A Big Whole in the Ongoing Attempt to Diversify Comic Books!!!

11 Aug

A great deal has been made recently about diversity in comic books. A lot has been said online, supporting and opposing the notion. Personally, I feel that it’s being done with the wrong motives, but that is a post for another date. For those who don’t know, the Ultimate Spiderman (an alternate reality Spidey) has been replaced by an African-American Latino mix teen. Meanwhile, Laurence Fishburne will be playing Perry White in the next Superman movie. These could be big deals, but I have noticed a truly disturbing trend in comic books. In case you didn’t notice, married couples are vanishing quicker than print comic book sales are!

It started rather disturbingly actually. Peter Parker and Mary Jane, married for almost twenty years in comic book time, broke it off several years ago. The disturbing part though is why. Long story short for dramatic effect (and to cut down on word count!), Mary Jane decided to make a deal with the devil (or at least his comic book counterpart) and ended the marriage. Also DC killed off one of the highest couples of comic book history in their big crossover, identity Crisis several years ago. Sue Dibny, wife of perennial funny man Elongated Man, was murdered and torched to hide the evidence. Surprisingly, he wasn’t nearly as funny solo, and died in a fight with the devil (or yet another comic book counterpart!). Apparently, the devil doesn’t like marriages.

Now, the DCnU is coming quickly. Clark and Lois are splitting up after fifteen years of married bliss so Superman can be “on his own.” Barry Allen, the long dead Flash who recently returned, and his wife Iris will also be separating. The new writer said it would be so Barry would have to join the dating world and women trouble. And one of my favorite couples, Hawkman and Hawkgirl will be splitting up! Come on, does she get to keep the name in the divorce?! It’s absolutely insane.

This could all make for interesting stories. And as a longtime fan of Superman, I enjoyed seeing him win Lois and loved the old love triangle. Likewise, I can kind of understand Peter and Mary Jane. Let kids see a Spiderman who has girl troubles. But Flash, Hawkman, and Elongated Man were special because of how long their relationships lasted, as married duos! Must every character in comics be single? As a thirty year old married man, I would like some of my superheroes to look like me. If there can be fourteen different bat family people so everyone can have their “own” Batman, where’s the married one?! And when is an author and president of a comic book company going to begin shouting they have married people to prove they are diverse?

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