Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Liveangel: Bella Swan should still be here. She is clumsy and pessimistic, has self-image issues, self-admitted poor social skills, and spends most of the time moaning about something or another. Purity Sue? Nonsense.

Nerdanel: I removed Thomas Covenant as I don't think he's an Anti-Sue but rather an Anti-Hero. He doesn't warp the plot around him (being The Chosen One is the basis of the story, not a result of warpage) and several characters on the side of good grow to absolutely detest him. Covenant also has real character depth and Character Development. The further you read into the series, the clearer it becomes that he isn't an Anti-Sue.

Perihadion: I'm not sure what to do about the Lois Lane entry: a lot of it is either highly subjective or plain untrue. "Lack of brains", "unqualified", is relatively subjective, as is "abrasive and arrogant" — but there have been no instances of her "attacking random strangers", or "stealing stories from Clark Kent" and Lois wasn't "hired on the spot" but given an opportunity to write about the alien space ship which she did see by the then-editor of the Daily Planet who hired her after the fact for her prose and her ability to nose out a story (demonstrated in the episode by the fact that she DID find the space ship again, and BEFORE Clark and Kara who were also looking for it). And so on. Also, the defining aspect of any Sue? Lois doesn't warp the plot around her in any sense.

Carbon Tiger: The character is written as a braindead dolt. She was introduced as a drunk who drank her way out of college after Lex got her in there and very little has changed. She is unqualified she didn't earn her way in she was hired by a villain plant who hired her after hearing her blather about space ships. Then she slept with him. Great show of ethics there. The character warps the plot in the sense that despite barely being involved in any of the main plots guest stars and random side characters have to state over and over again to the viewer that this character is somehow important. Do they write this no of course not. She's important because she's important why because we the writers say so. At the very least she's a broken character and if she wasn't named after a far better character in a different medium viewers would question why a sallow falling down drunk is propped up by every character has having some epic destiny. Blame the writing for that.

Perihadion: Lois has been depicted drinking in five episodes: "Recruit", "Arctic", "Committed" and "Bride", as well as in "Apocalypse" where she and Clark went for a drink. She has been drunk enough to have a hangover on two of these occasions. Out of 59 appearances to date, that's not a lot of evidence that she has a drinking problem — drinking at all, even drinking enough to have a hangover twice, is not the same as being an alcoholic.

She was introduced when her investigation into Chloe's death led her to Smallville, not "as a drunk". As for "drinking her way out of college", Lois was apparently expelled as an example: she wasn't the only one drinking, but she was the only one punished — she didn't drop out from repeat drunkenness or because a drinking problem prevented her from making her classes; she was kicked out because on one occasion she had been drinking. The fact that she had to face consequences over this at all should disqualify her as an Anti-Sue: a real example would (1) actually have a drinking problem, and (2) suffer no consequences in his/her academic or personal life. In Lois's case, not only did she lose her place at university, but her father refused to let her stay with him, effectively rendering her homeless.

Either way, it was all quite obviously contrived as a way to keep Lois in Smallville, which is not so much the plot bending around her as the reverse.

As for "blathering about space ships", Lois had seen a spacecraft. She had a story. Grant Gabriel challenged her to go and bring back that story, which she did. It later turned out that he had wanted to hire her since he read her work on The Inquisitor and, either way, his motivation for hiring her doesn't impact her own talent. Lois was introduced to the show as an investigator, and was depicted participating in investigations — not formally, as a journalist, but competently — consistently throughout the show before she was hired at the Daily Planet. It's not necessary to have a graduate degree to be a journalist, just skill. I'll allow that there's an element of subjectivity in that, but even if she were hired for something other than her talent, it doesn't make her untalented.

All characters suffer from informed ability to some extent on Smallville. Lois is hardly an exception. There are worse examples.

As for her sleeping with him later on down the line? That's a problem I have with the writing at that point. That alone doesn't make her a "broken character", or an Anti-Sue.

Digital Count: Lois also describes breaking into Sam Lane's whiskey cabinet with Wes Keenan in Prototype. Further, in Recruit it's implied that she'd been under some sort of probationary measures levied by the university. It wasn't simply one occasion. Strangely, however, the show does not seem to place emphasis on Lois' expulsion being a particularly bad thing, given that she is never shown to be disappointed, her career isn't hampered, she wasn't homeless once she moved in with the Kents, and she continues to drink enough to lose control on later occasions, an odd pattern for someone who had been expelled for a drinking-related offense. Further, the example in Arctic is not just her having a drink, it's having a drink during work hours while she's supposed to be at work. She got drunk enough in Committed to say awful things about her cousin's fiance, for which there were no repercussions, and she also considered the Man of Steel unprincipled enough to have possibly taken advantage of her in this state. This implication of Clark's character also had no repercussions.

