Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's still bothering me...

This quote from Reginald Hudlin.
"Why did you choose T'Challa's [Black Panther's] first love over his ex-fiancee, Monica Lynne?

RH: Because Superman should be with Wonder Woman, not Lois Lane..."
No, not for the previously mentioned reasons.

I've seen people pair up Wonder Woman archetypal Equivalents with Superman sorts before. It's not a bad thing in itself (though I still maintain that it is a terrible idea using Wonder Woman herself and superman himself), but still, I have a problem wtih that quote.

It's the comparison of Black Panther to Superman as Storm is compared to Wonder Woman.

You see, Storm is part of one of the most popular comics of all time. She was a regular in two cartoon series, a headliner in three movies, part of six video games and has been seen on a fairly regular basis in various X-Men books since 1975. She was even voted by fans, during the Marvel vs DC crossover eyars ago, to beat Wonder Woman in a fight.

Black Panther has appeared as a cameo in a Fantastic Four cartoon, on and off as an Avenger, and in various, oft-cancelled comic book series. He's projected to appear in an animated film.

Storm, having the more consistant media explosure, is considerably more popular and well-known despite being all but written out of X-Men in recent years. Black Panther is getting a push right now for the big time, but really only appears in his own book and has very little outside of comics media coverage.

Based on cultural impact and exposure, a far better analogy (much as it breaks my heart as a Wonder Woman fan) is that Storm is to Superman as Black Panther is to Wonder Woman.

Now, as a Wonder Woman fan I am vehemently opposed to a marriage between Clark and Diana. However, were it (one of the signs of the Apocalypse) to occur, it would occur in either an extra-sized wedding special, or Superman's book. The two characters would either both appear in both books, or Wonder Woman would become supporting cast in Superman's book. Because, as a Wonder Woman fan, I am realistic enough to know that Superman is the more popular character, and that the plotline would revolve around him.

So why is this marriage occuring in Black Panther's book and not one of X-Men series?

31 comments:

  1. True.

    At first I was wondering why they did it in Black Panther to.

    Then I remembered.

    The X-men franchise doesn't give a damn about anything except the story they currently work on. Right now the X-men are in space or fighting some big fight, so theres no time for a wedding.

    It's a shame to.

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  2. Seriously? Anyone who thinks Superman shouldn't end up with Lois Lane is a fucking idiot. It's the fact, the factorum, and if you give me scratch paper, I'll show my work.

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  3. Good point. I guess it's because of the general feeling that Black Panther should be a bigger deal than he has been. And while Storm has been more well known to the general public, within the Marvel U. Black Panther is at least as influential a hero as she is. Storm lead the X-Men, Black Panther leads the most advanced (supposedly) nation on earth.

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  4. Apropos of the whole Wonder Woman/Lois Lane thing, if you haven't already you might be interested in Chris Claremont's Superman/Wonder Woman: Whom Gods Destroy mini-series from a few years back.

    It's not great comics, but it does put a different spin on the dynamic.

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  5. What?!?!? Nobody is greater than the hero that fights for our rights in her satin tights!

    But, seriously, excellent point your bring up and one that I wish I had read before I had written my column on the wedding of Black Panther and Storm. I disagree with Hudlin's statement on two levels -- one for the reasons you just mentioned and two because Superman would never really marry Wonder Woman. Yes, he may be the most powerful man in the universe, but deep down, he's just a guy from Smallville. He knows he needs that anchor to humanity. Plus, who's to say that Wonder Woman needs a man at all...she is an Amazon after all.

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  6. Yeah, I really don't see Wonder Woman and Superman together. I could see them having a secret thing for each other, I could even see them -- perhaps after each of them went through a particularly dark period -- having a hot, sweaty affair, but married? In a honest-to-goodness relationship? No way. I don't see them together day after day, year after year. After the first week, they'd just be sitting around, feeling awkward, and saying things like, "Yeah, so...like supervillains. Man. They suck."

