The Big Picture: Super Single

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SomeBritishDude:
No. But it is partially their fault.

The comic book industry really is eating itself alive partly because of the comic book fan base. They're usually 30 something year old guys and up. And that fan base isn't really interested in new exciting ideas and looking for comics books that explore the protential of the medium. They're interested in reading about their favourite guys in tights they red about when they were kids. And they don't want anything to change.

Which is basically what I said.

Except . . .

Niel Gaimon's "Sandman." That was pretty much new and it was good and it did well, didn't it? Perhaps the comic book industry just isn't coming out with *good* new material. I actually wouldn't know. I'm not a huge comic book fan and I don't know what new heroes they've come up with in the last decade or so.

iamjonah:
Also, I always found the marriage weird, mostly because there was really no way to consummate the marriage without killing her...just saying...

Mind explaining that one to me? I've never read the comics.

I don't know about being a superhero, but when you're with a soldier, usually that's when you WANT to be married to them. Because it's much easier to be waiting for them as their wife (or husband) than as a girl/boyfriend. If you say "My boyfriend is away for a few months" people will think you're either a fool for staying with the guy since it's not even serious, or that you're cheating on him while he's away. When it's your husband, you become a respected person who has to struggle with their spouse being away often but carries on bravely.

So... if you mean single as in "dating nobody at all" then sure, I get it. Otherwise, married or in a relationship, does it really make a difference? At least if he's never there and they're married, there is a guarantee he's coming back. She knows she'll see him again. There isn't all the uncertainty or anything. And by getting married it's basically saying "since divorcing is a pain, that's how sure I am that I want to be with you despite how hard it's going to be".

So really, in my opinion, if a superhero is in a stable, committed relationship, it makes more sense for them to get married (plus I fail to see how not getting to see him at all is any better than getting to see him very rarely).
However I do agree that superheroism and relationships are probably a bad match. But is Superman really the kind to play the field? I don't know, he's such a sweet guy, he sounds like the kind to be in love. And he's not Batman, deciding he has to sacrifice everything and never be happy and so on. I think it works for him to be in a relationship.

This being said, I'm not outraged that they changed that. It's not even in the real continuity, so why not?

I'm with Bob on everything here, except one thing.

The red undies need to come back. Hell, the lack of red speedos over his suit is the thing making this seem the most like Elseworlds. A bit like Ultimate Spider-Man's new costume this seems made to be more in line with the new film's costume, and it really, really sucks.

The move makes sense since it's a reboot back to the silver age or the '90s or whatever time period DC editorial has decided on today, and in the new universe Superman has only begun operating recently, I think, so of course the marriage wouldn't have happened yet.

Also, I agree on the whole Wonder Woman thing. I usually love Morrison's work, but if he pairs up Wonder Woman with Superman I will be pretty disappointed because, while individual instances can be written okay, I'm pretty sick of this overall attitude that Wonder Woman simply must be tied down to a man because a proudly single woman? Oh my, what a scandal! Cripes, the original comics managed to be more progressive than that!

That said, I am bothered by some of Bob's reasoning here in that it seems to be implying that Superman should avoid marriage because Lois Lane, Intrepid Reporter, would just be too damned stress out by the marriage. That the marriage would sometimes struggle, like any marriage, and there would be stressful periods, like any marriage, is something that should probably be explored more in the comics (as opposed to "hi honey, I'm home from the alien planet I spent months away from you on, and now I'm going to go Forest Gump my way across America yet somehow this isn't a problem for our marriage, see ya!"), but to use poor, delicate Lois as a reason against the marriage seems a bit patronizing in that basically it implies that "Daddy, er, Superman knows best" and Lois's actual feelings on the matter shouldn't be taken into account. Also, the flip side of saying that Superman is too good, noble, and selfless to marry someone when he has a dangerous career is saying that anyone who does do that is bad, ignoble, and selfish. Or just poorly raised, apparently.

And while I'm aware that narrative convention is wedding=end of the story, happily ever after, that doesn't necessarily have to happen with the marriage (obviously, as that's what the last few decades worth of Superman comics have done) and the fact that Superman marries and doesn't settle down and be happy is fruitful exploration for the comics, and this does occur quite frequently with married couples in which at least one half is a superhero.

Oh, and Jim Lee is a shit costume designer.

