DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

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The_Watchman
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DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by The_Watchman »

So the creative team for Batwoman is going to be leaving the book after DC editorial refused to let Maggie Sawyer and Kate Kane get married. (http://comicsalliance.com/batwoman-jh-w ... -marriage/)

Both DC and Jh Williams III have been clear that the edict was not about an anti-gay marriage policy but rather an anti-any-marriage policy. To my knowledge, there is not a single superhero character in DC that is married right now and they've certainly made a big deal about eliminating long-time marriages like Lois and Clark and the Allens. Now not to start another One More Day type argument, but I can't help but find this to be ridiculous. I don't get this policy. I can kind of understand that Lois and Clark had to be unmarried in order to facilitate the Wonder Woman-Superman relationship (which I find insipid but whatever, it serves a story) but I don't get the "no marriage at all" rule. Kate is basically Williams' baby after Rucka left the book so I seriously doubt some major crossover or storyline would be ruined by Maggie and Kate being married. It seems like it would actually add some interesting story directions to explore the cop/vigilante conflict. Renee Montoya doesn't apparently exist in nu52 so it's not like it's cutting off some romantic tension angle (because we all know that romantic tension is necessary for all characters and is always important for good stories). Given Maggie's career and professional skills, there's not even the old "who cares about a spouse that's just going to bring boring, non-superhero drama" canard that got thrown at Mary Jane and others since Maggie's perfectly suitable for action drama.

Granted, I come to this with some bias. I'm happily married and certainly don't feel my life is less interesting for it. I don't feel that any bad Spider-Man stories are due to him being married to Mary Jane and some of my favorite Spider-Man stories are implicitly tied into their relationship (I almost bought the Peter Parker: Back-in-Black trade just for Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1, the final issue of Spider-Man/Human Torch is my favorite, and I liked Spider-Island almost entirely because of MJ's presence). Bad writing is bad writing and bad Mary Jane/marriage stories involve her being written badly and contrived stupidity (he's a clone, she smokes, it's like being married to a policeman, she's played by Kirsten Dunst, etc). Lois Lane as Superman's love interest is an inherent part of the character far more important than nearly anything Man of Steel or nu52 chose to focus on. To act as though marriage ruins a character is insulting to me. Yes, there are some characters who it doesn't make sense for. Hal Jordan and the other playboys would seem out-of-character if they settled down (and in equal fairness, I think it would also be a bit out of character for Ms. Marvel or Power Girl to get married). Batman or Wolverine in a stable, long-term relationship would contrast badly with the darkness and loss they are built on. But a lot of characters, especially the "everyman" type are not ill-suited for it (and yes, Clark Kent is an everyman that just happens to be designed as an aspirational figure as well). Wally West, Barry Allen, Peter Parker, Luke Cage, etc. are meant to be basically regular guys when they aren't in costume and most regular guys (and girls) get married (and most are still in their prime when they do so). Obviously, they shouldn't do so unless it fits with the character and the writer has some good stories based around such an event, but "you can't do this because X" is a stupid restriction, especially when X never seems to include events you'd think to be much bigger like "get unmasked" or "die."

So what's the feeling around here? How do you feel about marriage as an element in superhero comics?
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Thakowsaizmu
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Thakowsaizmu »

I know that the marriage thing was part of it, but that is not why they are walking. The whole marriage thing is being sensationalized because she is a lesbian, so it grabs attention. They said though that it is more because of the micromanaging, the sudden and unexplained last minute changes, the nixing of stories that have been in the works for over a year, you know, the same reason everyone else has walked. The marriage thing is part of it, yes, but not that huge a part, not in contrast to the myriad other reasons they are walking.
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

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Thakowsaizmu wrote:I know that the marriage thing was part of it, but that is not why they are walking. The whole marriage thing is being sensationalized because she is a lesbian, so it grabs attention. They said though that it is more because of the micromanaging, the sudden and unexplained last minute changes, the nixing of stories that have been in the works for over a year, you know, the same reason everyone else has walked. The marriage thing is part of it, yes, but not that huge a part, not in contrast to the myriad other reasons they are walking.
Ahh. My understanding was that the micromanagement regarding the marriage storyline in particular was the proverbial last straw but I have not followed with that much focus. It just kind of sparked a thought it my head and I was curious about the opinions of others on the broader issue. Micromanagement definitely seems like a major issue for Marvel and DC (with DC seeming a bit worse at the present time simply due to the nu52 kerfluffles).
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Thakowsaizmu »

I actually think the Killer Crock thing may have been the last straw, and the no to marriage was just the icing on the cake... erm, straw?
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by The_Watchman »

Thakowsaizmu wrote:I actually think the Killer Crock thing may have been the last straw, and the no to marriage was just the icing on the cake... erm, straw?
Could be. It seems like working for the Big Two must be incredibly frustrating if you aren't one of the favored few that write the big crossovers (or at least have the sway to say "No, keep character X out of that mess.") Though I suppose that's the price you pay to write in a universe owned by someone else. I've heard similar statements from many of the Star Wars novel writers. 'Course, I think it's complete BS to do a company wide reboot that undoes decades of continuity then follow it up with "You can't do X." Nothing is concrete and permanent in comics and micromanagement as though new ideas can't be undone if they flop seems like a great way to get a lot of mediocre retreads of the same old crap.
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Darrin Kelley »

But it is the same old stuff. More so than ever before.

