Disclaimer: All comic storylines and characters do not belong to me but to Marvel comics!
In a world where something as scary as death can easily be reversed and become useless, is there really a point in using marriage in Comic books? I will use the marriages of Peter Parker/Mary Jane, T’Challa/Storm and Reed/Sue Richards to show three different aspects of marriage and the pros and cons of using marriage in comic books.
1. Peter Parker and Mary Jane- Retcons
Along with one more couple listed in this article MAry Jane is the staple love interest for Peter Parker.The couple were married in 1987 in “The Amazing SPider Annual # 21. Before the wedding Peter Parker(as SPider-man) fights and defeats the villain Electro(that is important) then later that day he gets married and they stay married for 20 years and in the infamous 2007 storylinr “One More Day” written by Dan Slott, Peter makes a deal with Mesphito to save the life of his aunt May in exchange that he and Mary Jane were never married. This was later explained that in this new senario Spider-Man was hit by a cinder block while fighting Electro and was late to his wedding, therefore it never happened. Now, Peter and MJ are now single.
The biggest con in this sort of story telling is how you completely eliminate years of stories that will never be retold. Also, retcons like this are more or less a cop out that allows the writer to revisit the whole “I am a superhero and can’t tell me girlfriend cliche” then they find out and break up with the hero cliche(He did tell that exact story in 2011) instead of writing new and possibly unique stories. This really isn’t a point against marriage in comics but, more or less a con against how they can be handled because they can be erased too easily in ways that deminished the story. Now, have marriages been undone but the story enhanced? Yes, there has been.
2. Black Panther(T’Challa) and Storm)- Divorce
In late 2006, Black Panther married Storm.This was a move that makes you wonder why something like this did not happen eariler. If you did not know, Black Panther is the leader of an African country called “Wakanda” and it seemed strange that this great and powerful ruler was alway without a wife. Now, the headline makes it clear something happened and that something is major. In the 2011 storyline “Avengers vs. X-Men”, 5 X-Men(Cyclops, Namor, Colossus, Magik and Emma Frost) get imbued with the powers of the pheonix force and become known as the “Pheonix Five”. Somewhere along in this story Namor uses this power and floods Wakanda killing a ton of people. Of course Black Panther gets upset and he declares mutants are now the sworn enemy of Wakanda. Storm tries to comfrot him and say that she will help rebuild as theya re her people aswell but T’challa tells her that they are not her people anymore as he has already anullied thier marriage( Harsh).
I feel this is good writing for a couple reasons. First off though this does reinstate that marriage in comics can be undone very easily but, this was done in an interesting way. All stories that existed with the couple before the anullment are not erased, they still exist. Also, this was done as a result of a story and not some cheap deal with the devil cliche thing.Overall, I prefer the idea of the Wakandan king being married ,but having Namor destroy a country that has never been overtaken before was interesting. This senario allowed this to display the cold nature of T’Challa. Overall, this was a more interesting take on the marriage concept. Now, enough with the failed marriages. LEt’s discuss the longest marriage Marvel history.
3. Reed and Sue Richards- The Greatest Example
Married in Fantastic Four annual #3(1965), Reed and Sue Richards have been married this entire time. Well, excpet for when Reed “died” ,but he wasn’t dead just displaced in time. The most amazing part of this is how these two have stayed married for so long. To me this is proof that marriage in comics can also promote very interesting stories and can become a staple to that character and taking that away can really change that character in a negative way. This is proven in the “Ultimate Universe”. In this universe Reed and Sue were divorced and that caused Reed to fall into villiany and became the villian known as “The Maker” ,but alternate universes aside this has to be the greatest marriage in all of comic books.
Personally, I view this as a major pro to having marriage in comic books. It can be a great way to build a character up and give them more interesting stories that we would not have seen otherwise. For Reed it builds onto the family aspect of the Fantastic Four but through this he has two children Franklin Richards(who is very over-powered) and Valeria Richards. These two obviously would not exist if she had broken up with Reed and married someone like Namor instead. Also, the concept of marriage gave more impact when Namor flooded Wakanda. So, with all these pros and cons…where do I stand on the subject of marriage in comics?
Conclusion- What is the Point?
In short, my view on marriage in comic is simple. Marriage is great when the story is enhanced ,but if the story is not effected it should be left alone because it can be pointlessly revoked for stupid reasons.I mean this is also my standpoint of death in comics ,but I mean isn’t the point of comics to just have a great story anyway? I am for most anything that enhances a story and against all things that do not. With that said, I am going to end this off here. If you enjoyed this and want to know when more articles are posted then you can “like” Comic Conversations on Facebook or you can follow @CJohnson0545 on twitter.