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You Decide ’09 – The Marital Status of Two Heroes

Here’s the first poll question!


41 Comments

Is Superman not married any more or something?

I always feel that Spider-marriage debates miss the point. Simply given the two options, I don’t care much whether Spidey is married or not. What I do care about is that my Marvel comics are the ongoing, developing stories of their characters’ lives. They get married, then unless they get divorced or their spouse dies, they’re married. Pressing the rewind button hurts my enjoyment of the larger story.

Where’s the poll option for “I don’t care either way”?

Yeah, I’d probably have taken the “don’t care” option

Better then the do I want to shot the President poll :)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 2, 2009 at 6:10 am

I went with ‘I liked them both better married’.
Which may or may not be true.
I like them married, I like them unmarried.
Thing is, keeping them married and pushing forwards is much more enjoyable than undoing it all – whether they end it by fair means (death or divorce) or total cop out (OMD) it’s just painful to read, and as such I’d prefer them married.

That said, I think writers have done better work with Lois a a wife than MJ as a wife.
I think Lois having a job which can lead to her naturally being involved in the stories helps a whole heap.

This should be good fun. My knee-jerk reaction was that they should both be unmarried; I’m not sure where exactly that comes from, maybe it’s as simple as the fact that I grew up on single Supes and Spidey. But after I reflected for a moment, I went for Supes single and Spidey married–which is also strange because I am very much enjoying the Slott et al. reboot.

i like them married for it showed them both being like their fans having personal lives and also spider man marriage showed he actully was almost as real as his fans who grew up and did th esame thing marvel and dc need to accept that fans may like their charactes to wind up with lives just like them makes them able to relate to the characters. though if super man is no longer married to lois then he can always find some else

I said both married but that’s probably just because I’m a hopeless romantic.

I’m not participating in the poll. Because the important issue isn’t whether they’re married or not. The important issue is that the comics companies stay in continuity and STOP jerking around their faithful life-long customers.

Marvel/DC: Have some respect for us! You wouldn’t have a job without us! Your ret-cons pee all over my comic collection!

Where’s the poll option for “I don’t care either way”?

That would be the “don’t answer the poll question if you don’t care either way” option.

Before opening the thread, I assumed this would be a Storm/Black Panther question. The title is “You decide” followed by “the marital status of two heroes,” so I figured we’d be asked if Storm and BP should split up or not.

Lois and Clark seem like unlikely to split up at this point, although politics being what they are, I suppose a future mandate could separate them again.

I cannot wait to see the results!

I quite like Spidey married, because he’s always been a character that his readers can identify with (and there’s always Ultimate Spidey to attract young readers (we can only hope).

Supes is a bit trickier. Yeah, he seems to work fine married. But I think it’s quite cool when Lois doesn’t know who he is.

I always think of Superman being married. I’m fine with that. As for Spider-Man, I don’t care if he’s married or not. I would love to see him with the Black Cat again. However, I will NOT accept the marriage being done away with Peter making a deal with the Devil. Peter was selfish and worried about his own guilt to let give up his marriage and future with MJ for an his elderly aunt that may have a few more years at most left. Aunt May would be ashamed of him as well. I haven’t read one Spider-Man comic since then. I even dropped New Avengers.

This poll really isn’t accurate. I think most people are fine with Peter not being married, they just don’t like the ridiculous and insulting way the marriage was ended, not to mention a “hero” doesn’t make deals with the Devil.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 2, 2009 at 7:03 am

I’m not participating in the poll. Because the important issue isn’t whether they’re married or not. The important issue is that the comics companies stay in continuity and STOP jerking around their faithful life-long customers.

Nah, the important issue is having some fun!

Thinking about where you stand, voting, and discussing it here = Good Times!

That would be the “don’t answer the poll question if you don’t care either way” option.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Slow down there with the big concepts chief!

Superman works fine married. It grounds the character.
Spider-Man doesn’t work well married, it means settled-down happiness, which really goes against the spirit the character was conceived in. But the way they un-married Spider-Man was the acme of lameness.

Roquefort Raider

October 2, 2009 at 7:26 am

Niels said it best : [quote]I always feel that Spider-marriage debates miss the point. Simply given the two options, I don’t care much whether Spidey is married or not. What I do care about is that my Marvel comics are the ongoing, developing stories of their characters’ lives. They get married, then unless they get divorced or their spouse dies, they’re married. Pressing the rewind button hurts my enjoyment of the larger story.[/quote]

I’d go farther than “hurts my enjoyment of the larger story”. I find I can’t be bothered to care about a character when major events can be undone on a whim. A clean reboot, à la Ultimate Spider-man, I can live with; a partial reboot, as in the OMD case, destroys my interest in following the continuing career of a character. That’s a large part of why I don’t give a hoot about what happens in DC continuity nowadays; too much meddling with the supposedly fresh and easy to understand post-crisis continuity, too many deaths and resurrections, to many iterations of the same character, have killed my willing suspension of disbelief.

