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  1. #1
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    Default A History of Sex in Marvel Comics

    I decided to look into this, because it's a bit of a fascination for me. Comic books are well known as a medium that has evolved from childish to adult, and has come from the squeaky clean 30s into the, um...less clean new millenium. Tracking when comics got more "adult" is a bit of a fascination of mine. Certainly Gwen Stacey's death in 1973 is consistently referenced as a watershed.

    But there's the "risque" aspect of it. For instance, I know that from 1971-1975 Daredevil and Black Widow were both crime-fighting partners and in a relationship, and somewhere in that time frame they became the first comics couple to live together outside of wedlock. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing, it's certainly historic.

    I'm wondering where this began, and when did comic writers/artists take that leap to actually showcase the act, or at least, heavily imply that the act had taken place?

    However it's gone down for others, I'm pretty sure Spider-Man was consistently a superbly pure, family-friendly hero. No mention of him having ever done the dirty deed was ever, unless I'm mistaken, made until after he married Mary Jane. Even after that bizarre time he discovered Gwen had boffed Norman Osborne , I don't think any reference has been made, or panel shown, of him and Gwen having made the beasts with two backs.

    I have not read a single Spider-Man comic since One More Day, but I'm willing to bet that for the first time in his history, Spider-Man has been involved with action scenes that do not require the use of his costume?
    Last edited by Slimybug; 10-22-2019 at 02:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post
    However it's gone down for others, I'm pretty sure Spider-Man was consistently a superbly pure, family-friendly hero. No mention of him having ever done the dirty deed was ever, unless I'm mistaken, made until after he married Mary Jane.
    That's not exactly true.

    As Brian Cronin pointed out, Peter and Mary Jane had sex at the end of ASM #149 when they were dating. It's done by implication but it's a pretty obvious implication, complete with door closes. (https://www.cbr.com/spider-man-mary-...-clone-saga/2/). Likewise, Peter and Felicia Black Cat Hardy had a sexual relationship too.

    As for Gwen Stacy...in the actual comics it was never stated, and JMS' Sins Past had Peter explicitly admit that he never had sex with Gwen. OTOH, a lot of people interpret the end of Spider-Man Blue as Peter and Gwen having a moment...but that's not accepted by everyone.

    Anyway as far as Marvel Comics goes...
    -- I think Jim Steranko's Nick Fury was the first to go there when he implied via panel suggestions and close-ups that Nick Fury and the Countess had a moment.
    -- Chris Claremont's run on Ms. Marvel and then X-Men was the one where he started introducing a sexuality to Marvel Comics, so for Ms. Marvel he had Carole Danvers having a relationship with one of her boyfriends. Then in X-Men, the Dark Phoenix Saga has that famous bit on the top of the mesa where Jean Grey and Cyclops have some private time.

    And well...since Susan Storm gave birth to Franklin in the pages of Lee-Kirby, I think at some point Mr. Fantastic lived up to his name off-panel.