The focus on everything having to be grim and gritty, the sucking the sense of hope from the setting. All of it is trying to replicate something that has been retread for over 25 years. It's a become homogenized mess because of it.

A lot of these editors seem to forget one very important thing: For heroes to put their lives on the line to save the world, the world has to be worth saving. There has to be hope, there has to be people of virtue, there has to be decency worth protecting. Otherwise, what's the point?

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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Thakowsaizmu »

Darrin Kelley wrote:But it is the same old stuff. More so than ever before.

The focus on everything having to be grim and gritty, the sucking the sense of hope from the setting. All of it is trying to replicate something that has been retread for over 25 years. It's a become homogenized mess because of it.

A lot of these editors seem to forget one very important thing: For heroes to put their lives on the line to save the world, the world has to be worth saving. There has to be hope, there has to be people of virtue, there has to be decency worth protecting. Otherwise, what's the point?
But that's not edgy and now. Why have Billy Batson be a decent kid when we can have him be grimdark because that's très edgy and other buzzword!
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Darrin Kelley »

Thakowsaizmu wrote:But that's not edgy and now. Why have Billy Batson be a decent kid when we can have him be grimdark because that's très edgy and other buzzword!
Chasing those buzzwords is exactly what is wrong with comics today. And why they don't have a broad-based appeal anymore. The editors and writers forget the why part of the hero condition. Why they are the heroes they are. And what it is they stand for.

Superman isn't a hero because of his powers. Superman is a hero because he believes his ideals are worth fighting and dying for.

And the same is true with Batman. Regardless of his environment He's a hero because of what he stands for. And for the people he believes are worth putting his life on the line to protect.

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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Thakowsaizmu »

Also, this:

http://www.queerty.com/dc-hires-gay-wri ... -20130909/

Or:

"Look, we don't have a problemme with gays, we totally hired a gay dude to write Batwoman now that our previous talent walked. And, just so you all know, we checked his gay credentials and he is totally gay. See! Look! Look at us! We're so progressive we got a gay to write our flagship gay!"

:cry:
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by American_Patriot »

Thakowsaizmu wrote:Also, this:

http://www.queerty.com/dc-hires-gay-wri ... -20130909/

Or:

"Look, we don't have a problemme with gays, we totally hired a gay dude to write Batwoman now that our previous talent walked. And, just so you all know, we checked his gay credentials and he is totally gay. See! Look! Look at us! We're so progressive we got a gay to write our flagship gay!"

:cry:
That's one of the things that "Grinds my gears." Who someone is sleeping with, is none of my business... unless they are sleeping with me at the time!

To many are focusing on the 'little niches' that people can be forced into. Be it African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or homosexuals, ect. It doesn't matter. I find that more repulsive than outright blatant acts or statements of racism or bigotry. Focusing on something minor in a person's life or character completely blinds you to just what makes up the rest of their CHARACTER.

If someone is homosexual, that's fine with me... because its none of my business. If someone is in a polygamous marriage, that's find with me... because its none of my frakking business. That's something between them, their partner (or partners) and the creator (if they believe in one).

I don't care if the writer or artist is in a so-called "protected minority status" or that they are a 99 year old senile white guy who spends his time sitting on the front porch in his thread bare boxer shorts screaming at the kids playing in the yard across the street.

All i care about is the basics.

Is the story good, does it further the character development in a dramatic and interesting way that makes me want to keep reading their stories to find out what is going to be happening NEXT. I don't normally care about their private lives, their politics or their own personal strangeness... as long as they aren't forcing them down my throat (both figuratively and literally).

The whole 'No Marriage' thing is something that really upsets me. Yes, this is coming from a man who's wife abandoned him after he was crippled in a car wreck and took his sons to the UK so that he can never see them without her permission...

Despite the fact that our culture has become one where almost EVERYTHING has become disposable, be it children, friends, family, institutions, ideas or half a dozen other things that can actually be fixed if you just actually put your mind to it... Marriage is not something that you go into lightly. It's a major life changing experience that can be both positive and negative, it's all in how you go about doing it.

It can actually be something that really shows the content of someone's character in how they treat their "loved ones" whom they allow into their lives.

take how Batman took the death of Daimen... and how he didn't notice that the loss was having a profound and painful effect on Alfred. The man who looked upon not only Daimen as a son/grandson. but looked at Bruce as a son as well. That Alfred was heartbroken not only because of loosing daimen, but the pain he was seeing in Bruce. It was a double wammy. Of not only having lost someone you loved, but having to watch how that loss is effected those you love whom are still there.

