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Avril Brown Presents:






 

“Ooh a wedding, I love weddings! Drinks all around!”

From drunken debaucheries to a romantic rendezvous, weddings are a constant source of fluctuating amusement. There can be the occasional bitter bridesmaid or the crazy uncle who drinks too much and ends up peeing in the potted plants, but there is also the best man who comes through with an incredible speech, and the poignant words exchanged between a loving duo. At a truly excellent wedding, people of all ages, sex and personality will shelve their differences for one night of cuddly cuteness, free drinks and dancing fools.

What is it about weddings we find so appealing? Why do most people end up a little toasted and hand in hand with a total stranger, dancing the Hava Naglia?

Surely the open bar and bumping dance floor have something to do with the allure of the event. However you don’t have to be a hopeless romantic to accept that weddings are a blast because they conjure up a powerful and potentially dangerous emotion: hope. No matter what happens afterwards, there’s that shining moment when vows are exchanged, lips meet and the dancing begins, and even the most jaded of souls has a brief flash of hope not only that love is out there, but it can be found, and more importantly, shared.

In the realm of comics and other forms of fiction, a lot of characters experience love in some form, but rarely do we see a marriage ceremony performed. For superhero comics especially, an official union between two characters is quite a big deal, and I for one hope this doesn’t change. In the real world of twelve hour Vegas hook ups and a near fifty percent divorce rate, it’s nice to see our fantasy outlets aren’t throwing around ‘I do’s’ like they’re confetti, which makes it all the more special when they do occur. Superheroes live busy and dangerous lives, which can be difficult on a marriage. When writers decide to tie the knot of a comic couple, it’s usually one hell of a party.

You can’t talk about superhero unions without mentioning Jean Grey and Scott Summers, also known as Phoenix and Cyclops. These crazy kids were flirting almost since their debut in the very first X-Men issue in 1963. They faced such hardships as Scott’s initial shyness to Jean being dead to Scott marrying Jean’s genetic clone, but after all the trials and tribulations they finally tied the knot in X-Men #30 more than thirty years since the world met these characters.

One of my favorite issues of all time, this book captured a bit of everything which makes up a great wedding. The ever present element of humor kept things from getting too mushy. Mighty mutants such as the Beast, Iceman and Havok can turn giant robotic Sentinals into scrap metal, but they fall short when it comes to fixing the groom’s bow tie. There are a few touching moments, of course. Rachel Summers, who is the daughter of Jean and Scott in an alternate future time line (don’t ask), wishes her ‘mom’ the best of luck on her wedding day. Scott tells Charles Xavier the influence the headmaster has had on his life, and how he loves him like a father. Wolverine, who was in love with the fiery redhead, can’t bring himself to attend the ceremony, but ensures it goes smoothly by taming an unpredictable temporary resident of the estate. Cake gets smashed into faces, wanted fugitives mingle with government officials, and a telekinetic bride shares a dance with her handicapped mentor. It was fun, touching and sprinkled with inside jokes; basically everything one wants to see at a long-anticipated superhuman wedding.

Though it has been almost fifteen years since Jean and Scott tied the knot, and things have definitely changed for Marvel’s golden couple (Jean’s dead again and Scott’s in love with a former villain), it doesn’t diminish the beauty and hope conveyed in that book.

Another long lasting comic relationship is the one shared by Clark Kent, aka Superman, and his long time love interest, Lois Lane. This strong-willed female reporter debuted right alongside her man in what is commonly viewed as the original superhero book: Action Comics #1 which came out in 1938. Changes have been plentiful for the man of steel and the lovely lady journalist, depending on the general mood of popular America and the whims of the writers. After multi-verses, other women with two ‘L’ names, deaths and break ups, Clark Kent and Lois Lane were married in Superman: The Wedding Album in 1996. Dragging in every living artist who worked on a Superman book, The Wedding Album is an artistic history of DC’s most famous character. In an unusual reversal of roles, Clark Kent was powerless at the time of the wedding, while Lois shows off her feminist side by refusing to be “given away” by her father. Held as a traditional church wedding, this event fifty years in the making seemed to be for the fans who have been waiting patiently for several decades for those two rascals to settle down. Still, this union keeps alive the hope of after years of a soap opera relationship, even fictional characters can exchange vows.

Sue Grafton is the brilliant mind behind the alphabet murder mystery series starring a female private investigator named Kinsey Millhone. Kinsey is a colorful and strong character with an eclectic circle of friends, one of whom is her elderly yet spry octogenarian landlord named Henry. When his equally healthy seventy-something brother, William, comes to visit and meets Rosie, the cantankerous owner of a not-so-great restaurant, sparks immediately fly. The two wind up married at the end of one of the books, and the slightly cynical Kinsey narrates the event and admits when William tells Rosie he has been waiting for her his whole life, everyone shed a tear, including her. Tender, unexpected and completely lovely, that scene really epitomizes the love and hope a wedding can convey.

My sister got married last weekend, hence why I have waterworks and white dresses on the brain. The wedding was perfect. The sun was shining for the entirety of the brief yet sincere ceremony, the scenery was breathtaking and the reception was rocking. Seeing my beloved sister and new brother willingly join their lives together filled me with a bevy of emotions, most of them warm and fuzzy. Sure there’s the ever present loneliness a single person feels when seeing an unbelievably happy couple, but most prevalent was the love I have for my family, and the knowledge they’ve found someone to share a life with. Seeing them gives me the best kind of hope: namely the well-founded belief one of the most important people in my life will continue to lead a happy and loved existence.

Weddings can be garish and disgusting, poor and genuine, the best of times and the worst of times, and everything in between. A bad wedding is like bad sex; usually you wish it had never happened in the first place. A good wedding reminds you why there is a Crate and Barrel gift box in your backseat as you battle traffic to reach the sticks and try not to fuck up your manicure while flipping off obnoxious drivers. We are all searching for hope, something or someone to believe in, and when a couple looks into each other’s eyes and make that promise to love and protect one another through anything, we’re content knowing the search is over for at least two lucky bastards. Fill your glass and get your groove on when the DJ strikes up ‘Oh What a Night!’, for the evening is young and hope doesn’t have a curfew.

Dedicated to my older sister and my new brother. Chelsea and Scott, I have love!

Avril Brown





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