Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yeah, I'm still on about this guy.

Today's timewaster was a Steve Trevor tumblr. I've been bookmarking and saving so many panels the last couple weeks I just went ahead and set up a place to dump them. It's weird how stuff like this happens.

I always liked this character as a concept (and I've always found it deeply suspicious that the only prominent Silver Age love interest to get written away was the MALE character who had to be rescued by a female character), but until I looked through my stuff with an eye specifically for his parts I hadn't realized just how much I liked him as a character.

Wonder Woman's adventures tend to be divided between stuff in the US and stuff back on Themiscyra, and when it's set in the US (or starts there and goes to a special world) usually she has her boyfriend along for the ride. Sometimes she follows him, sometimes he follows her, but he's this really fun mixture of comedic sidekick, hapless eye-candy and love interest in the Silver Age.

He did get one leg up on a lot of female characters in that, being a male character, they let him actually fight and do stuff. Steve's a neat character in that he can and does take command of a situation when his girlfriend isn't around. He just seems to prefer to follow Wonder Woman's lead once she shows up, and this is something that shows up in Golden and Silver Age storylines. He's mostly looks and guts, but he's got some competence. I get the feeling a lot of people don't respect this character because they haven't really stopped and looked at anything with him in it.

I do find it pretty funny that I've spent several years making fun of Hal Jordan for getting bashed on the head, when there is this other character--who is not only a pilot but a MILITARY INTELLIGENCE EXPERT--who has a severe head injury in the origin story and gets conked on the head pretty much every appearance afterwards.

I strongly suspect the frequent head injuries are why he doesn't recognize his girlfriend, even when she is leaning over his bed saying "Take a CLOSE look, do you see ANY resemblance between me and Wonder Woman?" In retrospect, that might make the Diana Prince identity mean. The Golden Age story was she wanted to take care of him, the Silver Age story in issue #99 is that she wants to mess with his head, and the Silver Age story in #162 establishes that at first she wanted to care for him and then she got mad he didn't recognize her. To which I have to go "Umm... you were JUST worried about him having brain damage."

Fortunately, he is absolutely adorable when unconscious (a modern Endymion--which is a terribly creepy story when you think on it) and able to come up with something complimentary 99% of the time when regaining consciousness. And she thinks it's so admirable when he tries to do something brave, because he doesn't have any powers or equipment. It actually helps his love life that he gets knocked out so often.

I will be terribly disappointed if no one ever does a story with the Queen of Fables putting him to sleep, and Diana waking him up with a kiss.


  1. Is there just something about being a pilot that makes you susceptible to head blows?

  2. I'm loving your commentary on Steve Trevor. I've been late to your posts.

    I like him as a character and one of the few like you who want him back, but dread an edgy new portrayal.

    One thing about you post about Hal though. Hal is jerky, sleaze nowadays, but he used to be obsessed with marriage and having stable relationships as much as Steve. They used to be more similar than they are now.

    Now that they have differences (character development that Steve missed out on) it could be good to play off of, but I'm sick to death of frat boy, sleazy Hal so I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I could if it were a New Frontier team up.

    Another note. It was Diana's Air Force connections that got Hal his job back at Ferris before Crisis erased her friendship with him.

  3. Consider it as a public service, given his overall importance. Been re-reading some of the past Silver Age issues, and I never realized until now how essential Steve is. (Your blog has also helped in this regard.) I've also noticed how there aren't many equivalents of him with the DC female metahuman set (Supergirl or Power Girl), or they're like Black Canary, who is paired with an equally famous (albeit non-powered) superhero like Green Arrow, or Dick Grayson/Starfire. It's a pity.

    My favorite Steve-in-action moment so far was a Golden Age story with him and Wonder Woman vs. rampaging tigers. They were surrounded by tigers, ready to strike. He just shoots one, as it lunged for the kill. No freaks out, no emotional detachment, just a part of life or his doing his job. I can't even imagine that in this day and age with similar male characters, which is a pity.

    As for his lack of instant recognization of Diana/Wonder Woman, I just figured that was how they wrote back then. I figured it is best to suspend my disbelief, and that's all. Incidentially, there was a Silver Age issue where an artist did put the two together visually, and painted Diana as Wonder Woman. Everytime she tried to convince him or show that she and Diana existed at the same time, he always ended up unconscious beforehand. Funny how that works. Heh.