And here I thought the best way to tell great stories and get people excited was to hire talented creators and let them tell the best stories possible. Silly me. Here I was trying to be a better artist, learn from my mistakes. Experiment and grow. Try new things and strive to overcome my limits. When the most important thing was apparently just work on characters that aren't married. That way my work will magically get better. I guess this is why DC comics is shedding talented creators left and right. I mean, the status quo is far more important than the people telling the stories, right? And since they got rid of all the marriages in their comics, they've improved 1000% and there's been no dissatisfied fans, right?
Marvel is barely any better. Their problem seems to be that they feel the need to make the male character more "interesting" by getting rid of the female lead, regardless of what that might imply. Because the only way to make male leads more interesting is to shed the female love interest that people actually like so the writers can have the male lead boink the resident Ms. Fanservice (See Cyclops and Spider-Man for examples.)
But at least this is where DC has the edge over Marvel. Say what you will about their decision, but at the very least DC is not allowing a female character marry her female love interest in order to make the book more "interesting." At least the decision isn't gender oriented. That's got to be SOME step forward, right?
Arguably, it's gotten worse since then, since the most recent Secret Wars series has shipped Reed and Sue off to comic book limbo.
Thatnks for sharing!
Makes me wonder how Valiant Comics will treat shit like this since they seem to be trying to be more cohesive and have their stories connect, maybe if we have a character get together with someone, they'll actually stick or at least there was a plan there that follows through so it's not just Valiant relentlessly trying to destroy something they made. Here's hoping.
They break up one of the greatest comic couples to bring us the mos awkward one...whats up with that?
Clark and diana always worked the best as friends or some kind of brother and sister....you can do batman/wonder woman as a couple,that would work wonderful....
Dc and marvel really dont seem to like loving couples or love in general.
While I agree banning marriage outright in comics is inherently stupid, how many comic book marriages have actually been done well? Or not been subject to intentional sabotage?
Lois Lane and Superman? DC did everything in their power to stop the marriage from happening, including giving Lois a sleazy ex-boyfriend to hook up with during and after "The Death of Superman" (the oh-so-disgusting Jeb Friedman), had her dump Superman upon Jeb's death, made her emotionally abusive to Clark and unaccepting of his life as Superman, had her repeatedly try to walk out on Clark during their marriage for selfish and stupid reasons (this isn't even counting the time the Parasite impersonated her), and had her being irrationally jealous and hateful toward Clark's female peers. There were also numerous story pitches to "One More Day" the marriage out of existence (including an infamous pitch by Mark Waid, Grant Morrrison, Mark Millar, and Tom Peyer), constant complaints from the writers about how the marriage was inherently horrible and how the Love Triangle was inherently superior, and endless whining about how WB interfered with DC's grand plans by expecting DC to honor their original deal to marry them off in tandem with LOIS & CLARK (a show developed at DC, no less!). I remember fans calling Lois "Superb****" for the way she treated Superman and creators like Gail Simone calling Lois out for her behavior, but DC insisted tooth and nail that Lois was being a strong female role model and the complaints were unwarranted.
Spider-Man? Even before he sold out MJ and Mayday to Mephisto, the Clone Saga was intended to destroy his marriage from the off. Failing that, they tried killing MJ off in a plane crash (it didn't stick). Unlike Superman, Spider-Man actually had a strong, solid marriage with actual staying power. It still didn't stop Marvel from wanting it snuffed.
Green Arrow and Black Canary? Sabotaged from day one. There was never any intention to making that work, which was a total shame.
Reed and Sue Richards? Well, there's always Namor chasing after her. Can we really say with any credibility that smashing that couple up isn't something Marvel's wanted to do on and off over the years?
Aquaman and Mera were broken up for a long stretch prior to the 2000s. Heck, they even killed off Aquaman's son for no good reason.
The less said about Ralph and Sue Dibny and Ray Palmer and Jean Loring, the better.
Let's face it, the insane hatred of marriage at DC and Marvel has been going on for a long, long time now. Can we really be so shocked that it's now being enforced as official policy?
When used and embraced by the creators, marriage is used to very great effect. JM Demattis, JMS, Tom Defalco and other writers embraced the marriage between Spider-Man and Mary Jane, and they told some of the best stories featuring the couple together in matrimony.
Roger Stern truly believed in Superman and Lois' marriage, and was honored to write the vows they spoke at their ceremony.
And that doesn't even get into the long history of Reed and Sue of the Fantastic Four.
Are all stories featuring married characters golden? No. But neither are all stories featuring single characters. They are probably just as much, if not more, examples of very, VERY bad stories featuring a character who isn't married. Yet the industry doesn't write off being single altogether.
The fear of marriage in comics is irrational, and seems to stem more from a desire to press the "easy" button and have stories magically be better rather than actually work at developing a compelling story, which is what REALLY attracts fans.
In fairness to Stern, by the time they actually married Lois and Clark (forced by WB since DC broke the original agreement), he was only writing Superman once every three months at best. He had barely any say in the direction DC wanted. Even Dan Jurgens, the senior writer at that point, had little say on the matter (he talked about not liking his colleagues' tendency toward making Lois unsavory in a podcast interview once). And Ron Frenz gave me an earful of anger over the Lois/Jeb/Superman triangle when I met him at Motor City Con years ago. The people who really believed that a Lois/Superman marriage was valid either had no power or weren't in positions of influence at that point. So I can't and won't blame them for what went down, especially since the anti-marriage mentality continued well after they left.
