I Write About Comic Couples for Westfield

This week, KC didn’t do a Westfield column — I did. Following on from his Valentine’s Day look at superhero comic couples, I wrote about some different kinds of comic love stories, from my beloved Love and Capes to True Story Swear to God and a whole bunch of manga romances!

3 Responses to “I Write About Comic Couples for Westfield”

  1. Tim Rifenburg Says:

    I loved the 1st Love and Capes trade. I’ll have to seek out the 2nd trade and the newest mini series. I miss True Story Swear to God. Always enjoyed seeing how the real life story unfolded.
    Wondered what happened to the series. I have a 2nd copy of the Archive that you mentioned in the Westfield column. Would be willing to donate it if you want to introduce it to an interested reader or want it for a contest.

  2. Grant Says:

    I wanted to mention one of my favorite comic couples; Doctor Octopus and Aunt May.

    This was of course back in the day when kooky stuff like the hero’s aunt falling for his greatest enemy could happen and be played totally straight, making it all the more fun. It’s a relationship that started way back in ASM Annual #1 when she was oblivious to the fact that she had been kidnapped because Doc Ock was such a gentleman about it.

    Later, when Peter had moved out to room with Harry Osborne, she boarded out a room to Doc Ock. Later still she became his housekeeper during a major battle between Doc and Hammerhead. This was where we see the first glimmer that Ock cares for May as he protects her during the battle and where we see Aunt May shoot at Spiderman to protect an unconscious Doc Ock! And when he’s being carted off to prison, he asks her to stay on to look after his house, which she agrees to do much to Peter’s chagrin.

    Eventually, Doc Ock would propose marriage (no mind control, no love potions, just old fashioned charm) and actually make it to the altar, the vows held up at the last second by Ocks longtime enemy Hammerhead. True, Ock only wanted to marry her because of property she had inherited that fit into his schemes, but May was clearly happy in her swell wedding dress and it was a great moment in comics.

    Years later in ASM 157, Ock is homeless, being hounded and slowly driven mad by the ghost of Hammerhead. With nowhere else to go, he turns up on Aunt Mays doorstep and she takes him in and helps him, having kept one of his uniforms for him for several years. It’s during this story arc that we see Doc’s genuine emotion for Aunt May as he thinks to himself…

    “She’s a good woman, that May Parker, better than I deserve. After leaving her at the alter on our wedding day, she takes me back without question, without hesitation. Because of the faith and confidence of that sweet, gentle woman…Doctor Octopus lives again!”

    There’s a great panel where he playfully scoops her up in his metal arms and showers her with compliments and his gratitude, to which May responds “Oh Otto, you’re such a tease!” And several panels later, believe it or not, Doc, May AND Peter sit down to have dinner together. A bucket of KFC no less!

    It was a fun and charming and sweet relationship that couldn’t happen today in this ultra gritty, realistic era of comics where Aunt May gets assassinated by Kingpin and where if she did actually marry Dock Ock they’d probably write her as being the victim of spousal abuse.

    I prefer bronze age Aunt May. The one who isn’t always the shapest, who finds her kidnappers charming and eats KFC with the supervillain she has a crush on.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yeah, I vaguely remember that! I always thought that was a neat idea, too. Well, except for the kidnapping part.




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