I want to discuss a strange one-sided trope I’ve noticed, and why I have a problem with it: immortal male characters who have a series of mortal girlfriends. For some reason, this trope appears in geek media fairly often, yet I can’t think of a single example of the reverse (i.e., immortal women with several mortal boyfriends) or of a queer version. In fact, immortal women tend to only be allowed to have a single male lover, and must spend the rest of their long lives alone after their lovers die—or else give up their immortality. This perpetuates the double standard that it’s okay for otherwise good men—heroic men, even—to have multiple lovers, while if women want to remain “pure” and upstanding, they can only ever love a single man. This whole issue is worse than a double standard; it’s a matter of differential power in relationships.
Slight spoilers for Doctor Who, Watchmen, Sandman, Lord of the Rings, Stardust, and The Last Unicorn below!
Yes, the Doctor is pretty much immortal… as long as he keeps making money for the BBC.
Syng: Merry Christmas! Guess what present Neil Gaiman and Co. got for us? Overture #4! And even though its release was delayed by a couple months, we don’t mind one bit. This time, Neil Gaiman (with art by J.H. Williams III and coloring by Dave Stewart) takes us on a journey to the stars and beyond the bounds of time. Spoilers in our summary and review below!
Dream keeps telling me to shut up about him, but I refuse!
See, I told you I was going to keep talking about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic series! Today I’m going to discuss three ways in which the series subverts the expectations of readers familiar with Christian lore. These tropes are the Mystical Pregnancy, the Death of the Son of God, and God Dying for Our Sins. I think these departures from Christian canon are ultimately more “human”—more relatable and thus, perhaps, more believable.
When I first started writing for Lady Geek Girl and Friends, I never thought I would join the ranks of our other lovely comic book reviewers. You see, I had never really gotten into American comics before; I prefer the aesthetic of manga. Well, that all changed on Free Comic Book Day this year, when my local comic shop lured me in with the promise of free comics, but convinced me to actually spend money too (which I suppose is the whole point of the day). I had heard that Sandman was a really great comic series written by Neil Gaiman, a writer I respect, so when I saw the first two issues of a Sandman prequel series there, I thought it would be a great place to dive into the saga.
The Sandman: Overture is a planned six-issue prequel series that tells the tale of the “triumph of a sort” that weakened our main character Dream so much that he was able to be imprisoned by mere mortals at the beginning of the first Sandman volume. Gaiman as writer is ingenious as always, and J.H. Williams III’s artwork is gorgeous, but let me warn you now: it turns out this is not one of those prequels that you can read before the original work. It’s not just that you’ll have trouble understanding what’s going on; the prequel actually contains spoilers for the end of the original series. But if you’ve read the original series and want answers to some questions (and don’t mind the raising of some new questions!), then Overture should be super intriguing to you. Find out more in my spoilerific review of Issues 1–3 below!