For some reason back in the early 90s, it was decided by a bunch of heroin-addicted dope-heads that love was no longer "cool." Love in movies and love in comics became the kind of shit you only tolerated in hopes that it would get a woman horny enough to bone. Now I don't know who the fuck decided this or why the fuck people agreed to it. But it has led to a generation of shitty love stories that have affected how relationships in comics are portrayed.
Now anyone who has followed this blog in a soberish state of mind knows I tend to make Twilight jokes every now and then. However, I don't deny that Twlight has made a metric fuckton of money and has channeled the hormones of millions of fans, most of them probably women. Guys like me can make jokes about how lame and gay the Twilight saga was, but at the end of the day Stephanie Meyer, Kirsten Stewart, and Robert Pattinson can laugh all the way to the bank and shit in gold toilets while bloggers like me are stuck shitting in his neighbors basement because a plumber is too fucking expensive.
The love story in Twilight was cliched, gimmicky, mushy, and utterly unrealistic. Now every woman seems to want every guy to be Edward fucking Cullen in that she wants to be the complete center of a man's attention. To hell with whatever else they may have a passion for, they want a super-powered, super-attractive rich pretty boy to take care of them. For men, that would be like wanting to have a woman who looked like a perpetual 22-year-old Pamela Anderson whose sole purpose in life was to refine her blow-job techniques on them and them alone. My point is this is an unreasonable standard and it shows in comics.
I've done more than my share of ranting on relationships in my reviews. And no matter how drunk they may be, I stand by them. Even before Twilight became the object of every tween's obsession, romance in comic books was subdued. It was always secondary to battles against giant robots, monsters, and killer aliens. And that makes sense because that tends to be what resonates with young men. They like seeing shit blow up and they like seeing women with big tits. If romance somehow works its way into the story, then that's okay. Contrary to popular belief, men do have a taste for romance. But it's secondary. And men will embrace that romance if it makes the story more compelling in between explosions. Case and point, Superman and Wonder Woman.
|And panties everywhere became very moist.|
Then recently, DC announced that they were going to start a Superman/Wonder Woman series. And rather than be a secondary side-plot in Justice League, this relationship would actually take center stage. It's something comics haven't done in a while. The last comic that really focused on romance was Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, a comic so watered down that might as well have been packaged with a My Little Pony toy. It wasn't billed as a mature relationship. But Superman/Wonder Woman is supposed to change that.
|You'll never see them discuss webbing condoms in this series.|
One of DC Comics' top-tier artists said publicly that he wanted his next comic to be something that appeals to women, so female comic fans and their supporters should be ecstatic, right?
Well… not necessarily, especially when the words "Twilight" and "romance" are involved.
At a panel during Toronto's Fan Expo this past weekend, former Batman writer/artist Tony Daniel was describing the type of book he wanted to draw for his next project, saying he was looking for something that appeals to women, "that hits on the Twilight audience." He said his newest comic, Superman/Wonder Woman, fit the bill.
"I mentioned maybe, can we create a book that targets a little bit more of the female readership that’s been growing? And maybe a book that has a little bit of romance in it, a little bit of sex appeal, you know, something that would, for lack of a better example, that hits on the Twilight audience," Daniel said he told his editors. "Millions of people went to see those [Twilight films] in the theaters because [they had] those kind of, you know, subject matter: the drama, the characterization with love triangles and forbidden love...
"Literally, a month later they asked me, 'Hey, what do you think of Superman/Wonder Woman?' And I think it took all of maybe three seconds for me to say, 'Yeah, that’s great. Let’s do that.' Because that’s exactly what I was describing that we need," Daniel said.
In current DC stories, Superman and Wonder Woman are involved in a relationship, and the Superman/Wonder Woman that launches in October (from Daniel and writer Charles Soule) will incorporate their burgeoning relationship.
Although the comic should be highly anticipated, since it stars two of DC's best-selling characters, the Twilight reference didn't sit well with some people in the internet comics community. In fact, it got enough of a reaction that The Hollywood Reporter picked up the story.
Some wondered if Daniel meant that Wonder Woman herself "pulls in the Twilight demo." Others worried that the statement implied women only want to read romances. "I’m headdesking at how the thought process is to go to the automatic idea that women just want romance," blogger Ami Angelwings wrote.
On the self-described "girl geek" fan site The Mary Sue, a blogger noted that a fan at the panel who called herself "Liz" asked a follow-up question about whether DC was only making the book romantic in its appeal to women.
