September 1, 2009
I turn my back on a woman for 50 years, and this is what happens. Veronica Lodge has agreed to marry Archie Andrews. I will admit that Archie has aged a lot better than I have, although he’s 10 months older, but I still consider this the height of perfidy.
The news has been out for a long time, but the comic book containing the engagement story arrived on news stands today — or so I’m told. I didn’t have the heart to look.
Meanwhile, the news today that Disney is going to buy Marvel Entertainment — Spider Man, Captain America and all — got me to thinking about the other comics I read, when I wasn’t fawning over Veronica.
My pantheon was Plastic Man, Blackhawk, the Green Lantern, Superman and Batman. Plastic Man had one of the most complicated personal histories of any comicbook hero. I don’t want to go into it here (I do have to teach the first class of the semester tomorrow morning) but one aspect of it is reminiscent of the Toxic Avenger, now an off-Broadway attraction, thanks to the George Street Playhouse. Toxie, to his intimates, was a nerd who was thrown into a vat of toxic chemical waste that turned him into a superhuman mutant. Plastic Man was an underworld figure who was accidentally sprayed with a chemical that made his body so flexible that he could bend himself into any shape, though he retained the red color and black-and-yellow stripes of his body suit. I remember him, for instance, disguising himself as an icicle, but even as a kid I didn’t understand why his pursuers couldn’t spot an icicle with that color scheme.
I don’t know whether this Disney transaction is good or bad, but I did read an analysis of the financial aspects of the engagement of Archie and Veronica. Roma Luciw, writing in The Globe and Mail, examined whether a couple with such disparate underpinnings — a wealthy she and a middle-class he — should enter into a prenuptial agreement. You can read what the experts think at this link: