BvS analysis 3- Is Superman a Superlover ? (5600 words)
Part 1 : Man of Steel
In my previous article I laid down some arguments about the impact of Superman on women and men and their relationships.
We should not forget that essentially, Superman is a loser’s fantasy of being able to become the ultimate alpha male (when he removes his glasses).
Clark is self-effaced, he gets bullied all the time, his work is under-appreciated, he is naïve, lonely and shy, he lacks confidence. But the man can become a super-strong, super-beautiful, super-impressive being who spends his time saving people’s lives and arousing women.
Necessarily, the story of such a man should have a sexual subtext. There isn’t a Superman story that could ignore the sexual impact that the superhero has on men and women when the character is essentially built around sexual frustration.
And indeed, there is a sexual subtext both in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman (and in virtually every single movie ever made), and I can spoil you straight ahead its ending. Superman dies. But of course, we know he is not dead, as the last shot of the movie suggests (and a little logic). So, if Superman died but isn’t dead, his death wasn’t the true one. It was a little death. Batman v Superman can be read as the story of the Superhero’s first orgasm. Here you can take a break and laugh for a minute.
When Man of Steel starts, Superman is a virgin, obviously. A person’s sexuality is an important part of his life and although they are not always put forward, or although it doesn’t always seem like it, relationships and sex take a lot of space in superhero movies or comics. So it is quite normal that at some point in his story it should become obvious that Clark has made love for the first time. And that’s actually what we all thought of when we saw the embarrassing bathtub scene in Batman V Superman: “Ok, something has happened between the two movies.”
As I have already partially put forward, in Man of Steel Clark Kent and Superman have a particular impact on women. When the ultimate Alpha male is around, every other man becomes unattractive, ridiculous and aggressive. The first example of that is the red-headed, fat and not so attractive boy of the bus who asks him about the game. This boy has a long way to go before he can stand a chance with a girl if Clark is free (or at least it is the common belief and truth in a culture like ours).
So, as Clark’s simple existence makes him less of a man, and maybe he actually is a representation of how men feel when they compare themselves to the Kryptonian, the boy spontaneously attempts at undermining Clark’s manliness ; here by talking about “the game,” which Clark obviously doesn’t know about, and by insulting our poor hero (Dicksplash, Asswipe) to underline that he cannot stand up for himself and therefore, is not a “man.” A girl takes Clark’s defence and is set straight by “Oh what are you, his girlfriend ?” What’s at stake here is very clear. A tyre of the bus explodes and the ginger boy sits down against his will.
Oh… crap. I wrote in my article about Ex Machina that my interpretations imposed themselves to me. It’s not imagination, it’s more like following an idea and checking if it works or not. And well, again, this sexual interpretation is leading me somewhere dangerous.
So, ok, we’ve said that Superman is an Alpha male whom women fancy at the expense of all other men. In that scene where a boy bullies Clark in front of some girls, Clark, if he was a normal kid would just stand up and talk back eloquently and the girls would get wet (literally or metaphorically speaking). I’m sorry if I’m using slang, I don’t know how to put it. Here Superman’s answer is so manly that they metaphorically drown in their vaginal liquid. It’s a joke but that’s what it means. They are extremely aroused by Clark’s blowing up the tyre. Even though they don’t know it’s him. I mean, it’s a bit complicated here. If we understand the explosion of the tyre as Clark’s answer to the boy’s bullying (and it is), the bus sinking in the river is the girls’ sexual reaction. And it’s a joke, the screenwriter is winking at us. That’s a way to understand subtexts, they’re like private jokes.
Another episode which depicts Clark’s catastrophic interactions with women and men is the one with the waitress of the bar where he works. A truck driver touches her butt, she reacts with hostility and he tries to have her sit down against her will. Clark intervenes, the guy empties his beer on his head and our hero just quits his job because “it’s not worth it.” This time, his revenge doesn’t include making an impression on the girl and it is a lot more premeditated than when he makes a tyre explode probably involuntarily.
