Don’t mix your reality with my fantasies


Unlike chocolate and peanut butter, reality and comic books don’t seem to work very well together. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like as soon as a comic book character gets hitched, he becomes incredibly dull. We’re expected to go from reading about a character who risks life and limb, to reading about about wedding plans, dinner parties, laundry, and even diaper choices. My life is quite filled with tedium already, do I really need to read about someone who has superpowers and does boring crap? No offense to the people in my life, (who I love dearly, for the most part), but my life can be incredibly tedious. It’s actually painfully dull at times, and I mean it, this is not hyperbole. Like most people, between getting up, taking care of myself, going to work, cleaning up, eating, going to sleep, and then doing it all over again, I am pretty often walking around practically in a partial coma. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with my life, I truly enjoy it (again, for the most part). Even now, as I overhear my brother and my dad discuss mattress quality and purchasing (?), I’m acutely aware that my daily life is not filled with action and adventure, and I’m just fine with this.

The reason this is okay, is because I have all sorts of other interests, one of which is reading comics about people who do very exciting, dangerous things. I purposely read comics about these sort of people, who have lives that look exhausting to me, because I enjoy this fantasy. And it is a fantasy, which is how I want it to stay. I only need a certain amount of information about my superheroes, too much reality and it all falls apart. For example, if you actually had to wear spandex and leap off of buildings, imagine how often you’d have to do laundry. Those synthetic materials don’t breathe, you’d need a clean suit to change into for every day. So where do you go to buy 7 skin-tight, spandex suits with a custom pattern on them? How do you clean the suit? Since it’s custom made and would need hand-washing, you’d have to put aside an hour every evening to wash out the suit. That’s a lot of work, and that’s not even considering how you go about rescuing people without hurting yourself or getting arrested, which is a huge question. And what about the exhaustion – how would you go to your day job in the morning if you’d been up all night swinging from rooftops or flying about in your private jet. If you fly about in your private jet, do you get jetlag? Or do you just get that dry air feeling from the circulated air? And who cleans your private jet?

See, if you get too stuck into reality, the fantasy aspect of comic books goes right out the window. The above paragraph is the very boring, tedious, adult life, and no one wants to read that comic, at least I don’t, that’s for sure.

And yet for some reason, at some point, most superheroes go through an ill-advised period of something that (for want of a better term) I’m going to call reality exploration. They get married, or they have a baby, or they move house, or something happens, and suddenly they’re worrying about their normal lives. I don’t think I’m the only one who watched Rise of the Silver Surfer, and thought it should have been called “The Fantastic Four Plan a Wedding“. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for marriage, but I have little or no interest in the unbelievable minutiae involved with planning a damn wedding, (no sane person does, that’s why wealthy people hire professionals to do it for them). Who thought that they should take four characters with incredible powers, and make us watch them fuss and hassle about something as normal and mundane as a wedding. Did anyone think we might like more time and budget given to the epic, planet-eating alien deity? No, they couldn’t because they ran out money because they spent it on a tacky, pretend wedding that no on cares about, so now Galactus is a cloud. Good job film-makers. Great priorities there.

Superman got married and now we’re meant to care about his relationship. No, sorry, I don’t care. I care about him leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Maybe that’s why Spider-Man got unmarried… And after having to read about him worrying about whether Mary-Jane would mind sharing the housework with Jarvis if they moved into the Avenger’s pad, I’m grateful for the retcon. Future Wolverine got hitched and had babies, but he had the decency to sod off on a journey and leave them to die. It’s horrible I know, but it made better reading than a book where he stays home, eats, sleeps, and basically has the same sort of life as everyone else – not very entertaining at all. Why do so many writers see marriage as an excuse to talk about the boring, mundane aspects of life? You never get Spider-Woman worrying that her tampon will leak, or Thor concerned that he might need dandruff shampoo, or Batman scared that he’ll get a pimple that his half-mask won’t cover… Single people are potentially just as dull as married ones, and yet somehow, no one ever writes about them that way.

It’s all well and good to try and give a character some depth, create a rich tapestry of life against which they can shine, and that sort of thing. But there are limits. I like my reality well enough, but I’d rather not read about it in my comic books.



