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Finding depictions of stable and healthy relationships in comics can sometimes leave one grasping at straws, but when they happen, they stick out for a reason. One of those relationships belongs to Big Barda and Scott Free.
Throughout their comics history together, they’ve managed a difficult balancing act between their lives as superheroes and their home life. From the beginning, it's been clear that when it comes to the Frees, especially Big Barda, doing the horizontal tango with one another takes precedent. The portrayal of their intimacy has been and continues to be refreshing. They're an amazing duo both in and out of the bedroom!Creator Jack Kirby sets the foundation for their relationship very early on in the Mister Miracle series. They were two survivors who still retained their capacity to love and fell in love with one another, but they are also an adoring couple with needs who just so happen to be superheroes. Kirby does a great job of establishing how the couple interacts with one another outside of the bedroom. There is a high level of mutual trust between the two of them which is a key ingredient to the makings of a healthy sex life.
After leaving Apokolips for Earth, the Frees try to give what they perceive as normal life a chance but, of course, that proves to be near impossible. The constant interruptions in their lives are as frustrating to them as they are entertaining to read. J.M. DeMatteis and Ian Gibson's Mister Miracle run includes the couples’ more intimate moments. There is some pillow talk in the very first issue of the series. Scott jokes with Barda about the time they ended up on the lawn instead of the bed. Barda goes on to share how she finds it too good to be true to be laying in bed with her husband post-coitus and having the luxury of letting her guard down, something she was unable to do while on Apokolips. She also goes from silk robe to full-on battle armor as the conversation continues and Scott reminds her of how much the armor turns him on. The importance of this scene is that it provides a glimpse of the balancing act they’re playing.Big Barda is still ready for any kind of action, while Scott is ready for that and then maybe a little something before or after. Of course, all hell breaks loose shortly after for the couple. If it’s not some cataclysmic interruption that requires them to save the world; there are always family members barging in from time to time instead. These intimate scenes between Barda and Scott are heartwarming but also provide some kind of normalcy for the couple. Yet another reason to appreciate the Frees.
Another aspect to Big Barda and Scott Free's sex life is that it seems like Barda might be the one calling the shots most of the time in the bedroom. It's pretty on brand for her too especially because she always has some kind of agency. In a page from Mister Miracle #8 (1989), Barda tosses Scott over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes and makes her way up the stairs of their home. She isn’t a happy camper when the doorbell interrupts her quest to set little Scott free (pun intended).Barda doesn’t play when it comes to one on one time with her husband and she never has; even in the much earlier issues written by Jack Kirby, she was extremely about wanting time with Scott. Big Barda is almost always the one to remind Scott that everyone, including Batman, can wait till she finishes blowing his back out. Her motto is work hard and play harder and Scott doesn’t seem to mind at all.
More recently in Tom King’s run of the Mister Miracle series, the couple’s intimacy is still very much a part of their story. There is even some bondage this time around. Barda ties up Scott the great escape artist and has her way with him. It’s nice to see how some of those bondage techniques learned from Granny Goodness could be put to more satisfying use.
Big Barda and Scott Free are really like any other couple, minus the Justice League membership and the very possibility that Barda could smash Scott Free to smithereens, and we could use more of that in comic books.