  3. #3
    Benefactor / Malefactor H-E-D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post
    somewhere in that time frame they became the first comics couple to live together outside of wedlock. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing, it's certainly historic.
    I'm surprised the idea of living together out of wedlock still needs a qualifier like that on this forum...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-E-D View Post
    I'm surprised the idea of living together out of wedlock still needs a qualifier like that on this forum...
    You mean for this thread? I see what you mean, but not everyone believes it is a good thing. That's kind of what's fascinating about it. That struggle between the veiling of sex and it's exposure (no pun intended), especially in advent of film, TV, and comics, and especially in and around the 1960s, is just that, a struggle, and one I find historically fascinating. I could talk about the James Bond films precipitating the sexual revolution, and many other aspects of it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post
    You mean for this thread? I see what you mean, but not everyone believes it is a good thing. That's kind of what's fascinating about it.
    Sure, but I feel like that's not the modern debate on the subject. The Sexual Revolution already happened. Sex won. You have to do some real digging in modern fanspaces to find people debating the morality of premarital sex.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Lukmendes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-E-D View Post
    I'm surprised the idea of living together out of wedlock still needs a qualifier like that on this forum...
    It can be worth to point out, comic books starting on silver age were aggressively made for children, for it to remain "innocent", it's why the comics code authority was made, so morals were over-simplistic, romance was non-existent and whatnot, when comics had more limitations, it's not far fetched to assume that they wouldn't allow couples who weren't married to live together, so pointing out these "firsts" is interesting to see the exact point comics loosened up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukmendes View Post
    It can be worth to point out, comic books starting on silver age were aggressively made for children, for it to remain "innocent", it's why the comics code authority was made, so morals were over-simplistic, romance was non-existent and whatnot, when comics had more limitations, it's not far fetched to assume that they wouldn't allow couples who weren't married to live together, so pointing out these "firsts" is interesting to see the exact point comics loosened up.
    I guess what I was pointing out that the phrase "whether you think that's a good or bad thing" sounds more like an excerpt from those past debates than part of a modern conversation about the history of sex in comics. It's absolutely worth studying the history of sexuality in comics; but the original phrasing made it sound like premarital sex is still a hot topic of debate... and it's just not anymore.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Grapeweasel's Avatar
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    That Millie the Model really got around......

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-E-D View Post
    I guess what I was pointing out that the phrase "whether you think that's a good or bad thing" sounds more like an excerpt from those past debates than part of a modern conversation about the history of sex in comics. It's absolutely worth studying the history of sexuality in comics; but the original phrasing made it sound like premarital sex is still a hot topic of debate... and it's just not anymore.
    Well, at any rate, the point seems moot now, as in my research, I've actually found out that this "Gasp! They're living together!" is actually a bit more hyped up than it was. While the two were definitely love interests at the time, they weren't even dating when this happened, and the issue clearly points out that they'd be sleeping on different floors.

    Still, I'd imagine they began their romantic relationship while living together, but still, this makes it harder to nail down any historical pinpoint.

    daredevil.jpg

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    I thought Spider-man and Black Cat were pretty intimate before Pete and MJ were married.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, that's what I'm getting from replies on here. That darn vixen, he was pure until she corrupted him! (as I'm sure Aunt May would say)

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post
    Yeah, that's what I'm getting from replies on here. That darn vixen, he was pure until she corrupted him! (as I'm sure Aunt May would say)
    Nope. Peter lost his virginity to Mary Jane well before Felicia arrived.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Nope. Peter lost his virginity to Mary Jane well before Felicia arrived.
    That's right, though we're all assuming he didn't sleep with Betty Brant. Hey, I know it was never too serious, but teenagers are teenagers!

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post
    That's right, though we're all assuming he didn't sleep with Betty Brant. Hey, I know it was never too serious, but teenagers are teenagers!
    With MJ, you have an actual epilogue with doors closed and Peter telling MJ "Let me show you" how glad he is to see her. There was never a comparable moment of risque nature with any relationship Spider-Man had before.

    One problem with Peter is that he used to live with Aunt May. So he can't bring dates over. There aren't moments or scenes where Peter stays over at his gf's house.When Peter went to college he became roomies with Harry Osborn. So there was more space but there was never any hint of Gwen Stacy staying over at Harry's, likewise, Gwen stayed with her father, so he can't go over to her.

    When Peter and MJ happened...Peter found a new home at Chelsea (after Harry, worst roommate ever bombed the old place...just when Peter was bringing MJ over in fact), and had no room-mates so he had space to go about his business with his girlfriends without room-mates and Aunts and Dads.

  15. #15
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    People forget that Sue was living in the Baxter Building before she married Reed. It is a bit surprising that back in the 60's it was never really brought up. In the Heroes Reborn Fantastic Four, Sue and Reed believed that they were unmarried IIRC and then Sue became pregnant. That's another peculiar case of Franklin manipulating reality.

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