Friday, February 12, 2010

My Funny Valentine Part 1 of 2

Wow, it works for both Valentine's Day and Black History Month. And people think it's bad when old folks still use "colored."

Initially, I wanted to do a V-day tribute to the best comic book super couples... then, upon further consideration, I realized that comic book relationships SUCK!
Hey, what do you say to a Super Woman with two black eyes? Nuthin'! Ya already told her twice! Nyuk Nyuk!

There's a whole website devoted to the poor treatment of women in comics called Women In Refrigerators, with the name coming from this event:Kyle Rayner, the new 90s Green Lantern comes home to find his girlfriend Alex killed and shoved between the Activia and the leftover Chinese takeout. According to Gail Simone, the creator of this website (who has since gone on to write Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey, Secret Six and many other successful comics), all too often, women are used simply as plot devices to further torment/develop the male stars. Especially this one. Note to super ladies, Kyle Rayner is POISON! (Deadly, movin' in slow...)Alex was killed by Major Force, Jade (the green gal on the left) lost her powers, regained then, then was killed, Donna Troy (on the right) was killed, came back, then had her dead husband and baby son come back as killer zombies... okay, Kyle had nothing to do with that, but even so, what a crummy turn of events... even Kyle's mom died of a "mysterious illness" which turned out to be caused by a super villain. If you have a uterus, stay at least 100 yards away from this guy!
Even the "good" couples have their glaring issues, like Reed and Sue Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman (originally Invisible Girl). First of all, in fine Marvel tradition, Mr. Fantastic is both emotionally distant, spending almost all of his time working on his research, and dismissive.She got hers though. One day, Mr. Fantastic seemingly "died" in action, so Sue went all slutty:
And hooked up with The Sub-Mariner. They were like the super Leanne Rimes and Eddie Cibrian.
Or Cyclops and Jean Grey of the X-Men. She became supremely powerful, went crazy and homicidal, committed suicide to stop herself from destroying everything she loved. HE then married her clone, although he didn't realize it was her clone despite them looking JUST ALIKE!!! She then came back from the dead, the CLONE went insane and became the villain The Goblyn Queen, Jean and Scott got married, he started cheating on her (did I mention she was TELEPATHIC?!) with Emma Frost (ANOTHER telepath):
She got him back by hooking up with Wolverine (Jean wins!), then she died... again.
Sue and Jean were among the first Marvel heroines which explains why Marvel has never had a "Wonder Woman" type female super star. First of all, they were dismissively dubbed Invisible Girl and Marvel Girl, and they were easily the frailest members of their respective teams.Ben Grimm gets super strength, Reed Richards can stretch to any length, Sue's kid brother Johnny can burst into flames, leading to a bazillion people making the same gay joke for forty years and Sue has the power to fade away. Guess they didn't think to give her the power to remain completely silent on top of that.And here's Jean, in the background doing Jack Shit on the cover of X-Men #1. While Cyclops could shoot beams from his eyes and Iceman could create anything he wanted out of ice, Jean could focus so hard she broke out in a sweat in order to move a book a couple of feet.

These two weren't the only ones, though. All the early Marvel women kinda got the shit end of the stick, as they so colorfully say.What was that about marrying clones? Well, when Dr. Hank Pym (a.k.a. Ant Man) met Janet Van Dyne, he realized she looked identical to his former wife who'd disappeared under mysterious circumstances (Dun DUN DUNNNN!). Aw hell with it, he married her anyway and gave her powers similar to his own. The problem? He was ANT MAN!!! The Wasp could shrink down to insect size and communicate with ants (whoop-eee... and people make fun of Aquaman!) and unlike Ant man, she could fly via tiny wings. Like a true bitch, however, she never let him forget he was the shittiest super hero around, always fawning over the much more powerful Thor and even Iron Man, back when he wore that huge cumbersome tin can outfit...So feeling inferior, Ant Man reversed his shrinking powers and became Giant Man. The Wasp remained The Wasp. Eventually, at least, she developed energy "stings" so that was a step up. He eventually became comics' most notorious wife-slapper and has never been able to shake the stigma. He's the Chris Brown of super heroes.Then there's The Scarlet Witch. First of all, she had the indignity of wearing some sort of lamp shade as a head dress. Then, like Jean Grey in the X-Men, she had to struggle to do anything with her super powers... and what are her powers, exactly? She projects "hexes." She affects "probability." Uh... huh.Tell ya what she can't do... stand up for herself. She was never more than an arms-length away from her overbearing brother Quicksilver.Here she is on the cover of her first appearance, in X-men #4.Her FUCKING NAME is The SCARLET Witch... and the colorist couldn't even bother to color her costume SCARLET! She went on to marry a robot, use her "hex" powers to affect "probability" in order to conceive twin boys with said robot (a.k.a. The Vision), only to find out the kids were magical figments of her imagination that ceased to exist when she wasn't around, much to the horror of her babysitters, went insane (her too?!), killed The Vision, Hawkeye, the SECOND Ant Man, wiped out all the mutants except like 100 (the cool ones with their own books) and vanished. She's started popping back up, but not in full force, yet.

The magical twins magically reappeared, now as teenagers, Wiccan and Speed, which are worse code names than Invisible Girl, Marvel Girl and The Wasp rolled together. They are members of the Young Avengers, along with...The Vision, their "father," The Scarlet Witch's "husband" (whom she destroyed), who is now a robot teenager... and is dating the daughter of the second Ant Man (whom The Scarlet Witch killed)... awkwaaaaaaaard.

Oh, there's more... but this is getting lengthy, so I will continue tomorrow! Stay tuned, same Bird Time (more or less), Same Bird Blog...

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