Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Audience Participation?

Okay, I'm feeling like a sap today so I'm curious about you guys's thoughts on romance again.

What's your favorite couple? Which couples, as written, never really ring right to you?

I think for me my favorite couple is probably Lois and Clark (especially since they got married.) One of the best weeks lately, comics wise, was the one where Busiek wrote that day-in-the-life-of-Superman in which Lois saves his ass while over in 52, she chews him out for jumping out of a window to catch up with Supernova.

They've had their ups and downs couple-wise, but in modern comics, I always find them absolutely charming. Lois is clever, understanding and always willing to knock him down a few pegs when he needs it. And Clark's sheer joy at her presence can't be denied. They're just so CUTE.

I also really enjoyed, though they never seemed to cross into relationship category, Barbara Gordon and Ted Kord in Birds of Prey. I liked their easy interaction and the way they seemed to genuinely enjoy just being around each other and talking. They had nice non-dramatic chemistry.

Also, Guy and Ice. Because even in the depths of his craziness and damaged-ness, he really tried so very hard to be a good, sane guy for her. He didn't tend to succeed terribly often, but she always recognized and appreciated his efforts and I liked that.

I can't think of a couple that really doesn't work for me, except maybe Dick and Babs. I ranted about them a while back. I suppose I have issues with Storm and Black Panther as well. But in their case, it's really more of an execution thing. Hudlin's writing style really doesn't work for me in this case, even though I think the couple is awesome in theory. (I'd really like to see Priest tackle the couple as, when he's not writing Green Lantern at least, his style's more to my taste.)

So what about you guys? Tell me about your favorite couples? Which ones never really worked for you?


  • At March 13, 2007 11:14 AM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont. All through Sandman Mystery Theatre and into Starman, these two were the classiest, most realistic couple in the DCU. I hope my wife and I can age as gracefully together.

  • At March 13, 2007 11:26 AM, Blogger ticknart said…

    Scott Free and Big Barda, especially from their DeMattis era, were one of my favorite couples. They were great just trying to make a "normal" life for themselves here on Earth.

    A couple I never liked together were Guy Gardner and Fire. I really hated how they turned a friendly hatred into Fire being jealous of Ice and Guy. Yuck.

  • At March 13, 2007 11:51 AM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    I don't know if they count as a "couple", but I was always skeeved out in a Luke-and-Laura way by the thought of Hippolyta and Hercules.

    I don't care how many thousands of years have gone by since the guy raped you and stole your girdle, I don't see getting past that.

    I fear that my second worst will soon be Black Canary and Green Arrow. I mean, Ollie's fine enough if you want a one-night stand. He's probably really good in bed and all, but how the heck do you trust a guy in a relationship who has cheated on you in two different lifetimes?

    My favorite couple, by the way, was Black Canary and Dr. Midnite.

  • At March 13, 2007 11:52 AM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    Among "active" couples, though, I think it is clearly Bigby and Snow from Fables.

  • At March 13, 2007 12:13 PM, Blogger Jack Gonzo, MD said…

    My favorite couple has always been the same. Ever since I began reading comics when I was a lil kid I've always been a fan of Kitty and Peter

  • At March 13, 2007 12:27 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I like Scott and Barda too, as well as Alan Scott and Molly, and of course, Ralph and Sue Dibney. *sniff*

    Like you, I think that Ted Kord and Barbara Gordon would have made an adorable couple, they were each secure enough in their individual geekiness to be open and give each other space.

    I did love Guy and Tora though. They had their ups and downs, like any couple, but occasionally it was just so...sweet.

    I'm SUCH a sap.

  • At March 13, 2007 12:27 PM, Blogger iamza said…

    Lois and Clark, because they make each other whole. Lois humanizes Clark, and Clark humanizes Lois, and they both make the other stronger for it.

