Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There's Better Glossy in the World: Much Love for Comic Book Love

What a day it has been, Gentle Reader! The Reads Washing Machine decided that the floor was the best place to store its water (two minutes before Mr. Reads had to leave for work), the car key gnomes made off with Mr. Reads' keys (one minute before Mr. Reads had to leave for work), and the amount of towels needed to clean up the mess has doubled the dirty laundry quotient in the Reads Household (and as I don't leave for work until the afternoon... well, You get the Idea!).

That is to say, The Reads Family has never quite enjoyed Valentine's Day.

For all of the normal reasons, yes: the commercialization of it, the outrageous expectations, the silliness of an entire holiday banked on consumerism. And perhaps for some not-as-normal reasons: We Reads, as a family, do not believe that a holiday should force us to express love, devotion, and joy to each other. We'd rather do that on our own terms, whenever we like.

Or perhaps it's because We Reads don't need Hallmark sentimentality: Mr. Reads is a poet, and This Humble Author occasionally fancies herself a writer. We can do better than the cards can, every time. Or perhaps it's because the reality of love is more interesting than the glossy red-and-pink-and-white fantasy of love presented to the world in the card aisles at your local grocery store, or chemist's.

But it *is* Valentine's Day, and One feels the need to discuss Love, in Some Incarnation, on One's Blog. So as a counteroffer to the glossy, schlocky sentimentality offered this month--rather than the beautiful Purple, Green, and Gold of Mardi Gras we should all celebrate instead (Laissez les bons temps rouler, Gentle Reader!)--I offer you a Better Glossy instead.

They may not be the healthiest, or the happiest, or the most tragic. They may be all of those things, or none of those things. The only thing they do have in common is that I adore them, in all of their wackiness, tragedy, silliness, maturity, and adoration.

The Ten Most Fascinating Comic Book Relationships
(as according to Amy Reads)

In no particular order.

1) Wally West and Linda Park-West
There is perhaps an order to this one, Gentle Reader, in that I find Wally and Linda to be the healthiest of any comic book relationship. Further, I am ever-charmed by Wally West, and ever-charmed by the strength and love of Linda Park-West. We will let them stand first, in a long line of favorites.

2) Catwoman and Batman
Oh, Selina and Bruce! Please reunite in love and happiness! You are never better than when you two are together.
That is to say, I'm a 'shipper, of the Highest Order.

3) Big Barda and Mister Miracle
What is not to love about Barda and Scott? In particular, what's not to love about a woman who is, hands down, larger and stronger than her husband, *in a comic book*?

4) Hulkling and Wiccan
The Young Avengers is a favorite book, and for three particular reasons: the new Hawkeye, Hulkling, and Wiccan. Not only are these two characters fascinating as superheroes, they are fascinating—-and awe-inspiring—-as a couple as well. Perhaps because they are teenagers, I didn't expect their relationship to be as mature as it is, but it is mature, and deep, and I adore them more every issue.

5) Colossus and Kitty Pryde
I am heartbroken, Gentle Reader, after the latest issue of Astonishing X-Men. I was never The Great Marvel Fan, as we are all well aware, but Joss Whedon brought me around, and the love story between Colossus and Kitty—-so hopeful, now a bit tragic, in Great Joss Tradition—-just breaks my heart, into a million itty pieces.

6) Renee Montoya and Kate Kane
Renee has been a favorite character since her Rucka days, and Batwoman, as an icon, simply fascinates me. But when put together as a couple, there is true strength here. Renee is better with Kate, and Kate is better with Renee. The few brief scenes we see of them together convince us of that. And, well, I can never resist unrequited love stories when *both* characters pine, unrequitedly, for an extended period of time...

7) Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker
Not the adult version, Gentle Reader, although I must say, I enjoy that version, too. Rather the charming awkward anticipation of the Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane variety rates this list. I would say more, but really, I've already gushed enough in my last review for anyone to stomach, I suspect (!!!).

8) Wonder Girl and Superboy
So tentative, so gentle, to end in such tragedy. From the shy, dancing-around-each-other Teen Titan days, to the final culmination of their love, to Cassie's continued attempts to bring him back, this love affair breaks my heart, too. And if it isn't painfully obvious by now, I enjoy my fiction with plenty of heartbreak!

9) The Joker and Harley Quinn
How can they *not* make the list, Gentle Reader? I love my DC Bad Girls, and Harley Quinn is on the top of the pile. Just when you think the Joker is the scariest thing you'll ever see, Harley opens her mouth, and you are *truly* frightened. Nothing else to say, Mr. J!

10) Luke Cage and Jessica Jones
I adore, absolutely adore Mr. Bendis's Alias series, and Jessica Jones is a personal favorite. The grittiness of her life, peppered by her few moments of hopeful anticipation, all resulting in the fierceness of her love for Luke and their child. And to see Mr. Cage himself, so enamored of his wife and daughter, so willing to fight to protect them and their future, makes me proud to like Marvel, just a little bit.

And, as an added bonus, Mr. Reads offers His Two Cents on a Comic Book Couple. Not to let him lose out on all the fun, I asked him who would be his choice, other than the ones I've mentioned. he said that despite his childhood crush on Jean Grey, the new pairing of Cyclops and Emma Frost is rapidly becoming a favorite for him.

And so, revel in the full-color glossy choices in the world! Choose pink-and-red as well as four-color! In other words, Happy Valentine's Day, Gentle Reader! May your chocolate be filled with cherries, and your comic books glossy and bright!


Loren said...

As usual, you inspire me, Amy! I did a variation on your theme...mine: gay couples. :)

Amy Reads said...

Hi Loren,
As usual, you inspire me, Amy! I did a variation on your theme...mine: gay couples. :)

You're an angel to say so, Friend! I adore your list! Here's to listing, across the board! Huzzah!