    I was pretty unimpressed with Hudlin's first few issues of BP, and haven't read it since, so I'm not really surprised he'd say something like that. Though admittedly that might just be fallout from someone who adored Priest's series and misses it like mad.

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  7. So why is this marriage occuring in Black Panther's book and not one of X-Men series?

    Because presumably the X-books already sell well and don't need big events to draw sales to them, while, as you point out, BP series have never been chart leaders. If X-men fans can be induced to buy Black Panther, then that's good news for Marvel. I somehow doubt that drawing in BP fans who don't already read X-men would make a big difference in terms of circulation.

    In terms of popularity, the marriage of Storm and Black Panther isn't like if Superman married Wonder Woman, it's like if Superman married ... I don't know ... Manhunter. If that happened, you can bet your morning coat it would be all over the lesser-selling book.

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  8. So what he should have said was:

    "Because Wonder Woman should be with Superman, not Steve Trevor..."

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  9. I can tell you that as a black kid who grew up reading comics, Black Panther and Luke Cage were around as popular as Superman and Spider-Man amongst the kids I hung out with. Anecdotal evidence, sure, but I'm sure we weren't the only group of kids who liked him. His serial in Marvel Comics Presents in 1990 (?) was tops.

    In the comics themselves, I'd say that the Panther:Storm::Superman:Wonder Woman comparison does work. Claremont managed to establish Jean Grey and Storm as being a couple of the strongest characters in the MU, both of which still had extreme potential. MacGregor, Priest, and Hudlin have all three written Panther as being scarily efficient, and Priest and Hudlin both have him being so calm under fire as to be ridiculous. He's a B-list character in some people's minds, but with regards to Marvel canon, he's a big enough shot to be able to tell Marvel's Illuminati that they were a bunch of idiot fascists. He's also smart enough to have spied on the Avengers for years without them realizing. He's Marvel's answer to Batman in that way.

    So, um, I pretty much agree with Hudlin here. For a lot of black readers (I hesitate to speak for my entire race here), Panther (or maybe Cage) is "our" Superman and Storm is definitely viewed on the same level as Wonder Woman, even if the blue eyes and white hair were funky. I'm willing to bet that if prodded, Hudlin would expound with a similar sentiment.

    re: Superman/Wonder Woman-- I talked with (to? at? whatever it is you do on the internets) Kalinara about this a little while ago. I'm the doofus with the long rambling response. I said it better there than I probably ever have before, but boiled down, your response to Diana/Clark or Wonder Woman/Superman (there is a difference!) all depends on how you view Supes. Is he human first and foremost or is he an alien? I can see the benefits of both, and part of the problem for arguing for Wondy and Supes instead of Lois & Clark is that Lois has the advantage of a 60-odd year head start on a relationship with Superman. Wonder Woman has probably less than ten good stories that showed a good relationship with Superman.

    Another way to look at it is the Gwen Stacy/Mary Jane Dilemma. Gwen died before I was born. I'm a big Spider-fan, and I can give you a bulleted list of why he's better than 99.9% of other heroes, but Gwen Stacy is, to me, nowhere near as awesome as MJ. MJ is Peter Parker's lady love to an entire generation of new readers now. Gwen holds some resonance, but it's in an Uncle Ben, Past Tragedy Makes You Try Harder/Angst More sort of way. If Gwen were to come back and replace MJ, I'd imagine that you'd see people arguing against it in the same way some people argue against Wondy/Supes. MJ has the same head start, so to speak, as Lois. She's got a couple decades of decent to good storytelling behind her, while Gwen's story really ended back when she died. I'll make an exception for Spider-Man: Blue though, because that was a great story.

    Part of the problem (beauty?) of comics is that we're on the outside looking in on these little 2D worlds. Our knowledge of the past informs our opinions of the present and future events in the books. I'm willing to bet that if DC spent the next ten or twenty years with Wondy and Supes married, our kids would laugh in our faces when we mentioned Lois Lane and how she belongs with Clark.

    Am I making sense, or am I just rambling again?

