This is about three of the greatest romance plots in all of literature. At least, I think they’re the greatest. Since they happened, both have been ripped up and destroyed with either the launching of a Nu universe, or a deal with the devil.
I’m talking about Lois and Clark and Peter and Mary Jane and Katar and Shayera Hol.
Yeah, I’m talking about comic books.
Lois and Clark were perfect for each other. Lois was a determined reporter who dug for a story, but the best thing she represented was keeping Superman human. Or at least, keeping him down to earth. Granted, Clark Kent had lots of help with that, as his earth parents were simple farmers who lead a simple life and taught the young Clark about goodness and aiding those less fortunate.
But the context of Lois and Clark was amazing. The relationship that eventually lead up to their marriage was something very unique. A man born of a different planet with powers of a god and a woman who was working in a man’s world. Lois respected Clark (eventually) and Clark adored Lois. Each had qualities they admired in the other.
When DC Comics ended that relationship, it was almost like something died. Having Superman start a relationship with Wonder Woman takes something away from the human aspect of things (and it does as much damage to Wonder Woman, who I believe is much better as a woman who doesn’t need to be in a relationship).
Meanwhile, over at the Marvelous Competition, the other big name in comics had his own romance. The Spectacular Spider-Man and Peter Parker really were two very different people. Spidey quipped puns while rounding up the bad guys, while Peter had a tough time making coffee. For him to end up marrying Mary Jane Watson was a long shot.
But it did end up happening.
Then at some point in comics’ history, Peter made a deal with the devil and the wedding that had happened was no more.
But now, it’s coming back. Peter and Mary Jane are getting back together (hopefully this will have a ripple effect and will bring back the Man of Steel and Lois Lane into a relationship in the Distinguished Competition).
These two relationship for me are only shadowed by another that has since disappeared. Since the Golden Age of comics, the pairing of the Hawks (Hawkman and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman) has been not only a marriage of love, but also an equal partnership.
This relationship continued into the Silver Age, when Hawkman and Hawkwoman became space cops from the planet Thanagar. Katar and Shayera Hol not only were married, but they also had a very healthy professional relationship.
By the time the Modern Age (read: the 90s) rolled around, Katar Hol and Shayera Thal weren’t married, but they were starting a relationship of their own. This sadly ended when Katar Hol was killed in a fight against the Hawkgod Avatar, which eventually released Carter Hall.
It seems DC really hates marriages, quite evident when it was nixxed to have Kate Kane marry Maggie Sawyer. Which is a very unhealthy thing to have happen. Healthy relationships in comics are just as good as having the good guy win. They also do a thing called character development.
Sometimes, I long for the old days when relationships like Lois and Clark, Peter and Mary Jane, and Katar and Shayera were a normal part of comics. I had really hoped that Kate and Maggie would have become one. And it was refreshing to see one with Midnighter and Apollo.
While DC may like going down a darker path and making sure their characters aren’t happy, I’m glad to see Marvel taking a chance (like that’s a new thing, I guess), and reuniting an old relationship and making it new. Maybe DC can take a pointer on this instead of the Milquetoast things they’ve been doing lately.