Now, this scene can be interpreted exactly like the one with the bus, that is, men being emasculated by Clark’s alpha manliness. Every time I see a guy rescuing a girl from another guy in a movie (or in real life), I always ask myself whether this intervention is justified or not (See Avatar's bar scene). Because what it often truly is, is the girl creating the situation so as to make official a shift of interest from one guy to another. The waitress and the client are familiar with each other; they both know their first name. A truck driver, a waitress in a bar, doesn’t it sound like a possible story ? I’m not saying they’ve already had sex together but that the guy honestly fancies her and isn’t necessarily disillusioned when he thinks he might have a chance. The scene doesn’t start with Clark working in a bar, it starts with Letto arriving at this bar and arranging his hat, anxious to look as good as he can for the waitress. The thing is, the ultimate alpha man gives a simple smile to the woman and a vulgar, unsubtle and dirty truck driver is really not what she feels she should be courted by anymore.
The first thing we see of their dispute is the woman saying “seriously back off letto.” We don’t know what he just did to deserve this remark but he sure must be quite humiliated and disappointed and hurt. And if I want to go into serious micro-reading, the high pitch tone he uses when he says “sit down” is an honest invitation (if vexed), not the cliché “I’m being nice but you don’t have a choice and should be worried,” and the look he gives her when she refuses is also honest surprise. My point is, Clark steps in a lot too early. The waitress clearly has a temper and can get out of this situation. And she might not be the victim she seems to be. Another interesting detail is the “Ho, there he is” remark of Letto when Clark sends him a dark look. They both know Clark’s nice guy persona is… a persona. Men know men. That’s also why men don’t like Clark Kent, they know he is a beast disguised as a lamb. While he removes his apron Clark looks one last time at the other guy, but it’s not an angry look, more of a pensive one, as if the guy had struck a chord. “Maybe he is right, my true self is the angry guy.” Can anyone explain to me what the “it’s not worth it” of the girl means ? Is it that Letto has proven that Clark wasn’t better than anyone else by making him angry and thus has reconquered her ? (Edit: There's no end scene with the waitress, she is not witnessed phrasing her disappointement that Clark is living, the truck driver made his point and won the fight). Because that’s also why Clark is so popular. He is incredibly manly but at the same time he looks innocent, meaning he is not looking for sex which is why he is intolerably popular amongst virgins and woman who are ashamed of their sexuality (Loïs Lane).
Obviously, when you see what happens when he tries to live amongst men and women, it is understandable that Clark should think “Maybe I should just find a way not to be around men and women at the same time… well, let’s work exclusively amongst men then.” I give you five seconds to guess what happens if you don’t know already.
Well, he learns that men can be attracted to him too and that in the same way water filled the schoolbus, the fire of passion burns the phallic oil platform (already a metaphor for homosexuality in Breaking the waves and Sorcerer).
Passion and explosive erection/orgasm. And a guy who risks his life to save him. Damn he's popular !
When Clark reaches the coast, the dead end he is in is summarized in one smart shot. A man is bringing groceries possibly to his mother and we mistake him for Clark, but he’s not. Clark comes out of the water and his clothes are still torn by the assault of overexcited homosexual men. He looks at the school bus and remembers what happens when he is around women. And the first/last option is remaining his mama’s boy (the guy bringing groceries).
1- You stay with mummy 2- People tear up your clothes because they are attracted to you 3- Women go crazy and men go very jealous and sad.
So, he gives up without giving up. The episode of the bar, the man’s “there he is,” has convinced him that he has to confront his true self (Kryptonian) to the world, or at least has to learn who he is. So we find him in the North Pole in the army this time, that’s where he meets Lois Lane (cold => solitude) who confesses that she cannot write a proper article if she’s not wearing a flak jacket. Lois Lane wants to be victimized. I don’t understand her exactly but she shows several indicators of misandry. In the first place, she forces her coming in the base, but not only does she forces things, she also arrives one day earlier and when the Colonel tells her, she takes it as “measuring dicks” when his remark is actually totally understandable. She makes herself a real pain in the ass. Another funny detail is that in her report, she lies about the “soviet submarine hypothesis” and pretends that the Colonel was the one to suggest this erroneous idea in order to ridicule him when in reality it was her.