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  10. I'm with James on this one. I think Marvel's trying to push Black Panther a lot harder than it has in the past. And one way to attract attention to a B-list hero is add an A-list character to his or her book. You (hopefully) add Storm's fans to the list of buyers for Black Panther. This only works long-term if Storm gets to be a big part of BP, though; otherwise, her fans'll grow disenchanted by her supporting role and probably move on.

    The "Wonder Woman - Superman" comparison doesn't really hold up, because like James said, BP is a much less popular (and visible) character than Storm. For that matter, Storm's not on the same level as Superman: while she's fairly popular within the X-verse, I don't recall her ever having a big solo career. She's not iconic the way, say, Captain America or Spider-man is; she carries less baggage than Clark or Diana does.

    So basically you got a B-list heroine from a popular team marrying a C-list solo hero, in order to make the latter more popular. Insert feminist analysis as you see fit here. :-)

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  11. And it's perfectly fair, even sensible, for Marvel to look at one of their characters and say, hey, this guy should be a big noise in the Marvel Universe, so let's start acting like it. Like DC's been doing with, say, Black Adam.

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  12. I love the Black Panther (just not when he's written by Hudlin, who ignored the decades of cool stories - and Priest's definitive run - to establish his own, personal continuity) and Storm, who really should have a shot at her own series as she's Marvel's pre-emininet heroine.

    But, to tell you the truth, I don't love the two together. Neither should be a supporting character to the other (and I don't see the book changing its name to Black Panther & Storm) and I don't really see Storm leaving the X-Men forever.

    Hudlin's comment really bothers me, though, because it reflects a sentiment in modern comics that superheroes really only interact with their own kind. I remember reading JSA reprints where the team would help out average people, or the comics of the 60s and the 70s when heroes and heroines had extensive "civilian" supporting casts.

    I think putting these heroes on a pedestal separated from humanity is a mistake. They are not gods (except for Thor), they're human (or human-esque in some cases).

    Whew. End of rant!

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  13. Excellent point.

    The whole quote by Hudlin just shows what happens when writers are given carte blanche. They disrespect previous continuity and make up what ever they want to do. Storm and Black Panther shouldn't be a couple.

    Way too often we see writers get on a series and tell the story they want to tell and just cast whomever they are writing into those parts. This is oppossed to what should happen, which is a writer should come to a book to tell a Batman, Superman, Black Panther or whomever story.

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  14. Can I ask what's up with the outright hostility towards people who may like Wonder Woman/Supes more than Clark/Lois?

    I mean, all of this boils down to opinion. I'm sure that both sides could present evidence for why they are right, but believing one way or another doesn't make you disrespectful or an idiot or whatever.

    It's just comics, man :/

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  15. It's just comics, man.

    Blasphemer.

    As to your actual question, that's complicated, but it comes down to the characters. They don't fit, other than physically. It's a very poor match favored by people who are only casually familiar with both characters.

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  16. David - Gwen Stacy died before I was born, too, and I still prefer her to M.J. I can't help but think the character had potential that never quite got tapped. Meanwhile M.J. started out vapid and was molded into a lesser Gwen-clone.

    So to speak.

    On the Wonder Woman/Superman pairing, I never could see it. Maybe I'm just stuck on Lois/Clark.

    Except I've always prefered Lana/Clark, but that's just the movie fan in me talking...

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  17. Honestly?
    Sounds like nit-picking, to me.

    The relationship has been depicted in both titles. The wedding, in one.

    No biggie.

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  18. Where to start...

    Wonder Woman should be gay. Why? Leaving aside culture (although I hesitate to) the power dynamic kills her when she dates a non super powered man, and if she dates a super powered man, she becomes a supporting character in her own book. Best possible solution -- she dates another woman. Whether non powered or super powered, another woman simply doesn't annoy and repel potential male readers the way seeing Wonder Woman date (and infrequently rescue) a male romantic interest will.

    Any objections to Wonder Woman being gay, besides "ICCCKKKKKK!", I'll listen to, but I've thought this through, and it works much better than any Wonder Woman/male paramour dynamic I can come up with.

