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  1. #211
    Post Editing OCD Confuzzled Mutie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenon View Post
    Spider-Man has always been about Peter Parker, while Superman has not always been about Clark Kent.

    And I think people were willing to give DC more of a chance for a few reasons. 1) It was part of a universe wide shake up with ramifications across the board (though for my money, basically every change I can think of has been disappointing), 2) DC Continuity = lolololololololoololololol, and 3) DC articulated a reasonable rationale for dumping her. It wasn't because the marriage was a mistake or they were worried about the long term viability of the franchise, it was because they wanted to write a newer, slightly darker, and, key here, isolated Superman, and you can't write an isolated Superman when he's got a wife at home. You can write a Superman in bad times, a sad Superman, an angry Superman, etc etc, but you can't write an ISOLATED one. Even the relationship with Wonder Woman is built off of that isolated principle. They hook up because no one understands what it means to be ultra powerful and different from everyone else.

    Now, with that said, I still think it suffers from a lot of the same problems, but eh.
    DC actually has a case by suggesting that Diana may just be a better fit for Supes than Lois, and I feel a lot of other people are sensing that as well. Heck, the coupling worked beautifully together in "Kingdom Come". I have yet to see Peter work that well with anyone who is an alternative to MJ. Even if Kal-El returns to Lois in the end, at least DC is exploring an interesting alternate option. One which appears to stand a chance.

    Compare that to the scenario at Marvel, where so far, nobody has stood a chance against MJ. And a big part of that, as you said, is about Spider-Man being about the man under the mask and Superman being about the power and inspiration inevitably attached to such a potent symbol. Lois works as a good love interest because she grounds Supes, but MJ works far better because in addition to being an anchor, her personality and effervescence actually help Peter flesh out his own personality and outlook more so than before. Also, no matter how much people mock her profession and ambitions, you cannot deny that they add more colors and diversity to the tone of the series. MJ brings the glamor and wonder to Spider-Man, whereas Lois works in the same field as Clark, so she doesn't bring anything new there.

    On a more shallow note, MJ also has the whole "wish fulfillment" thing going for her, which has always had a powerful pull when it comes to fiction featuring underdogs.
    Last edited by Confuzzled Mutie; 01-08-2013 at 11:39 PM.

  2. #212
    Senior Member Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled Mutie View Post
    DC actually has a case by suggesting that Diana may just be a better fit for Supes than Lois, and I feel a lot of other people are sensing that as well. Heck, the coupling worked beautifully together in "Kingdom Come". I have yet to see Peter work that well with anyone who is an alternative to MJ. Even if Kal-El returns to Lois in the end, at least DC is exploring an interesting alternate option. One which appears to stand a chance.

    Compare that to the scenario at Marvel, where so far, nobody has stood a chance against MJ. And a big part of that, as you said, is about Spider-Man being about the man under the mask and Superman being about the power and inspiration inevitably attached to such a potent symbol. Lois works as a good love interest because she grounds Supes, but MJ works far better because in addition to being an anchor, her personality and effervescence actually help Peter flesh out his own personality and outlook more so than before. Also, no matter how much people mock her profession and ambitions, you cannot deny that they add more colors and diversity to the tone of the series. MJ brings the glamor and wonder to Spider-Man, whereas Lois works in the same field as Clark, so she doesn't bring anything new there.

    On a more shallow note, MJ also has the whole "wish fulfillment" thing going for her, which has always had a powerful pull when it comes to fiction featuring underdogs.
    Oh heavens no. Splitting up Superman and Lois Lane is pointless for the exact same reasons as splitting up Mary Jane and Peter, only times ten. Peter, at least, has had other significant love interests, both before Mary Jane (Betty, Gwen) and after MJ's first go around (Felicia) that could theoretically stand as counter-arguments. Lois is THE ONE and has been since 1938. Arguably the most successful Superman media of the last generation is a TV series named Lois and Clark. Lois Lane was in the very first issue of Superman and had her own series at one point. In the last movie, she had Superman's baby. There's as much chance of splitting up Lois and Clark as there is finding a dry rock on the bottom of the Ocean. Like I've said before, Romance, as a plot, is a plot with a definitive ending, it ends when you find and get together with "the one", and only the permanent death of "the one" is enough to start that plot again. Once you find that one, there is no other good ending. There is no other possible resolution besides disappointment. The world's most perfect woman could descend from the heavens and be the perfect match and she still would be THE ONE.

