Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Chew the Fat: The Ups and Downs of Comic Book Romance...
Redartz: Greetings, gang! It's Valentine's week, and the thoughts of many are turning to romance (or
at least where to buy an affordable bouquet of roses). Accordingly, it seemed appropriate to consider some aspect of romance in comics .
Specifically, which comic book couples are most interesting/convincing to you? Which seemed mismatched from the start? There are many examples to work from: Lois and Clark, Archie and Betty / Archie and Veronica, Barry and Iris. No doubt you all will bring up others. But for me, the iconic relationship is that of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.
Much has been written about them and their relationship. Indeed, the comic site CBR has been running a series tracing the evolution of Pete and MJ, from the beginning onward: it's a fascinating read, and here's a link: https://www.cbr.com/tag/if-her-hair-was-still-red/
Although some prefer Peter's relationship with Gwen Stacy , and some may prefer the Black Cat (and some may hearken back to Betty Brant), I found the Pete/MJ merry-go-round engaging (pun intended) , and nicely developed over many years. Indeed, the lengthy time I spent reading about them perhaps explains why I feel most disposed towards them as a couple. I followed them from the uneasy period following Gwen's death through their wedding, and pretty much all the way up to Amazing Spider-man 700, when "Superior Spider-man" kicked in (Doc Ock took over Peter's body; don't ask, you'd have to have been there). Pete and MJ had many ups and downs, separations , fights, and misunderstandings (both during courtships and wedded years), but
there were many truly touching scenes. Their first kiss at the airport in ASM 143; their awkwardness in the wedding (annual 21), MJ's support and empathy during Aunt May's apparent death (ASM 400, an excellent tale shamefully undercut by later retconning).
And that's just the tiniest tip of a very large iceberg. For brevity's sake, let's just say that Peter and MJ are my comic couple of choice. So who are yours?