Anyway, she eventually manages to get what she is looking for with so much motivation: she is hurt by a phallus, she is fatally penetrated. Don’t ask me why she wants this I don’t know and I don’t know why it should be incarnated by the strange kryptonian metallic owl either. What’s interesting is that Superman heals her by stitching the injury with his laser eyes. So, metaphorically, she is a virgin again, thanks to Superpurifier. Ah ok, I get it. Lois Lane perceives sex as something wrong and feeling aroused is thus shameful to her, and she transfers her shame, her guilt on the ones who inspire her this guilt. She hates men and wants to emasculate them (looks like her father was God and any other man is filth), thus the constant taking of risks. Until the day it costs her her life, that day being when she tries to emasculate Superman… whom she fancies. This has to do with the pictures she takes of the owl, but I can’t quite figure the meaning of all this.
Clark leaves with the Kryptonian starship which cannot but mean that Lois’ love does not interest him or is not enough. Strange. Lois doesn’t need Clark to hurt men, she should be the perfect match ! (as he emasculates them too)
Lois “publishes” an article so that Clark knows that she knows he comes from another planet (I guess it’s the spaceship that gave her that crazy idea), and eventually finds him on the grave of his father after some investigations. She “senses” that he is addicted to helping people and he tells her the story of the death of his father in which he states too his desire to do something “useful.” And here I understand the “there he is” of the man in the bar. Clark Kent is hypocritical when he says “I just want to help people.” What he wants is to be himself and express his Nietzscheen will-to-power. He has spent his whole life taking as little room as possible but it has become unbearable. So, in the bar when he intervenes and say “please leave her alone,” he pretends that he is just being the good guy selflessly doing what’s good when actually, he is not. That’s exactly the meaning of “there he is” before that moment, he pretends he has no self, no desires.
This slight difference isn’t so slight when Lois is blind to it, she believes in Superman’s purity. So when he asks her if he should carry on hiding the truth about himself, she is impressed by… well… his selflessness. Just like when he explains that he accepted to be handcuffed so that the military could feel a bit more reassured. As of Perry, the Daily Planet’s boss, he has the same discourse as Jonathan Kent, another man who does not want to be emasculated by the super extra-terrestrial, and he is right. In the military interrogation room, Clark unnecessarily showcases his superpowers “I can read your I.D. through the one way mirror, gnagnagna ! I can break your handcuffs like they’re made of plastic.”
"I let them handcuff me so that they are not scared and see they can trust me. Oh fuck it, she was about to tell me that the S on my chest stood for something starting with "Super" and they interrupted us !"
Why would he accept to be handcuffed and accompanied to an interrogation room, to be treated like a prisoner if he is ready to ruin everything in five seconds ? He is absolutely not doing his best to avoid being given to Zod. And why would he ? Of course he wants to meet Zod and the Kryptonians. How could he possibly resist such a meeting ? When he surrenders himself to the humans, he just want them to “betray” him. If the military had said “we’ll protect you with our lives man, you’ve lived with us for years, you’re one of us now” Clark would have been very embarrassed.
So, I think, Clark is a bit hypocritical when he does all this and that he only wants to underline that he cannot trust mankind. He more or less knows that Zod has bellicose intentions and what’s best than a common enemy to make the best of friends ?
The only way Clark has found to make humans love him is to save their lives: just after Zod has asked for his surrender, there’s a flashback on his youth in which the fat ginger guy from the bus helps Clark stand up after some bullies pushed him around. This flashback points at Clark’s idea; if human beings only pay attention to him when he saves their lives, let’s just get their lives seriously threatened and save them.