    Babs and Dick, because they would drive each other crazy in a very short space of time. Ditto Selina Kyle and Batman. It's an irrational liking, but, hey, you asked! :-)

    Diana and Steve Trevor. An out of date couple, but still one of the my favourites. Mostly, I admit, because I enjoy seeing Diana cradling Steve after having saved his life yet again.

    Apollo and Midnighter. When written right, their relationship seems inevitable. No histrionics, no over-the-top angst, just two superheroes who happen to enjoy sleeping with each other when they're done fighting crime.

    Couples I've never quite been able to get behind: Dick and Kory, outside of the animated Teen Titans TV show. My antipathy stems largely from the fact that I've never warmed to Starfire in the comics. She's always struck me as too much of the girl on show, the pin-up cheerleader, and too seldom as the woman who actually does something useful without being told what it is. *shrug*

    Ollie and Dinah, because Ollie is not good at relationships, and Dinah has had more than enough time and experience to absorb this fact.

  • At March 13, 2007 1:52 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    Both favorite and badly written:

    Kyle and Jade.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:00 PM, Blogger Matthew E said…

    Back when Blue Devil had his own series, I always hoped he and Zatanna could get together. "Not many women could get away with wearing a bug on their heads, but on you it works!"

  • At March 13, 2007 2:07 PM, Blogger papervolcano said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:08 PM, Blogger papervolcano said…

    Couples I love:

    Lois and Clark - the way they interact and compliment each other as a married couple is just awesome. I'll nominate Warren Ellis' run on JLA Classified as one of my favourite Lois and Clark moments.

    Kitty and Pete Wisdom - granted, I'm looking back at this through rose-tinted glasses, but my memory of them is as a couple with a great dynamic. They seemed healthy and normal (well, as normal as X-types get, at least) and were *fun*. Kitty and Piotr never clicked for me, but I'm contemplating hitting the longboxes at the next con-type-thing I go to for old Excal issues, just for this couple.

    Tim and Steph were also pretty damn cute, before they started gearing up to kill her off.

    Couples I don't get:

    Donna/Kyle or Donna/Roy - The first wasn't a bad relationship, as rebounds from your dead girlfriend and your messy divorce go, but beyond that, I'm not particularly interested. Donna/Roy was just... "I'm just using you to prove that I'm not just a nice girl!" Their reunion in the Donna resurrection mini was cute, but I'm happy that relationship's not being renewed.

    I *want* Ollie/Dinah to work, to the point where I'm happy to handwave and fanwank problems away. And man, are there problems. I cannot see how they'll get to the point of getting back together in the few remaining issues of GA, let alone to the point of a proposal, but I want to. It doesn't make *sense* for Dinah just to jump back into his arms and for everything to be lovey-dovey and smooth, he's hurt her too much and too often. It makes no sense as a relationship. But for reasons I can't quite articulate, I want it to work. I want them to be a disfunctional vigilante Lois and Clark, with a handful of (step)kids and a great dynamic. I only hope I get it.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:19 PM, Blogger Rich said…

    Lois and Clark and Peter and MJ tie for top place.

    I always had a soft spot for Guy and Ice too, if only because she saw things in him that no-one else could.

    I also liked Donna and Kyle together as well, so I'm glad that seems to possibly be on the cards again.

    Dick and Babs, for me, always worked better as a potential couple than an actual one - loved the issue early in BoP where Dick took her to the circus.

    And Hank and Jan, of course.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:20 PM, Blogger Ununnilium said…

    Favorites of those already mentioned: Ralph and Sue (*fistshake*), Scott and Barda.

    Not yet mentioned: Jay and Joan Garrick. They're just so *kyoot*! Plus, I like how nobody's tried to break them up in 65 years or so of publication.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:29 PM, Blogger Denyer said…

    non-dramatic chemistry

    Which is such a rare thing in cape books, and we could definitely do with more of...

  • At March 13, 2007 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know I'm painting a target on myself with these two here - but my favorite relationships have always been...

