Dear Clark and Diana: Can we talk?
The gossip at TMZ may be focused on the latest divorce news about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (and shoudn't the above image be appearing at TMZ.com soon), or hot public trysts for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. But in the world of comic books, the superpowered snogging by Wonder Woman and Superman have captured the gossip headlines.Now that the power couple have gone public with a front-cover make-out session, it's easy to see that this could end well.... or very, very badly.
As comic writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti told Newsarama this morning, "I pity the hotel that has them staying there for a romantic weekend and I'd hate to be around when one starts cheating on the other. That's going to get messy."
Before things get to the messy stage, Newsarama has a little relationship advice. Based on the experience of a few other high-profile supercouples, we have a list of "DOs" and "DON'Ts" for Superman and Wonder Woman as they embark on the rocky road of relationship.
... Watch Out for Shapeshifters
While a lot of comic book fans might joke about the benefits of spending the night with a shapeshifter, comic book history shows that they can cause a heap of trouble when superheroes have significant relationships.
With Wonder Woman and Superman starting to get cozy, the two had better develop a way to sense whether there's a shapeshifter behind that kiss, because it's been proven that shapeshifting impostors might be the most frequent threat to couples in superhero relationships.There have been numerous Skrulls shapeshifting to trick targets over the years at Marvel, including one named Lyja who actually got Johnny Storm to marry her. And the X-Men shapeshifter Mystique always revels in her ability to seduce heroes by mimicking their loves.
Perhaps the most blatant example of mass-shapeshifter subterfuge was seen at Marvel during the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline. Characters from Hawkeye to Reed Richards was duped into believing their loving partners were the real thing, only to find out they were Skrulls.
In the modern, gritty world of The New 52, there's no telling how a clever shapeshifter might fool Wonder Woman or Superman into a... ahem ...vulnerable position. As soon as you get involved with a superhero, one of the first matters of business should be to figure out a way to detect who might be pretending to be that significant other.
... Get Married
While it's been said that more than 50 percent of marriages in the real world end in divorce, marriages in comic books have an even greater failure rate — but usually not because of an actual divorce.
The culprit? Retcons and reboots.
If any character should be aware of this problem, it's Superman. Just last year, his 15-year marriage to Lois Lane was rebooted out of existence when DC Entertainment restarted Action Comics at #1 with a young, unmarried Clark Kent.But that wasn't the most high-profile retcon of a recent superhero marriage. In late 2007, Marvel rocked the comic book-reading public by magically eliminating the wedded union between Peter Parker and Mary Jane in Amazing Spider-Man, as Mephisto removed Spidey's marriage from existence. Major characters aren't the only one. Even lesser-known superhero couples in the DCU have been torn asunder by reboots, from Hawkman and Hawkwoman's many restarts to last year's elimination of Liberty Belle and Hourman.
If Clark and Diana want to live happily ever after like their characters in Kingdom Come, that's fine and dandy. But we suggest they forego the formality, or at least shack up for a while at Clark's crystal bachelor pad first.
... Use Birth Control
Yes, we recognize the potential for collateral damage that might come from Clark and Diana's super-consummation. But we trust these two superheroes would be careful with the lives of the humans who might be staying in the room next door.
However, that type of "safe sex" isn't half as important to the future of the universe as the other kind. Decades of comic book stories have proven that pregnancies among superheroes are almost always bad news.
Like, really bad news.
It may be true that Reed and Sue Richards have had success with their kids (although the folks who were trapped in young Franklin's pocket "Heroes Reborn" universe might beg to differ). But very few superheroines have had success giving birth to a superhero's baby without dire consequences.One of the most disturbing recent examples was in X-Factor, where Siryn gave birth to a child conceived with Multiple Man. The baby was adorable... until it shockingly got inadvertently "re-absorbed" by its father and disappeared forever.
The list of strange births in superhero history goes on and on, including: Power Girl's demon-killing baby that was apparently created by her great-grandfather; Ms. Marvel's strange birth of an other-dimensional dude named Marcus, whom she proceeded to date; and Gwen Stacy's twin love children from Norman Osborn who went rogue and attacked Spider-Man before getting retconned.
Even Krypto went through a strange pregnancy after he flew through some red Kryptonite in one Silver Age story, giving birth to superpowered puppies.
And don't even get us started on the fact that there's a potentially messed up pregnancy being featured in the Wonder Woman title right now, where some human was impregnated with the child of Zeus and is at the center of the fury of the gods.
For Wonder Woman's child-bearing prospects, there's also the problem of her "sisters" on Paradise Island disposing harshly of their male babies by selling them into slavery. So even if Wonder Woman and Supes have a healthy male child, what would the folks back home say? Or worse, do?
Given history, Superman and Wonder Woman might want to search for some Kryptonite-powered birth control right away. The best method? Wonder Woman should just take a good, hard look at what pregnancy did to the Scarlet Witch. That would keep anyone's star-spangled bloomers on.
... Take It Public
While it might be arguable whether Marvel beats DC or metahumans beat mutants, one rule in comics is steadfast:
Do NOT let your enemies know you're in love.
There's nothing more devastating to a hero's fight with a supervillain than the enemy capturing their loved ones. Or torturing them in front of you.
Or worse yet, killing them.
The classic example of the problem when a supervillain knows who you love? Gwen Stacy. Once Green Goblin figured out that Spider-Man cared about the poor girl, she became one of the best known deaths in comic books as Goblin threw her off a bridge.Another oft-cited example of loved one-killing is from a 1994 issue of Green Lantern, where Major Force killed the ring-wearing hero's girlfriend and stuffed her dead body into a refrigerator.
Of course, most of these S.O.-killings have occurred when a non-powered human hooks up with a superhero. One would hope that Superman and Wonder Woman could each hold their own against any meddling supervillain who wanted to use their relationship against them.
But we say, better safe than sorry. Keep it on the DL, kids.More from Newsarama:
- 'Graphic' Novels: 10 Shocking Superhero Hook-Ups
- One Year Later: 10 Characters Who Should Thank DC's NEW 52
- One Year Later: The Best of DC's NEW 52
- A Crash Course in the Key SUPERMAN Ruling Expected Soon