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Author Topic: Superheros and sex  (Read 9153 times)
Inyarear
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« on: September 02, 2007, 12:48:13 AM »

Anyone remember this classic article by Larry Niven detailing all the potential horrors of Superman's wedding night?

I remember a post on another forum long ago that someone made about how things would be different if the comic book superheros' authors ever brought sexual realities into the mix. It discussed a scenario that did actually come up once: in one Marvel comic, She-Hulk is surrounded by the super-powered muscle-bound goons of the Wrecking Crew. Every one of them is probably at least as strong as she is, and there are four of them. They're in an empty lot in the red-light district of New York, and there's no superhero backup in sight. These guys have all recently escaped from prison, where none of them have seen any women for months. Green-skinned-and-haired though she is, She-Hulk is still very recognizably human, with a very curvaceous body and substantial--eh--chest circumference. She is also, of course, wearing one of those form-fitting skimpy spandex costumes that nearly all of Marvel's superheroines wear. Not too surprisingly, given the superiority of numbers, the Wrecking Crew successfully beats She-Hulk senseless in a very short time. Guess what happens next?

Well, the comic's for kids. If it had been written for adults, you just can bet the ending of that episode would have been a lot different!

Have you ever noticed scenarios like that in your comic books?
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2007, 07:29:02 AM »

Off the top of my head I can't really remember any specific scenarios like that. I mean, the Invisible Girl/Woman used to get captured by male villains all the time, so you can pretty much imagine what might've been happening off-panel during things like that considering the bad guys' lack of morality. Same deal with the Wasp, who seemed to play the damsel in distress to both Ant Man and the Avengers for a good part of her early appearances, or Marvel Girl, who played the same role in the X-Men for the longest time. On the male side of things, I know that the Hulk became the sex slave to Dormammu's sister in the Giffen-DeMatteis-MacGuire "Defenders" mini-series...
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BlackAngel75
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2007, 01:07:58 AM »

There was one instance in Image Comics (remember that?) where the Savage Dragon and his on again/off again girlfriend Rapture (I think her name is) were having a baby.  If anyone is familiar with Dragon, know he mainly has superhuman strength, and so will his child.  And in one scene, his child's arm did burst through Rapture's belly.

One word can sum this thread up with two heroes: Adultery.  Most of the time, both Spider-Man and Superman are risking their lives saving the world.  What do you think Lois and Mary-Jane could be doing while their husbands are getting their asses kicked by Darkseid and Rhino?
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Inyarear
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2007, 02:41:27 PM »

One word can sum this thread up with two heroes: Adultery.  Most of the time, both Spider-Man and Superman are risking their lives saving the world.  What do you think Lois and Mary-Jane could be doing while their husbands are getting their asses kicked by Darkseid and Rhino?


Well, where Spider-man is concerned, he does have a daughter, at least in an alternate continuity:


Since she didn't seem to have any powers until late puberty, one can see how May "Mayday" Parker avoided punching and kicking her way out of Mary Jane's womb while she was still unborn. The trickier question here would be how Peter Parker managed to keep from ripping Mary Jane from crotch to sternum while he was inseminating her, since he certainly has had difficulty pulling his punches in the past. At least he doesn't have to worry about his "Spider-semen" going around punching holes in things, since his powers come from the messenger RNA in his blood, not his genes. (How they got passed on to May remains something of a mystery; I'm guessing he gave her a blood transfusion at some point before her story began.)

Mary Jane has also given birth to May's little brother Ben in the Spider-girl series, and Darkdevil has lately been revealed to be Peter Parker's nephew Reilly Tyne, son of his clone Ben Reilly. How they avoided gutting the mothers in each case, I can only speculate. Maybe the Spider-men are letting the woman be on top when they're doing the wild thing, or something.


We've seen that Superman has a kid in the new Superman Returns movie, and there is at least the explanation that he didn't have his powers when he was impregnating Lois Lane. The kid himself is frail and asthmatic, and has only begun to show some powers now, so that's how he avoided killing his mother while still unborn. I don't think he'll be having any more full siblings, though.

