Kind of ruins things

I still suspect having Stephanie Brown getting mad at Tim whenever he shirks domestic and childrearing duties especially now that Stephanie’s a dedicated, working mother so she’s going to nag at him for not helping with her with child would irritate and surprise fans a lot. If because they’re not used to Steph barking orders a lot. They’re also not used to Steph becoming a dedicated working mother too.

Not to mention it ruins the whole reader surrogacy thing in that the hero in question gets nagged by his girlfriend for screwing up in some way. The Flash comics are a good example of what I’m saying wherein Iris West nags at Barry Allen for coming late. Not to mention she even entrusts her nephew Wally West in Barry’s care.

Iris’s personality did soften but I highly suspect that Iris seemed to be way too strong in the sense of openly calling out the male protagonist for his shortcomings. Something that unconsciously intimidates certain male readers a lot. Chances are we’d get a similar dilemma with Steph demanding Tim to help her take care of the baby and do household chores or if Tim is Black Canary’s biological nephew.

It wouldn’t matter what she wears, some people’s mothers do dress strangely and can be as strict and loving as any mother would. Some popstars are mothers themselves and unsurprisingly make their kids do their homework and chores. I would be just as ruinous if Dick Grayson has a milionnairess for a cousin.

No seriously, we’d run into stories where Dick Grayson starts begging for her money and she has to duly give some of it to him. They want Dick Grayson to have never-ending badass adventures and have women ogling him. They don’t want Dick Grayson to come begging for his cousin’s money if because that would mean Dick Grayson has dead-end jobs.

The fact that he changed jobs a lot suggests that he might be out to find something that suits him more. Especially now that he’s got a rich female cousin, that would mean he’s stuck in dead-end jobs and needs her for survival or something. Things like those emasculate male readers if these happened at all.

She orders him around

I guess it would be really surprising to see Stephanie Brown ordering Tim to help her look after her child once she’s got a lot of things to do. Completing her education or learning something new, working at a restaurant and looking after her family whilst trying to keep calm. That actually sounds like what many other people go through.

The only problem is some people would find it hard to believe that Stephanie’s now a working mum who nags at Tim. Never mind there’s already a precedent or two in both DC and Marvel. Marvel’s got Peter Parker who started working at a young age to support himself and Aunt May after Uncle Ben died. Then there’s Iris West who infamously nags at her bf Barry Allen. It’s not a big stretch for Steph to do both.

That’s other than letting go of the Steph they knew before.


I think I recall there was some controversy over Exxorians apparently indulging in bestiality or whatever. Context-wise, that was an alien kid trying to explain certain things to outsiders. Logically there were some people wondering if Superman having sex with Lois Lane is a form of bestiality, that was even brought up by Larry Niven in ‘Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex’. Something like Superman having serious difficulties after he marries Lois at all.

Though it could be that they’re so humanoid most people forget it. On the other hand, the late Ursula K LeGuinn already explored this in the Left Hand of Darkness. She even describes a humanoid community where whenever they do have sex, they sometimes change sex and become whatever role they will to take on. Those who still cling to a certain sex role (via drugs and the like) are considered outcasts.

So this is a weirdly logical possibility, however made worse by certain carelessness by some editors so there’s that.

Been dying ever since

If you believe some readers, Vertigo was already dying in the 2000s. In the sense that not only did it already peak in the 1990s and early 2000s but that it’s got serious competition in Image Comics and the like. Very early on in Image Comics’s heyday, it was mostly generic superhero comics but eventually it moved on from that and even republished former Vertigo Comics like Prince of Cats.

Among other things like the editor of chief (Karen Berger) moved on, which makes it harder to keep it afloat. This was already happening before Vertigo will be shut down by next year. Especially when the New 52 arrived it began including a lot of Vertigo characters. DC’s very own Black Label also makes it nearly redundant.

These factors alone explain why Vertigo has had a tough time ever since.