With regards to her career, she had previously expressed how working for the Inquisitor had effectively destroyed her credibility. We see examples of this in Prototype as well as numerous mentions of how it is the bottom of the barrel throughout the series from people like Chloe and Perry White. Lois didn't have a story in Kara, she had an event, for which the actual explanation was also the least plausible explanation (spaceship). Yet when she comes into the Daily Planet talking about something that the knee-jerk reaction to is to disbelieve, the editor took her seriously and offered her a job. After the likes of Principal Kwan and Pauline Kahn being skeptical about Chloe's work despite citations, it is hard to describe Lois' effect as anything but plot-warping when she's hired almost immediately.

And if it was simply down to her talent, then she would have been fired for incidents like in Veritas with "Big Cool Headline Here" or when she went "on assignment" to attend monster truck rallies and rock concerts. The "Headline" incident was one of the most egregious examples given that her Informed Ability of being able to sniff out a story from almost nothing had been referenced by Lex Luthor only a few episodes prior. She was also consistently portrayed as unapologetic for her inappropriate office romance with her supervisor (for which there were no repercussions). She disbelieved Jimmy's assessment of Lionel's death in Descent until she learned it might get her fame; she did the same to his Red Blue Blur story. She wrote off the bus explosion story and concluded Tommy was the bomber in Plastique until Clark did the legwork, after which she wrote the story he had researched and gave him Tommy's obituary. Grant Gabriel's assessment of her work at the Inquisitor is severely tainted by the fact that he was romantically involved with her, the fact that he was a Luthor plant, and the fact that he was a clone with implanted memories, not to mention the fact that when she came in to visit Chloe in Kara he had no way of knowing she was coming and thus wouldn't have been able to offer her a job based on her work. It's true that her being hired for something other than talent doesn't make her untalented; her lack of talent makes her untalented.

Perihadion: I have already addressed Lois's "drinking problems": she is portrayed drinking, even enough to get drunk, on five occasions across five years. This is normal adult behaviour; and rebellious teens breaking into their parents' alcohol cabinets is pretty par for the course as well.

What is the difference between a story and an event? Is it which character has the lead? In reality, the two things are indistinguishable.

You realise, too, that reporters typically do not write their own headlines. Or do you think that no reporter ever has a dry day, nomatter how talented they may be? Lacking a story at a specific point in time is not a sacking offense. Please note: there is such a thing as "entertainment news". The monster truck rally I believe was not an assignment but a bona fide holiday; as far as the Judas Priest concert was concerned, Lois would have had to have that signed off — or else been assigned it (and we saw her expected to cover other entertainment news in "Action"). And a shot of Lois's desk in "Hex" with all of the press passes for these events confirms that she was covering them as a reporter.

Lois was sceptical of Jimmy in "Descent" and "Identity" until he provided her with evidence. There is a distinction. Chloe has reacted the same way to Jimmy on multiple occasions (eg "Noir").

Digital Count: It is funny how you mention that scene in Hex, because we saw people praising her despite her abrasiveness and basically a whole bunch of We Want Our Jerk Back—to the point where a guy cheerily gives her coffee (while she's working in the basement, mind you; who else has someone to bring them coffee in the basement?) and shrugs off the fact that she can't be bothered to remember his name. At least when Lana was treated this way, the show wanted her to be seen as everything to everyone, commonly associated with The Wesley status. Yet Lois Lane has people bringing her coffee in the basement and various characters walking up to her and congratulating her while she has her photo taken with the Dalai Lama and Clark considers her an inspiration to the point of framing her rules. EDIT TO ADD: Dry-cleaning. Sorry, I must have forgotten that part of the episode.

Also, Clark said of the monster truck rally that "on assignment" was code for the rally. Normally this refers to saying something that means something else in order to misdirect one's intentions, in the event that someone else intercepts the encoded message. The question is, who was the target of the misdirection?
Prfnoff: All Canon Sue examples must go:

Rebochan All Canon Sue examples must stay until further discussion.

Smokie: Damn, I thought we got finnally got over those shoehorned Canon Sue examples. Guess I was wrong.



Kurt Vonnegut's recurring character Kilgore Trout is an ugly, unsuccessful science-fiction author with bad hygiene, who takes odd jobs to supplement his usual income from the porn magazines who buy his stuff for filler. And he's frequently more clued-in to what's going on around him than about half of his fellow characters. (Timequake ends with him saving the world by thinking of exactly the right thing to say at the right time.)

QFT. Kind of telling that a character like this could be written as a Mary Sue, isn't it? The older I get, the more Kurt Vonnegut annoys me, and this is exactly why.