Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nerd Rage #9b: More Superhero Marriages

Oh no!  I suddenly can't relate to Spider-Man anymore!
Everyone knows young people NEVER get married!!!!
Last time we talked about Superhero Marriage and I plan on continuing that today.  It was going to be one long blog but the length was getting out of control, thus the need for breaking it up.   If haven’t checked it out yesterday’s post d so by clicking here.  So far we’ve discussed the relationships that ended for one reason or another but for this blog we’ll look into those that have managed to last.

Happily Ever Afters will be found below.

Pictured: Black Canary and Green Arrow
(Wait a second...)
While Avengers Clint Barton and Bobbi Morse are not exactly a high profile couple this is an example a superhero marrying another superhero.  It’s also an example of asshole husbands.  They got married and were together for a bit but then at some point she was raped by the Phantom Rider (Jesus Christ what the shit is up with these superhero rapists?!  Did someone at Marvel during the 80s just think that rape as the greatest and most forgivable plot device in the world?   Because I also recall a storyline about Ms. Marvel marrying her rapist) and subsequently allowed him to fall to his death in retaliation for which her understanding husband Hawkeye screamed at her and left her.   “How dae you let the man who violated you die, you fiend!”  F**k you, Hawkeye (Also F**k Barry Allen).

They did get back together but then Mockingbird died because that’s one of two ways Marvel seems to think most marriages end (The other being magical deals with Mephisto).  She eventually was brought back, in a really dumb way during the disappointing Secret Invasion crossover, and as far as I can tell they’re still together and and still married.   However I suspect there’s still a high possibility of Hawkeye being a prick.

Animal Man/Ellen Baker
Buddy and Ellen Bak-OH MY GOD, WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT?!?!
Nothing much to report here; Buddy Baker married his High School Sweetheart, they had two great kids and they all live together in the suburbs.   I haven’t been reading the new series but if the covers are any indication they live a life of absolute terror.  But hey, score one for happy marriages.

Mister Fantastic/Invisible Woman
...And yet the world only condemns Hank Pym for being a wife beater
So another example of “Happily Married” if by “Married” you mean “Reed Richards constantly ignores Susan Storm much of the time for SCIENCE” and by “Happily” you mean “Reed has in the past taken his hand to Susan’s face”.  It’s kind of ironic that one of Marvel’s oldest and arguably most iconic marriage is by far one of its most dysfunctional.   I’d bet hard cash money that Galactus makes a better boyfriend than good old Reed (And I know Thanos does).  How many times does Reed do something that either greatly bothers his wife or inherently challenges her moral center only for him to apologize for it only to do something stupidly similar a few years later?   From putting their cosmically powered son into a coma to building a Gulag built for the sole purpose of locking up superheroes who don’t want to work for the government Mister Fantastic might be one of the worst human beings on the planet.  This is one of the few cases I wouldn’t mind a decades old marriage to be erased.

Elongated Man/Sue Dibny
Ah, C-List Superhero love.  How adorable.
This is a weird example.  First of let’s get this out of the way: Elongated Man is not only a rip-off of Plastic Man he’s stupid rip-off as it’s a common belief that he was created by someone who didn’t realize that DC Comics (Whom he was creating him for) already owned the rights to Plastic Man and that Ralph Dibny was actually superfluous.  Still over the years Ralph has become a unique and interesting character partly because he’s defined as a detective of Batman-level competence but mostly because of his successful and loving marriage to Sue, a socialite.  Elongated Man was one of the first superheroes to marry their love interest.  After a short courtship the two were married, became partners in crime (fighting) and have been together for decades; sixty years or so, if I’m remembering correctly.  Hell Sue even joined her husband as part of the Justice League at some point.

So of course DC kind of screwed things up in the 2000s when, during the Identity Crisis miniseries, Sue was murdered (By the Atom’s wife of all people) and over the course of the story it was revealed that she had been brutally raped (Again with this plot device?!) by Doctor Rape Man Doctor Light years earlier (Via a retcon).  Why did they kill her off in such a fashion?  The same reason they killed the Spoiler; to jump start an unnecessarily dark storyline.  Anyway, in the year long maxiseries 52, Ralph spent much of his portion of the storyline trying to reunite with his dead wife and eventually dies as well but is successful in his endeavors and the two become Ghost Detectives.

Seriously.  Ghost Detectives.  With a straight face.

This feels more like a lousy 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon than a 2000s comic
 So on the one hand the two are together and it’s actually very sweet that their love transcends death but on the other hand one of DC’s oldest married superhero couple is dead and are not playing any major role in comics.  But with the DCnU reboot I have no idea what their current status is?  Dead?  Alive?  Married?  Single?  Maybe they don’t even exist at all.

This list is obviously not a complete one and there have been loads of other marriages but I think you get the point.  Bottom line is that one could probably make a valid argument that comic book companies don’t like superhero marriages or that they actually don’t mind them at all because there’s plenty of instances that could support both ideas.  I suppose then it’s best to assume that it’s just dramatic storytelling in most parts until you hear writers or editors say different.  You have to if you want to keep reading superhero comics without feeling bad about yourself for doing so.

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