~ Jane Austen
Why is it such a big deal when major comic cook pairings split up? Or better yet, why can’t major comic book characters’ stories ever just end?
Something I’ve come to realize about comic books is that one of the problems with getting into them is all that complicated history and rebooting, etc. It’s the same people having their lives rehashed over and over and over and over and, well you get the picture. When new people come along, older ones are rarely, if ever, dropped. Superman has been around for 75 YEARS, Batman 74, Wonder Woman 72- and so many more just as old or close to it. Nothing ever ends, peoples lives (at least the major characters) can never have resolution. Or rather, as in the case of characters like Green Lantern and The Flash, a name can never be retired.
When it comes to romantic pairings this whole concept that is so deeply ingrained in the comic book world is even more ridiculous. One character having one “true” relationship with one person for seven decades! Superhero or no, they are people and the lack of variety and exploration in romantic attachment is just silly. I can admit that some people are truly meant for each other, hell I’m a romantic, I think true love (as I understand it) exists, but due to the never-ending aspect of a comic book character’s story I feel that it just doesn’t work, because it has to be messed with over and over. I understand being really attached to certain characters and OTPs, but when readers get up in arms about famous pairs breaking it off I just go slack-jawed and say, “Really?” Why is the idea of a superhero having a relationship that doesn’t work out, growing because of it, and then moving on to find someone new (just like it happens in the real world) so incredible and distasteful?
It’s just like when a television series goes on for WAY TOO LONG- the stories grow stale, repetitive, unimaginative and what could have been a damn good show with juicy, compelling narratives in 4 seasons, becomes tired, a joke, and loses the essence that made it wonderful in the first place at 9. I think this goes the same for comic books characters and story lines in general, besides the romance angle. There’s no true moving on and I think it’s torture on the characters. I admit that I love many superheroes and would be sad to see their stories come to an end, but I would also feel relieved and satisfied because I had a hell of a good time reading or watching their birth, growth, and conclusion/legacy. I wouldn’t have to suffer through rehashing, rebooting, regressing and all of these characters I’ve come to love and they would have resolution. Then something new would come along and I’d get caught up all over again. We do it with other mediums of storytelling, why is the comic book world so stagnant in this area? So afraid? Readers can stay involved while doing it with new material. It might be scary at first, especially for an audience so unaccustomed to resolution and endings, but we’re resilient and always hungry for more to dive in to.