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There Goes The Bride

I don't get the negative reaction to marriage.

I would love to be married some day (am working on it now, in fact).  I understand marriage is a risk because so many marriages end in divorce or you don't really know the person you are marrying or you still have growing to do or whatever.  But if you find that right person that you fit perfect with, marriage is wonderful.

But a lot of people don't see marriage as wonderful.  They view it as the death of having fun and doing things when it is simply a shift in priorities.  And this is reflected with a lot of writers.  They don't know how to write a happy, affirming, loving marriage where the couple doesn't turn into lumps.  Hell, they can't even write steady relationships.  Characters are constantly getting together, breaking up, getting together, breaking up, and so on and so on and so on.

The hostility in the comic book world towards marriage actually isn't surprising when you think about it.  Most comics are adolescent male power fantasies (with some execptions, like Birds Of Prey or a certain indie comic about a girl who becomes friends with a mermaid).  As such, they want their men doing manly things.  Action!  Adventure!  Not being tied down!  (I mean, a committed relationship, smart ass.)

While it's always been there, it really got the spotlight when editor Joe Quesada decided it would be a good idea to have Spider-Man make a deal with the devil to wipe his marriage to Mary Jane from existence.  It continued with the DCnU, as Barry Allen's remake of the DC Universe erased his own marriage to Iris West, and the two don't really know each other that well.  Superman is also not only no longer married to Lois Lane, they aren't even attracted to each other.

That last one is the part I want to focus on at the moment.  Matt Idelson is the line editor for the Super books, and was fielding fan questions.  Here's a quote from him....

"After reading the latest interview with Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens, whose plans honestly gave me a sense of ‘been there, done that’, along with the disturbing implication that Lois and Clark are inevitable,which to me is another word for lazy and unimaginitive, I’m wondering why there seems to be such an aversion to taking chances with Superman. In a previous Ask Matt, one fan brought up the possibility of another book in the Superman line, in which you questioned him starring in it, and I’d like to know why Bruce Wayne can have four books of his own but it’s too much for Superman to even have three. And I can already see the whole sales argument coming, as valid as it might be, so what about a miniseries for Superman fans who aren’t fans of the traditional trappings of the character, in my case the Lois and Clark nonsense."

Oh, dear.

I understand editors have to keep things interesting.  And I can understand being committed to making a certain direction work.  But do you have to piss on the fans who liked the old way?

Joey Q has gone out of his way to piss off Spider fans who want Peter Parker and Mary Jane back together.  Twice in the book, it was hinted that the two would get back together only for Lucy to pull the football away.  Then there was the "One Moment In Time" story.  The image with puzzle pieces showing MJ in her wedding dress reaching out to Spider-Man.  The current regime is continuing this, with the recent issue of Fantastic Four showing Johnny Storm partying down with MJ in front of Parker.  I get the point.  You don't want Parker and MJ to be together.  But these displays are just there to piss off the fans and they make you look childish.

(Side note:  with the introduction of Sherman in Sound Waves, I got a couple of letters asking if Melody was going to be jealous that her friend Rhapsody would have someone else competing for her time like what they do on iCarly.  Short answer?  No.  In fact, the next issue of Sound Waves not only establishes she's not threatened, she's actually trying to push the two together, and Sherman is going to appreciate the wonder in Rhapsody's life.  So, spoiler alert, Rhapsody and Sherman not only will not break up at any point in the series, but in the "epilogue" story, it shows they are happily married and Rhapsody is still friends with Melody.  So don't expect me to mine any drama from that.)

Marriage is not for everyone.  But there's something petulant about slamming other people who think marriage is something beautiful and can't understand when something is done purely for arbitrary reasons.  You don't want certain characters together?  Fine.  You're the editor-writer-whatever.  It'd just be nice if you could leave the attitude at the door and just say it's what you think works best and you're running with it.

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