WHO'll BE SUPERMAN"s VALENTINE?

The romance between Superman and Wonder Woman is probably one of (if not <i>the</i>) most polarizing changes in all of DC's 2 and ½ yea-old New 52 reboot. Rather than Clark and Lois (or "Clois" as a group of Internet fans are wont to call them), we have this Super pairing (or "fauxmance" as its detractors say). <p>The pro camp think it’s a fresh take and a pairing that, while certainly toyed with over the decades, has never been truly played out. <p>The con camp look at it as nothing but a temporary distraction until Superman's <i>real</i> soul mate comes back into the picture for good - not to mention what they consider something of a ‘benching’ of the 75 years-young Lois Lane. <p>And they <i>both</i> might actually be right. So we’re here to shed some more detailed light on the debate, with five reasons why Wonder Woman is the best match for the Man of Steel, and five reasons why Lois is the better paramour. <p>Ultimately, it's up to the powers-that-be at DC Comics how long one relationship lasts or how long they’ll make readers wait for the other, but until them maybe we can help you decide what camp you’re <i>really</i> in.

DIANA: SHE DOESN'T NEED HIS PROTECTION

Let's face it, the "girlfriend in peril" concept is pretty played. When a superhero is in a relationship with a "normal," their significant other is inevitably placed between them and a super villain (and sometimes in major kitchen appliances). It is a motif for a reason: it'll just keep happening. <p>So what happens when Diana is between Kal-el and one of his villains? Um, she kicks their ass, that's what happens! As a demigod and Amazon, Wonder Woman can more than hold her own against Superman's foes, thus turning the common dynamic on its head. Like Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman or one of the multiple Green Lantern and Star Sapphire pairings, the relationship loses the bodyguard angle and becomes more about two equals protecting one another.

LOIS: MORE RELATABLE

Obviously when we're watching two gods literally hovering above the civilian population literally making out it's… a little intimidating, and it's far from anything anyone can relate to. <p>Yes, hero worship and the sense of wish fulfillment can be fun for a time, but ultimately we want, no, <i>need</i> to see something of ourselves in a situation in order for it to relate back to our own lives, our own struggles, and even our own triumphs. Lois helps to make Superman more relatable, because we can relate to <i>her</i>. <p>Lois Lane, and by extension Clark Kent, is our entrance into the Superman mythos. Sure, she's also something to strive for, but ultimately, she's a regular person like you or me. She still marvels at Superman's strength year after year, but he just as much marvels at hers. That give and take - that <i>love</i> is more to aspire to than even the ability to fly or stop a bullet with your bare hands, and few comic book couples have ever shown it the way Clark and Lois have.

DIANA: UNDERSTANDS WHAT IT IS TO BE GOD AMONGST MEN

Sure, Superman is viewed as a god, but Wonder Woman is an <i>actual</i> god! As the god of War, and daughter of Zeus, Diana can give Superman a very different perspective on what it is to be ‘above’ mankind. <p>With Wonder Woman ability to share this new point-of-view with Superman, it actually has the potential to bring him <i>back</i> towards humanity. While he's lost his parents, and his job keeps him somewhat tied to the common folks, seeing how gods actually view humans just may make Kal decide Clark is even more necessary. Of course, it <i>could</i> do the opposite, and therein lies the story potential.

LOIS: CHALLENGES HIM A WAY NO SUPER CAN

In addition to grounding him, Lois is what makes Superman aspire to be the best hero he can be, and in a way that other superheroes simply can't (ironically enough, it's a similar reason why Lex Luthor, a regular human, is his best villain). <p>As a human, Lois represents a real, tangible thing that Superman is fighting for on a daily basis. When someone threatens Metropolis, they are thus directly threatening Lois Lane, the woman he loves, and that makes things personal. There's a sense of personal stake that's lost if your girlfriend can take a bullet. <p>Lois's fearlessness <i>also</i> challenges him to be a better Superman. After all, if a regular human can run head first into danger, a super strong, super fast, flying man that can shoot fire from his eyes should be doing it even more fearlessly, right?

DIANA: MAKES SUPERMAN MORE SUPER

With her godly perspective and ability to hold her own, there's no question that Wonder Woman makes Superman more Super. They can challenge each other in a physical way, and with his girlfriend being one of the heroes, one of the Justice League, it brings Superman into a new arena. <p>What is it like when Kal-el is the one in the relationship, not Clark? This actually makes him into almost a trichotomy instead of his usual two-part personality. Usually, Clark puts on the suit and he becomes Superman, the hero who has to save the day. But now he can put on the suit and just be Kal-el, Diana's boyfriend. It adds a new dimension to the Superman part of the character that we simply haven't seen before...

