« The Superhero/SuperBowl Connection | Main | The Decisions and Dilemmas of Love »

February 01, 2008

Comments

Brian Disco Snell

My question is, how did this guy get two letters printed? Do you know how many letters I sent in to various Marvel comics as a youth? A bazillion (roughly). And zero were printed. Yet Mr. I Want Cousins To Marry gets two? Grrr....

Mark Engblom

Yeah...that was odd that Hillbilly Bruce got two letters printed, both with such bizarre subject matter.

Something else: How is it that Supergirl would be "older physically and mentally than any regular human"? She's certainly different than any regular human....but as far as I know, she was 15 years old as they're measured on Earth (not like Powergirl or the current Supergirl, who's years of suspended animation made her roughly the same age as Superman). Kara Zor-El's very girlish behavior also counteracts Bruce's claim that she was somehow older "mentally" than Earth humans. Sure, she was superhumanly intelligent, but that's not at all the same as someone's overall maturity level (which may be what Bruce had in mind).

Any way you look at it, it's a pretty bizarre request.

Wes C

Wow..........

Glad to see my fellow Alabamians "keeping it in the family" ;)

For the record I'd just like to state the obvious- The letter is almost 50 years old.

My state has made progress in those 48 years. We still have a ways to go, but I think we've gotten a better grip on the "family relations" bit.

In a way your lucky Mark, Minnesota is generally thought of as a nice inoffensive kinda state.

Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, with our history of race riots and church bombings, has the effect of making you feel like you come from a rouge city/state. Not just a dumb or backwards state, but an actual enemy state. Which in a way is kind of interesting but ultimately frustrating.

Just wanted to say my piece.

Thanks


BTW: Yeah, it IS a creepy letter - just think of the super 4 armed offspring they'd have!

I'll give Bruce credit though, he's persistent!

Mark Engblom

Sympathy for the "non keeping it in the family" people of Alabama is actually where my Alabama comment was coming from. That is, just as you expressed, I'm sure people from that part of the country bristle even more when they see someone from their neck of the woods perpetuating the tired old stereotypes.

Every part of the country has a caricatured stereotype (like the eternal "Yah, Shurrr, You Betcha!" Minnesota stereotype), but...as you said, the added historical baggage of the Deep South probably makes it a little tougher to shrug off.

I apologize for any hard feelings, though. I probably should have made my thinking on the Alabama comment a little more clear. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do just that, Wes!

Wes C

Oh no Mark, that's not what I meant at all.

I'm sorry, I guess I should have been clearer about my statements. I never thought you were putting down Alabama. You're absolutely right, the letter was creepy enough, then add into it that he's from Alabama and boom - instant joke!

I'd have made a joke about it even if you had never mentioned that he was from here.

I think Southerners overall (minus the diehard Rednecks) are pretty good about putting the shameful episodes of the past behind us and laughing/trying to make right all the stupid/evil things our area became known for.

So no hard feelings at all. I find your site to be a breath of fresh air amidst some of the negative and hipper than though sites
and blogs that are out on the web.

Your funny, gracious and darn fine cartoonist/designer to boot!

Sorry I know you didn't mean a post about Supergirl to turn into some sort of civics lesson! :)

suedenim

I can't remember where, but I think at some point, (I think in the context of an actual *story*, though it might have been another letter response) DC actually mentioned that in some places, first cousins can legally marry (but not under Kryptonian law!)

In the Silver Age, there'd be even less reason to think about it (what with zillions of other Krypton survivors wandering about in Kandor and elsewhere, not to mention that most sentient species seem to be interfertile), but there might be an interesting, albeit no less squicky, story:

If Kal-El and Kara are the last two Kryptonians, their species dies out with them. Should they make that not happen? Even in the modern stories... maybe ten years down the road, should non-blood-relative Chris Kent provide DNA for Kara, apparently the only fertile Kryptonian female around?

(No, I wouldn't *actually* want to see any of these stories, but it's kind of interesting in a theoretical "last man on Earth" framework.)

Mark Engblom

Yeah, I had thought about the "perpetuation of the Kryptonian line" angle, but you're right....the surviving Kryptonians living in the bottle city of Kandor (introduced only 10 issues earlier) took care of that problem. Also, since Superman identified so heavily with the humans of his adopted planet (to the point of "becoming" one of them as Clark Kent), I never sensed much grief over the end of the Kryptonian bloodline. Granted, getting into his head to that extent was rarely (if ever) done during that era, so most of this is ultimately just conjecture...but you're right...it's interesting to ponder what was there "between the lines" of those old stories. No, not the "does Superman want to marry Supergirl" stuff, but just the concern (or lack of concern) of Superman that the Kryptonian race somehow continue.

Mark Engblom

"So no hard feelings at all. I find your site to be a breath of fresh air amidst some of the negative and hipper than though sites
and blogs that are out on the web.

Your funny, gracious and darn fine cartoonist/designer to boot!