I’m sure that the current people working on Spider-man can craft excellent stories that will appeal to new readers. These readers might care about Peter’s love life or about his supporting cast. I find I can’t, because I know now that no matter what happens, no matter who Peter falls in love with or who dies, it can (and probably will!) be undone in a few years. How can there be any kind of dramatic tension then?

I vote for “other,” I don’t care either way.

I might prefer Superman and Lois to not be married, but I’m not sure I’d go through another One More Day for it. Surely Geoff Johns will retcon this to further make the DCU like when he was 13, and it will probably be the side effect of a completely unrelated story.

Don’t care either way. Tell good stories. If that involves marriage, make the stories good. Not every hero can be Barry Allen, married to Iris; or Ralph Dibney; married to Sue. For them, that was part of the gimmick. And not every hero should be so…stoic?

My voice demands to be heard, Cronin

That would be the “don’t answer the poll question if you don’t care either way” option

That is one option, but if 98% of comic readers really don’t care and the remaining 2% mostly all vote one way or the other then it’ll look like a landslide, which is misleading.

Also what if you care about Spidey, but not Supes or vice versa?

That is one option, but if 98% of comic readers really don’t care and the remaining 2% mostly all vote one way or the other then it’ll look like a landslide, which is misleading.

I’m not asking if you care or not.

I don’t care if you care or not.

I’m asking to see what people who DO care think.

People without opinions on the matter need not respond.

I can’t really vote because I don’t really care. I think the stories, for Spider-Man at least, were better when he was unmarried but that’s cause the teams were better. Either way, I’m not going to be picking up ASM or Superman anytime soon regardless of what they do to their marital status.

I prefer Peter married I feel they have done all they can with single Peter I mean look at the comics there just retelling a bunch of old stories. Sometimes with better results sometimes not. Not to mention they have over done how pathetic Peter has gotten its gotten to the point where he has pretty much become Charlie Brown and the old parker luck has become something of a parady.

As for Superman i could careless he sucks anyway. Although if Lois know Clark and Superman are one and the same they might as well be married. Being single was never something anyone cared about he only had one real love intrest anyway and thats Lois.

FuryOfFirestorm

October 2, 2009 at 9:47 am

@Shredhead: you are so wrong, wrong, wrong!
“Superman sucks”? Yes, he’s had his ups (his recent Johns/Donner run) and downs (electric blue Supes), but one does not last nearly 75 by “sucking” (besides yo mama!).

As for Lois Lane being Clark’s only “real” love interest, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris and Wonder Woman would beg to differ…

Oh, by the way, Superman is not married to Lois Lane- Clark Kent is. As far as most people in the DCU know, Superman is single.

Superman and Lois is a slam-dunk. I clearly prefer them unmarried. So many of the most interesting elements turn on them not being married. I like Lois and Clark as competitors, since it provides a spark to their relationship. I like the Lana-Superman-Lois love triangle, which has never been dealt with post-Code. I like Steve Lombard and Cat Grant as semi-plausible rivals for Lois and Clark, respectively. I like the big romantic courtship stuff, like the dates at the Fortress of Solitude. Those play differently with a married couple.

On the plus side, you do not have to deal with the “Lois trying to discover Superman’s secret identity” business that was played out in the ’50s and there is tendency to depict their relationship as a being a bit sexier. Neither of those things would need to go in a retcon.

With Spider-Man and Mary Jane, it is a lot more complicated. Marvel does not have the tradition of revision that DC does. They are heavily invested in the idea that it is all a coherent, semi-realistic soap opera. “One More Day” was rightly seen by a lot of fans as betraying one of the core promises of the Marvel brand.

On the other hand, Spider-Man seems to be in a good place creatively. I could honestly go either way, but I tend to come down on the “Peter and MJ are married” side more often than not.

OK. How about this:

I actively read both characters and I don’t care either way.

I think that’s a legitimate choice. I mean anything having to do with the Avengers or the X-men I don’t care about so I won’t answer those polls. But I used to read a lot of Superman and Spider-man and I don’t care whether they’re married or not.

i really like having Supes married to Lois. i care less about Spidey, but i really hate the revamp.
DFTBA

"O" the Humanatee!

October 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I never liked the idea of Superman (or if you want to be pedantic, Clark) marrying Lois, and I feel similarly about the decision to keep the Kents alive well into his Superman career. To me, the interesting thing about old-school Superman was that he was the (more or less) sole survivor of Krypton and an orphan on Earth. That way there could potentially at least be some tension between his role as the super-powered hero above humanity and the Clark Kent disguise that allowed him to mingle with regular folk – even if writers rarely exploited that tension. The resulting loneliness and, yes, alienation strangely made him more human to me. (It’s also consistent with the psychological complexities that many people think underlay his creation by two Jewish boys in mid-America: the notion that you can assimilate if you conceal your true origins and identity, but that doing so means losing sources of your strength.) But if he’s super-powered and he has a complete and satisfying personal life, then he becomes too perfect to relate to.