RJ Dalton:

SomeBritishDude:
No. But it is partially their fault.

The comic book industry really is eating itself alive partly because of the comic book fan base. They're usually 30 something year old guys and up. And that fan base isn't really interested in new exciting ideas and looking for comics books that explore the protential of the medium. They're interested in reading about their favourite guys in tights they red about when they were kids. And they don't want anything to change.

Which is basically what I said.

Except . . .

Niel Gaimon's "Sandman." That was pretty much new and it was good and it did well, didn't it? Perhaps the comic book industry just isn't coming out with *good* new material. I actually wouldn't know. I'm not a huge comic book fan and I don't know what new heroes they've come up with in the last decade or so.

Well, if your talking non Superhero stuff like Sandman there are TONS of fantastic material out there right now that is so worth reading. I'm not just talking good comics, I'm talking works of literture that apsolutely must be read.

Preacher, Chew, The Walking Dead, Y the Last Man, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, the Invisibles, Shade the Changing Man, Scalped, The Filth, The League of Extraudinary Gentlemen, Sweet Tooth, Essex County Trilogy, American Vampire ect ect ect. I could go on all day. You just don't hear about it, do you hear about all great novels that are published?

It is true that comic companies struggle with new Heroes, partly because the publishers havn't made anything that really sticks, partly becuase the Superhero crowd isn't interested in new heroes and partly because the crowd interested in new things arn't interested in Superheroes.

That isn't to say they don't do exciting things with the guys they've already got. Legacy characters (characters who take on another characters costume) are a great way to change things up for instance, like someone mentioned above with Wally West who was actually the Flash for 20 years after the original died before DC fucked that up and brought him back. Hell, even Batman was replaced a couple of years ago by Dick Greyson (the first Robin) with Damian Wayne (Bruce's evil son he has with Talia Ghul) as Robin and it spawned easily the best Batman & Robin team up stories ever, period. Marvel are doing something exciting with Mile Moralis becoming Utimate Spiderman.

I think the main culprit of falling comic book sales are cheaper forms of entertainment mainly. Also comics not being aimed at kids anymore.

jmarquiso:

Okysho:

Xenominim:

They're not killing off Peter Parker though. They're killing off the 'Ultimate' version of Peter Parker which is basically an alternate universe version that was made up 10 years ago or so. The regular Peter Parker from the 60's is still alive and well.

Regardless (how is that different from superman hooks up with wonderwoman in an alternate universe anyways?) I still would like to hear how Marvel reached this decision. I'm not going to try and understand what the point of the alternate universes are for (especially not after reading marvel zombies) I'm just curious, besides it'd make a good episode.

Books like that aren't as designed by committee as DC is. Usually, the writer (Brian Michael Bendis) pitches it to the EIC and such, and if it makes sense and it could be interesting, they approve. If it's a big shift - such as the Black/Latino Spider-man - they put some marketing power behind it as well.

Even the big events began as simple pitches by the writers, not necessarily directed by a marketing department.

As for why it happened, well -

Likely they're planning on separating the Ultimate Universe from the regular universe even more. Killing Ultimate Peter Parker - the first Ultimate character - signifies that, but they've been talking about it since Ultimatum. They want more original stories with original characters more so than derivative stories with "Ultimized" characters. This new Spider-man is indicative about it.

If that's the case, why wouldn't they just make a new character instead? They on a tight budget and need to re-use old characters to put a new twist on things now?... I dunno...

Maybe I'm fan-boying out here, (though I don't actually really read spider man so would you call it fan-boying?) but something about the whole thing just seems off...

getting rid of the "red undies" good idea imo

Shameless:
What about the marriage of Green Arrow and Black Canary ? that was stable.

So, how long has Lois Lane been a superhero exactly?

Except Bob, Superman and Lois WERE already married before they were married. She knew who he was and worried about him going out before the ring got on her finger, so that "Army wife" analogy doesn't work. Their lives never really changed because all the marriage did was give them a title. Supes and Lois still went out, still were intimate, still talked about their problems. Marriage never changed that. So getting rid of the marriage is ridiculious if DC doesn't get rid of the relationship, or better yet....the Lois.

Besides, didn't DC see the fan reation to OMD and BND?