    1. Ollie & Dinah - scoff all you want, but the rumors of Ollie's constant cheating have been GREATLY exagerated or wrongly promoted by writers who consult use Wizard Magazine as the alpha and omega of continuity research (Winick, Kelly, etc).

    Defining moment of the relationship: Green Arrow #11-12. Newly returned from the dead, Ollie is scared to death to call Dinah and ask for a date. Because he knows she's changed in the last few years, has been seeing other people and even with his swiss-cheesed memory, Ollie knows enough to know he made a mistake.

    I just love this moment - the man who somehow got into Heaven despite his checkered past and then walked out to do the right thing, who routinely faces down supervillains with nothing but chaputz and a quiver - is scared to death of being rejected by the love of his life.

    Is she too good for him? Of course she is and he'll be the first to say it. So why does she put up with him?

    I think it's because nobody tries harder to make her happy, to be honest. Say what you will about Ollie, but when he screws up, he tries to make things right. He may go about it the wrong way (i.e. going after the drug dealers who dealt to Roy rather than getting him into rehab) but nobody gives his all quite like Oliver Queen.

    2. Dick and Babs - okay, I freely admit this is one of those couples that should not work logically. He's too impulsive, she's too repressive and the whole thing started with him crushing on her as a teenager - never a good start.
    And yet - how many relationships that we know shouldn't work somehow do?

    Defining moment of the relationship: Nightwing #39, where Babs let her shields down and talks about how she accepted there were certain things she'd never be able to do again because of her paralysis and how it was easier for her to just ignore those things. And Dick - who she kinda/sorta foooled around with before - was a big reminder of everything she was trying to work past.

    Shame that Devin Grayson bollocksed the whole thing up by turning Barbara into a cold shrew and turning Dick into a clueless moron.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really hated Reed and Sue in the Lee/Kirby era. But that's mostly because I hate Stan Lee's writing. (The intense sexism didn't help.)

    On the other hand, I like the modern writings of them, as people who know each other well, have a lot of flaws, and yet are able (most of the time) to surmount those flaws.

    (I like depictions of experienced relationships. Which means I think Joe Quesada is a dink.)

    Although I've lost track of them (I think they broke up, even? Someone fill me in here) I also liked the v1 New Warriors and Perez/Busiek era Avengers Vance/Angelica relationship. It was a fairly new relationship between some fairly insecure people, which required a lot of communication and wasn't perfect. But they /tried/.

  • At March 13, 2007 2:35 PM, Blogger Denyer said…

    Whoops, forgot to answer the question... Fahrenheit and Hellstrike. Nautika and Sunburst also seemed a decent couple, but I haven't read enough earlier Stormwatch to tell if it's sustained characterisation.

    Pryde and Wisdom. Spider and Yelena, which is a subtle one not directly confirmed...

  • At March 13, 2007 2:49 PM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    Cloak and Dagger. Even when badly written thanks to the way their powers work it's really hard not to see how in love they are.

    Least favourite is probably Batman and Catwoman. It's never seemed like anything but a relationship based on lust to me, which isn't much good for anything longterm.

  • At March 13, 2007 4:38 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    I didn't read much on it, but I remember Ray Terrill having a crush on Black Canary, and thinking that was kind of cute. I would have liked to see that go someplace, but Dinah would probably feel like she was taking advantage of his affections (which she actually did once).

    Relationships I don't like: Scott and Jean, Hank and the Wasp. I don't if it's anything against the characters, so much as there's just the inevitable feeling of failure to them for me. It seems like they're brought together, so writers can have the fun of blowing them apart again, when Jean dies, or Janet remembers that Hank's had some issues, and she isn't sure she could get past that.

  • At March 13, 2007 4:54 PM, Blogger inkdestroyedmybrush said…

    jack knight and sadie from Robinson's Starman. Brilliant writing, brilliant story and two of the most human characters in comics ever. I loved them together and felt the knife through my heart when sadie left. Her note the jack still gets to me when i reread the trade. I've blogged on starman before, and have always meant to do a post on the relationships in the comic. superb comic writing.

