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  1. #1
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    Default Sex And Relationships In Comics

    I've had the idea for a thread like this for awhile, but was not to sure how to go about it. I think issues like race, gender, body image and relationships are interesting when it comes to analyzing mainstream comics. When should the creators try to be realistic and when should they give us fantasy, what do those fantasy say about the audience ( or what the creators think the audience wants) etc. However, I'd rather this one doesn't devolve into I-hate-Greg-Land vs The-mean-feminists-are-taking-my-porn ( although I have participated in such discussions and think they're important too).

    I guess what I'm imagining is a place to discuss the broad subject of sex and romance and how successfully or unsuccessfully the topic is portrayed. When it's done well, when is it done poorly, and maybe where the creators had good intentions, but perhaps fell a little short of their goal.

    Maybe someone's got some interesting theories on why superhero comics sometimes have a difficult time dealing with mature relationships...

    Here's something I'd like to see more of...adult characters going on adult dates. This is Carol Danvers (Ms Marvel) dining with someone named Will Wagner.


    I don't have this whole run, but I guess Will turns out to be with the Kree or something? Ouch! But regardless, I enjoy the banter and them getting to know each other rather than immediately jumping each other's bones. I like that fact that they spent time showing that the characters had chemistry together first.

  2. #2
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    There was an interesting scene in Robin #40 ( from 1997 I think) written by Chuck Dixon. Tim Drake ( Robin) is spending time with his girlfriend, Arinana. She goes into another room and when she returns, she's wearing lingerie and tires to initiate sex. Tim says no and states that they're kids and not ready yet. Ari tells Tim about her first time and implies that maybe she was coerced by an ex-boyfriend and that she thought this time it would be a more pleasant experience if it was with Tim and she took control. Tim let's her know that he's not ready but when he is, he wants it to be with her.


    The dialogue is not perfect, but I felt it was an honest attempt to deal with the subject of teen sex. I grew up in the era of Porky's and they way the media portrayed teens, you'd think they/we were all crazed animals. I think Dixon's story here showed a couple of issues that young people might struggle with emotionally when it comes to sex.
    Last edited by ed2962; 09-28-2014 at 10:15 AM.

  3. #3
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    This one bugged the heck out of me. It's New Avengers #26 (2006?). Following the events of House of M, the Scarlet Witch has disappeared. Hawkeye tracks her down in Europe. She has no memory of being the Scarlet Witch. Clint saves her from a purse snatcher and in thanks, "Wanda" cooks dinner for him then throws herself at him. The end of the story Clint decides she's better off where she's at and goes back to the Avengers alone.



    I was just like, wait...what? They don't have a love affair. It's not even a flirty, "I think you're hot" thing. I know random hook ups happen in real life, but not like this. It's almost like a porno scene, not cuz its explicit ( it wasn't), but cuz the only reason they have sex is because they happened to be in the same room. I think Bendis was going for a kind of bittersweet thing, but it didn't work for me.

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    This one is really interesting from Swamp Thing #34 from 1984. Swamp Thing and Abby love each other, but they physically can't have sex. The way they share intimacy is Swampy invites her to see the world through his eyes. She eats a fruit he grows from his body and Abby has basically has a psychedelic experience.


    Abby and Swamp Thing experience a sense of oneness with each other ( and the universe) through this act. I'm not sure it's an exact metaphor for sex, but there's the "we're sharing something special" aspect.
    Last edited by ed2962; 08-10-2017 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #5
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    Ver few series deal with sex as good as Y the last Man did.

  6. #6
    It's been fun. Toodles. Paradox's Avatar
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    I don't need that in-depth of an exploration into the sex lives of adventure characters, myself. I was always fine with the "Meanwhile" sex between Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

    That said, I don't have any particular objections if they do. It's all about execution and serving the story.
    'Dox out.