I don't think Louis typically has to worry about Clark getting killed or seriously injured. Yeah every now and then a villain comes along that can potentially kill Superman, but otherwise he's completely invincible.

Nooooo, not the red undies!
Seriously though, good point, Superman belongs to humanity as a whole, not to a single person.

Okysho:
Darn, I was hoping this one would be about our new Black Spiderman. I wanna hear more about Marvel's decision to kill off peter parker.

jmarquiso:

They're not killing off Peter Parker though. They're killing off the 'Ultimate' version of Peter Parker which is basically an alternate universe version that was made up 10 years ago or so. The regular Peter Parker from the 60's is still alive and well.

Okysho:

Regardless (how is that different from superman hooks up with wonderwoman in an alternate universe anyways?) I still would like to hear how Marvel reached this decision. I'm not going to try and understand what the point of the alternate universes are for (especially not after reading marvel zombies) I'm just curious, besides it'd make a good episode.

Books like that aren't as designed by committee as DC is. Usually, the writer (Brian Michael Bendis) pitches it to the EIC and such, and if it makes sense and it could be interesting, they approve. If it's a big shift - such as the Black/Latino Spider-man - they put some marketing power behind it as well.

Even the big events began as simple pitches by the writers, not necessarily directed by a marketing department.

As for why it happened, well -

Likely they're planning on separating the Ultimate Universe from the regular universe even more. Killing Ultimate Peter Parker - the first Ultimate character - signifies that, but they've been talking about it since Ultimatum. They want more original stories with original characters more so than derivative stories with "Ultimized" characters. This new Spider-man is indicative about it.

If that's the case, why wouldn't they just make a new character instead? They on a tight budget and need to re-use old characters to put a new twist on things now?... I dunno...

Maybe I'm fan-boying out here, (though I don't actually really read spider man so would you call it fan-boying?) but something about the whole thing just seems off...

Fans are more accepting of legacy characters. Completely new characters have almost no traction. Or possibly no traction, these days. The only superhero franchise I can think of that might still introduce new characters is the X-Men, and I don't know how well those characters actually fare.

As for why kill Peter Parker and replace him with someone new? Why, in order to kill Peter Parker, of course. People keep acting like Parker was killed to make way for his replacement, but no, he was killed in order for Marvel to send out a press release saying they're killing Spider-Man. The replacement is of secondary importance, except possibly for the creators (who may feel really motivated about their storylines), and killing the superhero is the most important part and the part that gets the most attention. "Captain America Dies!" actually made it into the regular news. "...And Is Replaced by Former Sidekick!" not so much, although Brubaker spun a good story out of it. Now, why make the replacement someone who isn't white? Because if you're going to replace a white nerd with a white nerd in order to tell the same damned stories you were already telling, why bother? This is an excellent opportunity to shake things up.

I think jmarquiso already filled you in pretty well on how the actual process of achieving those goals works. If you're looking for more specifics, I suggest googling around to get some interviews with the writer or artist; I'm sure they explain their thinking and goals in more detail.

On the whole the reboot kind of annoys me, as continuity (and really wierd, positivly bizzare continuity) is the most interesting part of the DC universe!
(also, i think moviebob may run out of 'comics are wierd' episodes, if all the zany previous continuity goes away)

Wonder what Superman's+Wonderwoman's Kids would be like :o

Talking about reboots, all this "Comics are wird" prompted me to find the first superman comics. I've always enjoyed japanese comics like Berserk but going so much back in time proved a shock. The first Superman volumes were simply AWESOME. I was expecting to see the hero I knew from the movies, but I was treated more to a Kick Ass experience.

I mean, the guy can't even fly, he just jumps a lot. He's not faster than a speeding bullet (ok, he is but) just faster than a train. Sure, he's super strong, but even a grenade can knock him out for a while. And the way he acts is just hilarious, he can't do anything unless he goes home and changes into that suit. There is so much innocence in these comics that you actually start to believe that even you might be able to to those things if you go to the gym and eat vitamins. I'm still far from Rex Luthor and cosmic evils and the clusterXuck of super heroes of later comics and enjoying every second of it.

Now, Louis Lane, in a "pow, straight to the moon" era, is an annoying business suit bitch who can't stand guys with glasses outsmarting her. And she's great like that, always coming one step behind Clark. Here's this great episode where a magician gives her Clark's powers and she becomes a Superwoman. But instead of realizing that Clark is Superman, she just believes that any woman, given man powers, would be a Superwoman. It's simply hilarious.

