 Words)
The dinner at the Kent’s is very ambiguous as it should be because Loïs can find different things problematic according to how you decide to interpret the story.
What’s for sure is that Martha and Jonathan both make it clear that Clark isn’t the dork he pretends to be. Jonathan takes the traditional role of the man and talks about Clark being a little daredevil as a child while Martha takes on the affective side and talks about the few love stories that Clark already had.
Here, we can imagine that if Loïs truly doesn’t know about Clark being Superman, she could be disappointed to learn that the huge dork that she loves is actually your average super popular guy. But I doubt that. In my opinion, the problem that this scene raises for Loïs is that it becomes obvious that Clark wants to be a big dork, that Superman doesn’t want to be Super, when it’s actually what she likes about him.
She was expecting a: “Guess what ! I’m superman !” instead she witnessed Clark becoming more uncomfortable at each new remark that pointed at his superior manliness. (Being strong, being very popular).
She has a faint smile as if she found it cute, and suddenly realises that it’s problematic. She likes the guy who doesn’t want to be a superman but she’s not attracted to him => the roses female sexual openess. He’s not what she’s looking for. And it seems profoundly engraved in Clark to reject his superhero side. It’s not even Jonathan and Martha who forces him to restrain himself so much, Loïs cannot play the “your parents are diminishing you” card.
In a very nice cut, the roses transform into Clark waving. He’s trying to call a cab, but because of this cut, he is also waving goodbye to Loïs’ roses/libido.
This moment is a very nice parallel to Superman having Loïs meet his parents and then “flying her” to The Daily Planet. She meets Clark's parents, he calls a cab, Loïs understand how much it matters to him to be accepted and loved as a normal guy. She now needs a reason to punish him for not revealing the fact that he is Superman while pretending that there’s a serious problem on a whole another level of their relationship.
“Taxi ! Here it comes and there it goes. Are you ok ?”
“You couldn’t wait to get me outta there, could you ?”
“It throws home how much distance you keep between us.”
“Loïs, you know me better than anyone.”
“Then that’s a real shame.”
“Nothing is more important to me than you. I just have trouble showing it.”
“There’s something else going on and sometimes I feel like it scares you that I might get to the truth.”
Again, she is being hypocritical and complacent. If she loved him, a sentence like “Nothing is more important to me than you” would have made a difference.
The conclusion of the scene convinces me even more than she knows that he is superman. You don’t refuse a cab, that doesn’t exist. You can refuse flowers, or a ring, but there’s no deep symbolic meaning to accepting the open door of a cab or not, except when the guy opening the door is Superman and could bring you home by flying.
"There's something else going on and sometimes, it feels like it scares you that I might get to the truth." "It feels a bit as if you were a superhero and didn't want to tell me." "You know, a superhero... like Batman or the Flash... or Superman."
Loïs is unsubtly hammering her message home: “Tell me you’re Superman and I’m yours you idiot !” But Clark remains strongly rooted in his position.
Later on, Clark and Martha have a conversation about what happened but it’s not very heavy in meaningful elements. Martha simply is blind to the fact that something important might be at stake for Clark and that Loïs could be a hypocrite. She just wants to see her boy find a woman. The Kent’s are forgetting that Clark is an alien.
-----------------------Doomsday Lays a Foot on Terra Ferma-----------------------
After the fecundation comes the birth, Doomsday leaves the mother’s realm and enters the woods. He jumps from childhood to adolescence.
I’m not exactly sure of the meaning of the underwater killings. The Atlantes are there to incarnate female agents, while Lex corps employees are there to incarnate male ones. Doomsday kills everybody. So, does this mean that he comes from nothing ?
Superman’s influence on humanity is the celebration of nihilism. He emasculated all men and he prevented women from being attracted to them. He has dug an abyss between both genders and now, from this void rises a monster: the offspring that needs no sexual reproduction.
HO ! And that’s why Doomsday is partially rock. The stronger he is, the closer he comes to regress to a state prior to cell division and thus prior to the appearance of life.
Now… into the woods, it’s agreeably complex.
A young couple went for a picnic and a night under the tent. Most probably, it was supposed to be their first time.
Unluckily, a bear showed up and is now rummaging amongst their provisions just in front of the tent where the woman is hidden. As for the man, he is hiding behind a tree, holding an axe but too terrified to intervene. This situation, just like with the couple of astronauts, represents the state of men and women’s relationships under Superman’s ruling.
First, on a pure literal level, the guy is being stupid and cowardly not because he doesn’t attack the bear and gets killed, but because he could simply cut the back of the tent open with his axe and help the girl escape. Men have now become absolutely apathetic because of an absolute lack of trust in their capabilities.