On the other hand, despite what Niven says about Superman's cousin Supergirl, Superman would NOT be a cad if he were to marry her, nor going against the law or traditional morality. As John Stossel explains, cousin marriage is legal in about half of America, and about 20% of all marriages worldwide are between first cousins. Neither, if we are coming at (the Hebrew-named) Kal-El's nuptials from a Judeo-Christian perspective, is any of this prohibited anywhere in the Bible. I think I've posted this article somewhere before, but I'll put a link here again:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/JohnStossel/2006/07/19/think_your_cousins_cute_relax?page=full&comments=true

Therefore, yes, Superman could try giving his kid some super-powered half-siblings by marrying his cousin:


Lois Lane could presumably do the same by going ahead with her marriage to Richard. Man, what a convoluted plot that would be, though!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 06:19:09 PM by Inyarear » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2007, 03:37:34 PM »

What always bothered me about impregnations in comics and other mediums is how alien lifeforms are apparently so similar to humans in DNA that they can impregnate each other with as much if not greater ease than humans with other humans. A bigger offender than Superman? Dragonball Z. EVERYBODY was having kids in that show as the alien Saiyans and their human girlfriends had no problem sprouting a generation of Saiyan-Earthling hybrids who, in turn, went on to have a couple kids of their own too, unlike horses and mules who have donkeys that are otherwise sterile... at least with Marvel, in situations like the Earth mutant Quicksilver and the Inhuman Crystal, Marvel at least makes sense of it by saying that the Inhumans and Earthlings were both created by the space-faring Celestials, so the idea of them sharing enough common DNA to have kids makes some sense...
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Inyarear
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 12:27:09 AM »

Hm, yes, all this interbreeding with extra-terrestrials is a bit scientifically dubious itself, at least from some positions. If it comes down to great offenders in fiction, Star Trek is probably even worse than the Dragonball Z cartoons that way, with its half-Vulcan Spock and that half-Klingon on the crew of the Voyager. One does have to wonder, if people in these stories are supposedly the results of plain old-fashioned materialistic evolution, how all these compatible races are supposed to have evolved on so many different planets by pure blind chance.

Now, if there's some kind of intelligent guidance to this whole thing, as in Marvel's example, then that does make this compatibility a bit more plausible. (Of course, the amusing thing about this arrangement is that if any of Marvel's characters are atheists, and they deny the existence of a creator/intelligent designer, they're denying the very existence of Marvel Comics itself!) As long as there's an intelligent author and the mythology of these stories acknowledges this fact, though, it makes sense--from a theological point of view--that there should be all of these compatible races after all. Their "gods" made them that way!

Theoretically, of course, as is suggested in several crossovers between Marvel and DC, the DC characters may also have some intelligent design in their mythology, so it's not beyond plausibility that Superman and Lois Lane might have compatible genes. Where Dragonball Z is concerned... well, the Japanese aren't always too attentive to the theological implications of what they're putting in their cartoons, but it's not at all implausible that those "Saiyan" critters in that anime are all part of some intelligently designed universe as well. I'm guessing that the creators of that story would have at least mentioned this possibility if they hadn't been too busy concentrating on all the sex and violence they were trying to cram into it.

I do notice that some of the more recent DC offerings have begun to acknowledge what's going on off panel; I remember a Harley Quinn comic in which the Joker's ex-girlfriend taunts Robin (the Tim Drake one) and asks him how he got into this whole cape-and-tights business in the first place:

"Was it because you wanted to meet lots of young girls in skin-tight costumes? Or maybe lots of young boys in skin-tight--"

"Stop. Right. There."

There was also another story in which she and her friend Poison Ivy are sharing an apartment in Metropolis, and Poison Ivy tells her she's going to go up on the roof to sunbathe. When Harley Quinn remarks that Ivy had better be careful to keep her towel on in case Superman happens to fly by, Ivy dismisses her with a "Yeah, right, as if he never uses that X-ray vision of his." Later in that episode, Harley Quinn took up writing a trashy romantic advice column for the Daily Planet, and one guy wrote in asking her about the possibility of getting snuggly with an alien. "She can't get pregnant, right? We're different species." Harley Quinn replies:

1. There's no such thing as safe sex with some species. (Think mate-then-kill.)

2. Who's to say she's the one who'd get pregnant?

3. "Two words: Andromeda Strain."

Marvel's movies, of course, also tend to acknowledge a bit more than the comics, as in the case of some of the random people shown being asked their opinion about Spider-man in the first Spider-man movie:

"Guy with eight hands; sounds hot."

"I bet he's got some tight little--" [Suggestive cupping motions with hands.]