So, in my curiosity, I picked up some recent volumes. My god... yeah, comics really are weird these days. Since the Superman movies will be out in 2013, I can only hope that they won't try to mix that movie in with everything else. I hope it will be more like the original series, back when Superman was actually cool.

Next week's episode?
The bi-racial and possibly homosexual ultimate spiderman!
I'm just pissed because they didn't give new spidey hair.
Give him a little fro, and I think I might read it.

Personally, I always liked the idea of their marriage if for no other reason than it makes Superman more human. It's something that grounds him and keeps him from becoming emotionally distant from the people he's supposed to be protecting. Bob has previously defended Robin's presence in Batman comics for a similar reason, so I'm not entirely sure why resetting Superman's Facebook status to single is any different. Superman's ability to maintain various healthy relationships - through Lois, his adopted parents, or even Jimmy Olsen - allows him to be human and makes him a well-rounded character. Without these relationships, Superman becomes a demigod with no vested interest in human concerns. At best, Superman would have the detached personality of Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. At worst, he'd become psychologically unstable and a threat to humanity (see Sonic Shock from "Powers" or Plutonian from "Irredeemable").

I do find Bob's opinion - that Superman taking on a human relationship ultimately shouldn't work unless he's willing to give up being Superman - very interesting to discuss. Alan Moore even hinted at this in the ending to "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow", and I'm sure there are other examples out there. That said, no matter how you look at it, any take on their relationship is going to be unrealistic. It's a comic book about a character who could single-handedly defeat an alien invasion before breakfast. Realism has been thrown out the window, and that's just fine. The important thing is to present relationships that represent the characters, and I find their marriage better suited than a perpetual friendly rivalry or the "Lois-loves-Superman-but-hates-Clark" trope that was beaten for death for generations.

What was with the red briefs anyway? It's almost like they wanted you to focus on his junk.

It may or may not be a good idea to have Superman single, but the idea of retconning it is the weird part, but hey, that's just how comic books are.

Also the red undies, it may have been silly and all, but now I just feel like there's something missing. It also makes the belt like weird. If he's wearing full body tights (or at least that's what it looks like since it's all blue now), why does he even need a belt anyway? It's not like he has gadgets or anything.

SomeBritishDude:

RyePunk:
Most stable couple in comics?
The Dibny's.

Maybe. But they're dead.

PIC

Really the most stable couple in comics are Buddy Baker (Animal Man) and Ellen, simply because he has a status quo as a married man.

I always felt there was room for a ghost dinky book in dc's lineup.

Also, I think the new animal man book won't have the happiest of marriages in it.

So much of me wants to argue on that you're being hard on them and the workability of marrage, but then I remember that what you said was precisly what was happening in the books at the time before they felt they had to bump the scheduled books for a hastially done wedding book to tie the comics to a show that would soon be canceled. I think I still have the "lois calls off the engagement" issue around here somewhere.

That said, I hate it when professional writers go all fanfiction on things: taking some magical mcguffin to change whatever they don't like at the moment with little regard to flowing narative. Let's face it. clark's so wooden it's hard to see him play the field, and if we accept that being Superman means a relationship won't work in the long run, it defeats the purpose of trying and my ability to suspend disbeleif, turning everythingn into a forgone conclusion.

On top of that, Wonder Woman? Can we get any more cliched in alternate Superman pairings? Maybe if little A-Ko shows up, fine, but without that, it's just tired fanservice better left to elseworlds.

Yeah, I agree fully with you Bob. I can actually tell that Superman is best alone. Maybe perhaps when he retires or gets to old, he can settle for love.. but his will to be Superman is far to demanding for a simple life. Well said Bob, well said.

I would of expected oyu to say that Superman can't be married bcause he's literally the messiah of the DC universe.

'Cause he is.

Just a random thought considering the comment at the end about Superman losing the red undies... anyone who complains about superhero's wearing undies on the outside ever stop to think about what wearing a skintight suit would look like around the groin area if you aren't wearing undies on the outside?

Take the Greenmen for example...

Yeah exactly... keep the outside undies on please!

