Monday, February 08, 2010

Comic Couples: Hal and Carol

Because it's that time of year and everyone and their brother will be talking about this that and the other superhero couple, I might as well join in by giving you a week of overviewing a few comic couples and saying what there is to say about them.

Tonight we'll be talking about Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Carol Ferris (Star Sapphire), which is almost an anti-couple in their portrayal over the years and encapsulates some of the worst aspects of comic couples over the years.

First, we have the duplication of not one, but TWO sets of comic couple tropes: In the original GL incarnation, we had the "Triangle with two people" of GL/Carol/Hal Jordan, duplicating the Superman/Lois/Clark of the Silver Age Superman stories, and then we had the "my love is a villain!" that came with GL/Star Sapphire, which comes close to impinging on Batman/Catwoman.

And even with all this, they still had a problem - NO ONE CARED if they got together or not.

They tried everything to make Hal/Carol work, including doing some daring things for the Silver Age, like the hero telling his love interest his dual identity (thus collapsing the triangle), they complicated Hal's life, they made Carol out to be a full person (well, sorta - they just kept piling on new and different gimmicks onto both of them). And it sidesteps this very important point - you need to make the audience care about Hal and Carol as characters first before you care about whether or not they work as a couple.

So, that's a dismal start, but I think we'll find better as the week goes on.

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