    Beyond this, it has two other merits -- (a) we can do it nowadays, for perhaps the first time in the history of comics, and if we're going to have a gay superhero, why not make it an A lister?

    (b) it will be fabulous for her sales, and she could use it.

    As to T'Challa/Ororo, the whole thing aggravates me, for various reasons. First, I hate the entire idea. Priest's Panther was overall an excellent series, but his impulse to co-star every other black character in the Marvel Universe, regardless of whether they had anything to do with T'Challa besides epidermal melanin content, was poorly judged.

    That same impulse underlay the whole "Panther/Ororo high school sweethearts" idea; if ever there were two characters completely not right for each other, who should most likely never have in their lives even crossed paths, it's Panther and Storm (hey, Chris -- Africa is nearly twice as large as North America. The odds of two black teenagers on foot in pre Internet times happening to meet up and fall in love there aren't good. And there are dozens of African languages; they could very well not speak each other's).

    However, since Priest introduced the frickin' relationship, future writers can capitalize on it, and as y'all have noted, Storm is big business now, despite the fact that she's clearly only been written into the X-MEN films as the token coon, rarely gets any memorable dialogue (although she got the worst line in the first film, I grant you), has no real personality (again, in the films), and hardly ever does anything of any significance at all (and when she does, they use her powers in an utterly absurd fashion, like when she kills two fighter pilots and deforms the weather patterns over the entire Eastern seaboard in X2).

    But, she's big time, so she'll pump up sales on the Panther's book, so despite the fact that nothing makes sense about this at all and never has, this is who T'Challa is going to marry.

    I'm still hoping it's all a hoax, or one of them dies, or something.

    As my mandatory Surly Old Man gripe -- remember when it was daring to do interracial romance in comics? Remember when that was considered to be pushing the envelope? Gee, where did those days go?

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  19. My problem with the SM/WW pairing is that one of the reasons -- if not the reason -- they should be together is because Diana is the only woman that could withstand the Super-fucking. Basically.

    And I think the same thing's happening with Storm, here. She's being reduced to The Woman Fit To Marry The Black Panther.

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  20. Any woman can withstand the super-fucking. She just needs a red sun light bulb for the bedside lamp.

    Anyway, nowadays, with Supes being essentially psionically powered, he isn't going to break anything he doesn't want to break. So unless he's got a subconscious sadistic streak (and he shouldn't, unless he's being written by Brian Michael Bendis) then Lois, or Lana, or anyone else, should be safe with him.

    Even granting the supposition, though, WW isn't his only potential mate. Leaving aside Kryptonian incest, there's still Mary Marvel. Unless, after sixty some odd years of superheroing, she's STILL jailbait...

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  21. Highlander -- Exactly what gave you the idea you'd be welcome back here?

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  22. Ragnell,

    I dunno. It's a problem I have. I find someone who is intelligent and witty and I just assume they're an actual adult. I should have remembered from last time here... but... no... I just have a sad, sad tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt, even when they've demonstrated their essential lack of worth over and over again.

    Honestly, my instinct was to post under a pseud, but I felt an immediate disgust for it. I dislike actively deceiving people, even those I have absolutely no respect for.

    Boiling it down, I came across an interesting conversation and thought I might have something worthwhile to contribute. I decided I could leave personalities out of it and just enjoy the conversation. However, as you clearly don't have that same capacity, I'll take my leave again. Have a nice time with your sycophants. God forbid you should ever talk to anyone who doesn't kiss your ass.

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  23. re: "As my mandatory Surly Old Man gripe -- remember when it was daring to do interracial romance in comics? Remember when that was considered to be pushing the envelope? Gee, where did those days go?"

    Mostly, I remember the days when the Black characters seemed uninterested in or incapable of starting or maintaining relationships with one another.

    But I won't break my arm patting myself on the back, since those days are barely removed from these.


    NO two characters *have* to be together. There are plenty of UNLIKELY things that happen in superhero comics, all the time.

    This one example seems an odd one to pick out of the crowd.

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  24. Priest didn't introduce Storm & T'Challa's old relationship; Claremont did, way back in MARVEL TEAM-UP#100 in 1980.