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  7. #7
    Nostalgia Fanwanker Pharozonk's Avatar
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    Swamp Thing has a weird sex life considering he had to bang Abby through John Constantine's body.
    "In any time, there will always be a need for heroes." - the Time Trapper, Legion of Superheroes #61(1994)

    "What can I say? I guess I outgrew maturity.." - Bob Chipman

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    This one bugged the heck out of me. It's New Avengers #26 (2006?). Following the events of House of M, the Scarlet Witch has disappeared. Hawkeye tracks her down in Europe. She has no memory of being the Scarlet Witch. Clint saves her from a purse snatcher and in thanks, "Wanda" cooks dinner for him then throws herself at him. The end of the story Clint decides she's better off where she's at and goes back to the Avengers alone.

    I was just like, wait...what? They don't have a love affair. It's not even a flirty, "I think you're hot" thing. I know random hook ups happen in real life, but not like this. It's almost like a porno scene, not cuz its explicit ( it wasn't), but cuz the only reason they have sex is because they happened to be in the same room. I think Bendis was going for a kind of bittersweet thing, but it didn't work for me.
    Also, since he always was hitting on her when she had her memories, and takes the opportunity to sleep with her when she has no memory of who she is, the scene came off as a bit... well, let's say there are certain ethical arguments to be made against it.

    This may be why another writer tried to retcon the whole scene into Clint sleeping with a Doombot.

  9. #9
    Horrific Experiment JCAll's Avatar
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    I'll just go ahead and take an unpopular position. I liked Superman better when he was married. Spider-Man kind of gets this as well, though not as bad. They ended up in healthy, and well written, long term relationships and were better off for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOOT View Post
    Ver few series deal with sex as good as Y the last Man did.
    Although it's critically acclaimed and I've heard mostly good things about the series, I've never read Y outside of a reprint of the first issue that was part of a Vertigo sampler. Share with us what you liked about how they handled relationships in the title

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
    I don't need that in-depth of an exploration into the sex lives of adventure characters, myself. I was always fine with the "Meanwhile" sex between Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

    That said, I don't have any particular objections if they do. It's all about execution and serving the story.

    I sorta basically agree. I think when it comes to Marvel's 616 or DC's main superhero universe, things don't need to get too explicit. But sometimes it seems like that they try to have their not quite mature cake and eat their prurient interests too. ( No marriages, but guys get to bang women with little or no effort, stripper suits, etc)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharozonk View Post
    Swamp Thing has a weird sex life considering he had to bang Abby through John Constantine's body.
    .....ouch!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    Also, since he always was hitting on her when she had her memories, and takes the opportunity to sleep with her when she has no memory of who she is, the scene came off as a bit... well, let's say there are certain ethical arguments to be made against it.

    This may be why another writer tried to retcon the whole scene into Clint sleeping with a Doombot.
    I feel the same way! I almost brought it up in my post, but I left it out cuz I was afraid I was getting too wordy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCAll View Post
    I'll just go ahead and take an unpopular position. I liked Superman better when he was married. Spider-Man kind of gets this as well, though not as bad. They ended up in healthy, and well written, long term relationships and were better off for it.
    I think had those marriages been allowed to stand in the comics and then been portrayed in other media, these could have been small steps that helped change the perception of the superhero genre in the general public. I think then some writers would have thought of other stories they could do, the public might start thinking that it's not just adolescent fantasies of saving that cute girl who doesn't notice you. They can be stories about men and women with responsibilities and what not.

  15. #15
    BANNED Crimson Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCAll View Post
    I'll just go ahead and take an unpopular position. I liked Superman better when he was married. Spider-Man kind of gets this as well, though not as bad. They ended up in healthy, and well written, long term relationships and were better off for it.
    I don't know about Superman, but with Spider-Man, I know a great many people that would agree with you. Me, I was happy with him married, but happy enough with him single, even after One More Day, or Brand New Day. Bar living with Aunt May, Norman not knowing his identity, not too much annoyed me, really.

    Odd that way I am, I s'pose.

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