For this Valentine’s Day I would like to welcome Barry Harter to the Nerds of the Round Table. Barry has been kind enough to put together an article about comics and today’s holiday. So please take a moment and enjoy Barry’s take on the holiday. I know I enjoyed it. Also, feel free to take a look at some of his other work. Check out the Graphic Novel Archive and click on the review for the Essential Tales of the Zombie.
Welcome to another Hallmark holiday.
Unless married or in some other kind of relationship – or female – Valentine’s Day is just another cause to whip out the wallet and spend some hard earned cash on something other than comics. Or comic-related goodies.
Okay, let’s say a dozen roses and a box of chocolates. That’s gonna set ya back close to the cost of a Marvel Masterworks. Toss in dinner and a movie and you could have a volume of an Absolute Sandman. Where’s the justice?
Well, thanks to the money mongers out there us comic book people now have something to look forward to ourselves. While we’re remembering our better halves and softer of the species, they can reward us with some pretty cool stuff in return.
Lingerie has long been sought after by the fairer sex. Now us guys can look past the tightie whities and find something appropriate with our favorite heroes emblazoned on underwear. Just waltzing through the intimates section at your local Wal-Mart offers Cap, Green Lantern, the Flash and Spidey.
Any of these would a welcome addition to or skivvies’ drawer – though the Flash, while one of my all-time favorites, may not be the best choice due to certain connotations. No, maybe something sporting the Man of Steel motif.
And if your lady doesn’t relish her man sitting around in his drawers there are the sleep pants. Maybe not overly sexy, but it’s all in how ya sport ’em. Of course there always the Tees. Too many to mention here, but still a good choice.
If your lady insists on trying to please you with some reading material urge her to invest in a gift certificate since they don’t really understand what we read and why we read ’em. But give ’em some credit for trying. If you’ve got a woman like that, hang onto her.
So, let our women show us some love too. Drop a few hints here and there and take ’em to a chick flick. With Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America coming to the big screen this year you might need to remind them you were there for them now so they won’t complain later.
If you don’t have that special someone in your life pull out some of those old issues and live vicariously through your favorite hero. There have been some great romances over the years.
Probably the first one most fans think of is Superman and Lois Lane. Maybe Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor? Peter Parker and Mary Jane? Actually I liked this romance between he and Gwen Stacy much better. And for a guy who was supposed to be such a schlep in his civilian identity where did all these women come from?
Dear Lord there was Betty Brant and Liz Thompson who developed a crush on him. After Gwen good ol’ MJ helped get Pete back in the saddle. There was the Black Cat and poor Deb what’s-her-name in the early 1980s.
No, Marvel had its share of great loves over the years. There was Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Matt Murdock/Daredevil had Elektra. Bruce Banner pined after Betty Ross. Even Howard the Duck had Beverly and if ya wanna know just how far that got check out some of the magazines that replaced the floppy series.
Tony Stark had a few, but as a gazzilionaire glamor boy it wasn’t hard to get women.
Speaking of rich playboys Bruce Wayne never had to spend a lonely night if he didn’t want to, but his greatest loves were usually outside the law with Catwoman and Talia.
Marvel usually offered up the complicated courtships while DC countered with more stable relationships like Barry Allen and Iris West or Scott Free and Big Barda. There was Ralph and Sue Dibny and Ray and Jean Palmer. Of course most of these relationships were undone later on, usually in some Crisis event.
Another courtship that’s a favorite of many is that between Harley Quinn and the Joker. Though somewhat one-sided it still counts. And the Joker should be a little more understanding after his one-and-done infatuation with Dinah Drake/Lance in the Clown Prince of Crime’s short lived, self titled book of the mid 1970s. Check it out for something different.
Finally outside of the Big Two would be Bone and Thorn. Jeff Smith knew what he was doing when he introduced those two.
Okay, so there you have it. Some gift ideas and some good reading to go back to in case Valentine’s Day is gonna be a lonely one.