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Three of the greatest love stories of all time


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, perfectly depicted by Dean Cain and Terry Hatcher in the television series, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

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.

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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Fun, randomness

 

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Marriage and comic book characters


Some of Carter Hall's lives and wives. Art by ...

Some of Carter Hall’s lives and wives. Art by Joe Bennett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing I always found interesting with comic books is those characters who were married.  So that the book wasn’t just about one man, but about a married couple.

I say “one man” because often the focus of a pulp style science fiction story was a man.  There may have been exceptions, but more often than not it was always a man.

There are two books that I can name (at present, because it’s early in the morning and I just woke up) that had a married couple.  And only one of those books had the couple work like a partnership.

Those books were Marvel’s Fantastic Four and DC’s Hawkman.

Shayera Hol on the cover to Hawkman v2 #6. Art...

Shayera Hol on the cover to Hawkman v2 #6. Art by Richard Howell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Fantastic Four didn’t necessarily focus on the couple, due to the fact there was four people.  However, Sue Richards was often relegated to the role of damsel in distress, often shown crying, was mostly seen as the addition to the team, and wasn’t really a hero in her own right.  At least, that’s how it started.

Over at DC, the Hawks came from a long, long line of story telling.  In the Golden Age, Shiera Saunders, who would eventually marry Carter Hall, first appears with Carter as Hawkman in Flash Comics #1.  Her first appearance as Hawkgirl comes in Flash Comics #5.  That was back in 1940.  It should be noted that Shiera used a spare costume of Carter’s in order to trick some thugs while Carter was off with the JSA.  She ended up taking the name Hawkgirl and using a costume of her own.

Hawkgirl

Hawkgirl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Silver Age arrived, most characters were being recreated as Earth 1 counterparts, and it was determined that Hawkman would get the same treatment.  Instead of a reincarnated Egyptian king, the new Hawkman and Hawkgirl were police officers from the distant planet of Thanagar.  And they were already married.  It should be noted that it was this version of the Hawks that saw Shayera Hol stated without hesitation that she was no longer Hawkgirl, but Hawkwoman.  Post Crisis, Shayera Thal used a similar line when the two officers arrived on Earth and a PR man was trying out names for them.

“Woman.  Hawkwoman.  I haven’t been a girl for many years.”

It was in this version where the Hawks weren’t married, but there was a relationship brewing.  Even though both Shayera and Katar dated other people before realizing their partnership was more than just two cops.

Is Hawkman married now?  The answer is… I’m not sure.  According to many who do keep tabs on the series, neither Shiera Saunders, Kendera Saunders, nor Shayera Thal have been introduced in the book.  And Kendra is the Hawkgirl of Earth 2.  At one time, the Hawks had a really stable relationship.  But for some reason, DC has opted not to have that exist.

Marriages like the Hawks, and even what could have happened with Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer, and the relationship and eventual marriage of Apollo and Midnighter, were good, healthy examples of married couples.  But presently it seems DC doesn’t want good, healthy relationships unless it progresses their own fantasies (Superman/Wonder Woman).

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2013 in Fun, randomness

 

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