“Can’t leave your village? Ask about our options for attending class by messenger pigeon!”

– Sir Bullock’s Knight School

I’ve been watching Superman & Lois lately and overall I have a good opinion of it, but I am kind of irked that they follow the trend of having one of the hero’s parents die during his origin story. Then they double up on it by killing off his other parent to jump-start the series’ plot. I don’t think these story beats were handled poorly, mind you, it just strikes me as overdone.

In a lot of Superman continuities, both of Clark Kent’s parents stay alive well into his adulthood and I’ve always found it refreshing that Superman just has a good, relatively well-adjusted upbringing and doesn’t need to be driven by personal trauma in order to become a good person. I’m quite fine with either of the Kents dying after Clark establishes himself as Superman – it drives home the theme of him really not being as all-powerful as he seems – but modern retellings sacrificing Jonathan Kent to the altar of the Origin Story actually feel like they make Superman a less complex character, in my opinion. Or at least a lot less unique.

– James