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Author Topic: In defense of the Super-Marriage  (Read 20884 times)
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2007, 04:23:17 AM »

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This is the Doc Savage justification: "I have too many enemies and too many responsibilities to possibly have a wife."
But it's ok to hang out with normal people in his secret identity because his very presence won't endanger them.  Obviously, none of his powerful foes could possibly track him down, stomping all over the humans he hangs out with that might get in the way...  Phantom Zoners, Darkseid, the Superman Revenge Squad, etc. 

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Well, who's to say marriage can't work as an extension of "superhero family-building?" Thus bringing in even more of an adventure element. The single greatest disappointment of SUPERMAN RETURNS was, to quote Roger Ebert, "Superman's son should be brassy and fun, like the Spy Kids."
Marriage doesn't necessarily imply children, and certainly not "right away".   Think Nick and Nora, or Hart to Hart.  Heck, it may not be possible for those two to have children and they may have to <gasp> adopt. 

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But I think you do have a point: if Superman has time for Clark Kent, he can have time for a marriage too.
More to the point, Superman -makes- time for Clark Kent as surely as he makes time to patrol Metropolis.  What's the logical motivation behind that?  The traditional motivation, so he could easily get wind of the latest news flashes, doesn't make as much sense for someone who can hear cells divide and who can wield an Internet connection.  What's the reason us readers want to see Clark?  Is it just to get a supporting cast and a chance to see Clark dodge the "are you Superman" bullet in clever ways, or is there more?  Does marriage follow from that? 

And by "hoax" I mean deception and closely-guarded secret.   I didn't mean to imply Clark wasn't Superman and Superman wasn't Clark, but he sure goes out of his way to meekly and mildly conceal how some of the sides of himself work.  To defend the marriage, you have to figure out what makes Superman/Clark tick.  That's not so easy, as stuff has changed over time.   
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 11:15:23 AM by Uncle Mxy » Logged
TELLE
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 07:49:41 PM »

Well, I like the 1970s Mr and Mrs Superman stories alot --Nick and Nora meets Siegel and Shuster (or Schaffenberger and Bridwell).

Don't know how that affects my inability to like the Iron Age marriage --maybe 'cause it's Iron Age?  I'm willing to believe that it's possible to write good modern married Superman stories but I will probably never love them as much as the classic office hijinks stories, etc.

Re: Tarzan.  Enjoyed PJ Farmer's Doc Savage/Tarzan books as a kid wherein both had active sex lives.  Doc was basically "married" to his cousin and Lord Greystoke kept things lively with a variety of affairs including with his pet panther.  Did he ever do similar with a John Carter pastiche?

Popeye evaded Olive Oyl for a long time as well.  Popeye had a wandering eye and it worked better that way.

One of the things not mentioned is that comics originally intended for kids mostly shied away from adult themes of marriage and intimacy --the macho/pseudo-misogynistic antics of  Superman contra Lois were superheroic versions of schoolyard gender relations (cooties!)-- because the kids were just not interested (well, maybe the girls were and that's why we got so many fantasy stories and a Lois series).  Now the logic jerks, "realism" lovers, and adult fans rule superhero comics and things are going to tend towards a more adolescent view of maturity and sexuality.  I'm sure the talented Busiek can write above the moronic level of most of his readership, but really they deserve whatever they get for agreeing to age Superman in this way.





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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 09:35:05 PM »

Well, I like the 1970s Mr and Mrs Superman stories alot --Nick and Nora meets Siegel and Shuster (or Schaffenberger and Bridwell).
Apart from tradition, I don't see why modern Lois and Clark don't take the plunge into being a private detective agency.  Lois wants to make things happen, not just write about them -- as much about "justice" as "truth".  I suspect Clark can still save the world on a regular basis just following Lois around, just like he always has.  Smiley  I'd love it if someone could entice Tom Manciewicz (who did Hart to Hart and knows this genre cold) out of "I'm rich I don't have to work anymore" retirement to write more Superman stories.   
 
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Don't know how that affects my inability to like the Iron Age marriage --maybe 'cause it's Iron Age?  I'm willing to believe that it's possible to write good modern married Superman stories but I will probably never love them as much as the classic office hijinks stories, etc.
It's clear that the powers that be of that time (as a whole) didn't know how to play romantic tension and wrote themselves into corners. 

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One of the things not mentioned is that comics originally intended for kids mostly shied away from adult themes of marriage and intimacy --the macho/pseudo-misogynistic antics of  Superman contra Lois were superheroic versions of schoolyard gender relations (cooties!)-- because the kids were just not interested (well, maybe the girls were and that's why we got so many fantasy stories and a Lois series).  Now the logic jerks, "realism" lovers, and adult fans rule superhero comics and things are going to tend towards a more adolescent view of maturity and sexuality.  I'm sure the talented Busiek can write above the moronic level of most of his readership, but really they deserve whatever they get for agreeing to age Superman in this way.
We've gone from writing for kids who don't want dates to writing for adults who can't get dates.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2007, 12:16:53 AM »

Well, didn't DC agree to it as a promotional gimmick tie in with Lois and Clark, you know the crappy show with that Dean fellow Wink

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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2007, 02:59:38 AM »

Well, didn't DC agree to it as a promotional gimmick tie in with Lois and Clark, you know the crappy show with that Dean fellow Wink
<sigh>

That's almost exactly the opposite of what happened.  The initial Lois and Clark producer didn't want another Moonlighting, wanted marriage to be the series finale if anything.  Because of that, the marriage in the comics was delayed, and we get Doomsday and the death of Superman instead.  Once that faded, the Powers That Be wanted another sales-making "event", and a new producer and a faster path to marriage got pushed onto L&C.  (To be fair, a new producer probably would've happened for other reasons.  The Powers That Be didn't get 'romance' at all, and the new producer didn't 'get' much of anything once they rushed past the original producer's timeline.)
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2007, 03:38:24 PM »

Either way, the wedding was a gimmick to push sales, right?
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2007, 11:32:44 PM »

Either way, the wedding was a gimmick to push sales, right?
More or less.  The impression I had was that they didn't know of anything else to do with him and he'd already been engaged "awhile", so get them married.   Then, after they were forced to come up with something else to do that turned out to be hugely successful with Dumbsday, and the comics market got more competitive with Image, etc., bloodlust for a smashing followup happened. 

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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2007, 12:47:08 AM »

All part of the same garbage heap along with death of, mullet superman, wedding, and of course electric superman.

Then the comic market imploded.

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