Sonia Harris sleeps, eats, reads, writes, walks, talks, and does all sorts of other really dull stuff in San Francisco. You can mail her about your own tedious life at sonia@ifanboy.com.

Comments

  1. crazychris crazychris says:

    If Reed and Sue never got hitched, we wouldn’t have Franklin and Val, and those kids are great. I hope we see more of them now that Hickman’s taking over FF.

  2. muddi900 says:

    The spider-man retcon is still not justified. I don’t know about before, but the quality is not good enough to slap long time fans in the face. No, they’re still not that good.

  3. stuclach stuclach says:

    I eagerly await my own personal One More Day/Brand New Day.  Where’s my Mephisto? 

  4. zombox zombox says:

    I once had a fanboy go berserk because I believed that 90′s Psylocke’s hair was naturally purple. They asserted taht she dyed it. She may have, in fact, been correct – but it baffles me that having naturally purple hair was considrably less believeable to this person than the fact that Psylocke was a reborn uber-ninja with psychic weapons.

  5. crazychris crazychris says:

    @stuclach, that’d be great for someone in a terrible marriage. Not only is the marriage over, but all the bullshit is forgotten.

  6. muddi900 says:

    Also, Hourman and Liberty Belle; awesome or AWESOME!

  7. drakedangerz drakedangerz says:

    hahaha, Spider-Woman worrying about a leaky tampon.  That’s gold, Sonia!  Gold!

    Damn fine article.  Though I would argue that, for me, it would be quite entertaining to read about those sort of things from time to time; though this would have to be with a character that is known for being funny and a little off.  I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Deadpool go to the tailor’s and get a new suit, or try to pick out a new toothbrush.  The same can’t be said about Luke Cage talking about changing smelly green poo-filled diapers though.

  8. As much as I agree with you, I do enjoy the occassionaly reminder that these stories take place in a world similar to our own. Sometimes we need a refresher that Peter Parker is a struggling human being. Without these glimpses into the mundane, every superhero might feel like Thor. Now, I love Thor, but not every superhero needs to feel like a centuries old god.

  9. If I want some crappy wedding rom-com elements in my movies, I’ll go watch a Julia Roberts flick! I wanted to see Silver Surfer in an epic battle with Galactus, and that part of the movie was only for like 5 minutes while the wedding was for a good 45 minutes!

     

    So were you initially cool with the Spider-Man "One More Day" story? Or did you eventually grow into like like most of us have?

  10. JesTr JesTr says:

    @muddi900:  I don’t mind the changes in Spider-man but I hate how it happened.  They could have killed MJ are they could’ve divorced. Lord knows the MJ threatened to divorce Peter 100 times. However, no they get a big red scary devil/demon to "I Dream of Jeanie" them away.

    @stuclach: I would love a OMD poof back in college with no worries

    I never thought of the mundane reality aspect.  Cool prespective Sonia!

  11. Jim Mroczkowski Jimski (@jimski) says:

    You want to talk about mundane? Divorce/widowhood does not fix what was wrong with that book. It’s like treating poison ivy with amputation.

    I never had time for DC’s Crisis/Zero Hour shenanigans as a boy, but whatever else they may do they prevent these Mephisto situations that so trouble people.

  12. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    My problem with this argument is that it assumes that having a character in a committed relationshiop forces writers to write boring, cliched stories.   I’m sorry that this is my answer to everything, but the problem with bad stories is bad stories. 

    My other problem is that it’s often used as a (sometimes not so) thinly veiled way of saying that women who fill any role but looking good in Spandex should be kept out of stories at all costs.  Not that I believe YOU are saying that but it’s a thing that does get said.   

  13. mcbaker mcbaker says:

    Weird, I guess I’ll always be in the minority on this one. I always enjoyed Peter and MJ’s relationship, even through the marriage. Loeb did the amazing(no pun intended) story of Spider-Man: Blue, which is basically about Peter’s two big "loves." I really enjoyed it and the Tim Sale art.

  14. Tex Tex says:

    I’m somewhere in the middle on this issue. On the one hand, I love a bit of "grounding" with my superheroes. For example, I loved the scene at the start of Ultimate Spider-Man where him and Mary-Jane are talking while cleaning his spider-costume, and Mary-Jane complains about the holes in it. I know its said all the time, but in this case it really did make spider-man more relateable. On the other hand in Waid’s second Flash run it seemed like every other page Wally was complaining about being broke… and that got real boring real fast!

