Anything more recent, I know nothing of. For me, Adam and Alanna are always zipping through the skies of Rann finding a beautiful place to spoon before zipping off to defeat the latest deadly threat to Rann.
Alan Moore gave us a slightly revisionist take on these characters in the pages of Swamp Thing; one that would probably not suit Adam Strange fans but that I found pretty amusing. According to Moore, our heroic Earthman may have been useful to fight monsters but his main contribution was to enrich the Rannian gene pool. While Alanna was truly in love with her "primitive" alien husband and her father respected his courage and resourcefulness, most of the other Rannians viewed him as a caveman and laughed at him behind his back (even though they acknowledged that it was practical to have him around to get rid of space creatures and whatnot). It put the entire concept of the series in a new light, to say the least! But beware the doors of revisionism...
...for in 1990, grim Dark Knight Returns fever reached Adam Strange, and in a decidedly unfunny three issue miniseries Alanna died in childbirth, her father went crazy and Rann was conquered. The city where our heroes lived was shot into space, so that every survivor could brood and despair to their heart's content .
I'm glad that this storyline seems to have been brushed under the carpet in the following decades. I was quite happy with Adam Strange being a slightly different version of John Carter, and to see him live happily ever after with Alanna!
Post by Prince Hal on Dec 23, 2021 11:57:48 GMT -5
Like you, Roquefort Raider, I always appreciated the way Moore looked into what had gone before. It was as if he were bringing a contemporary eye to explore the sub-text, the way we watch an old movie and realize now why there were all those cuts from long kisses to a roaring surf.
And I do remember that abysmal mini-series, which I dumped after the first issue.
Any cretin can take a sledge hammer and a flame thrower to what has gone before and simply tell a different story with different characters; Moore always brought a microscope to the job, mixed regard and respect with his revisionism and retained the essence of what made a character unique.
"The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance." -- The Tempest, 5.1
Not much more that I can add from other members posts. Other than saying Kirby was firing on all cylinders when he created one of the iconic beauty and the beast takes. It is a beautiful connection which has stood the test of time.
Gimme a home on the ol' prairie where I can sit in my rockin' chair reading my favorite old comic books of yesteryear!
Post by Mister Spaceman on Dec 23, 2021 13:48:39 GMT -5
#2. Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner
It reads like a fan’s own Imaginary Story: a comic book shop owner contacts the writer of her favorite title, they meet, fall in love, and get married on the third date. She becomes a character in his autobiographical stories and then a collaborator on his comic. They remain married for 26 years – until his death – and she becomes the guardian of his legacy. The true-life story of Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner that was fictionalized in Pekar’s American Splendor speaks to the emotional appeal of his work, not as fantasy self-idealization but as an honest self-accounting. As Brabner offered, “I really trusted his honesty from the start – the kind of honesty I find in reading his work. American Splendor gave me a worm’s-eye view of what his other marriages were like, so that was it. How did I get into comics? I became a character in one.” By fictionalizing his everyday life, Pekar articulated the often uncomfortable reconciliation of fiction and reality. He laid bare the insecurities that plague all of us but also his victories over self-doubt within the equally quotidian. Pekar made holding down a menial office job or going down the street to buy a fresh loaf of bread heroic. But his greatest triumph was his relationship with Brabner, who willingly became not just a real and fictionalized participant in his life story but a vital partner in the building of a storyworld we can all identify with. Harvey and Joyce’s story affirms that at the core of love is the recognition of our best selves reflected back to us in the eyes of another.
We haven't had a lot of manga this this list yet, which a find a small bit odd, but I guess just not in people's wheelhouse... while there are a TON of romance mangas, that's not my thing. Full Metal Alchemist IS my thing... by far my favorite anime, the 2nd version of which (FMA: Brotherhood) adapts the manga very closely.
Yay, a manga pick!
My top pick would have been Oscar and Andre from The Rose of Versailles.
Post by thwhtguardian on Dec 23, 2021 17:17:09 GMT -5
And on day Eleven I choose...
Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont
I'm not usually the one to disagree with our most excellent host for this event,Cei-U! the wise and terrible, but for my money the only iteration of this pair worth mentioning was crafted by Matt Wagner and Guy Davis. What makes them so special to me was that they didn't look like movie star socialites but rather they were just regular people like you or I. That Wesley was a little pudgy and had a nebbish, socially awkward personality made it feel like I too could be a super hero and that Dian could love him made me as a teenage reader feel like I could find love too. Likewise that Davis' Dian didn't conform to society's unnaturally high standards of feminine beauty but was still put forward as strong, intelligent and socially popular was a powerful statement as well that you just don't see much in comics even thirty years later never mind while the book originally came out in the 90's when every other heroine on the racks looked like they were all size zeros with bolt on DD's bigger than your head. That kind of messaging just really makes the book, and the relationship that drove it really stand out as excellent and definitely worthy of my second spot.
Post by Crimebuster on Dec 23, 2021 17:57:03 GMT -5
I'm pretty surprised we haven't seen this couple already, but maybe everyone has them at their number one, I dunno.
