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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Monday, July 13, 2020

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

By now you've got your hands on last week's Harley Quinn #74, right? So you've seen this:

© DC Comics

I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, if Booster and Harley were real people and not comic book characters, they'd deserve the same chance at happiness as everyone else. Regardless of the fact that she was trying to kill him as recently as a year ago, the pair would still have the right to seek happy, fulfilling romantic relationships regardless of their past history or public opinion. Whatever anyone outside the relationship (read: me) thinks about the suitability of the pairing of a jock from the future and a psychopath's gun moll should be irrelevant to that relationship.

On the other hand, neither Harley nor Booster is a real person. They are comic book characters who have become widely recognized by fans for being in decades-long relationships with other members of their same sex. Booster's relationship with BFF and fellow hero Blue Beetle has always been intimate but canonically platonic, yet the dastardly damsels Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have chosen a more physical relationship. (As is the norm in American popular entertainment, the good guys have to play it straight while the femme fatales enjoy "forbidden" love.) Is it a coincidence that these two standard-bearers of non-traditional relationships were chosen to enter into a gender-conforming heterosexual relationship by publishers, editors, writers, and artists who should be aware of the characters' metatextual associations? I find that hard to believe.

As I said, mixed feelings.

Am I reading too much into it? Maybe. That might be the fault of my liberal arts education: looking for meaning where none exists. Maybe I'm grasping at external reasons to justify my own irrational expectations of my hero's choice of girlfriend. Who knows? Since I strongly believe that one should never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence, I think I will choose to look on the bright side and give love a chance.

Good luck, you crazy kids.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: boostle harley quinn romance sami basri sexual politics


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