Monday, November 23, 2009

DC's Pity Party

Influenced by the struggles of other groups fighting for Civil Rights, the Disability Rights Movement gathered steam and momentum in the late 1960s and early '70s. During this time, DC made efforts to be socially "with it" and began to feature stories of the Women's and Student Movements as well as African-American characters. It was also during this time that DC published numerous stories with wheelchair-bound characters.

DIAGNOSIS: Paralysis from car accident

"Don't Pity Me -- Love Me!"
Falling in Love #108 (July 1969)
Cover pencils by Ric Estrada, inks by Vince Colletta

DIAGNOSIS: Broken leg due to falling of porch

"Love, Love Go Away... Come Again Another Day"
Falling in Love #120 (January 1971)
Cover pencils and inks by Nick Cardy

DIAGNOSIS: Knee injury as a result of a football accident
(yes, even guys can be pitied)

"Too Much Loving... Too Many Tears!"
Girls' Romances #150 (July 1970)
Cover pencils by Nick Cardy, inks by Vince Colletta

DIAGNOSIS: Hit by a car while trying to catch up with two-timing Paul

"Pity Her -- But Love Me!"
Love Stories #147 (November 1972)

The word "pity" seems to be the signifier of a character in a wheelchair. In the world of DC romance, pity and wheelchairs go hand-in-hand. In these stories, none of the characters are permanently disabled or in a wheelchair due to congenital disorders or childhood illnesses. All are results of recent accidents, are temporary and are overcome within the length of the story.

I have yet to come across any wheelchair-bound characters in the Marvel or Charlton romance comics, but I am sure they are out there somewhere!

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