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We’re on Part 2 of my favorite comic book duos. Not by order of importance! Am I biased? Sure. Do I know what I’m talking about? You decide! I’ll be looking for your comments and replies, below.
5. Batman and Robin
Dick and Damian: undercover brothers.
: Not Bruce and Dick. Dick and Damian. The thing I’ll miss most after DC’s The New 52 comes to town is the scratchy, often hilarious relationship between The Good Son and The Bad Seed.
Dick Grayson set the gold standard–he’s the Robin every later version tried (and failed) to live up to, and Batman’s most trusted and beloved associate (barring Alfred). Damian Wayne is the antithesis of his father–a 10-year-old killer, violent, brilliant, and smug. Raised by assassins and cheated of a relationship with his father, he’s got a chip on his shoulder many times the size of his tiny body.
With Bruce seemingly dead, Dick takes it upon himself to somehow manage Damian–installing him as Robin to his Batman. Did I mention that Damian seethes with hatred and envy of Dick that burns like lava? Dick’s slow-building frustration vs. Damian’s snot-nosed digs was my favorite, favorite part of Grant Morrison’s run. Their reluctant brotherhood was rife with storyline possibilities, especially when Bruce returned–it’s a shame it will be cut short. Plus: it inspired adorable Damian “letters” to Dick, as seen on ComicsAlliance
(go look–we’ll wait).
4. Liz and Abe:
Liz and Abe: fellow "freaks."
Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien are two of the most interesting characters of the B.P.R.D.
–and that’s saying something.
They’re two misfits with more in common with each other than anyone else in the world–both spent time feeling like “lab experiments,” and both had a close relationship with Hellboy, who abandoned the group.
Both are regarded with mistrust by many of the “normal” members of the B.P.R.D. No wonder they sometimes squabble like brother and sister.
However, when confronted with a crisis of faith–for example, when Abe discovered his past life in the 1800s as Langdon Everett Caul, or when Liz is given apocalyptic visions of the future–they can depend on each other for some tough love and support.
With all the monsters and action of B.P.R.D.
, it’s the family-like relationship of these characters that give readers an emotional base to latch onto.
With all of the recent drama in the Hellboy universe (spoiler!
), they’ll need each other more than ever.
3. Cassie Hack and Vlad:
Cassie and Vlad: slasher killers.
When I saw my first cover of Hack/Slash
, I groaned. Great,
I thought. More mindless exploitation comics.
Then I took my head out of my ass and read it.
has gone awry occasionally, but the book’s strength is in the relationship between Cassie Hack, a vulnerable-yet-tough slasher killer, and Vlad, a sheltered misfit who has found his place with her.
You see, Cassie started out as a misfit teen, and then discovered that her mother, the school lunch lady, was . . . The Lunch Lady, an undead slasher who killed the teens who tormented her daughter. Vlad, kept in seclusion his entire life, looks like a monster on the outside, but is a sweetheart on the inside. Their fellow outcast status has allowed these two to bond in a way they’ve never been able to with anyone else.
Together, they travel the country, kill slashers, and work on their personal demons. When Cassie overworks herself to avoid any meaningful human interaction, Vlad is the only person she’ll (eventually) listen to. And when Vlad gets distracted by gorgeous demonic evil-doers, Cassie is there to smack him back to reality. What could be better?
2. Superman and Jimmy Olsen:
Superman and Jimmy: good pals?
I admit it: I’ve never been a faithful reader of the Superman
comics–I’ve just loved the idea of silly Jimmy Olsen and his crazy Gold and Silver Age shenanigans.
Superman, taken on his own, can be a bit of a stiff. But having to deal with a goofy teenager with a signal watch who tends to undergo ridiculous transformations? Um, Bizarro Jimmy Olsen? Elastic Lad? Colossal Boy? That’s hilarious.
While I was a little offended when I revisited the Death of Superman
and realized that Jimmy just kept snapping pictures
while Superman lay dead in Lois’s arms–nice friend, Jimmy–it’s even more of a travesty how marginalized Jimmy has been in the present DCU. This made me appreciate his appearance in All-Star Superman, where in a clever callback to his “transformative” past, he was dressing as different people for his ” . . . For a Day” column. He even gets to save Superman!
I’m hoping he’ll have a larger role in The New 52–since Supes is now going to be single, he’s going to need a good pal to talk to. Hopefully Jimmy won’t sell the info to the tabloids.
1. Kitty Pryde and Wolverine:
Kitty and Wolverine: demon ninjas!
Have I mentioned how much I love Kitty Pryde? How her character, which was introduced in the Classic X-Men
comics I cut my teeth on, is part of what hooked me on comics? She was 13. I was 14! She had brown hair. Me, too! She had a dangerous, powerful, cigar-smoking friend who taught her hand-to-hand combat. I . . . did not. But I really wanted one! (In my defense, I did not realize how skeevy that would come off in real life. Thank you, parents, for keeping me away from dangerous older men who specialize in killing people when I was a teenager.)
Their relationship went beyond the cute-kid-befriends-the-killer schtick in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine
miniseries, which I loved
(except for cutting off poor Kitty’s hair). Kitty tries to help her shady father and travels to Japan, where she is possessed by a demon ninja! And only Wolverine can save her! By teaching her to hold a ninja sword in the air for days and days! And by going on arduous runs in the snow–and leaving her behind for dead when she gives up! But! Kitty made it back to safety, on her own, and she held
that sword, and she evicted
that demon ninja, so good job, Wolverine!
In all seriousness, I loved this partnership, and how Kitty came to terms with the darker aspects of Logan’s personality as she matured. It made her a much better character, and softened Wolvie just a bit. But I frickin’ hated
it when X-Men tried to establish the same kind of relationship between Wolverine and Jubilee! She sucked!
Whew! So what do you think? Did you read Part 1 at Nerdpuddle yet
? Leave your comments below!
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