JaredXE:
Except Bob, Superman and Lois WERE already married before they were married. She knew who he was and worried about him going out before the ring got on her finger, so that "Army wife" analogy doesn't work. Their lives never really changed because all the marriage did was give them a title. Supes and Lois still went out, still were intimate, still talked about their problems. Marriage never changed that. So getting rid of the marriage is ridiculious if DC doesn't get rid of the relationship, or better yet....the Lois.

Besides, didn't DC see the fan reation to OMD and BND?

If you are a real comic geek you know that Superman and Lois had been married before...in 1978. It was called "Superman takes a Wife" and happened in Action Comics #484 (June 1978).

Set on Earth-2 it involved a variant of the Golden Age Superman who has a spell cast on him by Wizard that makes him forget he is Superman. As Clark Kent he marries Lois but since he still has his powers Lois figures out what has happened and confronts the Wizard who has wound up a homeless wreck as no one believes it was him that removed Superman from the world. Playing to his ego Lois convinces the Wizard that bringing back Superman will give him the recognition he so desperately desires. His memories returned Superman KOs the Wizard before he knows what happened and Superman finally admits his feelings and they go through a traditional Kyrptonian marriage ceremony in his Citadel (the Earth-2 counterpart of the Fortress).

This story shows the power of the multiverse--you could have your cake and eat it too.

It should be mentioned that before this many Imaginary tales (realities that may or may not happen in the main DCU-effectively the Elseworlds of their day) involved Superman marrying someone. Unfortunately many of them required Superman's Superbrain to be out to lunch and-or his moral compass being totally non functional. The "Three Wives of Superman" (Lois Lane #51 (Aug. 1964)) and "Lois Lane...Dead...Yet Alive" (Superman #215 (Apr 1969)) are particularly retched in this regard.

Fortuitously there is a blog called "Confessions of a Superman Fan" goes into detailed analysis regarding many issues of the man of steal including the two above. In "Three Wives of Superman" Superman gives Lois a superpower serum which has a nasty side effect...it kills her 8 days after it wears off. We are then treated to Superman superblundering through two more wives (Lana and Lori) and after all that finally perfecting his superpower serum and wonders if it was in his power to change history which of his three wives would he have saved with the one dose. He needs to think about that?!?

"Lois Lane...Dead...Yet Alive" is even worse if that is possible to imagine. Lois gets killed by one of Superman's many villains and one the anniversary of her death he presents his daughter with a robot double of Lois which he starts making out with later in the day. Then following his daughter to a parallel Earth via Red K radiation he meats and proposes to the Lois there. He then meets and convinces the Superman of that Earth that they switch places and the comic ends with Superman think on how Lois need never know that she is his second wife.

About the only redeeming thing about these stories is they weren't set in the main DCU but that is about it.

LadyRhian:

And that's why they ultimately (ba-dum-tish) killed him off. What irritated most folks was how they threw him in and retconned stuff so that he always had existed in Marvel comics. Most fans were like Bwah-huh? Especially when most comics readers though he was stupid and disliked him to begin with.

And then they had the funeral (written by Sentry's creator Paul Jenkins) where various Marvel characters went on and on about how great he was. Oh, and he deflowered Rogue. Classy, Jenkins, I'm surprised Gambit fans didn't order a hit on your head. That's one of the MANY problems with comic books; oftentimes the people who write them end up derailing entire series into canonical fanfiction with no idea of self-critiquing. Jeph Loeb with Hush and the Red Hulk was equally bad with the former being all but forgotten and the latter only becoming interesting after it was taken out of Loeb's hands.

ManupBatman:
Bob are you familiar with The Sentry? Pretty much Marvel's early 2000s ultra realistic version of Superman that has a cooler concept then most writers can handle if your not. Though more on topic, they show how the most powerful person in the world probably gets along with marrying a normal person, and that is not well. Not well at all.

Are you familiar with Miracleman? In particular the series written by Alan Moore and then Neil Gaiman.

Ripped off is perhaps too strong a word, but everything about Sentry is heavily influenced by that far better series. It also deals with how a normal person can live with a Superman and it's not well either.

SomeBritishDude:
Well, if your talking non Superhero stuff like Sandman there are TONS of fantastic material out there right now that is so worth reading. I'm not just talking good comics, I'm talking works of literture that apsolutely must be read.

