Monday, June 29, 2015

Strangers In Paradise Chapter 15: Heart Shaped Box is LIVE!

There comes a point in every relationship where just leaving the toilet seat down isn’t enough. Despite what every love song since 1955 might claim, it takes more than just love for a relationship to succeed. Most stories about relationships center around the will they/won’t they dynamic that Friends exploited to no end. Others revolve around love triangles or hook-ups that make every romantic comedy more predictable than GIECO commercial. With Superman and Wonder Woman, there seems to be a concerted effort to not stick to every formula that Disney has ever tried.

Getting together was the easy part for these two in the comics. In “Strangers In Paradise,” I made them work for it a little more. They had to fight just to have a chance to get together, but I never intended that to be the full story. To really make this relationship stronger, I set out to challenge them in a major way. But I didn’t want that challenge to come from another love interest. The last thing Superman/Wonder Woman needs is a fucking love triangle. Unless it’s in a porn parody of Man of Steel, it just has no appeal. For this story, the challenge goes beyond their relationship, but it’s not something they could’ve avoided.

Right now, “Strangers In Paradise” is entering a very volatile conflict. While Superman and Wonder Woman have been working on establishing their relationship and sharing their lives, their enemies have been plotting. The gods of Olympus are causing trouble again. Lex Luthor is causing trouble too, as only he can. Even the Amazons are getting in on the act. What makes this conflict so difficult is that Superman and Wonder Woman made all the right decisions for all the right reasons. Wonder Woman was right to leave her home when she did. Superman was right in not fighting the Amazons all those years ago. But despite their efforts to do the right thing, their enemies are still trying to tear them apart.

Now, as this conflict finally finds them, their relationship will face its biggest challenge to date. It’s not enough to just get through this together. They have to be stronger as individuals as well. That’s what makes a relationship solid, the ability to make each other stronger. Superman and Wonder Woman could probably fight this battle without being romantically entangled, but they would never be able to fight it with the kind of strength they give each other as lovers. The struggle is going to escalate and so are the emotions. It’s bound to get volatile, but in all the right ways.

This story has been an interesting exercise in exploring a relationship between two iconic characters. It’s been challenging, but insightful. I believe we’re entering an era where people just aren’t satisfied with the same formula for love stories. We’ve seen enough crap with the Ross and Rachels of the world. Let’s try something different and that’s exactly what I think the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship offers. And I hope to capture it in the pages of “Strangers In Paradise.”

Since it’s still my first ever Superman/Wonder Woman story, please take the time to submit feedback. I appreciate any reviews anyone can offer, constructive or otherwise. It’s the only way people like me will be able to tell stories that are more interesting than a Hugh Grant movie. Nuff said!

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