In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
What comic book characters should raise a child together?
I wish for a world where heroes grow up and grow old and somewhere in between have babies. Or find babies or foster babies but somehow, as it says, raise a child together. I think you could give me any two comic book characters and I could give you back a scenario and a name and an actor to portray the kid. I have played that game many times. I tend to fall in love with those imaginary children of my favorite characters, and then I start to pair them up and give my favorite characters imaginary grandchildren, too.
Today I suggest James Barnes
and Natasha Romanov
My husband laughed when I told him my answer. “You want the Black Widow to have a baby?” I’ve used a similar line in fanfiction because it’s not obvious. They’re not going to get married and move to the suburbs like Vision and the Scarlet Witch (in Vision and the Scarlet Witch which everyone should read). They’re not going to hang up their tights and work for the NYPD like Peter Parker or join the PTA like Mary Jane (in Spider-Girl Vol I, which everyone should read). The panels above make it clear that a baby scares them the way a supervillain, an assassin, a clan of ninja, or an alien invasion don’t.
Sometimes we fear what we want the most.
James and Natasha don’t worry or complain about everything they miss by being who and what they are. They’re Russian. And before he was Russian, James was from Indiana. They don’t worry or complain. They do. Whenever and however they decided to do it and whoever he or she turned out to be, I know their child would be: good.
I’ve enjoyed the time traveling father-daugter dynamic between Nathan “Cable” Summers and Hope, the child he raised from infancy to teenagerhood in a futuristic wasteland. Their adventures continue in the current Cable & X-Force series. I like this comic! You won’t find a better audience for Summers family soap opera than yours truly.
But. . .
Sometimes I worry about that kid. Hope has the super serious take-no-prisoners vigilante style you’d expect from someone raised in a futuristic wasteland, by Cable. She’s a kid, though, she ought to learn how to have fun. She probably only knows a handful of swear words, and they are definitely not the most interesting ones. It’s almost certain that no one has exposed her to the wonder of the chimichanga, or the acting oeuvre of the late, great Bea Arthur. (Just take one look at Hope and you can tell she hasn’t seen a minute of Golden Girls, much less Maude.) Sure, the kid knows how to fight, but Cable’s probably never bothered to explain the importance of answering your telephone on mercenary business only when your mask is securely on.
Sure, Cable did a decent job of raising Hope, but imagine how great she would have turned out if she’d had the influence of the second parent every child needs: Wade “Deadpool” Wilson.
(There’s probably no way to make up for lost time at this point, but a Cable & Deadpool relaunch would do something to limit the damage, am I right?)
I am currently having a lot of fun with the post-reboot World’s Finest title, which has focused on the adventures of the Earth-2 Huntress and Power Girl, who were stranded in the main universe during the Big Climactic Battle with the forces of Apokolips. This Huntress is the Helena Wayne version, and this Power Girl is… Power Girl. Anyway, they’ve spent the past eight issues mostly flying under the radar of the established heroes of the prime universe (with the exception of Damian Wayne, and that was a fun read) while Helena uses the Wayne name to get a little funding and Karen starts her tech companies and stuff.
Karen and Helena have pretty fantastic chemistry with one another, as only the two-survivors-of-another-universe-trapped-with-no-way-home can. Though Karen’s had some lovers, none have even been given a name in canon (and she has not been judged for it… refreshing!), her strongest relationship is definitely with Helena. Whether or not that’s a romantic relationship… well, I compare them to Rizzoli & Isles a lot, and if you don’t know what that means, uh. Chemistry! Like I said!
Romantic or not, I think that the direction of the book lends itself well to these two characters randomly stumbling upon a baby, comically disliking it at first, then coming to love it. Sort of like Three Men and a Baby, but Two Superheroes and a Baby. There would be some wacky hijinks, some serious and heartfelt moments while the two women reflect on their own not-exactly-normal upbringings, and some genuine growth for the characters.
So what about you? What comic book characters should raise a child together?