Preacher, Chew, The Walking Dead, Y the Last Man, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, the Invisibles, Shade the Changing Man, Scalped, The Filth, The League of Extraudinary Gentlemen, Sweet Tooth, Essex County Trilogy, American Vampire ect ect ect. I could go on all day.

Transmetropolitan, Fables, DMZ, The Unwritten, Lucifer, Northlanders, 100 bullets etc. So many great comics.

Hell, even Batman was replaced a couple of years ago by Dick Greyson (the first Robin) with Damian Wayne (Bruce's evil son he has with Talia Ghul) as Robin and it spawned easily the best Batman & Robin team up stories ever, period.

Heck Grant Morrison's been easily writing some of the best Batman ever.

So if the new 52 is spinning out of Flashpoint, and Superman is off to play hide the lasso with Wonder Woman, is Lois going to have a more action oriented role like the one she in Lois Lane and the Resistance? Because, no offense to the character or fans of the character, all she was was Superman's Girlfriend (and later wife). Granted her role was pretty significant in that she was the voice of humanity for Superman and often acted as the angel on his shoulder. But that is all she did. And seeing how DC have said in the new Superman comics there "will be a focus on his alien nature and how isolated he is from the rest of humanity" there doesn't seem to be much room for Lois in all this. So maybe the Resistance was a peek at her new role. Or maybe they will all their talk of bold new directions, DC are just turning back the clock and going back to Clark pining after Lois. Like this hints to

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/07/sdcc-11-lois-lanes-new-boyfriend-revealed/

Not Enough Gun:
So if the new 52 is spinning out of Flashpoint, and Superman is off to play hide the lasso with Wonder Woman, is Lois going to have a more action oriented role like the one she in Lois Lane and the Resistance? Because, no offense to the character or fans of the character, all she was was Superman's Girlfriend (and later wife). Granted her role was pretty significant in that she was the voice of humanity for Superman and often acted as the angel on his shoulder. But that is all she did. And seeing how DC have said in the new Superman comics there "will be a focus on his alien nature and how isolated he is from the rest of humanity" there doesn't seem to be much room for Lois in all this. So maybe the Resistance was a peek at her new role. Or maybe they will all their talk of bold new directions, DC are just turning back the clock and going back to Clark pining after Lois. Like this hints to

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/07/sdcc-11-lois-lanes-new-boyfriend-revealed/

Yeah, that page had me rolling my eyes at the Superman book too. Soap Operay as hell.

But really "Superman" isn't what I care about. At best it's going to be same old. "Action Comics" by Grant Morrison is where it's at.

Okysho:

jmarquiso:

Okysho:

Regardless (how is that different from superman hooks up with wonderwoman in an alternate universe anyways?) I still would like to hear how Marvel reached this decision. I'm not going to try and understand what the point of the alternate universes are for (especially not after reading marvel zombies) I'm just curious, besides it'd make a good episode.

Books like that aren't as designed by committee as DC is. Usually, the writer (Brian Michael Bendis) pitches it to the EIC and such, and if it makes sense and it could be interesting, they approve. If it's a big shift - such as the Black/Latino Spider-man - they put some marketing power behind it as well.

Even the big events began as simple pitches by the writers, not necessarily directed by a marketing department.

As for why it happened, well -

Likely they're planning on separating the Ultimate Universe from the regular universe even more. Killing Ultimate Peter Parker - the first Ultimate character - signifies that, but they've been talking about it since Ultimatum. They want more original stories with original characters more so than derivative stories with "Ultimized" characters. This new Spider-man is indicative about it.

If that's the case, why wouldn't they just make a new character instead? They on a tight budget and need to re-use old characters to put a new twist on things now?... I dunno...

Maybe I'm fan-boying out here, (though I don't actually really read spider man so would you call it fan-boying?) but something about the whole thing just seems off...

They DID create a new character. That's who the New Ultimate Spider-man is, a new character, related solely in name. The situation is similar to when Superman died - it's a supporting character who took up the reins with the hero gone.