     

    It’s all good in moderation…

  15. JasonB35 JasonB35 says:

    I agree that when reality of day to day life becomes to large a part of a superhero comic then it does get a bit dreary and dull.  On the other hand, it is the humanization that small doses of reality bring that makes the character relatable and allows us to feel a part of their story.  Like anything else when it is done in moderation it can add a more textured portrait of the character.  Isn’t this supposedly why Marvel comics became so popular way back when?  They started brininging that reality element to the character so that these super beings became more relatable to us mere mortals.  This was a great and thought provoking article.  Thanks Sonia.

  16. B B says:

    I really have to disagree, but I guess as with anything it just matters if it’s done well or not. In the right hands a story about a superhero being broke and having relationship woes could be great. One of my favorite comic scenes of all time is during the Daredevil story that Mack wrote and Quesada drew, where Matt Murdock and Maya Lopez go on a date in Central Park. It was such a refreshing scene and felt totally relatable, but under it all we still know that the guy is Daredevil and the girl is Echo and that made it all the more engaging.

    I think real life stuff is such a refreshing change of pace. Saying that there’s not enough action in your superhero books is like saying there aren’t enough boobs on the internet.

  17. captbastrd captbastrd says:

    I’d imagine Thor to be the kinda guy who wouldn’t care to get anti-dandruff shampoo, even if it’s an evident problem.

    Other superhero standing under Thor’s 6’6" frame: Aw, Thor! You’re sprinkling dandruff on me!
    Thor: Verily! Tis but the remnants of my making snow angels in Asgard!
    OS: … It’s not melting.
    Thor:… Asgard snow never melts.
    OS: Oh that’s bullsh-
    Thor: *WHOOSH!* (He flies off, Mjolnir leading the way, flurries of dandruff trailing behind.)

  18. Jim Jim says:

    Sonia: how do you feel about Marvel’s attempt at "realism" in placing its characters all in the "real world," with real political leaders (namely a "real" President Obama, albeit one who is content to let a murdering madman run national security)?  Versus DC’s approach, fictional political leaders, fictional cities, little attempt to shoehorn its events into the "real" world?

  19. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    Here’s a thought that just crossed my mind — do people think Barry and Iris Allen got boring when they got married?  Based on listening to the ‘Tom vs. the Flash’ podcasts, it seems like their relationship was kind of tedious and repetitive while they were dating, but once they got married and she learned his identity it sounds like a lot of cool stuff still happened with the characters.   It sounds like Iris did interesting things related to her job, not just sitting around and arguing about china patterns and remodeling the house.  Ditto Ralph and Sue Dibny always seemed to be having a good time.  This reinforces my idea that it’s not marriage but writers who think marriage has to be dreary and mundane and strip the woman of her personality who are the source of the problem.

  20. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    I have to respectfully disagree. I understand the qualm but I never understood how the marriage was the problem making Spider-Man inaccessible. Or how Superman being married to Lois Lane is a problem? It seems real, natural and… ultimately… as if there is forward motion to the narrative, and that’s something that sorely needs to be done in comics. Excitingly Marvel and DC are working on ways to make their universes seem in motion as opposed to stagnating. (Well, except for Spider-Man…) I guess I just don’t get how having characters grow and change is an issue. If this doesn’t happen what’s the point of reading?

  21. Spider-Man became a much more interesting character when he was married. He was starting to grow into an adult and was able to think smart. He could still make jokes and still acted like the Spider-Man we liked. But so many people were upset he might’ve aged a couple years that they had to retcon the whole situation.

    I wish my life was like that. Have Mephisto come in here when I’m in my late 20′s. I can sort everything out and become president of the world.

  22. drakedangerz drakedangerz says:

    The problem lies when writers make the marriage a problem, rather than just an aspect, in a character’s life.  I’m married, but that’s not all I do.  Too many times, it gets focused on the couple having "issues" and dealing with the mundane parts of married life, rather than having the marriage itself just be in the backdrop.

