Issue #36 of 35   INDEX

Joel Grineau
by: Joel V. Grineau
Sex and Superheroes

Just like everyone else, superheroes must have sex lives, right? Is this sex also super? Enquiring minds want to know. Of course, sex has to be dealt with carefully in comic books. Even though the comics code authority is all but dead, mainstream comics cannot graphically depict sexual acts.

This is not to say that superheroes don't have sex. It's pretty obvious that most of DC's Golden Age superheroes must have had sex, as many of their offspring went on to form Infinity Inc. Even though Infinity Inc. has disbanded, many of these second generation heroes are still involved in the DC Universe.

Closer to today, no one could argue that Cyclops and Marvel Girl aren't doing the 'horizontal boogie'. Then again, she has telekinetic powers, so only God (and Chris Claremont) know what they're really 'up to'. Of course, Cyclops and Marvel Girl are basically human in their physical make up, so it's not that big a deal to most of fandom.

However, what about those heroes who have augmented physiques? I'm not the only person to wonder about this. For example, Brodie of Mallrats fame asked Stan Lee

"if all... y' know, like ALL of Mr. Fantastic can stretch...?"
Similarly, Mark Leigh and Mike Lepine's hilarious How to be a Superhero (NBM Books: 1992) notes that item #4 of the superhero charter states that
"Those of us with elastic or other stretching powers shall not abuse these powers to the detriment of 'regular guys'..."

Of course, the big question is Superman's sex life. My editor insists that Supes can "suitably 'relax' his physiology," so that he and Lois can have "safe sex". "Otherwise, there'd be no story: She'd be dead." This theory was, with disastrous results, put to the test in a classic 1970's sci-fi story Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

Interestingly, even the comic book professionals have wondered about Superman's libido. Some years ago, the late Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme looked at this. Gruenwald decided to have the Superman and Wonder Woman of that reality, ie. Hyperion and Power Princess, begin a courtship, in part because no one else on that world could possibly have sex with them.

Of course the super powerful Maxima has long felt that only Superman possesses the right genetic material for her children. The Man of Steel turned slightly red when he first heard of her plans for him.

Bruce Banner has had sex for years with his wife, Betty. But the Hulk? Sorry, no nookie for you Mr. Jade Giant. Speaking of green people, in a possible future of the Marvel universe, the She-Hulk (who is also Gamma irradiated) had a love affair with the Abomination (another Gamma `irradie'). One can only assume this occurred, because, in part, neither could find a partner who could otherwise 'handle' them.

Of course, no one has bothered to mention the problem of sonic powers and sex. Do you want to be near Black Canary or Screaming Mimi during 'the moment'? Heck, if Black Bolt verbalized his joy, the Earth would probably shatter!

Sex and superheroes. Whether acknowledged or not, it happens.

Joel Grineau is a former Writer/Contributing Editor for "Chaos" Magazine. "Iron Man" 146 (purchased in the spring of 1981) was his first comic book, and time has not worn down his enjoyment of them. Joel holds a BA from the University of Guelph and an MA from the University of Saskatchewan. He is currently an officer with the Canadian Forces.

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Text © Joel V. Grineau, 1997,1998.
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