Everyone who has kept up with the blog (or has even read the top five most read posts) knows my opinion on Marvel. I dislike how they screw with characters for their movie properties, or dissolve marriages in an arbitrary and capricious fashion with a ... deal with the devil? For most of this, I initially blamed Joe Quesada ... then I realized that most comic book arcs are proposed a year in advance, and I realized that Marvel would be feeling the effects of Joe Q at least until 2012.
My main complaint was that Marvel had MASSIVE, WORLD CHANGING STORIES...... that changed absolutely nothing at all.
When I initially discussed DC Comics, and what they've been doing, my complaint was that they kept shaking up their universe so much, the dust never had time to settle before they had another damn crisis. We were being Evented to Death.
And now, DC is having yet another "event," where they rewrite large parts of their own history.
In the past, when DC did this sort of thing, it was to make life easier on everyone. DC Comics had the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in the 1980s as a way of consolidating their myriad universes -- Golden Age, Bronze Age, Silver Age, the Dark Ages -- and make them one universe.
Now it's starting to feel like One More Day all over again. (more below the break)
When I read fiction, or watch TV, I tend to be pissed off at the obligatory "Oh No, we can't have a married hero, we have to come up with a way to keep this from happening." You sometimes see this in TV shows that are on for a very long time, and the "sexual tension" is starting to strain like a speedo on a sumo wrestler... there is no tension, there's only limp elastic.
To me, that's what made married superheroes such a nice exception to the rule. They were unique. Lois Lane was not Mary Jane Watson ... Mr. and Mrs. Barry Allen were not the married Flash couple of the golden age universe (you know, the guy with the winged helmet). They were different damnit.
As some have noted: when comic books change authors, the girlfriend is the first to go. When Stan Lee was out of town back in the sixties, Gwen Stacy found herself falling off of the 59th street bridge. Date a Green Lantern, get stuffed in a refrigerator.
I can't even keep track of the current state of the Hulk's wife (she'd dead, she's alive, she's in a coma, she's a red hulk, she's a person, My sister/my daughter/ My sister/my daughter/ .... sorry, old movie joke.)
Author Peter David once noted that he was the "only one" who liked a married Peter Parker, because everyone else kept having them separate. (That was before JMS took over.) I actually enjoyed the character being married -- Spiderman is quite famous for having to deal with "real world problems." He can swing around in spandex, but had money problems practically every story arc. And he had -- tada -- real world problems that come with marriage.
But that was obviously too complex for the mind of Joe Quesada and his pack of nimrods, and he decided it had to go, enter One More Day. It was easier for the Twilight target audience (teenagers) to sympathize with a bachelor Peter Parker.
Which is why I'm getting a little ticked at DC Comics.
The more I hear about their "reboot" of the entire universe, the more I wonder if Grant Morrison has gone through an ugly divorce.
From what I can tell, every married superhero is single once more: Superman never met Lois Lane at the Daily Planet; Barry Allen never married his wife .... no one cares about Aquaman (though I think his wife became sushi a few crises ago).
For years, I've listened to how comics books are "not just for children," "they're an art form," "they're epic myths rewritten," and a whole bunch of pretentiousness defending the right of grownups to read comic books. In fact, the age of Crisis started with Identity Crisis, which had the murder of superhero wife and partner Sue Dibney, and even her rape.
This is adult enough for me.
Since then, DC has obviously regressed to the "Twilight target audience" Marvel wants. I wonder if they think Barry Allen and Superman will be more sympathetic to teenagers now that they're both single.
I think it's time for comic book writers to grow up now.