The Bad Girls' Guide to Good Marriages Part 1



                One of the main themes in the history of comics is the matter of redemption.   We will often see villains who started off evil and then decided to walk the path of righteousness (there are many examples – Elektra, The Thunderbolts, The Riddler, Two Face.)   One of the key drivers of redemption are the heroes.   Heroes are often seen to be sometimes forgiving of villains’ behavior because they see some redemptive quality in their actions.   This may take on different aspects, like letting them go or having their sentences lightened.    One of the most extreme examples of this is curing the villains through love.   Not like brotherly love, but actually being enamored by the individual and trying to save them through marriage.   As usual I am not as much a Marvel expert, but in DC this has occurred a few times: Captain Atom and Plastique; The Golden Age Green Lantern and Rose Thorn; and the Silver Age Batman and Catwoman.   There are lots of other examples as well where marriage didn’t result (Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris for one.) 


                As usual I have probably overthought this, but there are some interesting trends here.   First of all, it is never a female hero which reforms a male villain.   Secondly, if love truly does break all bonds (and the romantic in me believes in that) then isn’t it just as likely that a villainess convinces a hero to not walk the straight and narrow path?   Maybe not with Batman and his infallible like qualities, but might not another character so enamored give up on the side of the angels to follow his or her heart?   


 I already asked, and my mom says I can't dress like that at my wedding

I could throw in a bit here about the history of the depiction of the female in certain religious texts (as the evil temptress), but its not my point.   I don’t think this has as much to do with a man teaching a woman how to behave properly, rather it has to do with some sort of misguided sense of chivalry.   If a hero lets his foe escape because he loves her , then he is in a sense guilty by association for all of her future actions.   There is also a deeper argument here, and one which I will only touch on and not develop – if its not fair to ask someone to change because you love them (which it usually isn’t and will usually end in a failed relationship if it is something fundamental about their character) then what hope do these heroes really have?   After all I am big fan of Batman and Catwoman being together, but I find the relationship much more interesting if it were the 90s sassy thief version of Catwoman (sass!) and not the quasi reformed version we have today.   What made the characters so fun was that they were attracted to each other despite being opposites in a lot of ways.

By the way sorry to those who opened this and read it because it had “bad girl” in the title, but false advertising on titles is what comics do right?    

12 Comments
12 Comments
Edited by thehummingbird

I am very annoyed, with the way the girl's are always converted to good, (except my girl Harley!) It is also ironic as I believe you were about to state (is thehummingbird really about to bring Paradise Lost up again?) about the temptress archetype. They took it the other way while at the end of Paradise Lost, Adam rules over eve and she is no longer dominant. Which might I say fits Catwoman quite well. SHe used to be the one who could bring Batman down because of his attraction to her, however, now Catwoman is merely the Bat's partner, and is loyal instead of her once more dominant temptress archetype. Just to support this Eve tricked ADam into eating the apple (Not in Genisis I am talking about how she is portrayed in Paradise Lost!) but, when she allowed Adam to much knowledge*wow another unintentional illusion* (Allowing Bruce Wayne to become to involved in her life?*knowledge =)* ) she lost all power and was placed beneath him. Just as how I believed Catwoman fell, by allowing Bruce into her life and such rant rant need to better explain this or write a whole paper rather than a short and not the best explained, explanation such as this...

Posted by TypingKira

I have a lot of ideas about girls who reform guys, it's the natural semi-feministic romantic in me ;} 
 
Great post as usual!

Posted by SC

I never quite realized how well purple and white can be used together. Anyway, where are my bad girls? Oh I see, an acknowledgement of false advertising. Hrm.  
 
Anyway cool topic and even posts so far (Kira and Hummingbird), remember there is Spider-man and Black Cat as well. (I like this example though) Imagine how fun things could have been if Spider-man ditched his lame job and decided to go around being a super thief, *cue awesome scenes of a Spider-man using his powers to sneak around art galleries, steathly stealing expensive jewels for Aunt May* Amora to an extent as well with Thor, but I feel it works okay here, since Amora has never been too evil, only a little bit bored and well being a goddess will tend to make you a bit snobby and evil to mortal eyes and minds. Captain America and Diamond Back I didn't like, but I do like Diamond Back and recently Rachel and this is a nice subversion, since she right now is generally considered more heroic or on the side of good than Constrictor, they had a little thing going on, but due to some Rachel and Ross like communication, Constrictor who would probably go more straight and on the narrow for Diamond Back, sort of presumed she had returned to Captain America's side and so didn't share his affections for her, when she actually sort of did.  
 