    Frankly, it has nothing to do with the personalities of the characters. It's about what role the characters have. And Lois Lane will always be "the girl" to Superman's "the hero".
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  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenon View Post
    Oh heavens no. Splitting up Superman and Lois Lane is pointless for the exact same reasons as splitting up Mary Jane and Peter, only times ten. Peter, at least, has had other significant love interests, both before Mary Jane (Betty, Gwen) and after MJ's first go around (Felicia) that could theoretically stand as counter-arguments. Lois is THE ONE and has been since 1938. Arguably the most successful Superman media of the last generation is a TV series named Lois and Clark. Lois Lane was in the very first issue of Superman and had her own series at one point. In the last movie, she had Superman's baby. There's as much chance of splitting up Lois and Clark as there is finding a dry rock on the bottom of the Ocean. Like I've said before, Romance, as a plot, is a plot with a definitive ending, it ends when you find and get together with "the one", and only the permanent death of "the one" is enough to start that plot again. Once you find that one, there is no other good ending. There is no other possible resolution besides disappointment. The world's most perfect woman could descend from the heavens and be the perfect match and she still would be THE ONE.

    Frankly, it has nothing to do with the personalities of the characters. It's about what role the characters have. And Lois Lane will always be "the girl" to Superman's "the hero".
    Smallville managed to run for several seasons without a hint of Lois so it isn't like you cannot write Superman stories without her. Speaking strictly in the sense of who Superman ultimately ends up with, "Kingdom Come", one of the most acclaimed stories featuring Superman, perfectly illustrated why Diana and Clark could work well together and make a plausible couple.

    Not that I think DC will have the balls to stick with this Supes/WW development for the long run, but I find it very interesting that not much has been made about the rug being unceremoniously pulled out from under Lois, at least nowhere remotely close to the levels of OMD/BND furore. Could it be that most people don't really care that much about who Kal-El ends up with? After all, they cannot relate to him in the same manner as they do with Peter.

    Also, saying Lois is an icon is one thing, saying she is more intrinsic to the Superman mythos than MJ is to the Spidey mythos using reasons like she has been from issue #1, she had her own series(which was super sexist nonsense btw), or because of "Lois and Clark" is pointless as MJ operates on another level altogether. No female character in comics has had a line as iconic as "Face it, tiger!", no other character has proven to be an inspiration to a writer to pen a story as game changing as "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" just so that he got an opportunity to promote her status to primary love interest, no comic book marriage had been as publicized in the 80s' as Spidey's wedding to MJ, no romantic scene in comic book films is as iconic as the "upside down kiss" from the first Spider-Man. In fact, Raimi himself claims that his trilogy is basically about the love story between Peter and MJ, Laura Ziskin said that too, the very first line of the very first scene begins with, "Like any story worth being told, this story is about a girl..".

    Plus, personality comes into the equation when a character is charismatic enough to affect the tone of the series by sheer persona like Mary Jane has with ASM. Her larger than life personality, glamour and interests make the series far more versatile than it is in her absence. The Raimi films took full advantage of using MJ's profession and dreams(if not her vivacious personality), to flesh out the stories they were telling, which is one major reason why that trilogy had a grander feel than the reboot starter. Lois is incredibly important to the Superman saga, but substitute her with tv news anchor Lana Lang as Superman's primary love interest and there is just no difference to the overall tone and feel of the series, movie or show. How better to define the role of a character in a series than by the impact she or he has on the overall tone and feel of that series?

    And you can only measure a character's popularity and significance by the amount of outrage when she or he is written out of character or dissed in a huge way, and when the series is definitely affected due to the absence of that character. We have observed the case with MJ and OMD/BND, whereas most folks are like "Whatever" over the whole Superman/Wonder Woman affair.

    Also, I could argue that Lana Lang is a more notable alternative superhero love interest than Betty Brant or Felicia Hardy. She has been around far longer and made more other media appearances than either of them. Gwen is prominent sure but more so because she was the love interest who died than for the actual role she played in the series while she was alive.
    Last edited by Confuzzled Mutie; 01-09-2013 at 08:25 AM.