    As for withstanding the Super-fucking, Supes is a guy who's trained himself (with some help from the Kents) just to be able to shake hands or hold eggs without breaking either. He's probably read several hundred tantric exercise books and figured how to control himself during sex as well.

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  25. West -- While I can see how Black Panther fans are happy, and I can't really name another black couple in comics myself -- there are serious problems with This Wedding, This Story, and the way it was handled.

    It could have been great. It could have been epic. It could have been a wonderful marriage. But I read the marriage issue, and I have a serious problem with it -- Storm's being marginalized. She's being pushed to the side, made a secondary character. She's gone from a strong independent leader to "Whatever you say, Honey." The whole thing is Black Panther being all manly and awesome while Storm get relegated to stereotypical women's concerns.

    We didn't even see her political views on the current crossover. She worried about her dress while T'Challa tried to bring about negotiations. This is not promising, at all.

    It's not an odd couple for me to pick on, because I like Storm and this could have been handled in a way that gave her her due respect, even in the Black Panther comic. It wasn't.

    I can see hwo a lot of the people in favor see two strong black characters getting married, and now they get them in the same book. Except here's the thing, Storm is a strong WOMAN character who's no longer behaving like she once was. She's becoming T'Challa's little wife.

    And I started with this particular question (because believe me, there is much more inside this issue to pick apart) because it was my first problem. SHE is becoming secondary to HIM, written slowly out of HER book and inserted into HIS.

    Yes, I hate this, and I'm actually very angry that so few people are talking about it.

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  26. I hate to be Mr Contrary here (I do! I like reading your blog!) but some things you've pointed out aren't exactly accurate. You mention reading the marriage issue. Did you read the issues leading up to it, as well? (that isn't a snarky question, though it may sound like it :/)

    We didn't even see her political views on the current crossover. She worried about her dress while T'Challa tried to bring about negotiations. This is not promising, at all.

    This isn't right. Black Panther 17 has her feelings on the crossover spelled out in front of a room full of the press. The Press ask T'challa about putting a registration act in place in Wakanda. He kind of sidesteps the question and compliments the heroes he's fought alongside and says that he cannot comment on another countries policies. They press ask again.

    Ororo responds, and says, (quoted) "I have faced discrimination as an African, as a woman, and as a mutant my entire life. Wakanda is not a country that wastes precious human resources on witch-hunts. That's why it leads the wordl in both technological advances and human rights." Emphasis Hudlin's. That's a pretty clear statement of her feelings on the act. T'challa gets more page time for his response, I'll give you that, but Storm isn't the one who is nigh-best friends with the people who are at odds over the act. Regardless, we do know her opinion and it is that the act is biogted garbage.

    It could have been great. It could have been epic. It could have been a wonderful marriage. But I read the marriage issue, and I have a serious problem with it -- Storm's being marginalized. She's being pushed to the side, made a secondary character. She's gone from a strong independent leader to "Whatever you say, Honey." The whole thing is Black Panther being all manly and awesome while Storm get relegated to stereotypical women's concerns.

    --and--

    I can see hwo a lot of the people in favor see two strong black characters getting married, and now they get them in the same book. Except here's the thing, Storm is a strong WOMAN character who's no longer behaving like she once was. She's becoming T'Challa's little wife.

    I don't see the little wife thing at all. She's never been painted as subordinate to him. It's a loving relationship on both sides, and when T'challa brings up the Panther God having to approve her, she isn't having any of it. She expects him to resign and be with her. That's being a little wife? She calls him on his crap whenever he tries to pull something on her, whether it was the proposal and her making him propose again and again because she liked the sound of it or waiting and trying to be sure that the marriage was a good idea. I don't see the "Yes, honey" thing at all. They're being presented as equals.

    Regarding being presented as a secondary character and not a leader-- I've already talked a bit about why I don't agree with Storm being presented as weak or secondary. If anything, I see her playing Medusa to his Black Bolt in that the two go hand-in-hand. It's probably too early to tell, though, as we've only seen the wedding. The next story arc is the honeymoon/royal vacation, so we'll see what's up there.

