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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Marvel Thought

You know, it's funny. I've never denied that I'm more of a DC than a Marvel fan generally, but thinking about it, there's one thing I like better about the way Marvel tends to characterize its superheroines.

The women characters have "types".

I'm talking about romance, of course. It's like if you look at the dating history of Lee Forrester for example. She's dated Cyclops, flirted briefly with Cable, and then got with Magneto of all people.

Her type apparently is "severely fucked-up."

Looking at Emma Frost for example, off the top of my head, we have Namor, Scott, Tony Stark (briefly), Sean Cassidy (sort of), and Sebastian Shaw. A monarch, a benevolent mutant dictator/general, a tycoon who was briefly head of SHIELD, a teacher, and a Hellfire King. It really seems that Emma has a thing for authority.

Kitty Pryde seems to have a thing for older foreigners with similar first names. (Though she was in England while dating Wisdom, so I guess that makes HER the foreigner. :-))

And Madelyne Pryor's gotten involved with three Summers men, if you count that brief weird thing with Nate Grey. (CREEPY!) That one may be Mr. Sinister's fault, granted, but still.

Of course, it applies to the guys too. One day I'll post my crazy theory on how every woman Scott Summers gets involved with acts as a parallel to each of his abusive father figures. Maybe later.

It just entertains me. It doesn't seem to be as easy to do in the DCU, except maybe that Clark has an initial kink, Diana seems to like blonds, and Oracle men who have no idea how to dress.

13 Comments:

  • At November 25, 2009 11:34 AM, OpenID bookslide said…

    Interesting about Emma, especially when you factor in her "prequel" series, where she has daddy issues like whoa and falls for her teacher.

     
  • At November 25, 2009 6:01 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Interesting. It would be fun to analyze the different characters and see what you come up with.

    Fire has a "type". Mainly breathing! Haw!

     
  • At November 25, 2009 11:32 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    It's kind of interesting that Ice had a thing for Superman while dating Guy. I'm not sure what I think about that combo.

     
  • At November 26, 2009 12:57 AM, Blogger LissBirds said…

    This is why I can't read Marvel...everyone's crushing on each other and it feels like high school. I like DC's superheroes-mostly-date/marry-non-superheroes historical trend.

     
  • At November 26, 2009 2:26 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Eh, there's room for both. :-)

     
  • At November 26, 2009 6:45 AM, Blogger K. D. Bryan said…

    Heh. Man, I could write a whole post about Emma Frost's Daddy Issues (and frequently threaten to do so).

    And I still think it's kinda weird that Kitty's only ever dated dudes named variations of "Pete".

    Ice and Superman would never work because I think everyone around them would spontaneously develop Type-II diabetes and they'd have to break up. Supes needs Lois because he's got to have some sass to deflate all his earnestness.

     
  • At November 26, 2009 8:41 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh, we should do a trade off. You do your post on Emma's daddy issues, I'll do mine on Scott's.

    (The Jack Winters -> Emma Frost parallels alone are a sign that no one ever got the guy the therapy he clearly, clearly needed!)

     
  • At November 26, 2009 12:02 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    It's true that Ice had a crush on Superman for a while, but really, he was being written as being pretty assholish at the time, so I can see it.

    And it didn't get her anywhere anyway.

     
  • At November 26, 2009 3:34 PM, Blogger Menshevik said…

    While she was living in Britain (but before she met Pete Wisdom), Kitty had a crush on scientist Alistaire Stuart (who only had eyes for Rachel, though, SIGH). Another older foreigner, but not called Peter (UNLESS "Peter" is one of Alistaire's other Christian names, I guess).

    @LissBirds: Actually, with Marvel superheroes it probably is more like office/workplace romance than high school; this may be a false impression, but it appeared to me that the interaction between Marvel's heroes was a bit more intense than at DC because most of Marvel's heroes lived in or near New York, while at least in the Silver Age a lot of DC's heroes had one city pretty much all to themselves and thus tended to associate with other superheroes less frequently.

     
  • At November 26, 2009 9:31 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I think it depends on the property. The Avengers tend toward workplace relationships and all the complications thereof.

    The X-Men, I think tend toward high school romances, because of the strictly regimented environment and general damage of the characters. (As usual, I blame Xavier for his army/school environment which simultaneously forces kids into adult roles while stunting their emotional development.)

    And well, so many of the characters are teenagers, or were when they initially hooked up (i.e. Scott and Jean.)

    -

    I think you're right about the difference to DC, Menshevik. In general, I think even the superhero-superhero relationships like Black Canary/Green Arrow, Oracle/Nightwing or Oracle/Ted Kord, and so on, tend to be less likely than Avengers relationships to disrupt their work environment because of the distance you mentioned. JLA is merely one outlet for superheroing, and if a DC hero finds themselves unable to keep a clear enough head for it, they can still go back to their hometowns for a little distance and head-clearing.

    The Avengers is stricter, and even when they quit briefly, they're still in the same area and likely to have tension-filled meet-ups on patrol or the like.

    (It'll be interesting to see how Green Lantern/GLC handles it as the series continues, because in that case, there's a lot more similarity to the Avengers than to the JLA. But then it's probably easier to ignore one another in space than in the same city.)

     
  • At November 27, 2009 9:26 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    "Men who have no idea how to dress"? Nightwing's last outfit was the coolest non-Green-Lantern costume in the DCU.


    On the other hand, it was designed by Alfred. And his previous Spidey-wings outfit was designed by Mirage. Leaving the only outfit Dick designed himself, which was, uh, the one with the Elvis collar.


    I'll shut up now.

     
  • At November 27, 2009 2:29 PM, Blogger Menshevik said…

    Re. the X-Men: Actually, considering their partial isolation inside Xavier's school and the mutant community, I think the number of romances outside this pool is surprisingly high. With the original team, high school and college romance was really more of a Summers thing (Scott/Jean, Alex/Lorna), while the others usually dated "civilians" and non-mutants (Hank progressing from Vera Cantor to Trish Tilby, Warren with Candy Southern until her death in X-Factor, then starting a new romance with Charlotte Jones, Bobby always unlucky in love but e.g. numbering Zelda the waitress and Opal Tanaka among his girlfriends). And this despite the fact that even after leaving the then highly gender-imbalanced X-Men they had opportunities galore to meet superheroines with the Avengers, Champions and Defenders. What I also find a bit surprising was that none of the X-Men ever developed a thing for the Scarlet Witch even though they kept meeting her and she was only a reluctant villainess. (BTW, what I also find surprising in retrospect is that during the entirety of Chris Claremont's run on New Mutants no high school-type romantic relationship developed within the team.)

    Charles Xavier, on the other hand, after the failure of his university romance with Moira MacTaggert, seems to have developed a taste for the inappropriate: an affair with a patient (Gabrielle Haller) resulting in a son, another romance where Amelia Voght suspected that he may have telepathically nudged her to make her love him, his secret yearning for Jean Grey, and finally his relationship with a member of an alien species (which IIRC Claremont once said looked to the Shi'ar as if their majestrix was shacking up with a monkey).

    Not that Xavier had a monopoly on such taboo-threatening romances, what with Kurt and his adoptive sister Amanda, or underage Kitty lusting for Piotr...

     
  • At November 29, 2009 3:09 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I think it's less the internal aspect of X-relationships (since you're right, that they date a lot outside the school. Thank god) that make them so "high-school" as it is the emotional dynamics.

    Which kind of makes sense as when the X-Men aren't gathering up damaged, emotionally stunted adults into their ranks, they're raising them. :-)

    Xavier's creepiness on a romantic level mirrors his creepiness as a father figure. The man has issues up the wazoo.

     

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