Today's entry provides a ray of hope for those of us who have made it into our dotage without ever landing that special someone. It can still happen! Just look at
11. May Parker and Nathan Lubensky, multiple Spider-Man titles
Poor May! For her first 20 years as a member of Spidey's supporting cast, she was treated either like a plot device (“Oh no! Aunt May is dying!”) or a bad joke (“Oh no! Aunt May's about to marry Doc Ock!”). The old gal just couldn't seem to get any respect. Until, that is, she met wheelchair-bound retired vaudevillian (darn few of those around nowadays) Nathan Lubensky, a fellow resident of the Restwell Nursing Home. The couple revitalized each other, strengthened each other, gave each other a reason to carry on until they finally moved back into the Parker house and converted it into a boarding house for the elderly. Of course, they eventually f'ed it all up and killed off Nathan, but for a time theirs was one of Marvel's sweetest love stories.
Having started with Ironwood yesterday, I will continue with the smut today. Bondage Fairies is among the earliest sexually explicit manga commercially published in the US. The series is about two forest fairies, the naive Pfil and her lover, the promiscuous and perverted Pamila. The pair work as hunters and police protecting the forest, but the plots are mostly excuses for them to stumble through a series of sexual misadventures.
The series is not highbrow, and can be by turns funny, sexy, disturbing, sophomoric, educational, but always not-safe-for-work. But at the heart of it is the relationship between Pfil and Pamila. A mismatched duo, Pamila is frequently driven to distraction by the naive and overly romantic ravishing (and frequently ravished) Pfil, and Pfil is both embarrassed and made jealous by Pamila's shameless sexual exploits. But it is also obvious that they do love each other, with each risking their life countless times to save the other.
So even if a relationship is primarily sexual, it doesn't mean that there isn't affection at the core.
Tomorrow's entry will be more wholesome, I promise.
#11. Midnighter and Apollo as written by Garth Ennis
It all began as a tasteless gay joke. What if Batman and Superman were homeless...and a couple. Midnighter ultimately evolved beyond the the one-note gag he'd been created for, but it took someone other than Warren Ellis to finally develop Apollo and their relationship into something believable and real.
For me, at least, it first became real with Garth Ennis' Midnighter solo series (2007), especially a little one-shot story in issue #6 entitled “Flowers for the Sun”. This read like an Elseworlds story in which Midnighter and Apollo are samurai in Feudal Japan, endowed with roughly the same powers, but existing in a very different context. They meet as enemies, find true love with one another, and soon find that love ripped asunder by enemies with no tolerance for their forbidden romance.
Perhaps I'm mistaken. It's been a long time since I read The Authority. But I don't recall being invested in their relationship until that moment, and then the writers that followed seemed to treat that romance with more respect and attention after.
Today's Song: "Do You Believe In Love"- Huey Lewis & The News
#11- Krazy Kat & Ignatz
A Cat. A Mouse. A Brick.
George Herriman's infamous strip is one of the first gender fluid romances, at least I think it is. Herriman himself never expressed any gender on his two main creations, while scholars debate who is what. But it all comes down to the same word, love is love no matter how it's spelled. Krazy Kat's carefree life is one filled with joy and singing his undying love for Ignatz, while the mouse who is short-tempered and terse wields a brick at Krazy Kat, who takes it a sign of affection. As the strip progressed in years, the history of Krazy Kat and Ignatz shows that their ancestors did the same. So love is cyclical as well. The brick throwing got downplayed as the two of them became more chummy; Ignatz often acknowledging that the Krazy's interpretation of the bricks meant something.
11. Nancy Ritz and Sluggo Smith by Ernie Bushmiller
NANCY was one of the first newspaper comic strips I followed...I mean, how could you not, if it was on the page? Irresistibly immaculate under Ernie Bushmiller's perfect brush strokes, so simple that you had read it before you could choose not to... I never gave up on Nancy, and I was proudly in the forefront when NANCY began to regain respect, when the subtleties of Bushmiller's juvenile, gentle, and often surrealistic humor saw more and more champions rising to praise it.