  4. #214
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    I think the reason why the break-up of Lois and Clark didn't cause as much of a stir as the break-up of Peter and MJ is because that was but a small part of a company wide reboot, and I think people were excited for the future. Plot was put before resolution and I think the audience accepted that.
    OMD was line specific and focused on changing nothing except that one part of the characters, but it was a part that made them special.

    Basically, DC are saying 'they were never married because this is a new story' and Marvel are saying 'forget they were married and pretend this is still an old story.'

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell View Post
    I think the reason why the break-up of Lois and Clark didn't cause as much of a stir as the break-up of Peter and MJ is because that was but a small part of a company wide reboot, and I think people were excited for the future. Plot was put before resolution and I think the audience accepted that.
    OMD was line specific and focused on changing nothing except that one part of the characters, but it was a part that made them special.

    Basically, DC are saying 'they were never married because this is a new story' and Marvel are saying 'forget they were married and pretend this is still an old story.'
    Not entirely true. If you go over to the Superman boards, there is a thread with a poll there asking whether folks are down with Supes and Wondy, and out of 150 total votes so far, "Yes" is only five votes lesser than "No". Proving that maybe the Lois and Clark relationship is a tad bit overrated when it comes to popularity. I mean, CBR does consist of pretty die hard comic book fans. If they are so evenly split over this whole business, the situation should be true for the larger Superman fanbase as well.

    Whereas look at the polls on this board and other fansites pitting the Spidey love interests against each other. MJ single-handedly obliterates all of her competition.
    Last edited by Confuzzled Mutie; 01-09-2013 at 08:05 AM.

  6. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled Mutie View Post
    Smallville managed to run for several seasons without a hint of Lois so it isn't like you cannot write Superman stories without her. Speaking strictly in the sense of who Superman ultimately ends up with, "Kingdom Come", one of the most acclaimed stories featuring Superman, perfectly illustrated why Diana and Clark could work well together and make a plausible couple.
    Two things:

    1) The Superman/Wonder Woman romance was the weakest part of Kingdom Come.

    2) It's more or less explicit that Clark only sees Diana as his second choice when it comes to love. They only got together because Lois was dead.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDracul View Post
    Two things:

    1) The Superman/Wonder Woman romance was the weakest part of Kingdom Come.

    2) It's more or less explicit that Clark only sees Diana as his second choice when it comes to love. They only got together because Lois was dead.
    1) is a subjective opinion and 2) is neither here nor there as KC made a case that there is a possibility of Clark and Diana settling down together for good, even if it took the death of Lois. Who knows, maybe later Clark fell as deeply in love with his new wife as he had with Lois. Interesting parallels to Peter, MJ and Gwen there by the way.

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenon View Post

    Half of those ARE progress. They're steps forward that Peter has made through life. Yeah, they aren't all equal, but they're still there. You think moving out and getting your own place isn't progress? Of course it is! It's a significant life moment. You go from your Parent's ward to your own man. I'm not going to just go down the list, but Spider-Man was always progressing. I mean, hell even going back to the Ditko days, if you look at the character in issue 1 he's not the same as he is in issue fifteen. Even back then the character was growing up and more and more of his confident Spider-Man personality was bleeding into his Peter Parker personality. It's part of what makes the character unique. He's not Batman, the ever static billionaire fighting a never-ending war on crime. But he's not robin either, the eternal sidekick who never really gets the chance to grow up. He's Spider-Man, who was a boy and grew into being a man. It's the story of Peter Parker, every day ordinary citizen, and like the rest of us, his life constantly moves forward.
    Then you should like the progress that has occurred post Clone Saga, as all of the items I identified occurred not only after the CLone Saga, but most happened after OMD. I had previously noted that, with a few notable exceptions, most of Pete's seeming "progress" occurred from AF 15 to ASM 38. So I don't disagree with you at all on that score.