To understand, you should probably understand the current difference between the Ultimate Universe and the Marvel Universe, as they're both just as popular in sales (Ultimate Spider-man has sold steadily for a long time). Ultimate Peter Parker had little to no relation to Marvel Universe Peter Parker, mainly only in name. Whereas the young Peter Parker in the Marvel Universe was a high school student / freelance photographer, the young 16 year old Peter Parker works at the Daily Bugle as he would when the series started in the 90's - as an intern/early web guy. The idea was to contemporize the universe. The problem is that it's now 2010 and Peter is still around 17-18. The New Ultimate Spider-Man (after looking it up on wikipedia) is a brand new character who takes up the reigns after Peter's death. We don't know enough about him to really make a judgment.

All in all, it's a fictional world filled with fictional people. It really doesn't matter in any meaningful way other than whether or not you trust a writer to deal with it. It's great that there's now some minority representation (though I would add that in the mainstream Marvel universe we had Arana, a hispanic Spider-girl) in a Universe that's supposed to be contemporary. The writer, Brian Michael Bendis, created the Ultimate version of the series and has stayed with the story since the beginning, so this is obviously a direction he wishes to go.

Ultimately it's a step to differentiate universes further and tell more contemporary stories. We will see where it goes.

If it doesn't work, no doubt a clone or something will bring Peter back, but then that goes against the original intent of Ultimate Marvel - to tell stories not bound by continuity.

KirbyKrackle:

I think jmarquiso already filled you in pretty well on how the actual process of achieving those goals works. If you're looking for more specifics, I suggest googling around to get some interviews with the writer or artist; I'm sure they explain their thinking and goals in more detail.

Thanks for the support there, Kirby :)

For interviews, Word Balloon is a great source for Bendis. The podcast has done a number of "Bendis Tapes" interviews with questions from his fansite (so it's a bit skewed).

Although he hadn't spoiled Miles Morales (Ultimate Spidey II) at all in these interviews, he has talked about the desire to move the Ultimate Universe further away from Marvel - starting with Ultimatum (add to that, Jeph Loeb had a ton of interviews as well).

Kirby also makes a good point about legacy characters, something that Marvel has rarely done.

Lois and Clark... Holy crap, I just got that.

Action Comics should be fantastic. DC are really letting him cut loose in the last few years, though I have a love/hate relationship going on with 'Final Crisis'. Only bad thing thing is, how long will his run last if it's an origin story.

Superman's breaking up with Lois Lane? Dear God, it's One More Day all over again!

Seriously though, I admit that Bob brought up some good points... though it won't be easy to get used to...

Also, why does DC always want to hook him up with Wonder Woman? (At least it's not JLA: Act of God...)

Yes!
Yes!
Yes!

Bob, I sometimes have disagreements with what you say but here you are spot on! Especially about the point relating Superman to a modern soldier in the field today.

In fact, (in regards to comic book marriages) even if both characters are part of the same team (implying that they both have powers and can defend themselves), you will always run into the problem of fending off other contenders. Sue Storm was married to Reed Richards, however she did have a fling with Namor. Let's not even start on the train wreck that was Scott Summers and Jean Grey, tossed in with a fuzzy Canadian and a psychic pre-Labor Day seductress, marriage can spell disaster for comic characters.

And yes, I think it would be interesting if Wonder Woman came out of the closet but I don't think it's essential. She can represent the strong, single, independent woman no matter what sexual orientation she is (i.e. I'm not really disagreeing with you, just giving another viewpoint). A relationship between her and Superman would be disastrous.

Another great post! I'm sure I'll be disagreeing with you in the future, but today you really nailed the argument! Thanks!

Aulleas123:
Yes!
Yes!
Yes!

Bob, I sometimes have disagreements with what you say but here you are spot on! Especially about the point relating Superman to a modern soldier in the field today.

In fact, (in regards to comic book marriages) even if both characters are part of the same team (implying that they both have powers and can defend themselves), you will always run into the problem of fending off other contenders. Sue Storm was married to Reed Richards, however she did have a fling with Namor. Let's not even start on the train wreck that was Scott Summers and Jean Grey, tossed in with a fuzzy Canadian and a psychic pre-Labor Day seductress, marriage can spell disaster for comic characters.

It could be argued thanks to the editorial mandated 'let's have Jean Grey mind raped and go Hal Parallax level of crazy all so she can "nobility" die' crap followed with the have Scott marry a look alike that turns out to be a clone who he then drops like yesterday's fish for the supposed real deal the marriage between Scott and Jean was effectively DOA.

When you get right down to it how many villains have families?

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