Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More than a Reason

So, Spider-Man's Wedding. Let's talk about that story for a second.

A lot of people have over the years commented that it's not a very romantic story, and they're not wrong for point that out. However, I'd make the arguement that rather than a romantic story, the wedding story is an interesting showcase of Peter Parker and Mary Jane's characters, and an unintentional (or intentional?) subversion of a few of the comic wedding tropes.

OK, so the general criticism leveled at the actual wedding story is that it's a long story about Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson exploring every reason and excuse not to get married, and then they do it anyways.

Point the first - I think it's safe to say that any young couple has doubts about getting married; they may not always involve a cabal of killers who dress like circus clowns, but they probably have reasons. So I think it's normal, even realistic, that when making a decision, the reasons for not doing it would pop up rather frequently. The important thing to note, is that yeah, they say "screw the odds, I'm doing something for me because I want it." is a very human thing to do - if people aren't willing to take risks for something they want, then they don't lead very exciting lives to begin with. They sure as hell ain't heroes.

Point the second - This is very much Peter Parker's character shining through. This is a guy who has taken on more responsibility than any reasonable or sane person could since he was in high school. The fact that he's managed to keep so much successfully on his shoulders for so long (with only a very few slip ups over the years) is a testament to his integrity, brillance and sheer stubborn will. So of course, Peter's going to go through the worst case scenarios involved in the possibility of marriage - his life has had more than his fair share of troubles. And it's just as natural for him to go for it, to take the risks. After all, he puts his life on the line every day without a thought of any kind of reward or even thanks, and he rarely if ever has anything to show for his personal life, so it makes sense. Never underestimate the human desire to raise up its middle finger at fate and say "Fuck you, I'm going for this, and you and entropy and the universe can go suck it."

Point the final - this book quickly eliminates the decades old "But if I get married, my enemies will try to get to me through them!" gimmick. Let's think logically for a second - if you take this line of thinking to its conclusion, then any given superhero should just give up their 'normal' lives, disown their families, and never make a meaningful connection with another human being ever again. And even if that insane course were persued, it still wouldn't work. You think Captain Killsalot gives a crap that you haven't spoken to your mother in eight years? He's a crazed killer, I don't think he's really that up or interested in your personal dynamics. If an insane lunatic ends up striking at a hero, they aren't going to see much distinction between current and ex-girlfriends or estranged and close family - they are just out to hurt you. Soooooo, I don't buy that logic, and I'm glad that in this comic, it's pretty handily dismissed.

Pity it didn't stick.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yep...Peter has his Red Head Problem...I have my Plantinum Blonde Problem. of us can walk on walls though.