It's a pain i know personally... because i saw it in my fathers eyes when he would look at me. After I fought so hard to relearn to walk within the six months of the doctors rebuilding me, a feat that they said wouldn't happen for nearly two years. All because I did it out of love for my wife and for my sons. to get well enough to get to them. to prove to them I loved them and nothing would stop me from being there.

I lost my wife and my sons. but he lost his grandsons. and he saw how devastating that the loss was for me. That i hurt so damn bad, and there was NOTHING he could do to make it better.

THAT is what happens in real life.

And its something that could be incorporated into the kinds of stories that will bring in readers, and it would make the heroes more real, and more accessible to people whom have been hurt, and need something to inspire them to keep going. To never give up.

It's almost as if Insanity and stupidity has taken over the major comic companies, and in some cases... it's as if this has been caught by some of the 'independent press' comic companies as well.

Having a company doing something stupid as this "No Marriage" policy is just something that takes a major life event out of the writers arsenal to tell stories that will show a character's... well, character. to show what makes a character a human being, and shows just what inspires them to put on tights and a cape. Is it for the thrills or to make the world a better place.

Or is it because they feel they have no other calling? That their life has been so horrid, that all they can do is fight to make sure no one else has to feel that kind of pain.

These are the kinds of stories I like to read... real characters whom are out there being inspirations to others. whom have to overcome something in their lives to do the right thing when the chips are down. Because, that's what it takes to be a hero. To actually do something when others would just keep on going thinking that someone else will do something.

:Sighs:

sorry for the rant. it's several things that really upsets me. And from the way things are going, more and more people are getting tired of the same things as well.
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Darrin Kelley »

American Patriot:

Well said, friend. Well said.

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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Voltron64 »

I want to put Steve Kenson in the same room as the DC editorial.

With a pair of nunchucks in his possession.

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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Thakowsaizmu »

Between this, their flaunting of a new gay writer for a lesbian character, and the Kill Harley Quinn while she's naked contest, I think WB is just trying to kill DC :(
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by saint_matthew »

The_Watchman wrote:Granted, I come to this with some bias. I'm happily married and certainly don't feel my life is less interesting for it.
LOL, its been my experience that married boring people are not aware that they are boring... I think it might be some form of protective adaptation, the same one that makes those same people think that people genuinely want to see photos of your kids as they talk endless about the mediocre boring things those kids do. :lol:
The_Watchman wrote:So what's the feeling around here? How do you feel about marriage as an element in superhero comics?
*shrugs*

I can take it or leave it on a case by case basis. Personally i was happy with OMD, because i hated the Peter/MJ relationship: Because they honestly were not married, they just wore some kind of proximity rings, that for some strange reason drew them to reside at close proximity to each other as they made each other miserable based on no mutual interests.

On the flipside of the coin is what i consider to be the epitome of the married couple.... No, its not Clark & Lois: Its Red Panda & the Flying Squirrel. Mutual interests, moving forwards as a team, with two people who actually care for each other & show mutual respect to each other. First we had the would they won't they relationship thing, then they had the courting, then they had the wedding episode (which was hilarious), then the time where they were seperated by circumstance... It just worked.
Thakowsaizmu wrote:I know that the marriage thing was part of it, but that is not why they are walking. The whole marriage thing is being sensationalized because she is a lesbian, so it grabs attention.
Yep: Its also a great chance for people to scream "homophobe" at DC, which is a nice change of pace from screaming sexist.... Luckily DC didn't want the people who scream sexist to feel left out so they created a contest asking for people to draw a naked Harley Quinn in a bath tub, committing suicide... I'd like to say i'm kidding, but i'm not.

I remember the good old days in which we could go weeks without DC doing something stupid... I miss those days.
Darrin Kelley wrote:But it is the same old stuff. More so than ever before.

The focus on everything having to be grim and gritty, the sucking the sense of hope from the setting. All of it is trying to replicate something that has been retread for over 25 years. It's a become homogenized mess because of it.

A lot of these editors seem to forget one very important thing: For heroes to put their lives on the line to save the world, the world has to be worth saving. There has to be hope, there has to be people of virtue, there has to be decency worth protecting. Otherwise, what's the point?
THIS.

I've gone back & am reading things from the 80's i missed the first time round & i'll be honest, if things from the middle of the generation x, disaffected youth version of the 80's is more full of hopethan things coming out now, doesn't that kind of indicate that we have a problem?
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Re: DC Comics: Say No to Marriage

Post by Thakowsaizmu »

saint_matthew wrote:contest asking for people to draw a naked Harley Quinn in a bath tub, committing suicide... I'd like to say i'm kidding, but i'm not.
I know, I referenced it right above 8)
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