Monday, February 15, 2010

Best Romances of the Silver Age?

Note the question mark at the end there. I'm asking for your help. As I see it, there are not really a lot of contenders, so here's a rundown:

Superman and Lois Lane: A rather tepid romance at best, and it was not, as Mort Weisinger put it, consummated during the Silver Age (although that changed eventually).

Batman and ???: 'Nuff said.

Barry Allen and Iris West. One of several marriages within the Silver Age of a long-dating couple. Lots of good interaction, although Iris could be a beeyatch when she wanted to as well.

Aquaman and Mera. One of the definitely consummated marriages in the Silver Age; they did, after all, have a son.

Green Lantern/Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris. It ended badly, and this was always an oddball romantic triangle with Hal competing against his secret identity as I have discussed previously.

Ray Palmer and Jean Loring. A solid contender; don't let the ridiculous Identity Crisis storyline distract you. A major reason why Ray fought crime as the Atom was to help Jean establish her practice so she'd marry him.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl: Unique situation as the Halls were married when we first met them. Worked well together both in their costumed identities and as civilians.

Ralph Dibney and Sue Dibney: Another early married couple, one of the charms of the Detective Comics series was the interaaction between the pair.

Reed Richards and Sue Storm. Another rare case of consummated love, as they bore a son as well in the Silver Age.

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Ill-fated and frequently tested, their love was surprisingly strong during the late 1960s.

Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Like the Dibney's they were not really major characters at the time, but they did marry.

Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. They came close to getting married in the Silver Age, but I never really felt a strong bond between the two.

Any others? The Marvel characters pretty much turned over all their girlfriends before the decade was over: Karen Page, Jane Foster, Pepper Potts, etc. Archie and Veronica/Betty and Richie Rich/Gloria are cute, but not really romance in my book.

Update: Some very good suggestions in the comments:

Adam Strange and Alanna. An excellent romance with lots of interaction, the involuntary separations and even an accepted proposal of marriage. A very strong contender.

Ben Grimm and Alicia. If we look at a romance as union of yin and yang, this would have to rate strongly. Alicia completes Ben, and softens his hard edges (although figuratively, not literally).

Green Arrow and Black Canary. I'd rate this as more of a Bronze Age Romance. Same with the Vision and the Scarlet Witch.

Catwoman and Batman. Terrific pick but more Golden Age than Silver; the Catwoman only made two real appearances in Batman during the Silver Age.

BTW, on the consummated part, I do think that marriage and children are an important manifestation of love, but I was also being a little puckish; see this post for more.


Anonymous said...

Best romance of the Silver Age? Adam Strange and Alanna!


Michael Jones said...

Ben Grimm & Alicia! Though I'm not sure if it was ever consumated (or how!)

Anonymous said...

Peter and Gwen was a nice relationship to read about-- they seemed so right for each other. Don't let the ridiculous "Sins of the Past" storyline ruin this for you if you like Gwen. Norman, indeed.

Barry Allen and Iris West was the DC one that seemed the best to me. Barry really loved her so much. Maybe Iris' biatchiness can sometimes be related to, um, well.... you know.... "you know".

A note on Ralph & Sue Dibny: It's a shame about the ridiculous "Identity Crisis" story thread concerning Sue Dibny. Did they have to do that to her and did they have to have that Dr. Light backstory, to boot? Sheesh.

Sam [Also known as Harry] said...

I lean toward the more subtextual, the unrequited, and/or I guess, the more obsessive...

Catwoman and Batman...

Green Arrow and the Black Canary, while on the road with Green Lantern...

Doc Ock and Aunt May...

Lana Lang and Superboy...

Daredevil and Karen Page...

Blaze said...

Green Arrow and Black Canary.

Vision and Scarlet Witch. Perhaps consummated deeper in the Bronze Age, it definitely started in the Silver.

I'm actually not quite following your criteria here. Being married means no romance (ie: the Hawks)?

Having a torrid relationship that involves huge moments of passion and sacrifice, but ultimately is broken off doesn't count? (ie: the dismissal of most of Marvel heroes)

Dean H. said...

I'd say you are under-rating Superman and Lois a bit. Their romance drove the action across multiple titles. Superman/Superboy and Lana is also a contender.

However, I really have to go with Adam Strange and Alanna as the romance of the Silver Age. It was the driving force behind the entire concept. Every Adam Strange appearance refers to their romance. The problem keeping them apart is extremely Silver Age.

On the Marvel side, I have to go with Reed and Sue. Again, their being a couple is pretty central to the premise of the title.

Jonathan L. Miller said...

Supergirl and Brainiac 5? Lightining Lad and Saturn Girl? (He died for her and she was willing to sacrifice herself for him, after all.) Lightning Lass and Timber Wolf? (Well, it started in the Silver Age...)

Blogorilla said...

Cyclops and Marvel Girl. Namor's (mostly) unrequited attraction for Sue Storm. Toad's enormous mancrush on Magneto. And, in the eww column, Comet & Supergirl and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

Blogorilla said...

Star Boy and Dream Girl.

Scott said...

I'll participate! What strikes me as the most realistic relationship of the Silver Age was...Peter Parker and Betty Brant. Strong early attraction that fizzles out -- Stan Lee was really in touch still with his teenage years to remember how common this is for teens.

david_b said...

I remember reading about Reed and Sue's separation a year or so after my parents separated (1974).. Quite surreal to read in FF, but Rick Buckler handled the art really well. Always thought Oliver Green and the Canary were the sexiest couple (ok, really the Canary..), followed by Matt and Natasha. Seeing that skin-tight outfit was ALWAYS worth a meager 20c.