Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do Comic Book Parallel Universes Promote Polygamy?

Does the concept of parallel universes in comic books (or television or movies or novels) promote polygamy when they promote alternate pairings between their various characters?  That's the idea being thrown out by Christian Response Alerts website while discussing Life With Archie #16, which featured the wedding of Kevin Keller and Clay Walker:
In 2010, the comic series also had Archie marrying both Veronica and Betty in parallel universes – thus introducing the idea of polygamy to its readers.
To be clear, Archie Comics did not create the concept of parallel universes when it launched the comic book, Life With Archie.  Parallel universes have existed for as long as I remember and they're a staple at all the major comic book companies.  DC Comics has multiple versions of its main characters on Earth 1, Earth 2, Earth 3, etc.  Marvel Comics has published multiple series of What If?, which asked readers what it would be like if major events happened differently (such as, what if Spider-Man's Uncle Ben hadn't been killed?).  Not to mention that a good number of Marvel's X-Men come from alternate timelines.

Is Invisible Woman a polygamist because she married Sub-Mariner in What If? series 1, issue 21?  After all, we all know that Sue married Mr. Fantastic in mainstream Marvel Universe.  What about the time that Jean Grey married Wolverine in What If? series 2, issue 60 even through she'd already married Cyclops in the mainstream Marvel Universe?

What silliness.  Anyone who reads comic books or who has any general foothold into the worlds of science fiction knows all about parallel realities.  Besides the fact that we're talking about fictional people in fictional situations, it's clearly understood that we're not talking about polygamy when one version of Wolverine is married to Jean Grey while another version of Wolverine is married to Mariko, just like it's understood that Captain America didn't take on a second job when he became President of the United States of America back in the 1970s in an early issue of What If?!

This is the type of purposely obtuse observation that makes people look foolish.  Either they don't understand the medium that they're criticizing, or they do and they're purposely trying to confuse people who don't.  My tip to Christian Response Alerts and others like them?  Stop trying to be clever while criticizing stuff like the Keller/Walker wedding in LWA #16.  It makes you look out of touch and dilutes your actual point of disagreement.

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