But Nancy is not Nancy without Sluggo. Their childish reflections of adult relationships, their companionship as they pursue common simple joys--think about it: how many other strips have devoted as many panels to a boy and girl strolling through town enjoying the sights, amused by the random people they encounter, going to museums, sharing treats at the diner counter, swimming, going to costume parties? The early days of the strip, with its continuity and adventures, are fun enough, but give me those peaceful walks, those unassuming one-shot glimpses at spending time with someone you love. I'm happy to be spending my 26th Christmas with my "Nancy" this year...
The classic question is always Gwen versus Mary Jane, and for that I always pick Gwen. But in truth, my favorite match for Pete was right at the beginning, the short-lived romance that never quite fully took off but at times was very sweet (the page below is my favorite scene between the two).
In truth, I do love Ditko era best, and one of the reasons is I prefer the nerdier Peter before he became "cool good-looking college guy". I feel like that earlier version meeting someone like Betty was a great representation of two younger people, both with their insecurities, both super nice, trying to stumble their way into a possible romance. And just when a touching moment happens, something else happens to set things back. But in those moments where there was a spark, they seemed like the sweetest couple that never quite became an actual couple.
Some of my preference for Betty was probably also due to her being featured in the Spidey '67 animated show, she was more confident and a bit sassy compared to the comic book for sure, but in the most totally likeable way and I always felt like "that's the girl for Peter" someday.
It’s up to writers to make a relationship convincing. One has to believe. And I certainly did believe in the case of Batman and Catwoman (or is it Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle). I remember written stories where one could practically feel the emotion of Batman having to come to terms with his feelings for Catwoman. While I can’t recall the exact issue, I’m sure there’s one tale where Wayne confides in Alfred while Alfred tells him about his responsibilities to be Batman. I think Wayne replies with, “Then damn the Batman - and damn the world that needs him.” I may be paraphrasing slightly.
It was all very solid between the pair, and what also worked for me was that I could believe - just about - that Wayne might one day give up being Batman to be with Selina Kyle, at least on “our” DC Earth.
Post by Roquefort Raider on Dec 14, 2021 8:46:21 GMT -5
#11 : Captain Archibald Haddock and Bianca Castafiore
She's the sole female character of note to be found in The Adventures of Tintin and although nothing serious was ever alluded to (except in cases of journalistic overenthusiasm, as depicted below), it did seem to me that Bianca Castafiore and Captain Haddock had a strong connection!
Oh, sure, Haddock always does his best to avoid her, talking about her as if she were hurricane Irma... but when the Castafiore was put in jail in San Teodoros (in Tintin and the Picaros), it was Haddock who flew to her rescue, right in the jaws of a trap, while Tintin remained more prudently (and wisely, it turns out) behind.
Haddock also did his best to groom himself a little in The Castafiore's Emerald, after Bianca reproached him his unkempt hair and workman's clothes. I suspect that as an old bachelor, he's more afraid of what a relationship might entail in terms of lifestyle change than he is actually afraid of her. And yet, he can't help but trying to please her despite all his grumbling.
Seeing Bianca and Haddock together always reminds me of my own parents, especially of the time when Dad's Alzheimer got so bad that he was confined to a wheelchair (Haddock was also stuck in a chair after trying to flee Marlinspike to escape Bianca and falling down the stairs). The diva's gentle care for the rough sea captain was touching, and her affection felt quite genuine... even if she never did manage to remember his name!!!
Post by thwhtguardian on Dec 14, 2021 9:33:17 GMT -5
On the Second Day of Classic Comics Christmas in unto thee...
The Toxic Pairing of Scott and Ramona
This is a pairing that had we done this theme ten years ago probably would have been much, much higher up on my list but while I still enjoy the fun of Scott defeating all Ramona's evil exes in order to win her heart and the drama between them makes for good reading I now find that what once seemed ideal seems rather toxic now. When Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim first came out in 2004(practically right on my birthday!) I used to see a lot of myself in Scott, it hit me at just the right time as I was leaving high school and going to college and I intermediately identified with his feelings of loss in the outside world and his slacker philosophies definitely aligned with my own...and then he got the manic pixie dream girl! How could you not like that?