One negative point I notice about these couplings, though: the children of Marvel's superheros have a very high mortality rate. Spider-girl is in an alternate reality from the mainline Spider-man comics because her existence was rather inconvenient to Spider-man's going on being a twenty-something newlywed forever as Marvel's foolish editors have evidently decided he must. The Fantastic Four had Reed and Sue's kid Franklin Richards, but when they tried for a second kid and conceived a little sister for Franklin, Sue had a miscarriage. Meanwhile, a number of other superhero couples in the mainline continue to have permanently sterile relationships for all their romance. Only Spider-girl's continuity allows for a future in which most of the superheros have had children and most of the children have lived.

Sooner or later, Marvel's going to have to start letting some of the company's old mascots retire.
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BlackAngel75
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 12:50:54 AM »

Back to the comics for a bit.  What about the big guys?  Not Giant-Man, who can alter his size.  Not Galactus, who even by Marvel's standards is highly unlikely.  I mean guys like the Thing, if given the chance can give women severe vaginal and uteral damage.  The Hulk; if you think about it, Bruce can kill a woman while having sex once he gets excited.  And Badrock (remember him?); the guy is 8' tall weighing almost  half a ton.  But he's also a kid past puberty.  Imagine his disgust when he finally has the chance but can't "stick it in".
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2007, 12:21:49 PM »

I'm reminded of the comic where Juggernaut and She-Hulk hook up.  They've implied before that Juggernaut can't really be with normal women, since he would kill them in the process, but She-Hulk and him had no problems.  They did destroy the bed they were using though.
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Inyarear
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2007, 02:03:49 PM »

I'm reminded of the comic where Juggernaut and She-Hulk hook up.  They've implied before that Juggernaut can't really be with normal women, since he would kill them in the process, but She-Hulk and him had no problems.  They did destroy the bed they were using though.

Really? Marvel must be loosening up some of its restrictions on mature content these days or something. I never heard of a comic where they did that.

Actually, with Juggernaut, I think Marvel hinted that he wouldn't give a normal woman too much trouble as long as he was gentle with her. In Spider-girl's continuity (sometimes known as MC2), the Juggernaut has a son, Zane Yama (aka J2), by a fairly normal district attorney lady. For all his size, he's probably no greater danger to women than, say, Andre the giant was.

Back to the comics for a bit.  What about the big guys?  Not Giant-Man, who can alter his size.  Not Galactus, who even by Marvel's standards is highly unlikely.  I mean guys like the Thing, if given the chance can give women severe vaginal and uteral damage.  The Hulk; if you think about it, Bruce can kill a woman while having sex once he gets excited.  And Badrock (remember him?); the guy is 8' tall weighing almost  half a ton.  But he's also a kid past puberty.  Imagine his disgust when he finally has the chance but can't "stick it in".

The Hulk does swell up to an enormous size, and might conceivably be more dangerous this way, but as long Bruce Banner doesn't get too angry while making babies, he and his wife Betty Ross probably won't have too much difficulty keeping each other happy. Benjamin J. Grimm, for all his rocky muscles, is actually not so much bigger than ordinary humans, but I imagine he might get a little... abrasive in his rocky form. Wasn't there some part of the continuity back in the 1980s where Ms. Marvel turned into another rocky creature and started going steady with him, though? He's also shown to have had a couple of children by somebody in the MC2 continuity (although he's divorced by then), so I guess they must have hit upon some solution. (Hey, this is Marvel, where they have mutant-power-suppressing devices to help Rogue deal with her difficulties with Gambit. You think the flexible genius inventor Reed Richards can't come up with a device to help his old drinking buddy Grimm put his powers on hold?)

Badrock I don't recall, but in Marvel's continuities, there are a fair number of women who could handle him. A lot of these tougher cases should try looking for a Skrull woman to marry: they're good-looking, remarkably flexible, and compatible with humans. (The Human Torch is happily married and has a green-haired son by Lyja the Skrull in the MC2 continuity.)

As you point out, a planet-eating quasi-deity like Galactus probably isn't even interested in anything so trifling as the reproductive process. If he does have any use for women, though, there are probably a fair number of feminine quasi-deities out there in the Marvel Universe who could be his bride. Lesser creatures would do well to stay out of the way of such galactic monstrosities when they're mating, though; for all we know, their reproductive processes might involve gestating and giving birth to entire populated solar systems.
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dean
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2007, 01:55:31 AM »


Things aren't so 'kiddy' anymore I suppose.  Innuendo is a wonderful thing.