  9. #219
    Brian and so is my wife thetrellan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meehaul View Post
    Progress in fiction generally occurs in two flavors: age, marked by significant life events like graduations or marriage or the birth of children. Pete experienced that sort of "progression" early on. Sending him out of high school was more an editorial decision than a "natural" progression, however. Part of that was dictated by what constraints were placed on an underaged character in the 60's. Regardless, I acknowleged that sort of "progress" in my post. Those events are sign posts. The easy ones, like high school or college graduation, then give way to the more complicated ones, marriage, birth of children, death of parents, and ultimately one's own middle age, old age, and death. At some point, in serial fiction, that sort of progress stops--unless Marvel wants the character to age and die.

    More importantly, character progression occurs when the character experiences an epiphany of some sort, when his character goes through a transformation of understanding. Pete had his major "progression" when Uncle Ben died and, arguably, when Gwen died. The nature of his character arc really hasn't changed much since then. Neither the marriage nor Aunt May's death did much to alter the nature of his character. Events "happened" to him, but they did little to change him as a character. If anything, they reinforced the WGPCGR theme or played on the nature of his youth and status as a quasi-tragic figure. That's part of the "illusion of progress" Stan always talked about.
    WGPCGR theme? Why not throw around a few more obscure anagrams, oh please. It's such a perfect way to clarify things.

    Age isn't actually progress, though, it's just a way of measuring the passage of time via entropy. Of course we're not just talking about age, though. I suppose "illusion of progress" is as good a phrase as any.
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  10. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetrellan View Post
    WGPCGR theme? Why not throw around a few more obscure anagrams, oh please. It's such a perfect way to clarify things.

    Age isn't actually progress, though, it's just a way of measuring the passage of time via entropy. Of course we're not just talking about age, though. I suppose "illusion of progress" is as good a phrase as any.
    A lot of people can mix up individual story beats as "progress."
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetrellan View Post
    WGPCGR theme? Why not throw around a few more obscure anagrams, oh please. It's such a perfect way to clarify things.

    Age isn't actually progress, though, it's just a way of measuring the passage of time via entropy. Of course we're not just talking about age, though. I suppose "illusion of progress" is as good a phrase as any.
    WGPCGR is "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"--that's a pretty common acronym on these boards, but I apologize for not clarifying it. I dont think age does equal progress. It can, but it's more of a sign post.
    Last edited by Meehaul; 01-09-2013 at 02:39 PM.

  12. #222
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    If you really want to go progress then Peter hasn't made much even when married. The progress he made was got married basically that was it. That is the problem of relying on a characters personal life, but being unable to actually do things that have any lasting impact.

    Edit: Though I do wish his default SQ wasn't to be a whiny manchild. He kind of got shafted there.

  13. #223
    Brian and so is my wife thetrellan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meehaul View Post
    WGPCGR is "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"--that's a pretty common acronym on these boards, but I apologize for not clarifying it. I dont think age does equal progress. It can, but it's more of a sign post.
    No, I'm sorry. D'oh! Should have figured that out myself, but every now and then the age of textspeak throws me for a loop.
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  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinroc View Post
    A lot of it is fandom's inability to let go. This in turn leads to creators inability to let go.

    Of course this also leads to MJ not fading into the background completely like a Liz Allan or a Betty Brant. So in some ways it is beneficial to MJ.
    No, it's a reflection of how significant Gwen's role was. If that were not the case, she truly would fade into the background. Or do you imagine this always comes up because most Spider-Man fans are over 50?

    Liz was always in the background. Peter never dated Liz, and though he seemed to want some attention from her, it was pretty much limited to the fantasies of a lonely high school kid. Betty at least was a fantasy he tried to make happen. It never got very far, though.
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  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetrellan View Post
    No, it's a reflection of how significant Gwen's role was. If that were not the case, she truly would fade into the background. Or do you imagine this always comes up because most Spider-Man fans are over 50?

    Liz was always in the background. Peter never dated Liz, and though he seemed to want some attention from her, it was pretty much limited to the fantasies of a lonely high school kid. Betty at least was a fantasy he tried to make happen. It never got very far, though.
    If you're saying Gwen is more significant than Liz or Betty, you will find no argument from me.

    But I still stand by fandom's inability to let go of Gwen. Humberto Ramos said he cried when he first read the Death of Gwen Stacy story.

    People can read or learn of stories years after they were first published (as Ramos would have been too young to read Spidey when they first killed Gwen.)
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