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Night Shade Message Boards » Fox, Andrew » What Comic Book Characters Did You Lust After as a Teen? « Previous Next »

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Andrew Fox
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 10:03 am:   

Hey, if this thread is a good enough topic for Jonathan Lethem, it's good enough for me, I figure. Mr. Lethem lusted for Gwen Stacey. I was never into blondes, myself (it all goes back to when I was six years old and my best friend, Ginnie -- a brunette -- had a best girl friend, Vicky, a blonde, who always tried her darndest to get Ginnie to refuse to play with me). I mean, Gwen Stacey was all right, especially when John Romita drew her wearing those short skirts and leather high-calf boots, but she never did anything for me. Kind of whiney, too; I liked Mary Jane Watson better.

No, my dream girl when I was twelve was Jack Kirby's Medusa, who I first met in the pages of Marvel Tales, those giant-sized $.25 reprints of the classic Lee-Kirby issues of Fantastic Four. I pedaled to many a comic book store, searching for any back issues of Marvel Tales that featured Medusa and the Inhumans (I couldn't afford the originals, of course). I liked her sister Crystal, too, but Crystal had the disadvantage of being a blonde, sort of. Hey, I guess I've always been into big hair, and the fact that Kirby drew Medusa with real womanly hips didn't hurt, either. I also really enjoyed those 1970s issues of Fantastic Four, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by either John or Sal Buscema, where Medusa had temporarily replaced Sue in the group. She always flirted in a really sexy way with Ben Grimm, even though we all knew her heart belonged to Black Bolt and Ben's to Alicia. Their harmless flirting appealed to me as something a pair of fun-loving, not-too-uptight adults might do when working closely together in a very hazardous line of duty.

Actually, I can't say that I'm 100% down on blondes, because my other comic sweetie from my pubescent years had flaxen hair, even if matted with salt water and seaweed. Bill Everette, the creator of the Sub-Mariner, drew a wonderful run of The Sub-Mariner in the early 1970s before he passed away. One of his favorite characters was Namor's teenaged niece, Namorita. Namorita, at least as drawn by Bill, was hot. (She appealed much, much less to me years later when she reappeared in The New Warriors. . . she just wasn't the same.) Between that pony tail and those winged feet, she had me from hello. Plus, whenever she was around Namor, he became a much more interesting, intelligent, nuanced character, not nearly the arrogant putz he was portrayed as in nearly every other one of his comic book appearances.

So, who turned you on in the comics when your hormones first started raging? I want to hear from both boys and girls, now.
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 10:47 am:   

Batman. Not Bruce Wayne.
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minz
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 10:54 am:   

Definitely MJ over Gwen (Gwen & Flash Thompson deserved each other). But I have to admit, my comic book days both pre and post-date adolescence. By the time my hormones were raging, I wasn't reading comic books at all. It was sf/f for the mind, and Playboy for the hormones. And I didn't come back to comics until I was working in the biz, and an intern of mine started feeding me the great new stuff (already aging by the time I got to it in mid 90s): The Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Astro City, Concrete, etc., etc. So I find myself feeling like a total outsider when it comes to this stuff, because I basically missed the buildup to the boom era.

Lunch is over, back to the mines...
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 12:22 pm:   

One fun aspect of recent graphic novel/compilation trends has been the fetishization of the 1970s. That was really my decade, the years of Werewolf by Night, Tomb of Dracula, Giant-Size Man Thing (couldn't resist throwing that one in there), and the wonderful Marvel Two-in-One, starring the Thing (by the way, the newest The Thing series really takes me back, as it so accurately recaptures the comradery between Ben Grimm and his guest stars that made the old series so loveable). And now almost of all of this stuff is getting reprinted as Marvel Essential collections. DC is getting into the act, too, reprinting a lot of their more obscure stuff from the 1970s in the same affordable format. That's good for me, because I was a 99.9% Marvel Zombie back in my big collecting days (aside from buying some of the first run of Swamp Thing and Kirby's The Demon), so a lot of what DC has recently started reprinting is all fresh and new to me.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 03:50 pm:   

How late are we talking about? I liked Tigra.
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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 05:45 pm:   

I didn't read comics as a teen. My cousin lusted after Psylocke (sp?) though.

