Matt Zoller Seitz picks up on the “striking and curious” absence of fleshed-out female characters in the new movie:
Lois is an important character, but only for how she furthers Clark/Superman’s attempts to understand himself and claim his destiny; she’s ultimately much less of a fully-realized, freestanding human being than the kooky, narcissistic Lois Lane played by Margot Kidder in the Reeve films, or even Kate Bosworth’s Lois in “Superman Returns,” a melancholy figure defined by her capacity to move on after the hero’s abrupt departure from Earth. Adams’ Lois is tough and smart but has no personality, only drive, and she’s not as integral to the action as she seems to be on first glance … females exist, for the most part, to be saved, or to have things explained to them.
Alyssa confesses she’s had enough of the standard superhero romance:
If we’re going to be clobbered with two or three superhero movies a year into infinity, as seems to be the case, we are desperately in need of new narrative frameworks for stories about these characters. Just as it’s gotten exhausting and poisonous for superheroes and their antagonists to destroy enormous swaths of cities without facing any apparent moral or legal consequences for the mass death and property damage they’re causing, it’s exhausting to see their interactions with women be essentially the same time after time, without any growth or sense of what a settled relationship between a superhero and a human with her own interests might look like. It was what made Tony and Pepper’s argument over the hideous giant rabbit he got her for Christmas in Iron Man 3 simultaneously so appealing and sad: it was an actual conversation about their relationship, and one that revealed that Tony knows precisely nothing about the live-in girlfriend who is running his company.