LOIS: MAKES SUPERMAN MORE MAN

Let's face it, while it's nice to see Clark Kent embrace the Super when he needs to, it's the fact that he's Clark Kent on his downtime that makes him a man. No one helps ground Superman the way that Lois Lane does. <p>The Superman of the New 52 needs Lois more than ever before. Both of his human adoptive parents are dead; while he has his memories of them, that's not the same as having someone he loves and trusts actually in his ear helping him remember what it is to have human problems and hopes and fears and dreams and relationships. Clark also really doesn't have much in the way of friends to speak of. While he has Cat Grant, he keeps her at more than arm's length. Lana Lang is around every once in awhile, but she seems to remind Clark too much of Smallville and the life he left behind. <p>Lois Lane, when she knows that Clark and Superman are one-in-the-same, doesn't treat ‘either’ of them differently. She's as no-nonsense to Superman as she would be if he were wearing glasses. If ‘Smallville’ does something stupid, she'll tell him, no fear. If he can do more good in a situation as Clark, she'll make him - er, tell him then, too. <p>It's important to remember that while Superman was born on Krypton, Clark Kent existed long before Superman did. Lois Lane keeps Clark Kent alive in a way that literally no one else in the DC Universe can.

DIANA: IT'S FRESH AND NEW

And that's just the thing, here. The "New 52" has an operative word: New. This relationship has been fiddled around with in alternate universes and possible futures, but it's never been explored with two young superheroes in quite this fashion. A Superman who has still just started out, and a Wonder Woman who is still finding her balance between two worlds makes for not just a perfect pair, but an <i>interesting</i> one. <p>Even if this pairing doesn't last, it shows us a new dynamic and a new side to both characters. And of course, with a new relationship comes the inevitable new <i>break-up</i>. What happens to the dynamic between <i>all</i> the superheroes when Wonder Woman and/or Superman is a scorned lover. If you were ever friends with both halves of a couple that broke up, then you understand the challenges we’re talking about. Maybe some people would rather get to that part sooner than later, but there are still plenty of new avenues to explore in the fresh relationship, too.

LOIS: IT'S FATE!

Look, we <i>know</i> that Clark and Lois are going to end up together some day. They're still the couple everyone knows. They've been a couple across popular media. If you ask the average man on the street who Clark Kent or Superman's girlfriend/wife is, they'll say "Lois Lane." It's that simple. <p>Never mind the fact that even in the New 52, we know for a fact that the pair have a <i>son</i>. Granted, he's a twisted, evil villain who murdered every metahuman in the future, then apparently killed his clone (who was just learning to be a hero) and took his place as Superboy, but hey, one thing at a time. <p>Ultimately, Superman and Lois Lane are meant to be. Yes, that means we can let a little new relationship or two happen in the meantime, but it's also just ticks on the clock to what everyone out there already knows is the case.

DIANA: PUTS WONDER WOMAN ON A HIGHER LEVEL

Let's face it, Wonder Woman gets left out of the conversation when it comes to Batman and Superman far too often. Now, it sure seems like the winds are changing on that a bit. Not only will she be appearing in the upcoming sequel to <i>Man of Steel</i> (though likely in a lower capacity than Batman and Superman), but she's also been getting a nice push in the comics. <p>Not the least of which, of course, is <b>Superman/Wonder Woman</b>. Being placed alongside DC's premiere superhero and sharing top billing with him, gives her a second ongoing series and a higher profile. She's also teaming up with Batman in the "Batman and…" comic in April, and of course on the <i>Justice League</i> roster in addition to her own solo adventures. Hopefully this Wonder Woman push helps get her in her own big screen adventure, and helps people realize, (maybe through Clark's eyes) that she is truly a hero worth of being in DC's "Trinity" of mega-heroes. Let her step on Superman's shoulders for a minute, then knock him down and fly off on her own.

LOIS: A REAL WONDER WOMAN

And that brings us to our last point: Ultimately, a new/different relationship might sit with some reader much better if it didn't mean such a significant loss of on-panel time for Lois Lane. Lois is a fully realized character on her own (hey, she's been around for three quarters of a century too, don't forget!), and she is one wonder of a woman. <p>As an Army brat who grew up under a top-ranking General, it would be easy to either be a spoiled daddy's girl or just fall into a rigid life of order. Instead, she asserted her independence and became an exposer of truths. <p>There's a reason Lois Lane catches Superman's eye in the first place: she is smarter than him, more fearless than him; she's even stronger than him in a very real way - while he's done nothing but try to live up to the expectations of two sets of parents, Lois has done nothing but utterly surpass the expectations of <i>everyone</i>. <p>Yes, we'd love to see Lois's own adventures, and we'd be fine seeing more of Lois in her own element away from Clark/Superman - but there's something about the way she looks at him when he takes off the glasses, loosens the tie, and opens those top two buttons that just can't be replicated by anyone else.

5-on-5: WONDER WOMAN vs LOIS LANE - Who is Better for SUPERMAN?

Date: 11 February 2014 Time: 09:00 PM ET