It’s Superman! a Novel by Tom De Haven
Lies, smoking, sex and hate items usually associated with Superman’s villains, are shown in the not so alien life of Clark Kent. His awkwardness and feelings of being so very alone in the universe are apparent in this novel.
The death of his mother in the first few chapters acts as the catalyst that sends young Clark, with his friend Willi (who happens to be on the lamb) across country via thumb and box cars. Their adventures, the sights they see all start to mold the Superman we know today.
Lex Luthor, the villain of all villains also remains much the same. Blackmailing a young inventor into working for him, Lex has compromising pictures of the man having intimate relations with another man… shocking, even in today’s comics homosexuality is not accepted. Luthor, he has a hand in everyone’s secret, knows how to use people to his best advantage.
Lois Lane, same old stuck up snob of a reporter, who has less than 3 minutes for Clark, but stares dreamily into space wondering when the “perfect man” for her will show. Clark in Hollywood, as a stuntman? Clark getting drunk, smoking and sleeping with women? Lois, one boyfriend after another, perhaps deep down a floozy.
This novel incorporates real life people from the 30s and 40s, it makes Superman more of a man to aspire to be. For all his doubts, Clark is continues to strive toward helping all people, always worrying that he can’t do enough, that he’s not smart enough, that he’ll be too late.
At the end of the book, Lois removes one shoe and lobs it so it hits Clark in the head. Love that, get out of your own misery and worry, think about what’s at hand, do the next right thing!!!
Great novel, short read and truly recommended.