Sorry I know you didn't mean a post about Supergirl to turn into some sort of civics lesson! :)"

Thanks for the kind words, Wes! I figured you weren't bent out of shape about it, but I just wanted to make sure there was no offense taken.

Oh, and don't sweat the "civics lesson". I enjoy the interesting directions the conversation can take, and I encourage people to add any thoughts my strange little posts might trigger. There are so many fascinating little areas to discuss in this big hobby of ours, it's a shame so many of them get forgotten in light of the "Comic World Outrage of the Week" blogs or, as you say, the "hipper than thou" sites that routinely sniff at the stuff I like to talk about. Needless to say, I'm not losing any sleep over their lack of approval.

Again, thanks for the kind words.

Z Ryan

Mark, cousin-marriage is largely legalized again (back by popular demand!) thanks to our state. The Mayo Clinic has been campaigning for the legalization of cousin-marriage after studies they've done showing the offspring to be not bad off....

Alabama has nothing on Minnesota.

And I have family for whom the movie Fargo is not an exaggeration, youbetchya.

Mark Engblom

"And I have family for whom the movie Fargo is not an exaggeration, youbetchya."

Oh, me too. I'm originally from Duluth, which is in the northern part of the state. THAT'S where the really thick accents can be found, primarily because that's where so many of the Scandinavian immigrants settled (which is where alot of the caricatured "Fargo" accent derives from).

The Mayo "cousin marriage" thing is news to me....though not surprising for a "progressive" state like Minnesota.

Guido

Sorry guys, not being from the states, I don't have a lot to comment in regards of specific states stereotypes. However, I have to say it feels strangely right to see the usual Weisinger weirdness/awkwardness trascending the stories towards the letter pages. And people say Grant Morrison writes strange stuff!

Mark Engblom

LOL! You're right, Guido...the whole Weisinger experience got to be pretty weird at times. Okay, most of the time.

Rich

My first though, as one who hasn't read a ton of Silver Age Superman... was it definitely established by this time that they were cousins? I'm guessing it was, but trying to give ol' Bruce the benefit of the doubt. He may not have known, at the very least. It's not like he could check Wikipedia.

suedenim

I think it was *always* a slightly obscure fact that Superman and Supergirl are cousins, at least to the "civilian" or casual readership.

I remember from the Action Comics #500 Anniversary issue of my youth (which I should really dig up - I recall it being particularly good for that sort of thing), a quasi-metatextual comment from Supergirl.

She and Superman are, IIRC, giving some regular people and/or reporters a tour of the Fortress of Solitude (or maybe a museum exhibit.) Someone asks if they're boyfriend and girlfriend or somesuch, and Kara straightens him out, saying something like "A lot of people think that, or that we're brother and sister, but actually, we're cousins."

Mark Engblom

"My first thought, as one who hasn't read a ton of Silver Age Superman... was it definitely established by this time that they were cousins?"

Yeah, it was. In fact, during the very first Supergirl story in Action Comics #252, they established that the two of them were cousins...and, knowing well the repetition of the Weisinger era, it was probably mentioned with every Supergirl appearance for at least a couple of years.

I guess I can see how some casual readers may not know they're related, but I'm thinking the obvious differences in their ages was enough for most people to not immediately assume they had any potential for a romantic relationship (at least early on before Supergirl...uh..."grew up").

Unless you were Bruce Cutler from Huntsville, Alabama.

Ivan Wolfe

Wait - Mark -

you need to read Action Comics #260 (can be found in Supergirl archives #1) where:

Superman actually makes out with Supergirl!
And it ends with Supes saying:
"She was too young for me. She was only 15 years old."

There's a bit more context to it than that, but considering that story, the letter and response above aren't too far off. In fact, that story likely makes a great context for the letter, since that letter appeared only three issues later, which back then was about the expected time lag between an issue and the letters pages.

Mark Engblom

Whaaaaat? I'd have to see it to believe it. That's too nutty even for the Weisinger era Superman. I want to find out....yet I DON'T!

Ivan Wolfe

Believe it. I have my Supergirl archives #1 right here, and trust me - it's a doozy.

There's a very Weisinger-ish "reason" that supposedly makes it all okay given at the end, but you have to read the story to get it (the story itself seems innocuous until the "reveal" at the end - but I don't want to give it away here. It must be seen to believe. Pay special attention to the cover of that special issue).

Pat Curley

Oh, there's lots more than that. The make-out scene with Supergirl was intended to fool invading aliens, so it's at least arguably play-acting. But the discussion of a marriage between Supergirl and Superman was explicitly discussed in Action #289, as I discussed here:

http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2005/05/more-information-than-we-needed.html

Also note the cover to Lois Lane #20 (included in that post). Very weird stuff indeed.

Ivan Wolfe

The make-out scene with Supergirl was intended to fool invading aliens, so it's at least arguably play-acting.

Yes, but it was still Superman making out with Supergirl! and "marrying" her - and eventually ending it because she was too young. Sort of. Boy, that was an interesting era.

(and Pat - you gave away the "trick" ending!)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Visit My Shop:

Artwork

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Blog powered by Typepad