Maybe thats a story where she can convert him over. Oh and would Harlequin count or if that was her actual intent, does it change the context?  
 
This sort of brings up a pet peeve of mine as well, there aren't many genuinely charismatic characters in comics and like most ratios subsequent not that many truly charismatic female characters. We have strong, smart, fast, good, funny, and many who are super skilled fighters and all that. None that have the power to convert characters to their cause unless they are using some secret love or hormone power or potion etc etc (I mean in the in story context by the way too, not how we read into characters as readers)  
 
I think this is one of the reasons I use to like Buffy as well. She use to be a converter. Oh and that reminds me, I think some writers may lack the ability to say let a female hero be lenient to a male villain, because their writing may make her comes of as weak, where as with a male hero, and a female villain, it can be projected that the hero is just being a bit more lenient and and sympathetic, and there is no perceived loss of morality of power in fact sometimes it can seem designed enhance.  
 
I think this is also another reason I like Namor so much. Oh and most hated part of Xena with me? Hercules. Lame. Well it worked okay. D.E.B.S does this best, because lesbians just do everything better! Oh and whoops yeah my examples don't quite make it into marriage but its all I got I;m afraid, I am more of an eloper. 

Moderator
Posted by Primmaster64

Always wonder if Bad girls like good boys.

Posted by Billy Batson
@Primmaster64 said:
" Always wonder if Bad girls like good boys. "

Posted by digimod
@RazzaTazz said:
"After all I am big fan of Batman and Catwoman being together, but I find the relationship much more interesting if it were the 90s sassy thief version of Catwoman (sass!) and not the quasi reformed version we have today.   What made the characters so fun was that they were attracted to each other despite being opposites in a lot of ways."
100% agreement with you.
Posted by RazzaTazz
@Billy Batson: I can't really speak for bad girls because I am not one, but most girls like good guys. 
Moderator
Posted by Primmaster64
@Billy Batson said:
" @Primmaster64 said:
" Always wonder if Bad girls like good boys. "

"
...I dont get it...
Posted by Billy Batson
@RazzaTazz said:
" @Billy Batson: I can't really speak for bad girls because I am not one, but most girls like good guys.  "
:D
Posted by Billy Batson
@Primmaster64 said:
" @Billy Batson said:
" @Primmaster64 said:
" Always wonder if Bad girls like good boys. "

"
...I dont get it... "
I just use that pic when I think about anythin' :PPPPP
Posted by chipsnopotatoes
@thehummingbird said:
" I am very annoyed, with the way the girl's are always converted to good, (except my girl Harley!) It is also ironic as I believe you were about to state (is thehummingbird really about to bring Paradise Lost up again?) about the temptress archetype. They took it the other way while at the end of Paradise Lost, Adam rules over eve and she is no longer dominant. Which might I say fits Catwoman quite well. SHe used to be the one who could bring Batman down because of his attraction to her, however, now Catwoman is merely the Bat's partner, and is loyal instead of her once more dominant temptress archetype. Just to support this Eve tricked ADam into eating the apple (Not in Genisis I am talking about how she is portrayed in Paradise Lost!) but, when she allowed Adam to much knowledge*wow another unintentional illusion* (Allowing Bruce Wayne to become to involved in her life?*knowledge =)* ) she lost all power and was placed beneath him. Just as how I believed Catwoman fell, by allowing Bruce into her life and such rant rant need to better explain this or write a whole paper rather than a short and not the best explained, explanation such as this... "
Oh wow. I was just on CBR ragging about the same thing. Well, somewhat related thing. I don't like how they turned her into a goody two shoes with a dour personality that rivals the Bat.

And @razzatazz. Yes 90's Catwoman with Bats is much more interesting.
Posted by Zaiyan

Sue Storm been bad or just trampy?