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Friday, June 10, 2011 

Because Marvel did it, DC has to make Superman single too?

Newsarama's presented a javascript slidepage with 7 reasons why Superman will again be single. 3 of them really gall me. First:
Publishing is a business, and this fact is behind everything DC does. And it's all about selling comics. So one of the most obvious reasons to make a big change to Superman's marital status is to not only give the character a clean slate for new readers "outside" the normal comic reading audience, but also attract the attention of the "mainstream" media, to help reach those potential readers.

Giving Superman an effective 'divorce' accomplishes both with one stone.

"If we can convince the people here we're doing something brand-new and fresh, we have a good chance to really get the people outside on board," DC co-publisher DiDio said. [...]

The attention the end of the marriage would likely receive + new, curious readers learning about it on the same device they can download the story = a combination DC might not be able to resist.
Oh, so when there's a marriage, it's no big deal, but when there's a divorce or a complete erasure, that's something to crow about? This seems to be quite the mentality that's been pushed for years now, that marriage = bad omen. This could even explain why there was never an on-panel marriage for Jesse Quick and Hourman in Justice Society; it wouldn't have suited their politically correct idea of what makes a good "story".

Now, here's the second bothersome bit:
In 2008, Marvel rocked the comic book-reading audience by magically eliminating the marriage between Peter Parker and his wife, Mary Jane. Through a story originally written by J. Michael Straczynski (the writer behind Babylon 5 and the story of the Thor film) in "Amazing Spider-Man" -- then famously rewritten by Marvel executives -- a magic character made it so that Spidey's marriage never existed.

Yet Straczynski isn't a big fan of eliminating a character's marriage, despite being involved in the Spider-Man revamp. "This is an argument we had over and over at Marvel about Spider-Man, and there really isn't a good answer to it," he said. "You can tell good stories with them married, and good stories with them single. It's really a function of what the company wants to do with them, and the image they want to present.

"I enjoy writing strong relationships, and I liked writing both of those relationships [with Spider-Man and Superman] as marriages," he said. "I was happy leaving the Parkers married, and in terms of Clark and Lois, again it can play fine either way.

"Really, the only difference between the two is that if they're single, they can fool around with other folks," he said. "But if it's a monogamous relationship, and they're never going to date others, then there's really not a compelling argument not to have them married."
That's what's important to them? Oh for heaven's sake. How many babes and hunks can one think of before even those start to bear little difference from one another? Besides, if they really must have characters dating different folks, there's always Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Dick Grayson and even Carol Danvers who can fill those parts. What makes it so important that Superman be like them? He hardly even dated many other women besides Lois Lane and Lana Lang years ago.

And JMS has already given me enough reason to doubt he really cares about Peter and Mary Jane as a married couple, or even cares about the whole Spidey concept at all, any more than a big paycheck. Plus, they seem to be confusing One More Day with Sins Past, which for all we know was rewritten by Marvel's top brass, yet still doesn't convince me he ever cared if he was going to even remotely tamper with Gwen Stacy's history in the first place.
Yet the fact that Marvel did put an end to Peter Parker's marriage, and has maintained the character's single status since, points toward a precedence that may interest DC.

DC has come in second to Marvel every year since 2002 in market share, according to Diamond Comics Distributors, which maintains sales numbers for the comic book industry. With its September revamp, DC is hoping to close that gap.
Well I'm sorry to say, but even with digital downloads of this, I think the whole "novelty" has worn off since Marvel did that awful stunt, and if DC does this just because Marvel did it - which resulted in Spidey sales tanking to mediocre numbers soon after, then I don't think they're going to regain their trust. There are those who like Clark and Lois as a married couple, and this is certainly not going to win them over. Certainly not if Superman undergoes more trendy PC changes during the reboot.

Then, here's the third part, where we hear from someone who opposed the marriage, just like he apparently opposed the Spider-Marriage:
Writer Kurt Busiek, who guided the character during recent runs on "Justice League," "Superman" and "Action Comics," as well as 2004's "Superman: Secret Identity", an out-of-continuity story in which Clark Kent is a normal man who lives in a world where Superman is just a superhero in a comic book, said the basic concept of the character is damaged with the marriage in place.

"[The marriage] made for a very nice story, but it eliminated an important part of the Superman mythos: the struggle between the two halves of Superman -- his publicly known face, admired by millions, and his human side, meek and emotionally vulnerable," Busiek said.

"There's some value to be had in exploring their married life, but I'm not sure that's something that couldn't be gotten from exploring some other hero's married life, and I don't think it outweighs the value of that great dichotomy that was always at the heart of Superman, the idea of Superman as the symbol of adulthood and power, and Clark as the inner, less-respected adolescent self-image. That made Superman appeal to younger readers for decades, and made a very strong character engine.

"Writing them as a married couple is fun, because I like that romantic, supportive banter," Busiek added, "but it does soften the concept."
What? It doesn't strenghten the concept, or even provide potential to depict the heroes with their personas and morale boosted through married life? It's a shame he sees little value in even the Man of Steel and Lois Lane's own marriage. But he's not the only one:
Other writers have asked for the marriage to end, including the well-known proposal called "Superman 2000," which was pitched to DC by top comics writers Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Mark Millar and Tom Peyer.

In that proposal, the marriage was eliminated magically, and the four writers were completely supportive of the change.

"Everyone's in agreement that the marriage and the emphasis on soap opera no longer seems to be working as well in the current market as it once did," the proposal stated.
One of the same writers who had no problem tying the knot between the Flash and Linda Park did have one with Superman, allegedly because his ID was more a secret? Sorry, I don't buy, and certainly not when these very same writers go right along with all the worst ideas to come out of DiDio's pandora's box. But it does suggest that, the more prominent the hero, the more vulnerable they are to political correctness. They also must have a low opinion of the Fantastic Four, where Reed Richards and Sue Storm have been married for almost 50 years now.

And speaking of the Flash, it's pretty apparent by now that DC wants us all to forget about Wally West, seeing how they almost completely dropped him from sight for 2 years now, and not even a real story in a different series or title. If that's the way they're going to operate, then there's little reason to buy into their reboot of the Flash either.

And just because Marvel does something doesn't mean DC should follow suit or vice versa. What it does tell is their executives must not have a high opinion on the Spider-Marriage either.

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"Really, the only difference between the two is that if they're single, they can fool around with other folks"

"but if it's a monogamous relationship..."

Fool around? Is that what people want to see? Does he not understand the full meanings of the terms he's using?

Get your damn sexual proclivities out of my comics. This crap started in the 80s, and downward things went. Keep it to yourself, you freaks.

What's wrong with being married?
In a truly diverese world people are married and in monogamous relationships not everybody is a damn single guy.

The only reason to end the Supermarriage is because you want to make Lois unaware that Clark is Superman. And going back to that dynamic means you make someone who's supposed to be the world's greatest investigative reporter look like a fool again.

Well, that or you're just opposed to marriage in general...

Why did Spider-Man and Superman have to get married in the first place?

I don't know, but I think that was Judd Winick that married them in one of those DC-Marvel crossovers.

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