After a joke about drawing "butt shots" of Superman, Daniel clarified that Wonder Woman is "very strongly written, she’s not, you know, I mean she holds her own. And you’re going to like the interaction between Superman and Wonder Woman as well as their private lives, Diana and Clark. I mean, we have a lot of fun with their interactions and we’re going to have that drama. And on different levels, there’s a lot of layers to it that make it, you know, a little bit more of a more enjoyable book for me to draw and I’m sure for Charles. We’re both doing something kind of new with this, so it has a perfect recipe, I think, and it’s something I really want to do. I really think you’re going to like it a lot. Let me know. Just get on Facebook, let me know."
The fan wasn't convinced, and she wrote about it on a blog on io9. She also told The Mary Sue, "I know I don’t speak for every woman, but I think I can with this statement: All we want are good, well written characters and stories."
This is the second time this week that disdain for Twilight has shown up on comic book sites, as many fans reacted to a redesign of the DC character Lobo by comparing his look to Twilight vampire Edward Cullen. "Maybe he will sparkle too," one fan posted.
But to be fair, the creators behind Superman/Wonder Woman have made it clear over the last few months since the project was announced that their book is not just a romance. In June, Newsarama asked writer Soule about the dangers of writing a comic that's only based around two characters in a romance, and he answered:
"It's not the next Before Midnight movie. The book is, at its heart, a huge, epic, action-filled story. I mean, you have to have that with these characters, with the things these people can do, what these characters are outfittedly capable of, and then the types of guys that come gunning for them. It's going to be huge. I wouldn't necessarily want to write or read a book that was them sitting in the back of a taxi having an argument or something like that.
The stories will be written on a scale that befits these characters. But at the same time, I personally think it's fascinating to think about what they would say to each other, what they talk about, the way they have different approaches to solving the world's problems. I think that's grounds that have been sometimes explored here and there — I mean, there are books that have walked down this sort of path — but I think there's a lot more that can be said. And that's one of the things that really interested me about the project in the first place. And I look forward to exploring it."
Daniel also told Newsarama:
"To be honest, I'm a pretty happy camper with this book, because it fits all my interests and tells a good story. All the things I'll be drawing and the story we're telling here is really almost tailor-made for me. I'm just really excited to get the chance to do these characters and all the different types of moments I'm going to be able to do, and each character's development, and the drama between the characters. I love that kind of stuff. I love to read it. And now I get to draw that, as well as the big action set pieces, and these gigantic battles we have with shared villains and new villains.
"It's just a really big, intergalactic, Christmas kind of thing. I can just go to town and have a blast with it."
So let me see if I can process this shit in a semi-sober mind...DC wants to do something that appeals to more than just the typical male readers who only want big boobs and explosions. So they create a book centered around a relationship between their two most popular characters because as Twilight has shown, romance does resonate with a certain crowd of women. And somehow they're assholes for doing that? That's like getting pissed at your accountant for using a calculator.
Now maybe referencing Twilight wasn't very smart because fans by default scoff at Twilight the same way they scoff at Michael Bay movies, ignoring of course that they both make a fuck-ton of money. But the logic is not flawed. Fans actually do care a lot about these characters and that extends to whoever they're hooking up with. That's why fans can get so pissed off when Marvel completely erases the Spider-Man/Mary Jane relationship from history or when they just randomly hook two characters up for no reason.
|Case and point.|
|This did not end well for them or for Charlie Sheen.|
The point is that Superman and Wonder Woman have a chance to do the kind of shit that we never saw with Cyclops/Emma Frost or Storm/Black Panther. DC can actually try and take the time to show how these two characters come together and develop a relationship that can't be summed up within a single episode of a shitty sitcom. And if some women take offense to DC trying this shit after Twilight made so much fucking money from it, then I have only one question. What the fuck is the alternative? Were these women really satisfied with how relationships like Cyclops/Emma or Storm/Black Panther were portrayed? If so, then why the fuck didn't they support them to the same extent they supported Twilight? My point is these pissed off female fans have nobody to blame but themselves.
At the end of the day, romance in comics will continue to be secondary for as long as young men keep buying them more than women. But women have shown with Twilight that they can and will fork over huge chunks of cash for a love story that they feel resonates with them. And DC is trying to do that while Marvel continues to have its dick stuck in the same hose, only focusing on romance when it involves breaking two characters up or having them bone. I, for one, applaud DC for making this bold leap. I really do hope that female fans respond to it because I don't care for the current status quo when it comes to romance in comics. I don't want to see anymore Cyclops/Emma or Storm/Black Panther relationships. We don't need that kind of overt titillation in the age of internet porn.
|It's up to you, ladies. It's either this or more of Emma Frost's tits.|