  • At March 13, 2007 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It was Beau Smith's handling of Guy's reacting to Ice's death that made me realize that guy is a good, er... Guy.

    Peter and Mary Jane will always be an important couple to me. I started reading comics around the time they got hitched.

  • At March 13, 2007 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Billy Batson and Courtney Whitmore were cute. Solomon is such a killjoy, sheesh! :-D

  • At March 13, 2007 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd have to say Reed and Sue, at least as they were written before Civil War. Lois and Clark are coming in a close second. And I always get a smile from the Garricks.

    -- Jack of Spades

  • At March 13, 2007 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Todd and Damon from Manhunter, natch'! And, it's not just because they're gay, but because they are the only gay couple I know in comics that come close to an actual gay couple. I would totally hang out with these two for sure.

    And, I totally second Babs and Ted Kord. I really liked the relationship they had, especially at the beginning when they were flirting online.

  • At March 13, 2007 7:58 PM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    My faves are almost all couples who complement each other's strengths and support each other unconditionally:

    Ralph & Sue. All. Time. Favorite.

    Scott & Barda.

    Wesley and Dian.

    Lois & Clark, definitely. Not the movie version, where they're so utterly WRONG for each other, nor the Silver Age version, but the current version.

    Reed & Sue, as written by Mark Waid, John Byrne, and those rare few who get that Reed Is Not A Creep and Sue Is Not A Wimp.

    Rick Jones & Marlo Chandler. I just liked'em.

    aaaand... Ollie & Dinah, just because I grew up on GL/GA. Ollie's a twit, yes, but I never bought the whole "cheating" thing. Heck, I quite like Conner, but when they introduced him, my reaction was, "What? Ollie CHEATED ON DINAH?"

    And they do complement each other. Dinah is Ollie's common sense, and without Ollie, Dinah takes herself too damned seriously.

    Couples who don't work for me:

    Kitty & Colossus. (I liked what little I saw of Kitty & Pete Wisdom, but I didn't see enough of them to file them under faves).

    Hal & Carol. Hal & Kari Limbo. Hal & Arisia. Face it, Hal, your only lasting relationship has been with Ollie, and he's spoken for.

    Janet Van Dyne & Hank Pym. Honestly, I don't know which of them is more messed up.

    Carter & Kendra. Creeeepy.

    Batman and... anyone, with the possible exceptions of Diana, Selina, and Silver St. Cloud. I get the feeling that even the Earth-2 Bruce/Selina couple was slightly dysfunctional.

  • At March 13, 2007 9:23 PM, Blogger ShellyS said…

    I love Lois and Clark and am glad they got married in two universes.

    I loved Green Arrow and Black Canary and I hate that he ruined it by cheating on her.

    I didn't like Donna Troy with Kyle. I do like her with Roy Harper. I wish they'd do more with that, but I guess the time for that has come and gone.

    I hate that Dick Grayson and Babs Gordon are no longer together.

    But I'd be hardpressed to find a more perfect couple than Ralph and Sue Dibny were.

  • At March 14, 2007 1:34 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    No one's mentioned Wally & Linda yet?

  • At March 14, 2007 2:20 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Cue me. :-)

    Ah love. And only a month after Valentines day. ;-) Well very few people don't like Clark and Lois. My favorite more than them though was Wally and Linda. Watching them go from playful banter to a real and meaningful relationship was fun. And their relationship was a big part of what helped Wally to mature from the well meaning but often thoughtless kid he was to the man and hero he became.

    In traditional super couples I have to admit that thanks to Brad Metzlers writing I've come to appreciate Red Tornado and Kathy Sutton a great deal.

    In the doomed from the start department I always liked Tim Hunter and Molly from the Books Of Magic series. Also John Constantine and Kit Walker from Hellblazer.

    And who can forget Tulip O'Hare and Jesse Custer?

