SHEENA BARNETT: Violence in comic book goes too far

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

Truth, justice and the American way. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
“You’ve got me – who’s got you?”
Superman.
His name says it all.
He’s the world’s greatest hero.
It seems everyone is, to some degree, a Superman fan. Some gobble up every single comic book issue and every “Lois and Clark” or “Smallville” episode, while others just enjoy watching him defeat Lex and General Zod on the big screen.
What no one wants to see, however, just happened in a new digital issue released last week. The issue is part of a 10-issue series to promote a new fighting video game, based in the DC universe, that’s due this spring.
In the issue, Joker and Scarecrow use kryptonite to make Superman see things. He thinks he’s fighting Doomsday. He’s not. He delivers a ghastly beating to, and finally kills, Lois. And she’s pregnant with their child.
In a single issue, the world’s greatest superhero is turned into a domestic abuser.
I know, I know – he didn’t know what he was doing.
Bet you’ll also try to tell me that he loves her, right? And he’ll never do it again. Right?
Comic books are one of the coolest ways to tell a story, because your characters can do anything. In comics, it makes perfect sense that a young boy from another planet can fall to Earth and grow up to use his amazing powers to save the world, over and over again.
But just because you can write anything doesn’t mean you should.
A character who has been a hero for 75 years shouldn’t be turned into a villain.
I know one issue, which isn’t part of the main Superman series, won’t completely tarnish his image, but it is a blemish.
And you never know the effects it could have on readers.
Plenty of adults enjoy comics – I’m one of them – but comics were originally created for, and are still enjoyed by, kids of both genders. And last week – just before the start of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month – they saw their hero beat and kill his pregnant wife.
In a time when we need many strong female characters in all forms of entertainment, especially in comics, it’s tragic to see the loss of such a strong woman – especially at the hands of her husband, especially because her husband is Superman. Even if this storyline is just for 10 issues and a game, it is still going too far.
As someone who fancies herself to be a Lois Lane, and as board president of our local domestic violence shelter, S.A.F.E., Inc., and as a Superman fan, I’m disgusted.
My Superman wouldn’t do this. Wouldn’t stand for this.
In fact, he’d avenge it.
But where’s our hero now?
Sheena Barnett is a Daily Journal writer. Contect her at sheena.barnett@journalinc.com.