Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Comic Couples: Wally and Linda

Confession: I was totally sucked in by Mark Waid's depiction of Linda Lake and Wally West during his initial run on the Flash in the 90s.
I don't know what it was - if it was just that point in my life, or Waid just was in the right place in the right time in depicting a couple with just the right level of melodrama but without the overwrought Claremontian angsting of say, Scott Summers and Jean Grey over in the X-books, or if it was just that the development of the relationship helped to cement the arc of Wally West's maturation into a more likeable character. Whatever it was, this relationship worked and was unusually mature for its time. Actually, its unusually mature for now, given the way comic writers seem to be increasingly fixated on restoring the overwrought melodrama of the Silver Age, and I include Waid himself in this group.
What made Wally and Linda work? For me, it's that rather than the hero's love interest viewing the heroic career as an excessive burden or as the sole justification for the relationship, instead viewed it as just another aspect of the relationship. Wally being a superhero was a job to Linda, a dangerous one, but one that he knew Wally, as a responsible adult, understood the risks of. That is still startling progressive thinking for the superhero genre. Pity it's not done more.
(SPECIAL POST NOTE: - uhm, the things that are happening with Blogger? What are they and how do they work and am I effected? Seriously I've got no clue and some insight would be helpful)

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