I don't really like to be negative, and I was cautiously optimistic about the reboot, but I have to admit, on average, I've been very dishearted about the new DCU products and it took a scene from Justice League International #2 to make me realize why.
Look, it's not that I'm incredibly attached to the idea of Guy Gardner and Tora Olafsdottir being true lovers forever. In fact, I've argued a few times on this blog that I thought it was perfectly realistic that, post-resurrection, Tora and Guy would break up since really, he's not the man she knew anymore. And death changes everyone.
But...this isn't a break-up. This is a "they never were." And maybe it's just my undying love for Beau Smith's Warrior talking, but that really upsets me.
The Guy and Ice relationship was important to both characters. When they met, Guy was a brain damaged thug with no control over himself or anything else. She made him try to be better. Even when everyone else had fun at his expense, (such as the ice-skating issue), he TRIED to keep his temper, to exert control of himself, to make her happy. She made him try to be better than he was.
And while she was rarely mentioned overtly, she was a very important part of his development in Warrior. Her death, his regeneration, all of it led to him finally being able to become the man he always wanted to be for her. From his conversation with her mother in one of the early issues (in HER language even, which he'd learned even in the midst of brain damage so severe he couldn't complete a crossword puzzle correctly) to making peace with Fire in the Christmas issue, and onward.
He COULD have stayed angry. He had some right. Especially with the people who KNEW that his idiocy and temperament had a medical source rather than just being the way he is but still acted like he was a stupid jerk (HAL). But he didn't. Sure, he kept the abrasiveness and mouthiness. But he added warmth, empathy, compassion. He became the guy who'd take the rookie Green Lantern girl-watching when the kid seemed depressed. He became the guy who'd offer a nameless newbie hero a drink rather than be provoked into a fight.
He did this for her. Because of her. And even if they never did get back together, that relationship was important.
And he was good to her too. Granted, I can't go on to the same extent, since she spent a lot of that time dead. But when they were together, she thrived. She'd always been quiet. A little passive. Heck, the first time he was a jerk to her, she cried. But pretty quickly in the relationship, she took charge. She stood up for herself. She yelled at him when he deserved it.
In a way, his obnoxiousness was an asset, because he was so awful that she COULD finally be provoked to anger and not feel any guilt or hesitation about it.
That normally wouldn't be a good formula for a romance granted, but considering that Guy LOVED it when she stood up for herself, and how hard he tried to change for her. It worked.
And now it's gone. It never happened. They had a few dates and that's it. He didn't try to change for her. She didn't find her spirit for him. Nothing.
It may be that the writers are building up to something. That she'll see what she's missing. That he'll wear her down and win her over. But I don't care about that. Because it already happened. Before. When it meant something. When he really did have almost no redeeming qualities. So what if she does decide she likes him now? He's a likeable jackass with a heart of gold. LOTS of chicks go for that type. Loving him before took actual sainthood damnit, loving him now? It's not that hard.
And if he did remold himself just because of a few dates, that just makes him a creepy stalker. Yay?
And they're not the only ones of course. They're just the ones I particularly care about.
Clark and Lois? Back to square one. Barry and Iris? Off the table. Kory and Dick? Well, at least that one happened
even if Kory is apparently a sexbot now. It's like DCU looked at the Spider-Man/Mary Jane unmarriage and decided to use it as a model for the whole damn universe.
If the writers really want to write for single superheroes, why not have them get divorced?
As a comparison, look at Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Now granted, a lot of it's contrived. And she's dead. But eventually she'll be back. And right now at least, it looks like the creative teams have no intention to bring those characters back together.
And you know what? That's fine. Even if they never get back together, even if Jean goes with Logan or someone new. Even if Scott stays with Emma, goes with Frenzy, or dates Logan himself. (Not likely, but it could be hilarious.) They're still going to have that history, and that history will be there any time they talk, fight, team up... The emotion will be there. The passion.
And that's what's missing in the new DCU for me. The romance. The passion. The emotion. Taking all these couples back to their source? You lose all the emotional currents between them.
I'm sure writers are looking forward to building these "new" relationships up again, but me, as a reader, I'm looking at an emotional void where my investment used to be. So Clark is crushing on Lois who barely notices he's alive. That's a far cry from the warmth and camraderie of the married couple that I loved. At least if they divorced, I'd have SOMETHING. The anger, the hurt over whatever it is that broke them apart.
But there's nothing. And I'm finding it very hard to care.
Now there are a few exceptions, but on a whole, this new DCU is a cold, listless, passionless universe to me right now. Maybe that will change soon, but for right now at least...and I never would have thought I'd say this:
Make Mine Marvel. It may make me angry sometimes, but it never leaves me cold.