Working with Spoiler

If it sounds odd that Spoiler would become a working mum should she continue to care for her baby, chances are it’s actually not at all impossible. Working mothers were actually there since the Middle Ages and Renaissance especially whenever they ran local businesses and the entire household where they even got paid for it. It wasn’t necessarily any better before but at least that’s needed for survival. The man as sole breadwinner happened more recently.

Even today, working mothers still exist in almost all jobs. There are some mothers who even turn to prostitute to make a living. That’s not even impossible even if it’s not admirable. Though that necessitates wondering why such mothers aren’t taken kindly even if it does exist and has existed since before if hunter-gatherer and rural communities are any indication.

(Same reason why we could’ve gotten stories where Tigra works as a huntress and takes her child to hunting trips since some mothers already do this and some women do hunt.)

It’s not impossible for women to continue working even if they have families and it’s not really that bad if it’s done for survival and to help gain income and have something better to do. All what writers have to do’s to be more open to these.

She’s got to work

I still think should Stephanie continue caring for her child, chances are she’s going to get a job to support herself and her family which would mean she’s going to make Tim help her look after them. If some people do become attached to their children, as with some mothers (based on a documentary I watched) then losing the child by having them adopted by somebody else would be just as bad. I also think some essayist had a good point about the portrayal of motherhood (and child-rearing).

Not only does it interfere with idealised sex fantasies (not just with the pregnancy part but also where said female character may end up nagging at her male counterpart for not helping*) but also where it’s sometimes treated with suspicion or at least any degree of it. Madelyne Pryor, who begat Cable, turned out to be working for Mister Sinister and became evil. Stephanie Brown got impregnated by another man and was something of a troublemaker.

Cassandra Cain and Damian Wayne have villainnesses for mothers and both Cable and Rachel ended up being raised by somebody else. (The latter being Jean and Scott’s children though Jean did raise the former and Scott cared for the latter.) I don’t think it simply affects children but also nieces, nephews and even grandchildren.

Supergirl is Superman’s cousin but for an extended period of time her own relation to him got changed significantly and even in the older stories despite meeting Superman she ended up being raised by people other than him (in Superman’s defence he was practically orphaned upon arrival). Bart Allen came from the far-flung future and his own relatives were sent to live there or something.

Not only that he also got raised by somebody else, killed off, then reappeared with his relation to Barry changed and then reverted back. Sometimes superheroes’ children are never to be seen away, whether if they’re ignored or killed off (in Punisher’s case). I mean we could’ve gotten stories where Tigra not only hunts pests for a living but also takes her child to hunting and fishing trips.

Some mothers do the same to their own children and some women in general do hunt. Same with Stephanie Brown getting a job to support herself and her family, it’s not even unprecedented in superhero comics since Peter Parker did similarly and Supergirl also worked as a waitress (earlier still as an actress).

It’s not that motherhood and parenting are entirely devalued in superhero comics but that it’s hard coming up with superheroines who’re also dedicated biological mothers and aunts. Chances are such examples are few to begin with where you only have Jean Grey, Susan Richards and Helen Parr. There are good stepmothers like Rita Farr.

But having a superheroine remain a dedicated biological mother/aunt’s even rarer, hence why it proves somebody’s point right in linking superhero mothering with anything a little fishy (illegitimate impregnations, sometimes stemming from rape and the like). And why we never get to see Steph as a dedicated working mother.

Or Black Canary being Tim’s loyal but somtimes overprotective biological aunt.

*See also Iris West and partly why some people can’t stand her despite her importance in the Flash stories.

If/when anime dies

I have a feeling if/when anime dies, chances are it will be substituted. I even have a feeling that China and India might become the biggest animation hubs in Asia. As for manga, that too will die with anime and logically any other non-Japanese country would have to fill in the gap. Even DC and Marvel will do the same when you think about it. As for Marvel, it would be like Mangaverse but earnest in the sense of filling in a big gap.

Not to mention I even half expect romance and crime fiction to end up substituting for anime, light novels and manga. In the sense that if the anime well dried up, anime fans would have no other choice but to accept substitutes. A good number of crime writers will turn out to be anime fans. Chances are, anime’s loss would be so severe that any company and franchise will step in and fill in a big gap.