2. Green Arrow and Black Canary
In the 60s, DC was filled with milquetoast couples, as the heroes mostly had partners who were either boring, shrewish, or both. It's hard to understand reading those issues what these couples even saw in each other. There was just no there there.
And then in Justice League of America #75, we get the start of the relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary. GA had just been completely revamped in between issues, over in the pages of The Brave and the Bod #85. Black Canary was also completely revamped, switching universes, gaining new powers, and in this issue, getting a new love interest to replace her husband, who they killed off in the previous issue.
It worked and then some. Here's a couple where we see the personalities (because they both actually have personalities!) meshing, and clashing, and sometimes both. We see the sparks, the romance - not just the love, but the lust. It makes sense when you see them together. They feel like people who are actually into each other, a real couple and not just a cardboard cutout of one.
It's a crime we never got a GA/BC series in the Bronze Age with a good creative team (like maybe with Alex Toth on art), because for me, they are arguably the most compelling superheroes at DC that decade. I love it.
Post by MWGallaher on Dec 23, 2021 22:16:02 GMT -5
2. Little Lulu and Tubby Tompkins by John Stanley
The number two choice has been the most difficult. I had several couples on my list that I figured I could slot in here, like Mister Spaceman's choice of Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, whose real-life love was documented in both big moments and small, and sentimental favorites like Ant-Man and the Wasp and Hawkman and Hawkgirl, but ultimately, I couldn't really say that I loved reading about those relationships more than just liking stories about those characters. My #2 had to be a pair that I always enjoyed in stories that focused on their personal connections, and there's no more reliably entertaining comics than John Stanley's renditions of the childish girlfriend/boyfriend interplay between Tubby and Lulu. Tubby's presumptiousness, oblivousness, ego, and Lulu's tolerance, cleverness, faithfulness--it makes a genuine reflection of the often-stumbling, uncertain, confusing and forgiving characteristics of real-world relationships, and does so with charm and joy. There are juvenile aspects of even the most mature of loves, and I always recognize myself somewhere whenever John Stanley focuses on Tubby and Lulu's innocent romance.
Post by codystarbuck on Dec 24, 2021 1:10:09 GMT -5
#2 Wesley Dodds & Dian Belmont
So, popular choice, right? However, again, I'm coming from a different angle than some of the others, I think. Most people have mentioned Sandman Mystery Theater. I only read about the first year of that, when it came out, and was not overly enamored with Guy Davis' work and didn't continue with it. i did like Matt Wagner's take on Wesley and Dian. Since then, I have warmed more to Davis' style, as my own aging has changed my perspective on a lot of storytelling in comics and Guy Davis is a storyteller.
But, that book isn't the reason they are so high on my list. For that, we once again turn to James Robinson. Robinson must be a romantic, at heart, based on how he approached relationships in Starman and some of his earlier work. I've heard tales that, in the real word, he wasn't so great at relationships; at least, with peers and others. By his own admission, he got pretty insufferable, to keep it PG. However, on the page, he seemed to have the knack for presenting loving couples, even when they were having problems. He seemed to be able to get into the perspective of each character, making them all the more human. Claremont wrote strong women; but, I thought many of his men were kind of pathetic....or at least the weaker part of the relationship. Robinson never seemed to fall into that trap, in that period of his career.
So, what does that have to do with Wes & Dian (sounds like a first draft to Mellencamp's song)? "Sand & Stars!"
Jack Knight goes to meet his hero....Dian Belmont. Dian became a Nobel Prize-winning novelist. Jack adores her work. he is tongue-tied when he meets her. Then, she introduces him to Wes, the first costumed hero (in the post-Crisis world). This is the man who started the fraternity, in his eyes, the man everyone looked up to. Wes helps him get past his fanboy inhibitions and speak his heart to Dian, about her writing. Then, he gets to solve a mystery with the original detective couple (in his world). It's like getting to work with Nick & Nora Charles, but with gas masks. As the trio works, Jack observes Wes & Dian. They have been together for so long; they finish each other's sentences, they dote on one another, touch each other and shock the hell out of the young man.....
Wes & Dian are love in the Winter Years. It's easy to smile at Young Love, to remember what it was like to think the sun began and ended with this other person, to hang on their every word, to ache for them to look your way. it's quite another to see that blossom into a deeper love, over time. To progress to the point where you don't even have to say, "I love you." You just give a certain look, a smile, and your love knows instantly what you mean. They are in perfect synch with one another. They are Astaire & Rogers on the dance floor, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers in a duet, Franklin & Elanor Roosevelt at a public function. They know exactly how to compliment the other, without discussing it. It has transcended the verbal to be instinctual......a form of telepathic love.
The storyline shows them thrilling to interviewing people, piecing together clues in the mystery, directing Jack to the next point of interest, collating the data, and solving the mystery. It reminds them of their youth; but, they wouldn't trade their present for that past, because there has been so much more. They revel in the now, with each other, more in love the next day than the last.
Robinson got what true love really is.....
I fell in love with Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont in that story.