  23. @drake: JMS did a good part of mixing mundane aspects of Pete/MJ’s marriage. There was some obvious issues he address, but the relationship always felt real. Even when the comic had to get sucked into Civil War.

  24. dandoody dandoody says:

    I’d agree with @ohcaroline & @PraxJarvin, particularly in regards to the whole "One More Day—let’s make Peter Parker single again without a divorce."  I always got the feeling too many Spidey writers (David Michelinie & JMS excepted) wanted to write the Spider-Man they grew up with—single, hapless, and never getting any breaks. Instead of viewing his marriage as a challenge to writing engaging story-lines, which included Mary Jane, too many Spider-man writers complained it was only an impediment that prevented them from telling classic Spidey tales.  In a way, I’ll admit, they were right—many of the Brand New Day stories, which I’ve enjoyed for the most part, do have an atmosphere that harkens back to the classic era of Spider-man stories, say from the late 60s to the early 80s; however, I also feel many of the story elements are a bit of a re-tread, mutton dressed as lamb.  Come on, did we really need to have Peter living with Aunt May again at the beginning of Brand New Day?

    My real fear is after all the gloss from the Brand New Day status quo is played out, we’ll keep getting the same old Spider-man-can’t-get-an-even-break-stories, Peter just being Peter, while his surrounding cast does grow and develop.  (Arguably, Harry Osborne & Flash Thompson have been the two best developed characters over BND.)  And if Peter doesn’t get the same treatment, then Amazing Spider-man runs the risk of turning into late-era Peanuts—where Charles Schultz kept recycling every gag from the first 40 years of the strip, thinking it was still funny to anyone over the age of twelve.

  25. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    I should say that I like the current Spider-Man fine, and I don’t have any strong opinion about Clark and Lois’s marriage.  It’s just this constantly stated idea that it is absolutely impossible to write anything interesting about a character who happens to be married.  Try saying, "Those two guys have been friends for so long!  All the stories you could possibly tell about them have been told and anyway they’re inherently boring!"  It sounds kind of silly. 

    I think it’s totally fine if somebody enjoys a single Spider-Man (for example) better, but I wish I heard it stated more often as a preference rather than a law of nature.

  26. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    @dandoody Of the admittedly few issues of Amazing I’ve read since OMD, I never saw a story that could only be told with a single Spider-Man. But I digress. I just think it’s sad that with both Ultimate and Amazing running, readers are more or less forced to read stories about a Peter Pan "Never Grow Up" Spider-Man.

  27. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    Not all married characters are boring, because some characters are meant to be that way (Reed & Sue, Raph & Sue, Barry & Iris), and that is mostly because they are depicted as older. The companies are not trying to get kids to relate to them. That’s the exact opposite with Spider-Man and that’s why one of the best and smartest retcons ever had to happen. And hurray for that. It took ‘em long enough.

  28. mcbaker mcbaker says:

    @conor Wow! I can’t recall ever disagreeing with you(first for everything, huh). Anyway, if they were trying to win over kids, then they had USM, and that fit right. I’m a single man, but I get tired of a relationship "chase" story, quickly. I wanted to know and see how the built up the marriage and why their love is "right." I think that is a perfectly fine story element, especially with a 30-something Peter Parker. Either way, good story telling is good story telling, and we can all agree we want that.

  29. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @psyguy411: The Ultimate Universe isn’t the Marvel Universe, they needed to rectify the mistakes they made with Peter Parker in their main book. THis has not only included wiping out the marriage, but the equally as important decision to subtly de-age him back to his 20s. Both very important elements in maintaining the longterm health of the property.

  30. drakedangerz drakedangerz says:

    @Conor-They should give him acne and converse in LOL speak.  That would totally help him connect with more kids

  31. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @dd: That’s actually what I was hoping for. When the rumor went around that he was going to be retconned back to high school I was ecstatic. But I’ll take this.

  32. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    @conor  I would buy the ‘kids’ argument better if the new ‘kid-friendly’ storyline didn’t involve Peter have drunken blackout sex with his roommate, who is then taken advantage of (trying not to use a loaded term here) by a supervillain in disguise.  The idea that this is supposed to be more kid-friendly than a happily married couple depresses me a bit.