So he fights for mankind and seduces the military, Lois Lane and the average American family.
Unfortunately for him when he gathers enough courage to kiss Lois (his first kiss), the idiot woman states “you know how they say it is all downhill after the first kiss.” Seriously, how insecure can she be to ruin a beautiful moment like that ? And so she needs more violence, more threats and more killing to be completely reassured, hence the final fight with Zod.
At the end of the carnage, once he has eradicated his own race, Clark finds the strength to “retry” as a human and finds a job as a journalist in the daily planet (this newspaper must be a very good one if they hire random unknown unqualified crew or Perry is simply not blind). As I pointed out in my previous article, as soon as he arrives there, women become insensitive, vain and condescending towards men. Lombard is laughed at when he asks Lois and her colleague out. It has to be seriously reminded that the guy put his life at risk to save Jenny’s when Metropolis was collapsing under the repeated attacks of the World Builder.
Both Steve and Perry show a lot of courage to help Jenny but she never betrays any sort of gratitude, instead she just looks at Superman in awe and goes “he saved us.” Two men less on Clark’s list of rivals.
And there's also the scene with Colonel Swanwick and the girl who laughs at him because she finds Superman “kinda hot.”
And that’s where the movie ends. Clark has managed to emasculate all human heterosexual males, apart from the soldier who finds love in the beautiful Kryptonian woman “a good death is its own reward" he says. And they die together because she didn’t stop him when she easily could have. That’s sad. And they couldn't be together because they were not on the same side. Or maybe, they actually die to be on the same side. They both betray their camp (except that the guy still destroys the world builder) by dying in order to be together. Wahou, that is awesome.
Clark might think he is loved when actually he is only admired. He fascinates women but he deprives them of their ability to judge him through seduction/fascination. If it sounds totally incoherent think of a rockstar who can seduce a huge number of women because of his talent and remain a horrible human being whom they would avoid and despise if they had enough self-confidence, or if he was a random guy.
Part 2 : Batman V Superman
It is logical that, in 2016, a movie like BvS should make less than a massive colorful entertainer like Civil War at the box office. But it's really disappointing that people didn't acknowledge its depth and intelligence.
When BvS starts, Superman is the ultimate shiny alpha male, godlike father figure who is so intolerably perfect that no other guy can compete with or even exist in front of him. Bruce Wayne finds Wallace Keefe stuck under debris, his legs are crushed. The result of Superman and Zod’s fight in metropolis is the emasculation (legs = phallic symbol) of its male citizens. Wallace Keefe represents all the men who now feel that they cannot be enough for women; incomplete. “The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness” says Alfred. Keefe is a part of Colonel Swanwick, of Perry White or of Bruce Wayne.
Then, in Africa, it becomes a bit complicated. Between the cold execution of an infiltrated CIA agent who was passing himself off as a cameraman by some sort of terrorists (not exactly though) and the execution of all the latter’s men by infiltrated agents of Lex Luthor using very specific bullets manufactured only in Luthor’s factory and not sold anywhere and then Superman’s intervention and then the government’s intervention if I understood well. What an incredible clusterfuck ! (The director's cut wasn't available at the time of this article).
This scene can be interpreted in a simple way: if all men are nothing in front of Superman, it is quite logical that Lois Lane should witness some sort of metaphorical crisis in manliness around her.
There is a more visible hint at a sexual interpretation though and I’ll start with it. When Lois is held hostage by the presumed terrorist and Superman appears, she clearly is aroused by the situation. Clark and Lois still are in the same dynamic as in Man of Steel. Lois still takes inconsiderate risks in order to be victimized by masculinity and enjoys being rescued. She has become addicted to this mechanism.