    It's worth noting that the Panther's costume isn't just his superhero garb, it's also the official uniform/clothes/whatever you call what a king wears of the Wakandan royalty. There's been variations on it throughout the years (an early, early Panther is shown wearing the mask and a loin cloth and that's it), but that's his ceremonial clothes. He's just as dressed up as she is, though granted in a different way.

    I'll grant that there is probably more of an overall emphasis on him than on her for this story, but I can't see there being much of a gap between the two. Then again, I haven't checked, but nothing I've seen has said that Storm is going to end up barefoot and in the background. I'd also say that it is a little too early to say that she's going to end up a supporting character. She may not be the star of the book, but I can't see Marvel (and Hudlin) doing this big hullabaloo about marrying these two then shoveling one off into the background.

    So, I just can't agree with you on Storm being shunted off to one side or being portrayed as a girly-girl. You mention that you have other points as to why you don't like it, and i"m interested in seeing what they are. I'll admit that the story isn't perfect (the Civil War crap should've been left out, for example, as that was five pages that could've gone to something else) and I'm interested in why you feel this way, but I just don't think that the reasons you posted here are entirely accurate.

    (also, I've had a ton of trouble accessing your comments page. server trouble?)

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  27. david:

    Honestly, that's my problem. Panther's perspective on the war is a relatively constant thing. We don't need to see a speech from him technically, because we get his perspective all the time.

    Storm in contrast is completely devoted to the wedding to the point where we need an actual speech to see her political opinions. It's really, I guess, a debate between showing vs. telling. His feelings seem like they're shown. Her's are told. And thus they feel, to me, like they're less important.

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  28. I went back and reread BP 18 with an eye on your comment, but, I don't feel that we constantly get his opinions. His feelings on the act more or less didn't come up until BP 17, with the press conference and his non-commital diplomatic answer, and then once more in BP 18 when he tried to make Cap and IM play nice. Beyond that, BP 10-18 has been all wedding, all the time. Both of their feelings are told, and the scene in BP 18 was more of a "Hey guys I know you're fighting but can you cool it since you're at my wedding and wakanda is neutral ground and we're all friends and Avengers guys please?" He gives exactly one line of his opinion on the wedding (quote "This cancer that is eating away at the soul of your country, it has no home here. Am I clear?"). The rest of that scene is Tony and Cap presenting what are more or less the most even-sided explanations for their views on registration (which Marvel has done a poor job of doing elsewhere, but that's another post) and going "arrrgh >:|" at each other and posing.

    His response was just as blunt as hers and presented in one scene apiece. Both of them explain their views in one panel (well, "Am I clear?" goes onto a third close-up with spooooky red eyes) in BP 17 and BP 18. The rest of both issues is either wedding stuff or funny cameos from Princess Zanda and the like.

    I went back through BP 16-18 (I have those handy, my room is a mess, it's early, and I can't find the others right now) looking for typically "Yes, dear" type comments and scenes. I only found a couple. BP 16, T'challa says "There is no "preparing" for our marriage. We either want to be together or not." "Of course, darling," she responds. There's a "Whatever makes you happy, dear" when T'challa is talking about the wedding arrangements in BP 18 and that's it. My personal reading interpreted the last as one of those droll remarks that would deserve a :rolleyes: smiley, but I'll give that that one has some leeway one way or another.

    I don't see her giving in to him or being painted as less about the wedding than he is. 15 was the proposal, acceptance, being introduced to the mom, and fighting the new Arabian Knight I think. 16 was the announcement and Man Ape freaking out like he's a reala villain. 17 was the cut-short bachelor's party, Storm shopping and beating up Princess Zanda, and then the two finally getting ready for the wedding. 18 was the wedding. Out of that, six(ish, Luke Cage and Peter Parker and the FF later on have a short scene in BP 18) pages total are devoted to Civil War, and two characters who aren't even part of the book get to tell more about their opinions than both the main characters in the story arc.