On a metaphorical level now, these two kids are discovering sexuality but the guy isn’t accustomed to his own arousal while the woman has never witnessed a man who behaved according to his attraction for her. The bear is thus a metaphor for the male libido, while the tent is the female body. The girl is terrified by what she discovers in her boyfriend… and the guy is terrified by what he discovers in himself.
(Usually in fairy tales) The woods are the place of all possibilities. If the scene takes place there, it’s because the encounter between a young man and a young woman who still have a functioning sex drive has become an improbable thing. It’s more of a “what if” situation than anything, a parenthesis. Young people now have to flee from society in order to explore themselves.
What should happen here is that the bear should enter the tent and just be friendly with the girl. It would mean that both kids learn that penetration isn’t an aggression. That’s what they are testing.
When the girl starts crying, on a metaphorical level, her tears are arousal. I know, it sounds incredibly morbid and creepy and it is but that’s because these two kids are totally alienated by the super-alien. The girl is necessarily and naturally aroused by her boyfriend’s desire for her but Superman’s brainwashing makes her believe that her boyfriend is actually about to hurt her, that he is showing disrespect and aggressiveness by behaving like a man (acting upon his attraction for her).
So, her tears of terror are triggered for the exact same reasons as her sexual arousal: her man is about to penetrate her. And she perceives her beloved boyfriend as a huge wild beast, that which arouses her too, and terrifies her too.
Both wants the penetration to happen though, just like the boy didn’t try to cut the tent open, she didn’t zip it.
Suddenly as the kid is penetrating the girl (and tearing her hymen) he is stopped and blood gushes on the girl’s face. Usually it’s the girl who bleeds.
Because Superman emasculated all of them, men’s expression of their manliness is now perceived as an aggression. But with Doomsday’s birth, it’s not about rivalry anymore, it’s about destroying any human being who would dare be sexuated.
-------------------------The Situation Worsens-------------------------
Because her diner with Clark’s parents didn’t go as well as hoped at all, Loïs is experiencing a desire to escape the exterior gaze for the first time (Kat). She meets Clark in a corridor of the Daily Planet. They chat but the conversation is interrupted by a call of Wonder Woman and Clark leaves. Kat becomes convinced that he is about to announce Loïs that he doesn’t want to be with her anymore.
Both Kat and Clark got Loïs a coffee. When you're flirting with Loïs you compete with the people who are fascinated by her persona.
Doomsday’s progression hugs the evolution of Kal El’s situation.
1-Superman reaches his final goal of emasculating all men but instead of making things easier with Loïs, it suddenly makes them more complicated and the journalist even indirectly tackles the idea of splitting up. “Look Clark, I’m not going to waste time worrying if a guy likes me or not.”
The perfect couple of perfect people (the astronauts) is annihilated.
2-Clark and Wonder Woman have a serious falling out. I suppose Kal El hoped that Wonder Woman would have accepted to bear his children, as disgusting a thought as it might be, a kryptonian baby would tear Loïs’ stomach and probably cause her death.
Clark, loses all hope of finding a way to have children, Doomsday kills both male and female agent during his birth.
3-During the diner with Clark's parents, Loïs loses her sexual attraction for Clark.
Doomsday kills the two young virgins who were about to embrace their attraction for each other.
4-The Failure of Loïs and Clark’s couple becomes public (Kat, the office).
Doomsday reaches civilisation, a little town, and the police intervenes. And a young woman records the attack on camera
If Kal El loses all hope, Doomsday destroys everything. It has to be noticed that Superman hasn’t saved anybody since the introduction of the movie when Doomsday has been killing sexually eligible women after sexually eligible women since his appearance (Women that Superman usually chooses to save).
Wonder Woman’s behaviour betrays her jealousy and sadness. She’s hurt that Clark would make great efforts to find the strength to tell Loïs the truth while he never ever considered telling the world who he was for her. She thinks she knows the real Clark and that he is rejecting her for a woman he is trying to fool/who is fooling him. It’s humiliating.
-I've got a lunch with Loïs but I'll cancel.
-We're good with who we have.
-This lunch wouldn't have anything to do with what we were discussing the other day ?
-Call if the league needs me.
-Is that your way of saying "mind your own business"
Clark doesn’t realise how much he is hurting Diana, and she is too respectful of people’s desires to say anything, but the consequence of this exchange is that she will not consider calling Clark for help and will nearly get killed by Doomsday.
Also, the fact that the need for his intervention should fall exactly at the moment of his rendez-vous with Loïs isn’t a coincidence either.
I must confess that I don't understand how he could be so prone to say "I'll cancel." It's a bit as if he knew Wonder Woman was going to tell him not to.
---------------The Justice League Intervenes + Lex Luthor Prepares Himself---------------
Hawkman arrives just in time to save the girl who is recording Doomsday’s attack on camera. As the creature is killing humans as sexual beings, I suppose the members of the Justice League who attack him bear a meaning on that level, it's as if he went from the weakest to the strongest incarnation of manliness.