Not far above, I was comparing Superman to a rockstar. There is a big difference between a man whom women find attractive and arrousing and a man who actually is a good lover. When Superman saves Lois Lane, true she is transported, but the thing is, they are not having sex. Lois still has this immature perception of sex as a god descending on earth to take her away… exactly what happens in the scene in the desert. She has a very unphysical, disembodied idea of sex.
Each of these rescue intervention of superman are to be linked with sexuality. Flood/Sexual Arousal. Fire/Burning desire. Explosion of a phallic object/Emasculated men. Same pattern as in Man of Steel.
The next scene shows her taking a bath just after coming back from her trip. I absolutely love how they dared make this scene awkward. And I think it perfectly represents why the film “failed” at the box office. People do not expect anything so complex in a Superhero movie. You cannot put awkwardness and hope too much that people are going to think it is done on purpose and look for reasons to this awkwardness.
Lois is at least a little bit more mature than the girls of the bus in Man of Steel; but still she was disproportionately aroused by Superman’s intervention (River vs Bath). Clark, not superman, appears with flowers. Now, let’s think about the situation for a minute. She has just been on the verge of getting shot in the head, that is to say, she has pushed the limits of their little game as far as they can go. Next time, even Superman might not be enough to save her. Necessarily, they are both very happy to see each other in a more peaceful context, alive, and they very naturally should want to kiss, hug and make love.
But this is not what happens. Clark didn’t fly to Lois apartment, he came as the man not as the superhero, and as soon as he enters the room Lois talks to him about the consequences of their African getaway. She is naked in a bath tub and the width of the shots allows us to see her head to toe. More, when Lois sits straight the movement of her breast cannot but trigger some erotic awe in the viewer (at least in me). Clark doesn’t blink an eye and Lois doesn’t seem to be aware of the erotic dimension of her behaviour. Clark comes nearer and places his hand on her neck but she reacts as if it was more unpleasant than comforting.
The fact that Lois should be totally naked without expecting any reaction on Clark's side is quite unsettling. She speaks as if sex was the last thing on her mind.
And she chooses this moment to raise the problematic topic of : “I don’t know if it is possible for you to love me and be you.” Just like for Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, the superhero is stuck into his superhero role by his lover’s idea of “you.” Clark tried everything to be Clark Kent in this scene. He needed Lois to show how much she desired him more than Superman, but if Clark’s love for Lois is tackled twice here, it is never question of her love for him.
“I don’t know if it is possible for you to love me and be you” bears a nice double meaning. “I don’t know if we can be in a relationship while you remain Superman” but also “I don’t know if you can make love to me as Clark Kent.” Eventually, Clark gives up and enters the bath with his clothes on which is awkward because it just means that he accepts to make love to Lois without being the source of her arousal. The final shot of the scene concludes everything sadly. As soon as he removes his glasses, water gushes from the bathtub. (It's not the final shot of the ultimate version but it's still a Clark vs Superman scene overall)
So, this is very interesting because it means Superman also emasculates Clark Kent. But also, and I’m not exactly sure of this interpretation as of now, but I think Superman might be experiencing difficulty to have sex with Lois Lane because he simply could kill her if he loses himself. It's funny that I forgot my favourite interpretation to Lois' "I don't know if you can love me and be you." Lois is questionning the ability of Kal-El the Kryptonian to make love to her spontaneously, naturally, without tearing her appart because her body would not resist his strength. (Which is why Wonder Woman will be the one to deliver him from his virginity/sexual frustration at the end of the film).
He is an alien virgin, things cannot be that easy. Also, he is an idle fancy, a fantasy, he can be very arousing but you cannot make love to him. Superman is a symbolic phallus, only Clark Kent has a real one.
(Of course, on a literal level, they make love at the end of this scene and in Africa Lois is not aroused when she is held hostage but takes a leap of faith when Superman saves her.)
Now, I’m not going to fully analyse BvS because I’m starting to realise it would be intolerably long (and this article already is) and also because I intend to go and see the director’s cut in theatre (Edit: well, in DVD) and I don’t want to overthink everything in the movie so that I still can appreciate it; And also, on a more practical level, because the film is still in theatre and I can only put captures from the trailers to illustrate my points.
