Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Runaway Bride Alert - DC's "We Can Never Marry!" (Updated)

The runaway bride is a common theme in many romance stories in mediums ranging from comics to film. But why would a bride choose to make a sudden dash from her intended? Fear of being tied down to one person? A desire to explore herself and/or other options? In DC's "We Can Never Marry!" from Girls' Love Stories #172 (August 1972) with pencils by John Rosenberger,* a young man is nearly left at the altar for a reason you might not expect. Read on to find out why our splash page bride can't go through with it!


Cammy reflects on her younger self and her reluctance to settle into something serious. She reminisces the year her troubles started -- she was sixteen, confused, and missing her father who'd recently moved out of the house and into the city.


Cammy longs to be like her friends, but she just can't make herself fall in love. Young men are charmed by her and she has no problem getting a date, but Cammy has no desire to commit herself to a steady.


Though Cammy worries, her mother reassures her that when the right boy comes along, all will fall into place. Cammy, on the other hand, isn't so sure.

Time passes and Cammy grows into a more confident nineteen-year-old. She meets dreamy Robbie on a blind tennis date. The two are so enthralled with one another, they go out again that evening. Cammy is smitten but wants the approval of her father. When Cammy sees her dad over the weekend, he is pretty lukewarm about the whole situation and implores his only daughter not to make a mistake. Fortunately, Cammy's mom is more supportive of the young couple and their desire to make their relationship a life-long commitment.


And so, wedding plans commence -- a house is found, a dress is bought, and rings are picked out. All seems to be headed in the right direction, that is, until the rehearsal.

As soon as Cammy hears the words "'til death do us part" she panics and makes a break for it.

With more stamina in heels than I ever hope to possess, Cammy wanders around for six hours mulling over her situation. She is humiliated to return after fleeing, but a very concerned Robbie welcomes her back with open arms. After telling Robbie she can't explain what happened, Cammy's estranged parents pipe in. They take responsibility for setting a bad example by splitting up when things got rough.

Two days later, Robbie and Cammy marry. With the reunion of her parents, Cammy sees that love truly conquers all.


In addition to runaway brides, another common theme in romance comics is a fear of marriage due to a parental divorce. As a child of divorce myself, I completely understand Cammy's fear of tying the knot. I hope you enjoyed this sweet and hopeful story to round out the month of February! While the color of the couple's skin may be a rarity in romance comics, their story is one of the most universal of all.


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*I'm quite positive this story is a recolored reprint. I swear I've come across the original, but I can't seem to put my finger on it now. I'll update the post if and when I do come across the original story!

UPDATE

The mystery of the source of the original story has been solved thanks to two fantastic Sequential Crush readers. First, Steven S. got in touch with me to let me know that the original tale was from Girls' Love Stories #121 (August 1966). Unfortunately, that issue is one of the few of that series that I haven't acquired yet. Luckily, Osgood Peabody (a moderator over at the DC Comics Time Capsule -- go check it out!) was able to hook me up with scans of the original story, "A Marriage Without Love." Though the art was changed for the 1970s reprint, the 1966 story has the same exact plot and near identical dialogue. A big round of applause for Steven and Osgood -- thank you guys!

 May love always reign
supreme in your life too!

4 comments:

  1. Jacque,

    I think this story may very well be a redrawn /altered reprint. Looking at the figures and faces it looks like Win Mortimer pencils, not Rosenberger.

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  2. Dear Jacque: Hi! Thanks for this story. It's sweet and believable, and I enjoyed it.

    I'm no comics art expert, but to me the faces do look like Rosenberger's work. Is it possible he might have been brought in for the re-drawing, while the original might have been done by Mortimer, as Nick says?

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  3. Hi, Nick and David! I am almost positive this is a altered reprint. I seem to remember finding the original at some point, but for some reason I didn't write it down like I usually do!

    It's hard to tell on this one -- I'd almost need to see the original art. I can only see a pinch of Mortimer, but it is certainly possible he penciled some of it as some point. These reprints are tricky!!!

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  4. Happy to help, Jacque and thanks for the plug!!

    Best of luck with the book!

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