Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2007 “Martian Manhunter and WW” fan art by Fabio Yabu

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I tend to hate it when iconic characters hook up. One of the very worst examples was Storm and Black Panther, who had an established non-romantic relationship dating back to the Bronze Age. Suddenly, Reggie Hudlin gets a wild hair, and we're getting deep retcon mini-series turning them into childhood loves so that he can marry them off for a sales bump. Yeah, they're the most visible and prestigious super-heroic Africans of their respective genders, but they otherwise had nothing in common. Storm is a core member of the X-Men, and despite lip service to the contrary, non-mutants really have no place within that militant civil rights group. Black Panther is mostly a soloist who sometimes works alongside the Avengers, which has hosted its share of mutants, just so long as they don't go shooting their mouth off about any homo superior business. Storm's no shrinking violet, and she tends to be in a leadership role, which could make for nice tension if T'Challa wasn't her chief competition.

An interesting compromise was having the couple replace Reed & Sue in the Fantastic Four, but that was doomed from jump amidst the most whitebread conservative family-oriented team in comics. So Ororo becomes an appendage and pseudo-teammate in Panther's book for a while, goes back to the X-Men, and King T'Challa unilaterally retroactively annuls their marriage. As always happens, either one icon eclipses the other, or the whole thing goes down in flames, and everyone comes out looking terrible.

1 comment:

LissBirds said...

"Two people who have nothing in common becoming a couple simply because they're in the same story together" is precisely the reason that I hate all romantic comedies with a burning passion. And 85% of young adult fiction, too.

I recently found out Storm and Black Panther were together and my heart sank a little bit. I don't know a lot about these two characters (although Black Panther had a great role on the Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon) but they don't seem too compatible. In some ways, I think relationships between two heroes doesn't work as well as one between a superhero and a non-superhero. Otherwise, it's kind of like a relationship between two coworkers.