Then again, I’m a “Batman guy,” not a “Superman guy,” so maybe I don’t grok the character’s appeal anyway.

I hate One More Day (who doesn’t?) but the post-OMD stories have been surprisingly good.

I find it ironic that many fans that have dropped the book on account of the retcon are the same ones that otherwise would have enjoyed the faster-paced, funnier, more madcap adventures told by Slott, Waid, Casey, and co. as opposed to the morose atmosphere of Spidey stories from the past 10 years before OMD.

I’m not a big fan of comic book marriages in general. In some cases I think it works and makes sense for the character. Super-man and Lois lane is a relationship that works and makes sense. I didn’t mind Spider-man being married, but I believe in consistency and not continuity. Meaning that I think comics should be good, and that if a creator decides to do away with a marriage, that’s fine as long as you tell that story well. I’m not a fan of teh Storm/Black Panther marriage, and I would gladly see that ret-conned. I do understand a long time readers annoyance with a sudden OMD type change. I remember when Spider-Woman was revealed as a skrull and that was annoying because I enjoyed the character and ina way felt lied to, and played with. That said so far things are working out. But in the end I don’t think comic book marriages or the addition of having a child are good for large mainstream characters. I do think it works for secondary characters to an extent. But honestly how interesting are the lives of a happily married couple?

The reason why I find that the whole “married hero” thing is not a big deal is that, in some cases (and definitely with these two heroes) we KNOW that their love interest IS supposed to truly be “The One.” No matter how many “Lana Lang flirting with Supes” stories we see, for example, we KNOW he’ll end up with Lois. So, why not just admit it and have them marry? Even now, does anybody really believe Peter and MJ won’t end up together again somehow? Considering she was popular enough to have HER OWN SERIES once, I doubt it. With or without a retcon -and with or without marriage- they’ll be together again, likely sooner than later. I saw the marriages as just new stus quo on their relationship when they happened, a new story angle to explore. I don’t need it to last forever, but it certainly didn’t make me feel old or that the “basic concept” of the character had been ruined.

I prefer them both married.

I seem to have the reverse opinion to a lot of people: while I’m indifferent about the marriage, I absolutely HATE the old status quo of Lois not knowing Clark is Superman and competing with him. Mostly it’s the “are we still doing THIS plotline?” factor. I can’t stand when TV sitcoms string out a “will they or won’t they” plotline past the second season, for characters who’ve been romantically linked as long as Lois and Superman/Clark to be forever unable to actually have a real relationship is like some horrible cliched vampire movie where the Count is cursed to spend eternity trying and failing to woo women who look like his long lost love. But there’s also the fact that the vast majority of writers never seemed to be able to write it without making Lois look stupid (for not figuring it out) and petty (for giving the guy we, the readers, all knew was a paragon of niceness and decency such a hard time). I’d rather read a yearlong weekly comic by Chris Claremont about Storm being mind-controlled into giving into her wild side and fighting a bunch of villains who shout their names with No! Quarter! Given! than go through that tired nonsense again.

As for Spider-Man: preferred him married, but like him enough unmarried that I’m not too worked up about it. I do like MJ enough to hope they keep her as a regular even if they’re not married, though.

I went with both married. The natural course of events is that Clark and Lois get together and stay together forever. (Which Crisis was that?) Superman never gets divorced. And his wife never dies. The End. Plus, him being married is now status quo for a good decade or more.

Spider-Man: Married. Actually, divorced. Because c’mon. He’s the original hard-luck hero. Which super-hero would you expect to have to deal with a sick aunt OR A BITCHY EX-WIFE in the middle of a fight? We’re all fans here, we all know. Plus, they could have deepened and developed Peter & MJ’s relationship apart, developed Peter as a character, all the while, grabbing HUGE headlines as Spider-Man becomes the first super-hero to recognize the reality of divorce. How many Spider-Man fans’ parents are divorced, do ya think?

This “Deal With the Devil” stuff … is that REALLY going to generate more stories than Peter being divorced? (Because the Devil will come to collect on that, someday.) The whole thing’s a ret-con for Millar unmasking him. Once you take your underpants off, you can’t just put them on again like nothing happened. You know what I’m talking about.

I don’t care about either marriage really. However if I had to make a choice I prefer them not married, if only because Spider-man and Superman stories I’ve enjoyed the most are when they’re single. Ultimate Spider-man and All-Star Superman are both the best comics those characters have been in in recent years.

Marianne Farleybaconcheeseburgercombo

October 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Explain to me how Clark Kent (if they can even use that name after the Siegels are done with them) can stil be married to Lois Lane within the next 5 years? You can just tell another series or major event to retcon Johns’ Origin mini will be coming. A Crisis event. Final Climax in 2011!

I prefer both to be unmarried, but I wouldn’t say I’d be hugely bothered if they weren’t.

I prefer both to be unmarried… That said, marrying them was OK with me as it helps developping characters and stories too.

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