Friday, April 10, 2015

Marriage in Comics

Well the interview is more to do with Convergence but this is the bit I want to talk about.

Jurgens was also asked about the brief period he spent simultaneously working on "Spider-Man" and "Superman" -- which at the time coincided with the infamous Clone Saga in the "Spider-Man" titles. "He's about the best fun to draw, but Marvel was wrestling with who they wanted him to be," Jurgens said. "He was in his 30s and married, and they wanted to make him younger, which was the point of Ben Reilly... they found their way out of it. But at the time, the books felt old."
That statement prompted a fan to ask if marriage has a place in superhero comics. 
"What does that evolution say for the character?" he responded. "As soon as you get there, you block off certain stories. For Superman, you have to be aware you can't have him fall in love with different characters. There aren't rules, but you have to be aware of the parameters."
He added that reviving the youth appeal was part of the idea in DC's rumored "no marriage" rule in the New 52. "They wanted to make the characters feel younger. We don't see a lot of younger people getting married. I think that's what was happening," he said.

I don't agree with Jurgens on a few things like his views on Ben Reilly, returning Barbara Gordon to Batgirl and this. While I agree a lot of stories in the Clone Saga weren't the greatest this was due to Marvel stretching out the story for so long. The marriage had nothing to do with it and fans WANTED to see baby May born and were livid that Marvel chose to bring Aunt May back instead. Peter and MJ were supposed to be in their mid-20s but I think his point is that "marriage ages the characters." 
The only thing it blocks off is dating other people (although that hasn't stopped Marvel from having certain characters commit adultery.) Mary Jane is pretty damn popular, fans were furious when she was briefly killed off and like it or not she's a staple of Spider-Man. Can any of his love interests since OMD say the same? People are invested in the relationship and character. New love interests will always be measured against her. If someone writes her out of character or make her the writers' mouthpiece to validate the new relationships Peter has they will get called out on it. In fact it has been called out as a cheap way of trying to make the new character matter.
"We don't see a lot of young people getting married." Seriously? A lot of my older sisters' friends were married before she was 24. I had friends getting married and having kids before I got out of my teens. I know that this isn't universal but it's hardly unheard of. This is an old train of thought for me especially with Spider-Man because he's the hard luck guy that's all about responsibility. He wanted to get married and that doesn't make his life any easier. It's what Spider-Girl got right, it's the clear direction the character was heading towards whether it was rushed or not. Not allowing marriage makes growth impossible. Frankly I get tired of all the many hook ups, look at the X-Men, it feels like they've all dated at this point.


  1. Marriage between comic book characters does seem to strike fear into the hearts of fanboys everywhere for some reason.

    But the only alternative is to keep killing off love interests like Daredevil and Batman and yes, Spider-Man, and then they start to look pathetic instead of dashing.

  2. I believe that in a lot of cases (Spider-Man in particular) the creators want the character to be exactly as they were when they first read them. To relive the glory days. I never got that mind frame.

    Well they could break up but even that creates clichés. The "your life is too dangerous" plot being the most overused. After awhile it starts to get stuck in a rut because the hero can never have a personal success. Or as Dido put it they never be happy. That's just depressing.