Hawkman (impotence ?) and Flash (homosexuality) I get. But Green Lantern ? Or Batman (Above average manly man ?), I don't know.
Through their efforts, they manage to partially reveal the face and body of the monster. (I'll come back to this later on)
We learn that Luthor is creating monsters that have no mothers, pure products of male agents (Grow in glass tubes artificial uterus, synthesized DNA through cloning). His short-haired friend doesn’t approve. Masculinity is contemplating the idea of getting rid of femininity in order to rival Superman.
Clark brings Loïs to his fan’s restaurant; the guy with whom he took a picture at the beginning of the movie.
We could believe that he’s finally decided to play the “I’m Superman” card because he doesn’t trust his Clark persona enough. But it's more probable that Loïs truly managed to convince him that his being Superman is going to be problematic. He is truly scared that at the minute he says “I’m Superman” Loïs is going to answer: “Oh, that changes a few things. You’re not the normal guy I thought you were. I’m sorry, that’s not the kind of relationship I’m looking for.”
Loïs completely fakes her reactions.
-Ok. The other day, you said it felt like I was holding back… like something was wrong. You were right.
-Ok. Glad to know I’m not crazy. Well, this doesn’t have to be a bad break up, I’m still gonna come to work each day and if that’s a problem that’s on you to deal with.
This overreaction (inspired by Kat) allows her to pretend to be completely oblivious to what he’s going to tell her. Plus, it adds another layer of proofs that she really didn’t want to be with him because he is Superman. See, she had already accepted to be dumped by Clark Kent when he told her he was Superman.
A women who is happy to date Clark would never have reacted like this. You do not anticipate on your boyfriend leaving you and even less to show him that it'll take you less than one minute to recover from the blow if he does.
"There's a reason I'm so secretive, and I think you deserve to know why." Obviously the guy likes Loïs very much and is taking a huge and scary step.
"And ?" Loïs has the judgmental, cold, unhappy reaction of a mother whose kid is confessing that he's done a big mistake. Again, things would never take this turn if she didn't already know. She'd be worried and would try to make it easier for the guy by showing a sweet and understanding side.
When he tells her, she bursts out laughing, because… it’s so unbelievable. He removes his glasses and she pretends to be overwhelmed with the realisation that omg he is Superman. She does so, so that it’s engraved in the guy’s mind that the glasses worked perfectly, that she never had a doubt. And two seconds after having laughed at the idea, she starts listing everything that should have made her understand the truth:
-Oh my god ! This is insane. But it makes total sense you… you always showed up around the same time, it was like you were just there, and you were good… too good (is she talking about sex ?) Ho my god this is so unethical, you wrote stories about yourself. […] You never take vacations, you never sweat, you never tan, are those people even your parents ? […] Oh my god, you’re from another planet, my boyfriend is from another planet. […] and now you want me to live with it too.
She lists all these clues in order to make her ignorance look less suspicious if Clark ever happens to reflect upon the story of their couple. By naming in front of him all the obvious reasons why she should have guessed that he was Superman, she makes it more believable that she never did.
Also, by feigning shock at the fact that he wrote stories about himself she very subtly convey the impression that Clark’s job as a journalist is more important to her than his being Superman, or that she hasn’t realised yet that his job as a journalist isn’t important.
Same thing with “are those people even your parents” ? She perfectly knows they are, but by pretending to be angry and suspicious, she creates the illusion that Clark’s behaviour towards her is more important than his being Superman.
The level of manipulation here is quite grim. It’s understandable that a woman could lose her head over Superman but here Loïs is really being an asshole to Clark. She goes through great length to have him believe that she didn’t know, but when Jimmy Olsen calls, the whole mockery isn’t important anymore.
-Jimmy I’m busy, call back… what ? What ? Speak up I can’t hear you.
"Hey Jimmy, guess what ! Clark finally confessed to me that he was Superman. It's only taken one year ! So, why are you calling ?"
Let’s pretend that her general reaction to Clark’s confession is convincing. Taking Jimmy’s call and letting herself be caught in her job makes the whole thing collapse. One second ago, she was pretending to be overwhelmed by the fact that her “boyfriend is from another planet.” But now she’s fine. The pill is swallowed, let’s move on. It's just not believable, either she is shocked and confused, or she isn't. If she can switch from one state to another then she's just pretending.
Clark runs out on her as if to show her what it means to be Superman’s girlfriend. He leaves a word: “I love you.” He truly is convinced that Loïs wasn’t ready for all this and that it will be detrimental to him.
Loïs jumps on a Daily Planet helicopter. She’s having a perfect day.