Which is not to say that I haven't lusted after any comic book women in my twenties. . .
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 - 05:53 pm:   

The 70s? Feh--and I was buying every DC comic I could afford at the time. (Full disclosure: I purchased Archie comics and a few Gold Keys, too, but I was a kid. I didn't get into Marvel and others till later.) The mid to late 80s, on the other hand, rocked. I still treasure my collection of Sandmans and Hellblazers. Swamp Thing was written by Alan Moore then. There was this whole segment where Animal Man found himself turned into a woman and discovered that sex was, uh, different. Love & Rockets, the X-Men, Miracle Man--they had great stories. The 70s for me were boxy heros with noble stories. Even Green Arrow who was supposed to be this down and out kind of a hero in Seattle was predictable. Maybe Marvel was different.

Best,
Alice
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 07:52 am:   

Yeah, Adam, Tigra's a good choice. George Perez really had her number down when he was drawing Fantastic Four during that run in the 1970s that featured a version of the Frightful Four with the Brute, the Reed Richards from Counter-Earth. Tigra ended up as an ally of the FF and competed with Thundra over who could flirt most outrageously with the Thing. Man, back then, every female guest star in the FF had the hots for Ben.

I don't know if you remember this, but I'm pretty sure that Tigra's earliest appearances, beyond her origin in Giant-Size Chillers, were in Werewolf By Night. I bring this up because another one of my female favorites from my pubescent years starred in this title, Topaz the empath. Yes, another blonde. . . I broke my own rule more often than I realized. Mike Ploog (who also drew Man Thing and The Monster of Frankenstein) always drew Topaz in a really appealing Big-Eyed Child sort of way. The greatest thing about the character was her bond with the werewolf. The low-key romance between her and Jack Russell was utterly forgetable, but when he turned into the werewolf, there were real sparks there between them. Gerry Conway had the insight to know that most of the (pubescent male) readers of the title felt like hairy, foul-smelling monsters in their dealings with the opposite sex (I certainly did), so presenting them with a gorgeous, kind, sensitive young woman who happens to have this freaky thing for a werewolf would hit the bulls-eye smack center. Topaz certainly hit with me, so much so that I still carry a torch for the character (and loved her, for example, when she was reintroduced as a supporting character/love interest for Dr. Strange in one of the good Doctor's revivals in the 1980s).

Alice, even though the 1970s were my biggest decade for comic collecting, I got back into them in the mid-1980s when I was in grad school and working my first job, just about the time that Watchmen came out. My good friend Jon Sanborne let me borrow his complete run of Watchmen one weekend, and I started reading the first issue early on a Saturday morning before heading down to Northport Harbor for breakfast at the Shipwreck Diner. Well, I didn't make it down to the Shipwreck until dinnertime -- those comics sucked me in so completely that I couldn't move from my couch until I'd finished issue twelve, despite not eating or drinking a thing all day long. Watchmen was the first story told in the comics format that could compete in its emotional and intellectual impact upon me with top-notch SF novels such as Dying Inside or The Book of the New Sun. And hey, it featured another sweetheart of mine, Silk Spectre #2. I'm sure that at least 95% of the readers of Watchmen identified strongly with the uber-nerdy Night Owl #2, so watching Silk Spectre gradually realize that she could fall for this guy gave us all hope that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for us, too. In terms of female comic book characters, sweetness and understanding and a little freakishness for the unusual always trumped gargantuan breasts in terms of appeal for me.
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AliceB
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   

I think you hit the nail on the head about comics being written for pubescent boys. All the male heros were physically cookie cutters: inverted triangles under square jaws with thigh and calf muscles that Lance Armstrong can only dream about. My attraction to Batman came from something else. Physically he was built no different, but unlike the other heros, he had no super-powers (well, in theory anyway. No unsuper human could do what he did, but that's beside the point.) He was a detective--brains and self-discipline got him what he needed. Okay, his unlimited wealth to buy better and more sophisticated bat-toys helped too, but in principle, it was supposed to be his cunning that worked for him--which is why I dislike a lot of the Batman movies since they are all about his toys and brawn, and not about his brains. But I guess they're for a different pubescent crowd.