I will give the Spider-Man writers you mentioned all the credit in the world for making Spidey's marriage worthwhile. In spite of what Marvel kept trying, they did make Spider-Man's marriage everything a superhero marriage should be, which makes "One More Day" that much more of a betrayal. Also, I won't blame JMS for "One More Day." It wasn't his call, the final story wasn't even really his, and he trashed it mercilessly in THOR almost immediately afterward.
However, I have to say that all the efforts to break up couples actually don't make me want to see love triangles for two or will-they-won't-they gags. Far from it. They tend to make me hate the characters in question. I absolutely despise Lois Lane at this point; the character's been permanently poisoned for me and I don't ever want to see her with Superman again. Green Arrow and Black Canary both came out of the CRY FOR JUSTICE/RISE OF ARSENAL looking like selfish, immature jerks, and I don't care whether or not they ever try it again. And I LOATHE Peter Parker after "One More Day/Brand New Day"; there's just no redemption for that character after what he did, and I don't want MJ to go back with him under any circumstances. You can't do that much damage to the characters and still expect me to root for them. I don't want Superman married to someone who doesn't care about him or respect him. I don't want MJ to be married to someone who, after years of what should have been unshakeable loyalty, threw it all away in an act of self-admitted selfishness. I don't want to see a couple that SHOULD be together break up because they're both too stupid and infantile to conduct themselves like adults. I'm not the stunted, nihilistic moron DC and Marvel want as their readership. I don't want stupid, contrived soap opera or endless misery for the heroes. And if that's all they want to put out, I'm not interested.
I'll be totally honest, the SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN book DC's putting out? I have zero hopes for it. I like Clark and Diana as a couple, I think there's a ton of potential there, but why should I trust DC to not sabotage this the way they did to his relationship with Lois? What reason do I have to believe they won't screw this up and make both characters look bad? There's something to be said for the erosion of trust, especially given what they've pulled in the past.
Marvel and DC hearing all of the flak they have gained from these pairings and OMD decide to fix it. Will they?
A: Kill off the love interest nobody likes and then just put the pictures of the next interest on a dart board and preceded to throw the darts blindfolded?
B: Another major time altering event to solve the previous one where no one remembers what happened and they simply pick up where the original left off with little to no explanation?
C: Actually have the relationship end due to sensible events and the originally loved pair grow closer after a couple of issues and they form a new.
MARVEL: A&B THE FANS WILL LOVE IT OF COURSE IT WILL MAKE PERFECT SENSE AND GIVE A GOOD SENSE OF THE WARM AND FUZZIES
DC: A&B! THE FANS WILL LOVE IT OF COURSE IT WILL MAKE PERFECT SENSE AND GIVE A GOOD SENSE OF THE WARM AND FUZZIES
*facepalm* May the next generation have better than what we went through....
And yet DC (and to a lesser extent Marvel) are saying that this development that would be probably be something the current readership could relate to is something that doesn't lead to "dynamic" storytelling. Despite the fact that there are years and years and years worth of evidence that says otherwise.
I know that at least on DC's end, the whole thing behind breaking up the Superman/Lois marriage and the Barry Allen/Iris West marriage was because they wanted to get new readers for the comics.
I think it's because they fear married characters can't be the source of good stories.
It's a weak justification based on an argument is completely unprovable. It's laziness in the highest degree.
I agree, it is lazy.
I think it's also they fear that marriage ages a character too much. Same with having children. It's why they retconned Lian Harper out of existence. I think DC believed that young readers wouldn't see Roy Harper as awesome if he had a child.
Personally, I thought Roy was awesome for being a man and raising his daughter. It made him unique.
Seriously, it's not like this guy was a major icon at DC. He was the obscure sidekick to a character that had barely been featured in any outside media until the last decade or so. And even then, his fatherhood in the comics didn't seem to deter fans from him.
His return as "Arsenal" didn't exactly seem to light up the charts or renew interest in the character. It just made people pissed off.
I'm always amazed how the companies justify these decisions with the notion of appealing to "new fans," yet all they seem to keep doing is turn fans off. To the point that you can see this as a predictable pattern.
Well, Harper isn't a well-known character, true. but he did develop a bit of a fanbase. And I grew fond of the guy because well, he managed to be a superhero, an ex-government agent, beat a heroin addiction, and raised a healthy, happy young daughter. He was an awesome character.
"Arsenal" wasn't a recent codename for him. He used it for a while way back in the 1990s, and then became "Red Arrow" when he joined the Justice League. (The Red Arrow thing was an ad-lib to keep his real name from being dropped accidentally. He also went by that name in the Elseworlds story Kingdom Come.)
Yeah, it seems in their obsession with getting "New Readers", DC is forgetting what gave them their fans in the first place.
Of course, it's so good to know that married people are boring and un-dynamic.
I get- at a very base level- the appeal of Superman and Wonder Woman. The sexual appeal of having the world's most powerful man hook up and suck face with the world's most powerful woman. Except that's not good storytelling. That's porn. That's not providing personal drama or conflict, or anything that leads to good storytelling. I think a lot of creators forget that- that in a desire to create a more "interesting" pairing, they forget to make it a compelling narrative.