But time marches on and I find that in 2021 that I'm not the same person I was in the mid 2000's so when I revisited this book earlier this month it really took me back that I was pretty repulsed by Scott and Ramona...they are terrible people together! As the series progresses and the closer they become you see that they just bring out the more vindictive and selfish sides of each other rather than making themselves better as a pair. Even though the book ends with them realizing they have some serious faults and they need to work on each other to be better people...they still end up with each other where as I think it would have been a much better ending if they split up at the end and like Scott's prior love Knives realized they're in a much healthier place alone accepting that they each better off as seeing eachother as part of their pasts and growing from their experiences together.
Still, although it's not some romantic ideal in my eyes anymore it's still a really fantastic read so totally worthy of its inclusion here.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
Post by Icctrombone on Dec 14, 2021 9:37:02 GMT -5
# 11 Kazar and Shanna the She Devil
As far as I know they were first a couple in the 1981 Kazar series that had Bruce Jones and Brent Anderson as the creative team.
The first 2 issues chronicles an amazing love triangle that develops when Kazar goes to search for the missing Zabu. He meets up with a princess called Leanne and falls for her and the dreams of a possible different lifestyle away from the jungle existence. Ultimately, he rejects him because of his savage Jungle code. But the story doesn’t end there as He and Shanna are enlisted to help her in the next issue .
In the ensuing battle for control of her kingdom, he is forced to choose between Shanna and Leanne. Literally.
After the series was canceled, they appear in the Avengers book where she is pregnant with Kazar’s child. It’s nice to see a relationship that continues to grow and enter different stages. I admit I haven’t followed them in years so I don’t know what their status is currently, but they were a fully realized couple in the Jones series and that was a solid book because of it.
On the Second Day of Christma, True Love gave to me super-villains in love Monsieur Mallah and the Brain
Long time partners in crime, the pair finally expressed their love for one another in Doom Patrol #34 under the pen of Grant Morrison. In a plot to defeat the Doom Patrol, Brain transfers himself into a new body they mistakenly think is Robot Man’s body, and while he has a body Brain finally expresses his true feelings for Mallah and they share their first kiss.
In some ways, this represents the workplace romance, longtime co-workers who finally hook up, but in others it is an example that true love blossoms no matter what the realities of body, gender, or race are and that Love is Love.
Mallah and the Brain are among my favorite DC villains and among my favorite visual designs (who doesn't love a gorilla in a beret), and while I am usually of the mind that Grant Morrison usually doesn’t live up to the hype, his Doom Patrol is still one of my favorites and this particular twist is a highlight of that run, giving this pair an unusual depth and dynamic that provides a lot of subtext when going back and reading previous appearances. They are one of my favorite couples because they represent the wild and crazy idea that anything can (and will happen) in comics and that love knows no boundaries.
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2021 11:43:04 GMT -5 by Deleted
Post by Slam_Bradley on Dec 14, 2021 10:39:55 GMT -5
In my continuing quest to bring you the most mainstream list of the year.
11. Scott Free and Barda
This actually has nothing to do with anything that happened in Kirby's Fourth World saga. I've tried to read it a number of times and failed every single time. Solo Kirby largely doesn't work for me.
This is because of J.M. DeMatteis and Ian Gibson's 1989 Mister Miracle series (and to a lesser extent the Bwahaha-era JL). The series was just a super fun mash-up of superhero and domestic comedy tropes and Scott Free and Barda were a fun couple who desperately tried to fit in to the idealized suburbia of TV sitcoms...but with super-villains.
Since I largely stopped following "Big Two" superhero funnybooks over twenty years ago, I have zero idea what's happened to them since. But for a period of time they were just a super fun, super loving couple.
Jay & Joan Garrick. Barry & Iris Allen. Wally & Linda West.
DC's speedsters are a pretty committed group. All 3 generations have been married and pretty happy in their marriages. It used to be marriage was avoided because it was "boring" but these 3 couples proved it added another layer to their adventures.
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2021 10:53:51 GMT -5 by majestic