It’s TMZ day at the blog, where we talk all about the super-salacious details on Superman. Like, did you know that Superman’s greatest superpower is his capacity to love? Alright, that’s not really true and we’re not turning into a gossip blog. What is true, however, is that stories about Superman’s relationships have always figured prominently in the comics. Even after 77 years, we still care to read about the emotional bonds of one of Earth’s most powerful superheroes. Unlike some other characters, it seems like writers always give Superman a romantic partner or love interest, whether we’re talking about Lois Lane or Lana Lang or Wonder Woman. And yes, there have been some…let’s say, stranger partners. So without further super-ado, let’s look at Superman in love.
1. Lois Lane
First and foremost, there’s Lois Lane. She was introduced in Action Comics #1 (June 1938)—alongside Superman himself—as a hard-working reporter at the Daily Star. (Yes, the Daily Star. It wouldn’t be called the Daily Planet for two more years.) In the years since, they would date and get married, become foster parents to Chris Kent, and biological parents to Jonathan Samuel Kent.
And of course, there were highlights in their relationship. Plus a lot of lowlights. There’s an entire comic series, Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane, which was basically about Lois and her rivalry with Lana Lang, and also Lois trying to trick Clark into marrying her. Seriously. Because the 1950s were a different time. And the 1960s. The 1970s, too. This transitioned into The Superman Family, where Lois became an actual hero for a time. And very briefly she was a superhero, the first Superwoman, though this mostly happened in dream sequences or one-off issues where she temporarily gained Superman’s powers. Sadly, the world just wasn’t ready for Superman’s Super Wife Super Lois Lane.
2. Lana Lang
And then there’s Lana Lang. Technically she was Clark’s first love, as written in early issues of Superboy and more recently in Superman: Birthright. She was characterized as an anti-Lois of sorts, competing not only for Clark’s attention, but also as a journalist at a rival paper. However, in most cases Clark usually ended up with Lois. Lana eventually married Pete Ross and had a boy she named Clark Peter Ross -which is messed up for, like, everyone involved. Super messed up.
Lana and Superman did date in Smallville, of course, though their relationship became…complicated. And in the limited series Superman & Batman: Generations, Lana and Superman were married after she got magical powers and a super extended lifetime and all kinds of other weird, comic stuff.
3. Wonder Woman
Here’s where it gets weird. Superman and Woman Woman are kind of like a brother and sister who were raised apart. They come from very different backgrounds, but they somewhat resemble each other physically and share a lot of the same powers, plus they’re both at the top of the superhero hierarchy. They’re basically super-superheroes. This is all heavily implied in the comics, in addition to them being just terrific amazing super gosh darned good friends. Like…Super Friends.
Which means it’s super awkward once they start making out in Action Comics and Justice League and had a kid in Kingdom Come. The current Superman/Wonder Woman series is basically about how much of a super couple they are. So very awkward. It would be like Superman wanting to marry an alternate-dimension version of his cousin, Supergirl. Wait, what?
4. Alternate-Dimension Cousin Supergirl
Yes, it happened. Action Comics #289 in June 1962 and her name was Luma Lynai. In the name of Rao, let’s move on.
5. Lori Lemaris
Perhaps you’ve noticed the trend with Superman’s love interests. There’s Lois Lane, and Lana Lang, and also Lori Lemaris. (Let’s just forget about Luma, okay?) Lori was a little different, though, because she was a mermaid. At least in her 1959 appearance in the original Superman series. In later comics, she could become mostly human when dry, but she would revert to her mermaid form when wet. (Sound familiar?) At one point, she even stayed with Supe and Lois for a while, generally becoming a third mer-wheel until she returned to the sea. DC Comics, you are weird.
6. Lyla Lerrol
Another alliterative love, Lyla Lerrol was like the leading lady of planet Krypton. (Uh oh. I think we broke that button next to the semicolon. Nope, it’s working now.) Superman met Lyla while marooned on his home planet. There was a great deal of attraction, and Superman pretty much thought he’d never get home so, whatever, he may as well get married. But then there was an accident while making a science-fiction film involving a fake spaceship and a real fire-breathing creature and Superman was launched back into space, never to return to Lyla.
Except in Superman: Godfall, where Lyla beckoned Superman with her magical psychic voodoo powers. She wiped his memory and implanted false memories while masquerading as his wife. We’re not entirely sure if this counts as a legitimate “Superman in love” moment, but let’s get real, it’s still not as creepy as marrying his cousin.
And so we learn that Krypton has their own sci-fi industry, which makes you wonder if they write stories about aliens like us on the far-off planet of Earth. I mean, I guess they would if we wrote that they did. Because they’re fictional and all. Which probably means it’s time to put a halt to this Superman love train.
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Who was your favorite love of Superman? Are you a Lois fan, or do you prefer Lana? Or do you prefer Superman with Wonder Woman, in which case you’d be wrong, wrong, wrong. Let us know in the comments below. And remember: always wear a Superman shirt wherever you go, because you never know when you’ll meet the mermaid or merman of your dreams.