Moving on to Batman’s apparition in the film, it is logical that if Clark Kent’s narrative arc should integrate a commentary on gender/sexual roles, Bruce’s one should too. And as we’ve seen, Bruce’s employee, Wallace Keefe, already pointed in that direction. He is the emasculated man. Bruce isn’t emasculated, but at which price ? He has no lover. He is seen waking up next to a woman but she has no face. Bruce is the man who instead of accepting to submit to Superman’s ruling stopped looking for love, he is a seducer; he stopped taking women seriously. And Batman’s first intervention is to brand a man who has captured several women. It is said that only two men were branded that way and both are sex offenders => Because of Superman’s existence, men become sexually deviant, they don’t want to expose themselves to what happened to poor Steve Lombard in Man of Steel, that is to say behave honourably and get rejected as if they were lepers, and thus they deprive women from their right to make a choice because they fear, not illogically, that they might just choose Superman. Even if the superhero is just a fantasy.
Clark Kent learns about this and Lex Luthor appears in the film. I was already thinking that Lex Luthor incarnated Clark Kent’s shameful desires, or at least a part of Clark Kent’s psyche which would explain why he never needs to learn about his secret identity and his mother, but now that I’ve noticed this succession, I realise that Lex Luthor metaphorically appears because Superman is scared of Batman which also confirms another feeling I had, the one that Superman is scared of men. I mean, it took me time to think about this and to notice elements that hinted at it, but once you’ve thought of it, it seems too awesome and smart not to be true. The first idea I had was that he is impressed by the fact that they manage to live and hope when they actually are so weak and fragile. He is a god to them, but precisely because everything is so much easier for him, he must also feel that on an equal foot, he’d be stepped on like an insect. Just like the handicapped guy climbs his statue to write “false god” on it.
But I don’t think it is exactly that, I think that when he sees Batman branding sex offenders (the guys who are too scared of women to allow them the room to chose); he knows it means “I know you are among these cowards.” And maybe for the first time in his life, he feels scared. Obviously, he could have been scared by the Kryptonians in Man of Steel but metaphorically he is never threatened by them and thus never scared. Suddenly, a man tells Superman “I know you are not the god you pretend to be, and I’m coming for you.”
(Edit : sex offenders don't let women the right to chose just like Superman don't let women the psychological space to chose either. Clark cheats by using Superman's power of fascination/seduction. He cannot be rejected but he actually isn't accepted either, just like a rapist. He is a coward and that's what Batman tells him).
At the same time, Superman wants to destroy Batman and Clark Kent wants him to succeed, but the man cannot consciously/explicitly act against superman and thus appears Lex Luthor: the man whose motivations to kill superman remain totally mysterious, because they are to be found in Clark Kent. (Damn, I suppose I got a name wrong here and I don't undertsand what I meant anymore. My point was that Clark Kent wants contradictory things and/or shameful things and Luthor incarnates these).
Lois carries out her investigation about the bullet that was used in Africa. This subplot that involves general Swanwick who is now a random major’s secretary and therefore has been downgraded since the last movie, shows Lois starting to realise that her fascination for Superman (Women’s fascination for the ultimate alpha male) is causing casualties amongst men.
Their conversation in the bathroom sounds as if they were past lovers, or even funnier as if Lois Lane had used Swanwick for sex, but had gone back to Superman afterwards :
LL: “Secretary Swanwick you haven’t been returning my phone calls.”
SS: “Mrs. Lane, if you’d like an interview, Major Ferris is just outside that door.”
LL: “You’re treating me like a stranger !?!”
SS: “I’m treating you like a reporter.”
LL: “Alright, is the U.S. providing experimental military arms to the rebels in Africa ?”
