Super Hero Kiss Capades or Why DC Comics Can Learn a Thing or Two About Romance From Manga

I have always been a part of the We Got Issues crew, but I have yet to write anything for the blog while I was in school. But now that I am done with school, I have had a chance to catch up on my comic reading. So prepare your anus for my rants and raves.

When I first heard that Superman and Wonder Woman were going to make out in issue 12 of Justice League, I jumped out of my stool, ran to the back of my store, and grabbed issues 7 through 11. I made it my mission to be up to date when the kissing issue came out. For those who don’t know me, I love romantic girly shit, especially shōjo manga which is my ultimate guilty pleasure. Shōjo is a genre of Japanese comics (manga) written specifically with girls in mind, starring female heroines and generally having a romantic theme. Some of the most popular are Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket, and my new favorite Kimi Ni Todoke. In America, where comics directed to women are rare, shōjo Manga plays a valuable role in filling the void of girly comics.

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I was totally pumped about reading Justice League, but as I read through the pages I became more and more disappointed. The story itself was really bad, the characters basically just yell shockingly lame quips to each other as they fight enemies, and then suddenly everything was three years later with some old continuity. I was willing to overlook all the lameness and the continuity shitstorm but I couldn’t help to notice that there was no build up to the Superman Wonder Woman romance. Yes Superman was nice to her after she kicked the fuck out Green Lantern, (he needed a beat down anyways and should just shut up and hook up with Batman already), but that was it!

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When I picked up issue 12, I was a little weary but my excitement for some DC make out action helped me forget my grievances. Unfortunately my past grievances were fueled with so much rage that my lazy ass had to write this review. So here it goes…spoiler alert…Steve Trevor…What the fuck happened? He was cool in the beginning and kept on denying that he and Wonder Woman did not and never had a relationship. However, in issue 12 it seemed that they actually did. Maybe this was old continuity seeping in but it didn’t make any sense. He blames Wonder Woman for throwing away their relationship, but in my opinion they didn’t have one. It reminded me of that time when I went out for drinks with this guy I barely knew and his friends at a bar. It turned out to be a triple date, the guy told everybody we were dating, so long story short I had to awkwardly break up with this guy that I wasn’t even dating! Wonder Woman I feel your pain. You and I both know it’s not easy being a woman.

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OK, so flash forward through all the drama with the Justice League and Green Lantern making a douche martyr out of himself and blah blah blah no one cares. OK, the end scene…Wonder Woman is depressed and alone when Superman arrives to comfort her. They talk about how they can’t connect with anyone blah blah blah…do you know how it feels to be lonely (really?) and then they kiss. What kind of lame shit was that!?! As a shōjo fan I cannot accept this half-assed crap! First of all the setting was the Lincoln Memorial. Not romantic at all. there is nothing that turns on a woman more than making out on a memorial of and old, dead, funky looking president. Am I right ladies? Come on!

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This brings up my point that there was no build up to this event. Yes, of course there is some stuff in past continuity, but the comic is so fucking confusing that you can’t tell what the hell is going on anymore! Are we supposed to think that they have had feelings for each other for a while or that since they’re lonely and horny that maybe this was eventually going to happen? That is not good enough of an explanation! In Shōjo Land, where I currently reside, this is how it would have gone down:

Superman was sick of Lois Lane pushing him to the side for other men. At first he never thought of Wonder Woman as anyone other than just a fellow teammate but then later realized her true beauty and that she was so much like him. Despite Wonder Woman’s strength and bravery, her romantic inexperience with men made her shy and awkward. She couldn’t help noticing Superman and slowly fell in love with him but didn’t want to ruin their friendship or rock the boat when it came to the team so she kept her feelings inside…

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See, was that so hard? Shōjo manga has perfected the art of long drawn-out “maybe he likes me or maybe he doesn’t” drama, so when something like a kiss happens it has meaning and YOU ACTUALLY GIVE A FUCK. Also, Batman could have been thrown in the mix and Wonder Woman would have to choose between the two. Who doesn’t want to see a fig.ht between Batman and Superman for Wonder Woman’s love! There were so many endless awesome possibilities that could have taken place, but it all just fell flat.

In reality, DC didn’t care about writing a good story for their fans. They just want to sell more boring-ass comics. It is beyond obvious that DC didn’t put any thought or effort into their storytelling. I feel betrayed that I was tricked into caring. So to make peace with this, I now have to go underground and read shōjo manga until this feeling of dirtiness is washed away…Good bye cruel world…Goodbye…

–Maggie Curtis

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