Page 1 of 22 1 2 3 ... 21 22 >
Topic Options
#591142 - 09/26/11 11:39 AM Wife-beating superheroes
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I read a trade collection this weekend of the start of Peter David's long, acclaimed run on THE INCREDIBLE HULK, from back in the 1980s.

In one issue, Bruce Banner and wife Betty enjoy a torrid night of passion in a hotel room (which we don't witness, thank you, Mr. David). Then Bruce turns into the Hulk and he beats the holy living shit out of Betty. He leaves Betty lying unconscious in the debris of their hotel room, and he stalks off.

When we later see Betty in the hospital, she's got a broken arm, bandages on her head and other serious injuries.

I dunno how David gets around this because the trade stops before Bruce and Betty meet again.

But it seems like Marvel writers of that era had a thing for superheroes beating their wives. Remember Hank Pym, a founding member of the Avengers, belting wife Janet right in the kisser?

To the writers, I guess it's an interesting plot device.

To me, it sort of wrecks a hero.

The first Hank Pym story I ever read as a kid was that one where he hits Janet. So to me, the character -- whether he was Ant Man, Giant Man, Yellow Jacket, whatever -- always has been a wife-beating douchebag. I've got no further interest in reading about him.

What other superheroes have beaten their wives?

Top
#591145 - 09/26/11 11:58 AM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: Lawson]
MightyQuin Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1068
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne's original relationship was one of paternalism edged with affection and a little condescension. Pretty standard for Stan Lee and not too different from Reed Richards and Sue Storms' relationship with the addition that the Wasp had a flighty personality and was an heiress. A pretty serviceable dynamic really. It is amazing what subsequent writers will do to put their stamp on already existing characters. Maybe they believe anything breaking new ground is automatically worthwhile?

Top
#591146 - 09/26/11 12:07 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: MightyQuin]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Everyone involved in that Hank Pym story blames everyone else. The editors and the writer -- the artists -- probably the colorist and the letterer, too. Nobody wants to take responsibility for it now.

Recently, Jim Shooter, then Marvel's top editor, blamed the artist. He said the script called for Hank Pym to push away his concerned wife. Shooter said the artist ignored that instruction and instead drew a panel with Hank clearly belting Janet across the room. I think one of her slippers even flew off her foot, she got smacked so hard.

For Shooter's story to be true, though, either nobody at Marvel's offices reviewed the art before the comic went to press or they did review the art but chose, for some reason, not to correct that one panel.

Top
#591149 - 09/26/11 12:28 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson
To the writers, I guess it's an interesting plot device.

To me, it sort of wrecks a hero.


Do you think any and every guy who, in a single moment of extreme anger and frustration, physically lashes out and strikes a loved one is a totally and completely iredeemable villain? What about every woman who's done the same?

I'm not trying to diminish the seriousness of domestic violence, but the episode of Hank hitting Janet was part of an overall storyline about how Hank was falling apart as a human being. I haven't read every Avengers issue from that period but from those I have, the incident was handled in a remarkably realistic manner for both Hank and Jan.

I'm not exactly sure why those moment has been so totally disconnected from its context and become such a stain, given what's happened with comic book "heroes" in the decades since.

Mike

Top
#591150 - 09/26/11 12:36 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: MBunge
Do you think any and every guy who, in a single moment of extreme anger and frustration, physically lashes out and strikes a loved one is a totally and completely iredeemable villain?


I'm trying to think of a scenario in which I'd get over a man I know belting his wife (or girlfriend, or any woman -- or a kid, for that matter -- someone smaller and weaker than him) -- where I wouldn't basically write him off as an asshole forever.

I'm drawing a blank.

Beyond that, I hold fictional superheroes to a higher standard.

Top
#591151 - 09/26/11 12:46 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson
I'm trying to think of a scenario in which I'd get over a man I know belting his wife (or girlfriend, or any woman -- or a kid, for that matter -- someone smaller and weaker than him) -- where I wouldn't basically write him off as an asshole forever.


You probably know a guy who did exactly what Hank did. He and his wife/girlfriend just never told you about it.

By the way, Peter Parker slugged Mary Jane during the Clone Saga and no one ever brings that up.

Mike

Top
#591153 - 09/26/11 12:51 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: MBunge
You probably know a guy who did exactly what Hank did. He and his wife/girlfriend just never told you about it.


No doubt. And he's wise not to tell me.


Originally Posted By: MBunge
By the way, Peter Parker slugged Mary Jane during the Clone Saga and no one ever brings that up.


And that's three Marvel heroes who slugged their wives -- Spider-Man, the Hulk and Ant Man/Giant Man/Yellow Jacket.

Can anyone name a fourth?

Top
#591156 - 09/26/11 01:19 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: MBunge
You probably know a guy who did exactly what Hank did. He and his wife/girlfriend just never told you about it.


No doubt. And he's wise not to tell me.


Yeah, because there's a decent chance you don't just know the guy but like him and think he's a good person.

Mike

Top
#591157 - 09/26/11 02:03 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: MBunge
Yeah, because there's a decent chance you don't just know the guy but like him and think he's a good person.

Mike


I'm not following your logic.

You're defending wife-beaters? Seriously?

I'm sure you're right, there may be someone in my life who beats his wife, unknown to me, and so I assume he's a decent chap. And if I learned that he beats his wife, I wouldn't think he was a decent chap anymore.

This particular subject seems to agitate you.

Top
#591158 - 09/26/11 02:06 PM Re: Wife-beating superheroes [Re: Lawson]
MightyQuin Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 1068
Loc: Tallahassee,FL
Originally Posted By: Lawson


And that's three Marvel heroes who slugged their wives -- Spider-Man, the Hulk and Ant Man/Giant Man/Yellow Jacket.

Can anyone name a fourth?


More like 3.1, there's also The Ultimates version of Hank Pym. This was an opportunity to redeem the character, instead, if anything, the wife beater depiction was embraced and he was made even scummier. I haven't read Avengers, Ultimate or Original, in a few years; have attempts to rehabilitate the character been successful or is this pretty much an indelible mark? BTW Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated version of Hank Pym seems just fine ... so far.

Top
Page 1 of 22 1 2 3 ... 21 22 >


Moderator:  Rick Veitch, Steve Conley