  33. mcbaker mcbaker says:

    @conor – Did they really de-age him. I thought I remember him making a snarky comment about being in his 30′s and living with his aunt, when this all started. Anyway, you’re right about the Ultimate Universe, but isn’t there also Marvel Adventures to youth-inize Spider-Man. I just think that there are plenty of ways to get Spidey-Tales, without changing the main book. They really could of dropped JMS and did what they are doing now with the 3 monthly books, and kept MJ. The only difference is that it’s both of them being down trodden and trying to make it, as opposed to just Peter. Really, though, this is just an idea or thought instead of a complaint, because I’m loving me some good SM stories.

  34. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @ohcaroline: Comics have had those kind of adult themes in them since the 1970s. That didn’t stop me or anyone else from reading them in kindergarden. I read The DARK KNIGHT RETURNS when I was 10.

  35. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    I’m not complaining about the adult theme, I’m just saying that if the motivation is really ‘making this a book for kids’ then that seems like a weirdly selective way to do it.  And if they’re really trying to tell teenagers it’s a book for them, it’s simultaneously telling adult female readers like me, "This is not for you."  That’s probably true, but don’t expect me to be happy about it.

  36. Does anyone like the way kids are written in comics?

    It’s one of those things I don’t think any writer does very well. (Except for Tiny Titans of course) If Spider-Man and MJ were to have a kid, the one Mephisto showed them, then I would call for a retcon quickly. Spider-Man having a kid is pretty much where I draw the line when aging him.

    Wait I always like the FF kids. They are always written well.

  37. PraxJarvin PraxJarvin says:

    @TNC What you mean Spider-Girl the series that lasted far longer than anyone thought? And that was quite good on its own?

    @Conor Again, the retcon was unnecessary for the actual stories being told. All that was needed were good stories to sell the property. I think it’s funny you mention reading DKR as a kid, because that’s a pretty "inaccessible to kids" read what with the geriatric main character and all.

    @psyguy Yeah, they more or less rebooted the Spider-Man verse to the late the 70s. I would say shortly after the Harry Osborne drug issues. 

  38. @Prax: I never read Spider-Girl so I wouldn’t know if it was good or not. But the basic premise is: In the future, Peter/MJ’s daughter becomes Spider-Girl?

    Maybe them having a kid could work. Parker would be a great dad the more I think about it. But it would have to be a slow transition into it. Hyping it up and then realizing you got years of the baby being the same age…that would be annoying.

  39. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    To tell you the truth, I think it would be a ton of fun to write a Peter Parker as a new father story.  You think it was hard not having the rent money before? 

  40. @josh: But we’ll never know for a couple more decades (most likely) because of OMD.

    It’s gonna be fun trying to read MJ and Parker getting back together. I mean we must be getting close to it; MJ is popping up all over the title now!

  41. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    @TheNextChampion  How long do you think it takes to have a kid??

    I usually think babies in comics are a bad idea in the long run, not b/c of the kids themselves but because of how they challenge the timeline in which no one else ever gets older.    On the other hand, if they do a Danny Rand & Luke Cage Daddy Day Care arc, I’m so there.

  42. drakedangerz drakedangerz says:

    Upon thinking about it, I think I agree that Peter Parker works better as a bachelor struggling to find love.  It’s easily the best way to connect with most comic book readers, that’s for sures. (not me though, I’m married to a hot woman)

  43. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    I didn’t say it would have to be in Amazing Spider-Man.  Good stories are just that.  We don’t need no stinkin’ continuity!

  44. mcbaker mcbaker says:

    @josh – and that truly is what it’s all about. I don’t care if Peter or any hero is single, married, straight, homosexeual, republican, democrat….what have you. I just want to read a good story, and so far in SM, I’m getting it.

  45. zombox zombox says:

    We may not need the continuity, but the reason you have these particular feelings about that particular character is continuity. Your history with that character. The feeling that you have shared their life. Its difficult for some to accept the invalidation of ‘imporatn’ memories. Its basically a form of relationship marketing.

  46. @ohcaroline: It took almost two years just to get MJ back into Peter’s life. How long is it going to take before they can be a couple again? Probably fight off Mephisto’s powers cause that has to be an ending point. Then getting back into the swing of dating, getting married again, possibly having a kid.