    Less traditional super hero couples, I have to admit a fondness for Roy and Grace. They had a nice best friends with benefits thing going on.

    Also I have to admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Conner and Cassie. I'd like to think that had Conner lived they would have in time become the DCU's premiere super couple.

    In the non-dramatic chemistry department I adored Bart and Cassie. Bart was so sweet I love his line to Cassie in Teen Titans number one about her being the girl that made him like girls.

    Also I've rather liked Michael Holt and Sascha Bordeaux, I'm behind on checkmate but I'm really hoping that they find a way to be together.

    In the I don't get it department, Bruce Wayne and anyone. I mean jesus, any woman with him ends up dead, or feeble, or infected with a nano virus, or married to Tom Cruise... Oh wait I'm mixing my media again aren't I.

    Also frankly Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym. I mean he's an also ran with anger management issues.

    Having said that though I have to admit a soft spot in my heart for Bruce and Betty, while Peter David was writing the Hulk. To see two damaged people trying so hard to bring more light than darkness to each others lives touched me in a very deep way that a lot of super couples often don't.



    Where's The Love? It's at GeekLove

  • At March 14, 2007 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) and the Vision were my big favourite. They had to fight so long, to have their differences accepted - by society and the readers too. But he's made of plastic computer circuits! How could she bear to ... you know ... do it? This was before anyone in the Big Two was able to present sexual issues openly. It referenced interracial marriage, blatantly, at about the time a black/white kiss in Star Trek was a scandal. But what with her spirit, and his quiet steadfast faithfulness, marry they did. Well of course the poor girl's giving up motherhood ... hope their love is worth the cost. But then they had twins! By means of once-only Chaos Magick - but we fans knew it was their love, conquering all! After that, a succession of writers dismantled the whole thing and threw the parts away; but for one shining moment ...

    Looking back, I think perhaps every single thing the couple ever said to each other betrayed the writer's tin ear for romance. Didn't matter; the audacity of the tension - do we dare to give these lovers what they want? - was legendary.

  • At March 14, 2007 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    absolutely apollo and midnighter. they're so adorable in that... killing bad guys kind of way....

    and i'm not proud, but i'm a sucker for both ollie/dinah and the good ol' days of rogue/gambit.

    i never really got the whole EPIC LOVE of scott and jean, though. and lately i've been getting a weird vibe from bigby and snow (why would a woman like her EVER leave that idiotic "obey" stuff in the wedding vows?!)

  • At March 14, 2007 12:08 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Ooh ooh! I have another one! Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are simply adorable together. And they have a new baby and everything.

    And a pair that I absolutely hated, was Thor and Jane Foster. God, she was so annoying.

  • At March 16, 2007 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alternate Storm+Logan from the timeline w/no Xavier and the ep. "One Mans Worth" because it's just one of those things that could be real had chemistry and was just damn cool.

    Second Gambit/Rouge and Sue/reid good old days damn Marvel writers!

    Also Ben Grimm and Alisha awesome! And because it turns Johny in to a sap heh him and Crystal:)

    Big Seconds to Bruce and Selina and anything that gives Babs a sex life.

    And I really hope Tim and Zoanne work the boy's lost enough. Here's an idea once he's brought back have a civilian identy double date W/ Cassie and Conner (also big second) think of the chemistry all around think of the inunnendo. (rubing hands together w/ glee)

    Couples I hate: Black Panther/Storm because it's such writer abuse of the characters. It could have been good if writen without agenda. Also EVERY relationship w/ Xavier in the comics. Again Damn Stupid @#$% MARVEL WRITERS!

    Lastly Devin Grayson should be taken to the wood shed forthe way he broke up Dick/Babs because anyone who was that close to a chair-user would have way more understanding oftheir situatin and space, not to mention more respect.

  • At April 16, 2007 10:53 AM, Blogger VP81955 said…

    Janet Van Dyne & Hank Pym. Honestly, I don't know which of them is more messed up.

    In other words, imagine the Bickersons with size changing.


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