SS: “You know, with balls like yours you belong in here. What’s your source on this. A Tinfoil hat ?”
SS: “Here’s the truth: A reporter got greedy for a scoop and went where she shouldn’t have. Superman acted like some rogue combatant to rescue her and people died. Don’t invent a conspiracy theory to put back his halo… or yours.”
It seems that Lois has had a relapse in her risky behaviours. She is back to trying to be hurt by men, or eradicate them, just like when Clark found her in the North Pole in Man of Steel. Swanwick’s “with balls like yours” echoes the aggressiveness of the Colonel Nathan Hardy because she forced her coming at his base.
Anyway, this conversation is the result of Lois learning that Superman is not everything. She is turning to the men she has snubbed for her superalien because she suddenly realises that they’re not useless. In Africa, metaphorically again as always, she has learnt that Superman was not the only one who could suppress men; when she investigates on the bullet, she is as much trying to save Superman and their couple as she is trying to find Anatoli Knyazev because she was taken with him. She is looking for a real man because she is slowly understanding that Clark is not what she was looking for (slowly understanding that she has a libido). She will very easily redeem herself by just saying : ”I don’t have a halo over me Mr. Secretary. I went into the desert. People died. It keeps me awake it should.”
The choice of the word “desert” over “in Africa” hints at a metaphorical meaning. The desert is… well… you know… if wetness is arousal, the desert is the contrary. Superman can’t satisfy Lois sexually and the only way she has ever found to fight her sexual frustration is to be saved by a manly man. So again, she took risks and Superman saved her and emasculated a lot of guys. The difference is, as said above, she’s found another guy who can do that too.
I’ll stop here as I don’t want to do the whole movie and wouldn’t be able to yet. I can’t exactly figure out where Lois Lane truly stands, what she wants. Her abduction by Anatoli is strange. I don’t understand what Doomsday represents on a sexual level either. Lex Luthor remains ambiguous too. Wonder Woman’s role is easier to understand, she is a true mature woman who can see through false manliness which is why she likes Bruce Wayne, and isn’t impressed neither by Superman nor by Lex Luthor.
Wonder Woman, the woman who wants you to follow her, who knows what she wants, can even make fun of you nicely and suddenly appears to save the day. Too bad she's so unattractive.
Could it be that Doomsday is Clark Kent’s sexual frustration ? The fight between Batman and Superman is totally interpretable from the sexual point of view. The false alpha male has to be brought down so that things can go back to a more balanced state and the fact that Clark’s last words should be for his mother, makes everything clear, he is still a boy (and therefore a virgin). Lex Luther said it himself.
Another important element is that eventually, Lois manages to call Clark by his name when he actually is dressed as Superman before he attacks Doomsday for the last time. So apparently, the conclusion of Lois’ subplot is positive, apart from the fact that her lover dies two seconds after she’s been able to tell him she loved him. Ah yes, she also manages to say I love you now that I think. 'I will have to check this because I've watched the ultimate version and sa the contrary, Clark saying "I love you" and not Lois)
One thing that I would really really like to understand, or that I would really like to find an interpretation to, is the “Justice League” parts. For example, if we take the “Superman emasculates men” point of view. We can understand Wallace Keefe and Batman’s transformation as an evolution inspired by Superman. Now, I wish I could find some sort of similar reasons for Flash, Aquaman or Cyborg to exist… as a reaction to the existence of a Superman. Cyborg would be very easy to understand from that point of view. Batman built a metallic suit, a guy would just go full robotic. I just wish I could find a meaning to these elements, because I truly don’t see one as of now. And why are they revealed before the fight between Batman and Superman ? Should they be understood as the inescapable defeat of the Kryptonian ? Like “If Batman fails, there are already others ready to take a jab at Superman.”
But the title of this article was “Is Superman a superlover ?” and the answer is “No, far from it.” He is not even a lover. He is a fantasy which cannot hold up to expectations because he "was never real" (as he himself says before dumping Lois).