    Decades was a bit much for me, I say it could take about ten years to get even close to the possiblity of having those two have kids. If the pace of ASM stays this way and if we’re talking about continuity.

    By the way, I just noticed Thor was holding a bottle of Head and Shoulders just now. Subliminal advertisment cause I just used it in a shower not to long ago.

  47. daccampo daccampo says:

    welllll, skipping the Spidey discourse above and going back to the article — for me it’s about balance. Sonia’s got some salient points, but… man, I think the reason the super-heroes work so well for me is because they’re still "us." Yes, after years of serialized publication, it gets harder to justify. But I think the biggest appeal of Superman (at his roots) was that he lived in our world and was us. He was the cool, powerful, justice-dealing guy under all of our mild-mannered exteriors. It wasn’t the powers that made him cool, right? I mean, same guy, but now he’s Kal-El and he’s a sword-wielding freedom fighter on the planet BlahBlah — I don’t think he would have become the archetype he is today. Superman isn’t Superman without Clark Kent. And things like weddings and changing diapers and paying the rent… these mundane things are our touchstones. They link us to Clark or Peter or Reed and Sue because we have to do all those things, too.

    I remember in the early nineties, when the Image guys were still on the X-men books. Finally pried from Claremont’s control, X books became everything Jim Lee and Whilce Portacio wanted to draw. And then there was no down time. No small moments. And the books suffered for it, and immediately everyone started longing for the days when the X-men had softball games. 

    So: balance. Use the mundanity as an emotional touchstone to remind us that they’re in our world and that, despite their powers, they represent us, and the break off into fantasy from there.

     

  48. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Peter hooked up with his roommate.  He could have a baby in 9 months time.  Or next month comic time.  And THAT would be some dramatic tension.

  49. edward says:

    If i could just chime in for a moment. There is one very important issue we’re all over looking.

    The reason superheroes don’t need to continuously wash their out-fits is because their physiology is different to regular humans.

    Once they get superpowers they barely break a sweat and when they do it smells like jasmine. Being in a scrum with Captain America, Daredevil and The Blob would smell delightful.

  50. Crucio Crucio says:

    Does Spider-man semen still cause cancer? I’m just saying he gets a lot of time with a lot of attractive women. *being facetious*

    I’ve heard 2 basic reasons for what happened to Spider-man !. Better stories being single 2. Connect to Audience who are younger.

    I disagree with them both on the basis that a good writer can work with any character and give them great stories that are interesting to everyone.

    If they were going to do OMD, I think Mary-Jane should have tricked Mephisto in to bringing back Gwen for Peter. I really miss Gwen. 

  51. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    NO Gwen Stacy resurrection!

    Daccampo reminded me to say thanks to Sonia for an enjoyable article.  I’m afraid I jumped straight onto the Spidey discussion without mentioning how fun this was to read.  Though personally I would have liked the ‘Silver Surfer’ movie better if the plot had been ‘the caterer quits at the last minute and Ben and Johnny have to fill in!’

  52. stuclach stuclach says:

    I have absolutely no opinion about the OMD storyline.  I don’t care enough about Spidy or his history to pay much attention (No offense to Spidy fans, it just isn’t my thing).  I am perfectly fine with characters getting married or living a "real" life in the background IF the writers have an interesting way to use the development.  If the change is made to sell issue or raise eyebrows, but without a plan for how it will be integrated/used in future stories, then they are simply setting themselves up to fail.

    The extremely personal interaction that seems to be taking place in Batman & Robin is an excellent example of a realistic interpersonal relationship that contributes significantly to the quality of the book.

    P.S. I’m still waiting on Mephisto.  Is their some form I need to fill out to get his attention? 

  53. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @Prax: I had already been reading comics for at least six years at that point. I wasn’t a new reader.

  54. @josh: That is a very fascinating plot to try out. Quick! Write to Marvel before Guggenheim finds this thread! :)

    I would love to know who does the costumes for all the heroes. Someone specific does the Rouges costumes with the Flash. Alfred couldn’t have made all of those version of the Batsuit.

  55. drakedangerz drakedangerz says:

    I just noticed that Thor was carrying a bottle of Head & Shoulders. 

    Bravo, Sonia…bravo.