    The rest of the arc is funny comic book-style domestic stuff. Cute arguments, beating up no-name villains, flirting, crazy Kirby villains coming back to haunt us, and the rest of the world reacting to news of the wedding. Panther doesn't go off and do manly man stuff while Storm sits around doing nothing. Both of them are devoted to the wedding. The only real Head of State/Superhero style stuff T'challa does is the press conference for the wedding and beating up Hydra outside her grandparents house. Storm wasn't shown in an on-panel fight there so that they could get the dramatic entrance to her long-lost folks.

    Beyond that, it's all been about the wedding, or things related to it, when the two are on-screen. We don't constantly get Panther's perspective on the war. We get both of them getting positively stupid-giddy about the wedding more than once.

    I just can't see Storm getting short shrift here in the way that you two say, unless you're judging the wedding itself based on only issue 18. It's been a very even-handed portrayal to me. If anything, I'd say that Storm comes out on top because she skipped all the political diplomatic stuff and came right out and said "The act is immoral, wrong, and sucks. Next question?" but I'll freely admit that that is because of a personal bias against politicians dodging questions :)

    Agh, I just realized something. Are you guys including Civil War #1 or #2 (or whichever it was when Panther showed up to talk to Reed) in this discussion re: Panther's feelings on the war?

    (I suck at making short posts! Sorry! I also hope that none of this comes off as an attack, because it isn't!)

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  29. On the Superman/Wonder Woman thing: does anyone remember Maxima? Maxima was the warrior-woman ruler of the planet Almerac, and had powers comparable to Superman's. Her raison d’ĂȘtre at the time was finding a suitable mate.

    Warrior woman, royalty, superpowers, pairing with Superman based on power level alone...sound familiar?

    Anyway, the various "be my lover" plots between Maxima and Superman were essentially following through with the Superman/Wonder Woman line of thought. By any logical standards, they ought to be together. Similar personalities, similar power levels, similar careers. The problem is that relationships, particularly those of a romantic sort, aren't dictated by logic. The people who are most like each other aren't always the people who will have the best or most stable romance. In fact, I have it on good authority from a cartoon cat that it's a natural fact that opposites attract.

    That being said, the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship has been done, back in Action Comics #600 and the issues leading up to it. Granted, that story was done with 50 years of Superman and Lois Lane and Lana Lang (and Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor) in mind, but to suddenly pair them up would require such disregard for that history that they would no longer be the same characters. They'd be Samaritan and Winged Victory, instead.

    Besides, what would their relationship be like? "Hi honey, how was your--oh wait, got to save France" "That's okay, I was just on my way to South Africa" "see you tomorrow." Not much of a marriage. Neither character has time to form a relationship with someone whose schedule is equally erratic. It'd be the most boring, undersupported romance ever.

    The fact is, a Superman who is so alien that he'd think "screw feelings, I'm going with the woman who can keep up with me physically" didn't exist until the "Krypton Man" storyline and hasn't existed since.

    Now, on the other hand, when they set up the Batman/Wonder Woman relationship in JLU and Kelly's JLA run, I could totally see it. Maybe it's not quite as good a pairing as Bruce and Selina, but it was sure interesting.

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  30. Just to cover a few points:

    They've shown an Ororo/BP pairing in several potential futures, notably Earth X. Which is not to say that the current effort is well-done or well-conceived, but it's not completely unprecedented.

    Regarding the movie Rogue: The movies scramble together X-men from several different teams, not to mention several decades worth of back-story. That's the original Rogue, from the time she joined the X-men, with the correct origin trauma, but she wasn't recruited directly to the X-men, she was captured from one of the criminal teams, I believe Magneto's. She originally was basically human until she absorbed a power, as in the movie. Later, she permanently absorbed the powers of Ms. Marvel (and her memories, at great cost to Rogue's sanity). Those powers included flight, super-strength, and near-invulnerability. The erstwhile Ms. Marvel survived after a lengthy coma, eventually picked up a different set of powers, and resurfaced as (iirc) Binary Star.

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