DC just keeps on giving me things to complain about, doesn’t it? Remember, this was my favorite superhero universe (the old stuff still is but for modern stuff I’m leaning towards Red Circle) so just having a “Death Of DC” category is painful, but necessary. Now comes more evidence that DC’s current masters just don’t get it.
I call it “Corrupt Super Friends Syndrome”, where the writers/editors think that all stories should focus solely on superhero exploits and leave personal lives behind. That would be fine for team books like Justice League or Teen Titans. However, in the individual books…there’s a reason these people have secret identities. As I’ve said before, it’s the secret identities that make the superhero relatable characters (and that’s the big buzzword we keep hearing lately). Seeing Clark Kent or Oliver Queen deal with people and make friends makes us learn more about them as people and characters, and sometimes having to help a friend who isn’t a superhero makes for a good story idea.
This was going to be a commentary about the latest in the marriage war DC seems to have, the whole thing about not allowing Batwoman/Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer to wed, and where I both agree and disagree with the fandom on this, and no it’s not the part you’re thinking. However, Didio said something that he thought defended his decision but just highlighted yet another problem with the people in charge.
Now granted, I’m not the first person you’d come to for a defense of the Kane/Sawyer wedding for various reasons, including the fact that I haven’t followed the series and don’t know a lot about this new Batwoman or her relationship with Maggie. However, I find it interesting that there’s a huge outcry over this that I haven’t seen in any other superhero marriage that’s been tossed aside since Marvel’s “One More Day”. Heck, word is that Aquaman and Mera’s marriage is out. The New 52 is where marriage goes to die, apparently. Even the one couple that WAS married in the New 52, Animal Man’s, is looking shaky after their son’s murder. (Dead kid count keeps climbing even after the reboot.) And I’ve heard they canceled Scott Free and Big Barda’s marriage as well.
I’m reminded of a story I read in a soap opera magazine that was in the bathroom one time. Apparently some fans were upset that a lesbian was having relationship troubles, including not winning over her straight friend. (That should be nothing new to you shippers out there.) They wanted her to finally have a healthy, happy relationship. In a soap opera. And they’re the fans.
It’s the same thing in the New 52. People are comparing DC to Marvel and Archie, both of whom had gay weddings recently. (Side note: I don’t read Life With Archie but from what I gathered, each reality has all the characters in different situations based on which of his long time love interests Archie married. And yet Kevin meets the same guy in the same place and has the same relationship. Kind of shows how little connection he actually has to the gang, doesn’t it?) The difference is that Marvel will still have marriages, just not for very long. (Also, it’s the only thing of remote interest Northstar has been involved in since his creation.) Archie is trying to be more progressive and you can decide how you define that. DC doesn’t even like the specter (no pun intended) of marriage. They undid the marriage of Alan and Nora Scott by making Alan gay. Not only were there no complaints, but fans applauded a new gay character. That’s a marriage that was around since the 40’s (I think that’s when they were wedded) and you think a modern marriage is going to happen? After they tossed out Barry and Clark’s marriages? No marriage is safe or allowed in the New 52.
I wish I could have found the exact quote, but Dido said at the recent Baltimore Comic-Con that heroes basically shouldn’t have personal lives because they sacrifice them to become superheroes. Which is a load of bull. Part of what makes Spider-Man work for people is Peter’s relationship with others. Superman’s supporting cast is so popular that both Lois and Jimmy had their own comics for years, which is why some people were so disappointed that Lois wasn’t acknowledged as also having her 75th anniversary. If the only thing in their lives was crimefighting, they’d go nuts. Just ask any police officer, firefighter, rescue worker, federal agent, or solider if they shouldn’t have family or friends outside of their profession. They’d look at you like you were an idiot. Because you would be.
In a superhero world, superheroes are the next step in the chain of battling those that threaten harm to innocent people. Police–>FBI–>military–>superheroes. Many are also called upon to act as rescue workers, especially the ones with super powers. Why is wearing a costume instead of a uniform suddenly a signal to end all relations with the rest of humanity? Warn the cosplayers and cancel Halloween. This notion that superheroes are “gods” that put themselves above humanity is a wrong-headed notion, and one that was explored in numerous ways during the Justice League cartoons. You seldom saw the heroes in their secret identities because it was a team show and there are already a lot of characters to juggle. That’s why the Batman, Superman, and Static cartoons, with smaller casts, could focus on their relationships both in and out of costume and how those relationships affected them as people and characters. This is lost in Didio’s vision of being a superhero, and it’s kind of insulting.
So is the solution to fire Dan Didio? That’s a discussion for tomorrow’s article.
- DiDio Attempts to Explain DC’s Marriage Ban; Will Scrap Last Williams/Blackman Batwoman Issues? (themarysue.com)
Found the quote!