The Forgotten Shapeshifter Romances

June 9, 2008 at 8:00 am (General, Marcia Colette) ()

The newest Incredible Hulk movie is coming out this weekend, with the cool Edward Norton heading up the cast. I’m not planning to see it until I get some solid reviews and they had all better be on the positive side before I shovel out $8.50 to see it. Still, you have to recognize it for what it is. There are elements of shapeshifting romance in it. A bit freaky, perhaps, but they’re there.

Dr. David Banner turns into a monster and is on the race to find a cure. In the mean time, his lover, Dr. Betty Something-or-rather will do whatever she can to help him, despite her father wanting to use beloved Dr. Banner as a weapon. I could be wrong, but that has the makings of a romance to me.

But how far can we stretch the shapeshifting world? Would Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde be considered a shapeshifting romance? After all, he had this thing with Mary Reilly and his body (especially his mind) morphed into someone else. I guess the shapeshifting is subtle in his case, but it’s there. If we stretch our imaginations a little bit more, we could almost say that Frankenstein was a shapeshifter, thanks to the marvels of science gone awry. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any romance for him because he was so hell-bent on vengeance. I would say the Bride of Frankenstein might be the answer to that, but I haven’t seen one of the various forms of that movie in so long that I can’t be sure about the plot.

Should we place different criteria on these stories because we forget that they’re not like the average werewolf movie? Perhaps we don’t think about these movies as shapeshifters because we usually associate it with animals, mythological beings, or the like. I’d even go so far as to say that Spiderman has elemenst of shapeshifter romance simply because he is part spider and in love with his Mary Jane.

So what do you think? Are these (and others) the forgotten shapeshifter romances or not? And if they’re forgotten, why do you think that’s so?

~ Marcia


  1. Rachel said,

    GREAT topic! I hadn’t even considered the Hulk a shifter. But I think he definitely is. What about other super heroes like Clark Kent or Batman?

  2. teresadamario said,

    That is an interesting point. I too never thought of that. It means alot of our “Superheroes” are shapeshifters. Actually I was sorta mulling along these lines while watching X-Men last nite,,, and Wolverine was there. I wondered if he counted, or if he was just a person with Wolvernine DNA< but his body is still mostly human.

  3. Lori Devoti said,

    I definitely say the Hulk is a shifter. Have you seen the preview where he changes? Whoa!
    And you stole my topic…kind of! I was going to blog on shapeshifting super heroes. I’ll have to actually work for a spin now! 😀

  4. Becky said,

    I would agree that the Hulk and Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde are shapeshifters and mostly not remembered to be so. Thanks for reminding me, my husband drags me to all of those, it helps me to remember that!!! I’m not so sure about the other two but it’s absolutely something to think about. I’ll have to re-evaluate my thoughts on that. Cool!!!

  5. Savanna Kougar said,

    Shapeshifting superheroes, I’ll look forward to that. While there are elements of shifting, no doubt. I think, IMHO, they are in the super hero category.

  6. Marcia said,

    Hmmmm? That’s a good one Rachel. I’m trying to think of a time when Superman or Batman might have had their “shapeshifting” moment, but I can’t think of any. I know they’ve had at least one even if it was via cartoons or comic books. But that’s asking me to dig back a few decades ago. 😆

    Teresa, I think a lot of our superheros can be called shapeshifters. The Fantastic Four for instance. Granted they’re shifting to non-animal forms, but it still counts in my book. They’re shapeshifters and boy do they have their romance issues.

    Great minds think alike, Lori. 😉 For a spin, how about those animals that take on human qualities and make us fall in love with them? I’m thinking along the lines of Bambi, The Secret of Nimh, perhaps even Beauty and the Beast. Okay, so I’m a HUGE cartoon fan, too.

    Becky, I’ll admit some of them are a stretch, like Frankenstein for instance. While he started off as man–men parts anyway–he morphed into something more monstrous and human. On second thought, make that a loooooong stretch.

    Savanna, I agree. They’re in they’re most likely going to be superheros, which might be the main reason why we tend to forget about them or don’t think of them like we would werewolves.

  7. Rachel said,

    Hey! They shifted outfits. LOL You know Clark Kent was a reporter by day and then add some tights and he’s shifted into his other role. Must be a different kind of shifter. A sub genre of shifter lol.

    I agree about the fantastic four too.

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