Fugitive Firefly

Running away with the last bit of hope

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex

What would happen if two such individuals decided that they wanted to have a baby? It is something that many science fiction enthusiasts have speculated. But something that I never really thought about until we read Larry Niven's article "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex." For those unfamiliar, it explores the possibilities of how Superman can impregnate a female human, more specifically, Lois Lane. You can watch a video of it here.

Warning: There is no nudity or swearing in the video, but due to the topic that is discussed and some of the details used, it may not be suitable for young children. You might want your children removed from the room before watching. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Obviously, the two can't get physical because 1) She would be crushed in his arms 2) She'd be ripped from crotch to sternum and 3) Her head would pop off. Niven then discusses the possibilities of artificial insemination, but that too, has an unfortunate ending for fragile Lois. It also suggested that maybe Super Girl could be a surrogate mother, but that would be too inconvenient for her. Larry's conclusion: allow Superman to carry the child.

After the reading, one of my classmates openly admitted to have spent time contemplating a solution. Once conceived, Lois could be placed under a red sunlamp. When exposed to this light, all of the super powers cease to work. Therefore Lois would not have to worry about the baby using its heat vision whilst in the womb, nor would she have to worry about the baby kicking its way out of her stomach.

This proposal annoyed me for two reasons.

First, my classmate was suggesting for Lois to be isolated for nine months, stuck beneath a stupid lamp. Um, excuse me? How about I shove you beneath a lamp, alone, for nine months and see how you like it? Secondly, it fueled a debate amongst the hard-core comic book readers.

My thoughts on the issue:
     - It is absurd to assume that Superman's sperm would have the same powers that he does.
     - Let Superman be the surrogate. When the time comes, you can cut him open with a lightsaber. That should be strong enough to cut through the kryptonian skin.
     - The article was written for entertainment, and to inspire creative thinking. It should not be taken seriously because Kryptonians do not exist. All that we can do is speculate based on what we know about Superman.

So how about we leave Miss Lane alone and let her have a human husband?


Really entertaining read - especially your analysis.