iFanboy says that reality and comics don't mix well:
Unlike chocolate and peanut butter, reality and comic books don't seem to work very well together. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like as soon as a comic book character gets hitched, he becomes incredibly dull. We're expected to go from reading about a character who risks life and limb, to reading about about wedding plans, dinner parties, laundry, and even diaper choices. My life is quite filled with tedium already, do I really need to read about someone who has superpowers and does boring crap?
We've actually touched upon this subject before here. I don't think I quite agree with the assertions made in the above passage. First of all, if reality were to be completely dislodged from comics, then this blog would be blasphemy. But aside from that, the infusion of "reality" into a storyline serves to incentivize readers and broaden the scope of the problems faced by these characters.
Let's take the example of Superman. People have been reading Superman comics for years, watching his idle flirtations with Lois Lane. We also see his persona of Clark Kent composing articles for the Daily Planet. These were elements introduced to the story to highlight Superman's need to be accepted into the society he tries to protect. The fact that he desires to be loved by a human and that he holds a steady job represents him trying to reconcile his alien origins with his human upbringing. So, watching him mumble while trying to ask Lois on a date and seeing him take phone calls in his office might sound boring. And yet, they are unequivocally critical parts of his character. Otherwise, if it was all about the fantasy and adventure, why not just have each comic open with a scene of him being punched and end with a scene of him doing some punching?
Then there are characters that lend themselves to realistic and even tedious elements more than others, such as Iron Man and Batman. Iron Man has a really cool suit that allows him to shoot the bad guys mid-air, but his character was also designed around a set of very real flaws, including subtle self-deprecation masked by a drinking problem. Similarly, Batman is haunted over the death of his parents and is kept in a perpetual state of psychological torture. Should comics only keep the scenes where the heroes figure out where the bad guys are and then beat them up? Should we neglect Tony Stark's fear of becoming intimate with women? Should writers just scrap all the scenes where Batman is brooding in a dark room and being consoled by Alfred? BO-RING!
What about politics and economics? Social issues have always played a major role in comic books. In fact, comic books were once a very effective medium for national propaganda, whether it was Captain America fighting Hitler, Superman fighting the Soviet Union, or whether it was having superheroes urge us to buy war bonds. Consider The Amazing Spider-Man, a title that is rooted in the economy's effect on the major characters, whether it be J. Jonah Jameson's policies as Mayor or Peter Parker's struggle to fund his crusade against crime. Consider Civil War, a title heavily influenced by issues such as government authority and civil liberties. I'm sure there are readers out there who couldn't care less about what Jonah does with the city's money or what the heroes' political beliefs are.
I agree entirely with iFanboy that at a certain point when the more minute elements are substituted for the more fantastic elements, certain titles take a dip in quality. No one needs entire story arcs surrounding the planning of a wedding. However, I think that most comics out there, such as the ones I mentioned above, tread the line very well. Remove these elements entirely and you're left with a story of guy who wears tights and beats up robots. Is that how you would describe the essence of Superman? There would be no depth--nothing to distinguish one superhero from another, aside from the fact that one shoots webs and another throws batarangs.
iFanboy says, "Superman got married and now we're meant to care about his relationship. No, sorry, I don't care. I care about him leaping tall buildings in a single bound." Why? The kicker is that we've always cared about his relationship with Lois. We wouldn't keep reading about it if we didn't and we wouldn't keep reading if the story never changed. Readers need to be rewarded. And what's wrong with having him do laundry? I think laundry is a significant part of his human life and mirros his small-town upbringing in Kansas, again a critical component of his character. He's a myth and he's an alien, but he's very, very human.
So I'd say "You do that laundry, Supes! But after laundry time, go out and beat up Brainiac!"