Chris Gumprich on Love

Traditionally, comic-book "love" has been a fairly predictable routine: hero and girl love each other, hero cannot marry girl because it would put her at risk from his greatest enemies, girl is abducted/shrunk/transformed into a gorilla, hero saves her, yet they cannot be together because of the risks involved. Lather, rinse, repeat next issue.

Recently, all that has changed. Superman has finally married Lois Lane. Spider-Man married longtime sweetheart Mary Jane Watson (and don't start talking about divorces and clones and so on) in a wedding which was the best I've seen since Wonder Girl married Terry Long. It seems that after five decades, super-heroes have finally come to the inescapable conclusion that the girlfriends are going to be at risk anyways, so they might as well marry them.

(And before you start calling me sexist, the same goes for non-powered husbands as well. I'm just using the "girlfriend" as an example because of tradition. So go away.)

Naturally, these relationships have their problems. Wouldn't you be a little annoyed if your wife went running around in a tight-fitting outfit, and was regularily seen in public with a squadron of similarily-dressed musclemen? Not to mention being forced to deal with the hordes of drooling fanboys who line up to have their picture taken with her at conventions, running their sweaty hands up and down her. . .

Sorry, where was I?

One thing that most of today's super-heroes have learned is that love and crimefighting don't mix. So they have a choice. . . do they abandon their careers to devote their lives to their families, or do they continue to go out at night, beat up evil villains bent on enslaving the globe, and get to hang out with Black Canary and Zatanna. Not too surprisingly, the career is chosen over the family, in a dramtisation of what is taking place all across the globe, as high-ranking executives sacrifice what little personal life they may have in the never-ending quest for power.

Yeah, whatever.

If you're trying to learn about love by reading about Wally and Linda, or Jack and Sadie, or Jesse and Tulip, then you have got to get out of your parent's basement and join the real world.

Or at least read "Sandman Mystery Theater".

-Chris Gumprich
February, 1998
Somewhere in Hell

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