Summer tends to see a lot of people exchanging vows, so we’re going to run a very special list of the Greatest Genre Weddings.
“Number 1 will surprise you!”
10. T’Challa and Storm: Their celebrated 2006 wedding would rank higher on this list, but it only lasted six years, before the greater conflicts of the Marvel Universe (and the destruction of a good part of Wakanda) drew them apart. Will it happen again, on screen, now that Disney has acquired the movie rights to the X-Men? Should it?
9. Reed Richards and Sue Storm: Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman were not the first married superheroes, but their October 1965 nuptials are the first to form a comic-book event. And talk about a guest list! The Fantastic Four King-Size Annual #3 features, to quote the cover, “the world’s most colossal collection of costumed characters crazily cavorting and capering in continual conflict!” Sounds like quite a few relationships I’ve known.
Bonus: Patsy Walker, a long-time humor comic character, made her first appearance in the larger Marvel Universe in this issue. It wouldn’t be her last.
8. Sam Gamgee and Rosie Cotton: to quote J.R.R. Tolkien, “the simple ‘rustic’ love of Sam and his Rosie (nowhere elaborated) is absolutely essential… to the theme of the relation of ordinary life (breathing, eating, working, begetting) and quests, sacrifice, causes, and the ‘longing for Elves’, and sheer beauty” (letter to Milton Waldman, 1951).
7. Worf and Dax: I’ll throw some shade at Trek romance later but, for now:
6. Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson: We have a tie here, with DC and Marvel’s most iconic heroes marrying their long-time sweethearts. The Spider-wedding took place in 1987, with variant versions in the comic and the newspaper strip. Their love was so great apparently Mephisto needed to end it. The Super-wedding took place ten years later, after roughly sixty years of courting and several married depictions that took place in alt-realities and “imaginary stories” (The Golden Age versions of the character had married, but that took place on Earth-2, and was not officially depicted until 1978). The New 52 erased their marriage with nary a devil in sight (unless we count some of DC’s editorial staff), but 2016’s Rebirth re-established a married Lois and Clark, with their son, Jonathan, as part of DC continuity.
Peter and Mary-Jane remain retroactively unmarried.
5. Northstar and Kyle Jinadu: although Northstar did not come out until 1992 (Alpha Flight #106), he was long assumed to be gay. He finally married his long-time boyfriend twenty years later. As a mainstream comic-book presentation of a same-sex wedding, it came a few months after Archie and friends, in a “future” story, attended the wedding of Kevin Keller and his partner. The year 2012 saw Marvel maintaining its reputation for progressive storytelling, and Archie helping to cement its newfound status for the same.
DC, meanwhile, cancelled the planned 2013 nuptials of Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer.
4. Ralph “Elongated Man” Dibny and Sue Dearborn: Previous superheroes may have tied the knot in retroactive continuity, but this appears to be the first confirmed metahuman wedding (The Flash #119 March 1961). Although it is Ralph’s third appearance, the story indicates he’s already quite famous, is publicly known to be Elongated Man, and has a close enough relationship and association with the Flash that Barry appears as his best man (in costume).
3. John Crichton and Aeryn Sun: Mainstream media SF often fumbles the romance elements. Star Trek‘s pairings can seem arbitrary, and have less long-term effect than one of Kirk’s tumbles. As for Star Wars, the further we can stay from that lake on Naboo, the better. Farscape got it right. This story took the chemistry between the actors and developed something credible and in-character. For more, check out Emily Asher-Perrin’s account, which describes why this relationship worked better than I ever could.
2. Aragorn and Arwen: their wedding and “six-score years” together get recounted in Lord of the Rings‘ first appendix, “Annals of the Kings and Rulers.” It demonstrates a kind of mythic love keeping with the spirit of Tolkien’s epic., and ends with Aragorn’s death. His last words: “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.”
Special Mention: Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey. You have to admit: they threw one heck of a party.