  56. B B says:

    @TheNextChampion – there was an anthology of Batman short stories (you know, like, a book) that I read in… geez, probably the early ’90s. There was a cool story about the tailor that made the costumes for all the bat villains. I remember really enjoying, but that was a long time ago. Anyone know off the top of their head what I’m talking about?

  57. JasonB35 JasonB35 says:

    @daccampo I think that is what I was trying to say but you of course said it a in way more interesting way.  Bravo.

  58. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I can never tell the difference between the two. 

  59. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    Paul, are you saying that what the rest of us fantasize about is the life you live every day?

  60. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’m sitting on a giant mushroom with a pan flute right now.  

  61. daccampo daccampo says:

    Off topic, but I love that Paul’s avatar is winking. I believe it’s how all of Paul’s statements should be read.

  62. Ali Colluccio WonderAli (@WonderAli) says:

    I don’t see the need for superheroes to be married. If you want to make them "more real" there are plenty of ways to do it without marrying them off. I’m really enjoying post-OMD Spider-Man. I think Peter is more "real" now, because quite honestly, if you’re a 20-something superhero, are you really going to have the time to get your life together enough to be able to commit to a relationship? I feel like he got married to MJ because they’d been together for so long they might as well just get hitched. And while it is nice for kids to see happily married couples, there is nothing wrong with being single. There’s nothing wrong with single superheroes. You don’t see anyone calling Wonder Woman a spinster.

  63. JasonB35 JasonB35 says:

    @wonderali pity the person who tries.

  64. Peter Parker is getting de-aged though. And like Conor said, it’s subtle. He’s back to around 23, 24, instead of 29, 30. If they divorced (which is what I wanted), they’d have to keep him at 30. So I do think it was the right choice.

  65. Speaking for myself, I love stories that deal with reality, now if someone doesn’t that’s fine they are by no means "Wrong". For me it’s if the mundane moments are identifiable, that’s not to say I need to directly identify with all the characters I read, nor does it mean I’m sitting there going "Laundry, I understand that, we all do laundry". It’s more about the emotional aspects. I don’t always needs to have my characters being heroic and stopping bombs or terrorist, I love the moment in comics where I click with a character. The stress of Spider-man, the isolation of Batman and the lonliness of Wolverine. It’s about emotional identification. To me that’s what marriage stuff is about, it’s not about the planning it’s about being in love. I know roll your eyes if you must, that’s fine, but that stuff speaks to me. It’s extrodinary people with identifiable emotional cores. It’s the same reason I loved Wall-E, a movie about a robot who was just lonely and wanted love, an emotional core.  And it’s why I can read outside the super-hero genre. I can read Stranger in Paradise, Blankets or BoP and really feel the weight.

    As far as the Spider-man marriage, I’m on both sides. I love the Spider-man stories coming out post BnD. It’s some of the most fun I’m having reading comics right now and get really excited when the new trades come out. On the other side, I really loved the MJ/PP relationship. At the time JMS was on the book and he was really examining the relationship it spoke to me in a big way, at the time I was madly in love with a girl in my life and could identify with Peter, I could feel the emotion of that relationship. I do wish there was a book out there about the married life of MJ/PP. I know there’s Spider-girl, I’ve picked up Spider-girl, but it’s called Spider-Girl, MJ/PP are supporting characters (though Spider-Girl is quite good, I’d say give it a shot, good kid-friendly comics). Again I love the post OMD Spider world…but I wish i could have both.

    Again  those are my opinions, you’re not wrong if you disagree.  

  66. Jay Jay says:

    personally i think relationships, marriage and divorce make for great drama. And art. Some of the best songs of all time have come from this rich bed.

     So i think it’s bad writing that lets comic books down when relationships are involved.

  67. TheMaestroX TheMaestroX says:

    I think the GA/BC wedding is a good example of this also.

    In general I think being married is a fine idea, and can present some good partner dynamics in the superhero context (and they dont all have to be conflict either!!!). But the build up to that wedding had three or so specials about the planning etc. which was a bit much.

    In general I think the odd peek behind the curtain of a superheros life can be a fun and interesting insight into the character. But I agree with Sonia that the book should remember what it is…an Action Adventure Superhero story.