I've been reading the Exiles lately and there's usually a reference here and there at Morph offering [or being told to] transform himself to suit a person's taste.  Usually a slap is involved but hey, can't blame a shape-shifter for trying.  There was also one 'episode' where whilst on a break from missions a bunch of the Exiles go to a nudist beach and get rid of Morph because of his lewd behavior...

But these aren't really that risque I suppose so hardly count...
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2007, 04:44:52 PM »

As far as the Juggernaut and She-Hulk thing goes, it occured in an issue of Uncanny X-Men and there were no panels of the two in the sweaty throws of four color passion, just an afterglow sequence of the two in a devastated hotel room with a big hole in the wall and both of them disrobed and in bed. Funny thing about this, in the pages of Shulkie's current series, she had a run-in with Wolverine a few months ago where, in the course of trying to flirt with the berserker cannuck, Wolvie snubbed her, siting his disinterest in getting and of Juggy's "sloppy seconds". She-Hulk was confused by the statement, swearing that she never did the dirty dead with the Unstoppable One, and just this week, in the book's newest issue (the last issue for long time series writer Dan Slott before Peter David takes over writing chores next issue),  it was revealed that the She-Hulk who let Cain Marko get in her green jeans was actually one of those always wacky "alternate universe characters" that Marvel and DC are so fond of. Heh heh.  TeddyR
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"A grizzly bear with a chainsaw. Now THERE's a killing machine!" - The Simpsons
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Inyarear
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2007, 04:36:55 PM »

She-Hulk was confused by the statement, swearing that she never did the dirty dead with the Unstoppable One, and just this week, in the book's newest issue (the last issue for long time series writer Dan Slott before Peter David takes over writing chores next issue),  it was revealed that the She-Hulk who let Cain Marko get in her green jeans was actually one of those always wacky "alternate universe characters" that Marvel and DC are so fond of. Heh heh.

Kinda figures they'd cop out with that one. I'm still rather surprised they even implied such a thing with one of those convenient alternates, though: Marvel's stuff is usually pretty sanitized.

That's not to say Marvel pretends there's nothing going on off-panel, but still, even with the implied stuff, most of it is healthy marital sex, and there's little to no unwed teen pregnancy, rape, or promiscuity. Even in the case of Reilly Tyne, the (technically) illegitimate son of Ben Reilly, Ben Reilly's relationship with Elizabeth Tyne was a marriage in all but name; since they were both outlaws on the run, having an actual marriage certificate to make it legal was just too risky. (Most of this relationship also happened in a series more specifically targeted at an adult audience, too.)

Of course, I can't really blame Marvel for wanting to stay out of the political fray, which I think is the company's main motive for avoiding some of these issues. If one of Spider-girl's friends at school were to get pregnant, for instance, this would immediately open a huge debate over single motherhood, adoption, and abortion; all three are extremely inflammatory subjects. If the guy responsible turned out to be one of the teachers, as has sometimes been the case in real life, age of consent issues would also come into play.

Still, it seems there ought to be some way for slightly more mature subjects to slip through the restrictions every once in a while. In that series about Ben Reilly and Elizabeth Tyne, it was carefully revealed that Elizabeth Tyne was on the run specifically because her father had molested her as a child, and when she was an adult, she'd gone back and shot him dead in revenge. If they can do that without stirring up controversy, I think there might be a way to handle some of these other issues as well.
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quabrot
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2007, 03:23:13 PM »

Well, the whole She-Hulk/Juggernaut thing seems like it's being retconned, but it most certainly happened.  Sex is pretty common in the superhero world, especially when it comes to She-Hulk.  She-Hulk was thrown out of the Avengers Mansion for her wild partying and numerous overnight visitors.

As for Star Trek, I remember an episode of Voyager where Harry Kim got into a bit of trouble for having relations with a female of a species that wasn't "compatable" and ended up a serious risk to everyone.  Or something like that.  So in the Star Trek world, they check on those things...

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AndyC
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2007, 12:39:09 PM »

I recall that Star Trek did, in it's later incarnations attempt to address the interbreeding of alien species. Vulcan-Human and Klingon-Human hybrids required some in-utero genetic manipulation to be viable.

As for Dragonball Z, there are far more puzzling scientific questions there than interbreeding, but I won't go into them. I have noticed that Human-Saiyans seem to exhibit some kind of hybrid vigour. They appear to be more powerful than pure Saiyans.
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2007, 05:08:50 PM »

As to respond to the first post, which I kinda overlooked... The Wrecking Crew couldn't overpower anybody...
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