Steve Morris over at The Beat has a piece up about the spoileriffic plot development that everyone’s talking about in today’s Avengers Vs. X-Men #9. In order to save you from being accidentally spoiled, let’s continue this under the jump, shall we?I haven’t read AvX #9 yet, so I have no idea what happens after the two panels that Rich Johnston revealed to the world before most US stores were even open yet (Thanks for that, Rich. No, really), but I have to say that the most reaction I have to the annulment of the marriage between Black Panther and Storm is… what was the point? Not of the annulment, exactly – although it seems kind of ridiculous and out of the blue, but maybe it doesn’t seem so bad in context – but of the entire marriage? At the time the wedding was announced, I remember a lot of “Wait, where did that relationship come from?” reaction and a certain amount of retcon and flashback stories to give the two characters more of a history together than one issue of Marvel Team-Up years ago. That’s one thing, but what’s a bigger problem to me is that I feel as if there was never anything really interesting done with the two of them as a married couple afterwards – All too often, the two were written separately (Storm in the various X-Men titles, Black Panther in The Man Without Fear/Most Dangerous Man Alive and Avengers) and not given enough of a chance to shine together.
Dwayne McDuffie’s take on the two of them in his all-too-short Fantastic Four run was great; I wish I could’ve seen more of that, and less of the “I have to go to America to be with the X-Men!” “I have to live in New York without you because I need to regain my honor!” nonsense that writers other than Reginald Hudlin and McDuffie seemed to throw in their path (That said, Storm’s appearances in David Liss’ Black Panther run were pretty great, with her poking fun at their separation enough to make me wonder whether competing editorial departments were the real reason they couldn’t be together). Despite the seeming arbitrariness of their getting married in the first place, the couple had great potential as a couple in the Marvel Universe; a new power couple to rival Reed and Sue, or… actually, is that it for stable married relationships in the Marvel Universe (Do Northstar and Kyle count, I wonder, or are they too new to have proven to be stable)? That can’t be right. Who have I forgotten?
(EDIT: Luke Cage and Jessica Jones! Thanks, useless memory.)
Nonetheless, there really was space for some fun with T’Challa and Ororo as a couple. Seeing their married undone like this just makes for flat soap opera in a story that really didn’t need it (Not to mention, it makes T’Challa seem like a bit of an ass. “If I’d been here, I would’ve helped, I’ve been trying to stop this kind of -” “NEVER MIND, WE’RE NOT MARRIED ANYMORE OKAY?”)