Warning: SPOILERS for Superman: Year One #2
Superman fans knew that Frank Miller's Superman: Year One would bring something new to the Man of Steel's origin story, but a sexual relationship with a mermaid princess is not what anyone expected. Especially when his love of undersea "spooning" wins him the throne of Atlantis, too.
Comic book fans are always going to have different reactions when DC writers remind us that Superman has sex, whether it's with his wife Lois or a trip back to Clark Kent's farmboy adolescence. While it may not be the origin story Superman fans had in mind, Miller made a point of telling the story of Clark and his high school girlfriend Lana Lang losing their virginity--a completely normal, typical, and unsurprising detail usually left out of the narrative. But after leaving Smallville for training as a Navy SEAL, a one-way ticket into a mermaid's bed sure is a heck of a twist. But the weirdest part of Superman's new sexual conquest is that it isn't Miller's invention... he's just reminding readers that it's already part of DC Comics canon.
Regardless of whether or not Superman's soft spot for amphibious women is known by most fans, Miller's work on Batman: Year One did set a somewhat different expectation. But as one of the first books announced for the mature, prestige DC Black Label, Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.'s Superman: Year One is most certainly making the most of the creative freedom. That includes Clark being lured to sea from his San Diego naval base by the siren call of mermaids on the horizon... only to find their homeland in crisis, and that he is the epitome of an Atlantean sexual icon.
Readers will be most surprised to learn that the mermaid princess who catches Clark's eye (and whose eye is equally caught by this strange, water-breathing surface dweller) is nothing new to DC canon. Her name is eventually revealed to be 'Lori Lemaris,' a re-imagined version of Clark's college girlfriend first appearing in Superman #129 (May 1959). In Superman's original canon, he actually proposed to Lori before discovering they were fated to live above and below the surface. Which means a romantic relationship, while far more provocative and scandalous in Superman: Year One, shouldn't actually come as a shock.
While Clark and Lori are never actually SHOWN to make love (leaving several questions permanently unanswered) the narration leaves little doubt that Clark Kent may be from Krypton, but he has the same Earthly desires as anyone:
As alluded to above, this second part of Miller and Romita's origin story concludes with Superman and Lori engaging in a 'celebratory' kiss, having been handed the throne of Atlantis as a couple. That's expected to change, but DC fans will need to wait for the final chapter to see what last bombshells are still on the way. Readers can check out the full solicitation details and the plot synopsis for Superman: Year One below:
- SUPERMAN YEAR ONE #2
- Story by: Frank Miller, John Romita Jr.
- Art by: John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, Alex Sinclair
- Cover by: john Romita Jr.
- Clark Kent’s journey of self-discovery continues in the second installment of Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s remarkable reimagining of Superman’s origin story. This chapter takes young Clark to the Pacific coast and beyond, as he discovers a place as sensational as he is: Atlantis! There he meets new people, finds love, clashes with gargantuan beasts and discovers the man he’s meant to be.
- From the burning world of Krypton to the bucolic fields of Kansas, the first chapter of SUPERMAN YEAR ONE tracks Clark Kent’s youth in Kansas, as he comes to terms with his strange powers and struggles to find his place in our world. DC BLACK LABEL is proud to present the definitive origin of Superman as rendered by the legendary comics creators Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.!
Superman: Year One #2 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from DC Comics.