Female characters were, by and large, secondary. Aside from a few exceptions, they were meant to be love objects--which explains why such a large proportion ended up raped, killed, de-powered, or otherwise sidelined after a while. They were stand-with-their-man kind of women, which I could see being very attractive to males--Starsky and Hutch girlfriends written over many episodes.

I stopped actually buying comics in college (reading the ones my younger siblings bought instead), but picked them up again at about the same time you did--and Watchmen was fabulous. But what always interested me were the characters with strong emotions and complex brains--ergo Swamp Thing, Constantine, Morpheus, Animal Man, etc.

Best,
Alice
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Ahmed A. Khan
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 11:21 am:   

Wow! This thread has brought back so many memories that I am starting to feel my age. Anyway, I have had the hots at various times for various comicbook femmes: Wonder Girl (from Teen Titans) as done by George Perez, MJ Watson as done by John Romita Sr., Sue Storm and - above all - Super Girl (for my money, her mini-skirts are the sexiest thing in comics).

Ahmed
http://ahmedakhan.journalspace.com
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 12:28 pm:   

AliceB, since you mentioned Love and Rockets, I should come clean and say that I've carried a torch for Maggie ever since I first saw her on the page. As she's grown older and more Rubenesque, my affections have just gotten stronger. Jaime Hernandez is an amazing artist (not to mention a hell of a writer, too).

And Ahmed, my thumbs-up to all your choices. George Perez can't draw a bad-looking woman, and neither can the senior John Romita.
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Lori Smith
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2006 - 08:22 am:   

I was a late bloomer, so lust didn't really enter my life until I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show in college. During my comic-reading days I was shopping for a role model. I could never really decide if I wanted to be Vampirella, or Betty from the Archie comics. Even now I'm still not sure I've decided which way to go.
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 11:50 am:   

Lori, I think a blended combination of the two would be exquisite. Go for it!
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 07:15 am:   

Jean Grey - she reinforced my perception of girls in junior high school - ready to explode into the Phoenix at any moment, taking everything with her. And she was so sexy that I didn't care if she burned me to a crisp.

Later on I had a thing for Death.
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 10:05 am:   

So, Forrest, your other name is Thanos???
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Forrest
Posted on Thursday, March 02, 2006 - 11:01 am:   

Shh! Don't let that out! I'm laying low:

http://www.marveldirectory.com/individuals/t/thanos.htm
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Lori Nyx
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 08:19 am:   

Funnily enough, I always had a thing for Black Bolt-strong/silent/talks with his eyes. Perhaps this has to do with my natural talent for reading men's minds. Dr. Strange was always debonair--though a bit distant, then again the wise cracking Thing appealed to my east coast blue collar sensiblilities and then came Wolverine for that Bad Boy fetish...hmm, maybe I should mention all this to my shrink. LOL

Cheers to you and family,
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 08:50 am:   

Hey, Lori, great to hear from you! It's been a long time. If you're into Dr. Strange, you should really check out the two Essential Dr. Strange collections Marvel put out recently. The second volume includes all of Gene Colan's run, and I think Gene drew the most devilishly handsome version of Stephen Strange. Also, that new THING series that started coming out a few months ago is absolutely wonderful; the writer hits the character of Ben Grimm dead-on, and the artwork is perfect, too. The best portrayal of our friend B.G. since the old Marvel Two-In-One series from the 1970s (which, by the way, has also recently been collected in a Marvel Essentials volume, too). And I think your bud Black Bolt is showing up in The Illuminati Special, which leads into the whole Civil War event.

Wolverine is omnipresent, so I won't even try to list his recent appearances and collections.

Give my best to the gang out there in San Pedro when you see them. Thanks for hopping aboard my message board! Hope to "see" you again soon.
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William Lexner
Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 10:23 am:   

I had a semi-serious thing going on with Alison Blaire (Dazzler) for a few years.
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 01:06 pm:   

My favorite images of Alison were from the Dazzler Graphic Novel in which she dated an over-the-hill Hollywood actor, took up a smoking habit, ate way too much at parties, and put on a whole bunch of weight. Now there's a super-heroine I could live with (well, except for maybe the cigarettes. . . but I'm sure I'd find a way to put up with the stink, too).

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