Friday, February 14, 2014
In comic books, relationships don't really end well. For anyone involved. Even couples who you thought were completely safe have had the chairs pulled out from under them. Which, for someone who is invested in this sort of stuff, is cruel and unusual punishment.
On this Valentine's Day, I'd like to celebrate some famous super couples, as well as the ways they were ripped from out of our hearts. (Warning - this is pretty DC Comics heavy, because that's what I grew up with. Marvel fans, please weigh in in the comments about how Valentines Day sucks for your side of the comic store too).
The Relationship: Can we even talk about these two anymore? Am I allowed? Or is completely verboten by Grand High Poobah Didio? Lois was the role model I craved as a teenager - she was tenacious, kickass, and, more importantly, she didn't take sass from anyone. That 90's gemstone,"The Adventures of Lois and Clark", showed me I didn't have to worship the endless line of male superheroes - I could have a real female hero who had real human powers I could attain. What's more, Lois dates someone who was literately one of the most powerful men alive, but that didn't define her as a character. A woman? Not defined by who she's screwing? Wowwy!
The Fallout: The new DC reboot left Ms. Lane in the dust. She's still around, but definitely not married to Clark. Nor is she aware that that big ol' nerd with glasses is actually the Man of Steel.. Come on Lois, you're smarter than that. And don't get me started on the whole "Supes/Wonder Woman" situation. I don't want to talk about it.
The Relationship: No matter what DC Comics tells you, Selina Kyle is not just a set of boobs in a tight cat suit. Again, here we have a woman who is independent enough to live without a man, yet knows how to use one to her advantage. Criminal turned anti-hero turned hero, she does what suits her. Selina is one of the few ladies who can crack that hard outer "MY PARENTS ARE DEAD" shell of Bruce's. That in itself is a feat. The fact that she does it while stealing diamonds behind his back is even better.
The Fallout: Yes, Bruce fell for another girl. And even made a small child with said girl. Catwoman's relationship with Bats is a bit confusing nowadays. When I was growing up, the whole "cat and mouse" act was part of the fun. Now Selina and Bruce are laying around, post-coitus, on the front page of her comic? Meh, no thanks.
The Relationship: For as long as I remember, these two have had one of the most real comic-book marriages around. Arthur (or Orin) even has given up his superhero ways to work on his relationship with his Queen. What a guy.
The Fallout: So, suddenly, Aquaman is not married? So, all that touching character development is gone? Aquaman is just a sad dude who talks with fish? Jeez.
The Relationship: This couple answers the age old question: What would happen if Superman and Batman hooked up? The answer is: awesomeness. These two are both badass superheroes, and the most caring couples in all of comics. The best part? These even adopted a super-powered kid. Hot gay dads are the best dads.
The Fallout: Their comic title, "Stormwatch" has been cancelled. Welp.
The Relationship: To be honest, I'm really on the Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy boat. So why include these two? Why not Mr. Miracle and Big Barda? Arrow and Canary? Blue Beetle and Booster Gold? First off, Spider-Man and MJ had their own comic book, aptly named "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane." It was one of the only light-hearted, romance-centred comic books we had back then that was sans Archie Andrews. I like comic books that prove you don't have to be all tough and brooding. They can be hilarious, a bit odd, or even just down right sugar coated fun. Seriously, comics, push the envelope and try something new.
The Fallout: Really, it's no big surprise that "Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane" was cancelled after a handful of years. And what of the rest of the relationship? Well, right now Otto Octavius is stuck in the body of Peter Parker, making him a weird Spider-Man/Doc Ock mix. SpOck, I guess? Anyways, now MJ is dating Otto. Which is kinda gross. Man I miss Peter.
So, there you have it - my bitter review of how comics break your heart. Now it's time to feel better by eating a bunch of chocolates. Superior Chocolates.
Superior Spider-Man Chocolate Truffles
White chocolate and dark chocolate melting wafers (you can use tempered chocolate, but this shit is so much easier)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons butter
~3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
~1/4 cup sour cherry preserves (cherry jam will do in a pinch)
1) Carefully paint the bottom and sides of your chocolate mould with your white and chocolate melting wafers. To make it extra spidermany, use this special properly themed silicone ice cube tray. We actually got ours from our very favourite local comic book shop. Leave the chocolate to harden while you work on the filling.
2) In a double boiler, melt the bittersweet chocolate with the butter until everything is nice and smooth. Add and stir in your shredded coconut and your cherry preserves - I would start with my recommended portions, but you can scale up or down as your tastes suits you. Let everything cool a bit before spooning into your chocolate moulds. Let cool again, then top off the back with another layer of chocolate melting wafers. Enjoy with your beloved before your comic gets cancelled.