Monday, 23 January 2012

Seven Ways to End a Superhero Marriage


Daredevil, The Flash, Spider-Man and The Wasp; all characters who’ve walked down the aisle at one point in their lives. But comics are an ongoing medium, and marriage exists only for writers to dissolve and disrupt. Chances are, somebody is going to get killed unless the couple breaks up, and go their separate ways. The only problem is that having two characters divorce ages them, gives them baggage, and doesn’t make for particularly riveting reading. Kramer Vs Kramer was like three hours long or something – just imagine how long it’d take for a company to plot the slow dissolution of a marriage, as the two participants get more and more bitter and jaded.

Over the decades, writers have found all kinds of ways to get around this, breaking up relationships without any paperwork whatsoever. Here, presented in an ever-popular list format, are seven ways writers have got around the ol’ ‘marriage’ problem in the past.

7: She was a skrull!

Hawkeye and Mockingbird had a lot of troubles with their relationship. For one thing, Clint has slept with seemingly every single woman in the Marvel Universe, and Mockingbird got thrown into Hell at one point. But when she apparently was killed, it seemed like the final curtain for their relationship. They were heading for divorce anyway, so at least killing her off saved her from fighting off She-Hulk in the courtroom. BUT! Brian Michael Bendis has always been fond of the character, and so he took it on himself to bring her back to life as part of his Secret Invasion event. The Mockingbird who’d died was actually a skrull! And the real Mockingbird was back, unaware that everybody thought she was dead! And then! She did basically nothing for the past three years or so. So just to keep track – the bride was kidnapped, then announced as dead, then escaped, then announced as alive, and then finally got round to checking her divorce papers. Man, that sounds EXHAUSTING.


6: Lob someone in an alternate dimension

Always a bizarre coupling, Marvel’s Captain Britain and Meggan have been locked inside different dimensions repeatedly over the years. When Captain Britain – Brian, you guys – got stuck in another dimension and turned into a King, things looked bleak. But the power of love brought him back, and he returned to wedding bliss with Meggan. But then she got locked in a different dimension this time, and was only recently saved by Dr Doom/Paul Cornell in the underrated ‘Captain Britain and MI13’. Other couples have suffered from this as well, of course: Mr and Mrs Fantastic have had the odd alt-universe mishap in their time.


5: Crash the Universe and create a new one


Superman and the Flash are among the DC heroes who recently broke up with their wives without knowing anything about it. As part of the big ‘Flashpoint’ event by Geoff Johns, the old DC Universe was destroyed and a new one took its place – one which didn’t seem to feature Alan Scott or Jay Garrett, and one which DID feature a single Barry Allen and a single Clark Kent. While it looks like Barry might actually fall in love with his wife all over again, Clark and Lois don’t look like they’ll be settling down together anytime soon.


4: Turn someone mad

When you think of somebody going mad, you tend to think of Batman. But in this case we’re actually referring to Daredevil. Matt Murdock’s gone through quite a few wives in the past, but his most recent one – Milla – had perhaps the cruellest fate. After getting married to Daredevil as part of a whirlwind romance, she was injected with a drug that sent her crazy, and prone to train-push murder. She ended up locked up in a mental asylum, while Daredevil sat on the roof and brooded. With her sanity essentially gone, she was left a shell of a person, and was forgotten about for a fair while. Her parents eventually found out about her and took her home, while Daredevil sat on a roof and brooded.


3: Get the devil involved

Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson. They met, they fell in love, they got married. Then along came the devil and they decided to erase all that, go back in time, and halt their wedding from ever taking place. Who would’ve thought it? Many Spider-Man fans are still suffering from post-traumatic shock after the events of ‘One More Day’ took away one of Marvel’s most enduring couples, and instead gave us Carlie Cooper. But also Norah Winters! See, it wasn’t all bad.


2: Hire Bullseye

Always happy to kill a wife or two. Bullseye has caused Daredevil a LOT of trouble in the past, but don’t forget that he also killed The Sentry’s wife, which ultimately lead to Marvel’s ‘Siege’ event.


1: MAKE THEM GHOST DETECTIVES


The greatest thing to ever happen in the history of DC comics.

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