In days of yore, spouses would adorn the heads of their long-time spouses with silver or gold, but these days, even the first anniversary has a traditional gift representing the phases of marriage.  But where do the super-dupers come in to this?  Welcome to Ten Things!

Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’, and Queen Elizabeth II, Presents:




China (in the sense of porcelain dishware) is often used as a second-anniversary gift, in place of the traditional cotton or paper gifts of yore.  (It’s also a traditional fifteenth anniversary gift in some countries.)  Remembering when I was just married, having a decent set of dishes does seem like a good idea, but I’m not sure that waiting two years into the marriage is the best way to get one.  As for the hero, he is a survivor of a Mao-era attempt to build superhumans, cryogenically preserved and awakened in the modern-day, trying to survive in modern China, sporting a truly amazing uniform look…




Another modern alternative gift, glass or glassware is suggested to replace the traditional third-anniversary gift of leather.

…about which I cannot make a joke suitable for a family friendly website.  Glass Lass herself is actually young Vicki Grant, transformed by the power of her H-Dial into another cool super-form.  (Her partner, Chris King, had a similar transformation once, as Glassman, which just shows that there’s untapped potential for silica-based superheroes in the world.)




Iron Man!
Iron Man!
Does whatever an iron can!
Steams your shirt!
Squashes ants!
Puts the creases in your pants, look out!
Here comes the Iron Man!

Tony Stark’s alter-ego, seen here in his superior Silver Centurion Mark VII armor-form, is empowered by tesselated iron mail in a magnetic matrix.  Iron implements are the traditional gift for six years of wedded bliss, though modern gift-givers sometimes substitute wooden implements instead…




Though traditionally celebrated with gifts of silk, the twelfth anniversary gift can be pearls or gems in modern parlance.  As for the hero, she is the most intelligent (albeit occasionally emotionally unstable) member of the Crystal Gems, protectors of Beach City and the world in the cartoon, ‘Steven Universe.’  Pearl’s powers include sword-fighting, nigh-invulnerability and a lovely singing voice, as well as the use of an admirably Brobdingnagian vocabulary…




The traditional eleventh anniversary gift, steel and steel implements are often replaced with fashion jewelry or accessories in the 21st century.  Loria is an extremely minor DC Comics hero, one of the Blood Pack (all heroes who were empowered by the bite of an alien parasite in the ‘Bloodlines’ crossover of 1993.)  Even compared to such luminaries as Krag, Prism and Nightblade, she’s obscure and heavily derivative of X-Man Colossus…




The twenty-eighth anniversary can be celebrated with a gift of orchids, which seems a little bit off to me.  I mean, I’ve been married for not quite 21 years, and I think if I show up with only flowers, I might be in some trouble.  Black Orchid was initially a mysterious master-of-disguise character who morphed into one of the recurring heavy-hitters of the magic side of the DCU, including a stint as a member of Justice League Dark.




The traditional fifteenth anniversary gift, crystal (in the form of a punchbowl, crystal goblets or tchotchkes) is sometimes replaced with watches by modern-minded givers.  Bobb Cohan was a repeatedly rejected Legion wannabe, who finally made membership during the 5-Year-Gap crisis mode, where even the least effective members of the Substitute Heroes were brought up to the main team.  After the Legion disbanded, he was repeatedly rebuffed from rejoining, as he is apparently a very annoying person to be around…




Doing double duty as a twentieth anniversary gem and a fifty-fifth (!!) anniversary wedding gift, emeralds come in a wide array of green, yellow and yellow-green.  (Now that I think of it, that’s not such a wide array, is it?)  Emerald Dragon is another Legion of Super-Heroes member, this time stalwart Jo Nah, aka Ultra Boy.  Just before Zero Hour rebooted the post-Crisis DC Universe in 1994 and/or 2999, Jo and the other Legionnaires went undercover with masked identities to avoid the corrupt EarthGov.  Given that Jo wore an emerald dragon on his chest for decades before this, he may not have fully understood the “secret” part of secret identity…



Goldman & Goldgirl

Universally accepted as the fiftieth anniversary go-to gift, gold is a remarkably soft metal, one that if you, say, wear as a ring for twenty-one years, will deform to fit your big rubbery fingers.  Goldman and Goldgirl were the first of a rare Dial H occurrence, wherein Chris and Vicki’s chosen superhero forms were paired to share the same super-theme.  (Their son, Goldmember, was adopted and moved to Holland.  Isn’t that veird?)




Weirdly, diamond is the traditional gift for both the sixtieth and seventy-fifth wedding anniversaries, depending on where one lives in the world.  Tiana Matthew is likewise something of a paradox, originating as a movie pitch for an adventure hero to be played by Sybil Danning before getting her own series from AC Comics in the eighties.  As a fashion model/superspy, Black Diamond is like James Bond, if he squeezed into a leather catsuit and grew some killer mall-hair.

Thanks to Mark Shallow (@emporerwebrunner) for this week’s theme, and feel free to follow along (@MightyKingCobra) for more Ten Things madness on Twitter! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, especially since the traditional 150th anniversary gift is Adamantium.

Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. It’s s-s-s-sad (and t-t-t-typical) that the hero representing the t-t-traditional tenth anniversary gift isn’t deemed worthy of a m-m-mention.

  2. Wow I have to say thank you Matthew. As soon as I saw that tag line for Capitan China I just bought the first 2 volumes on amazon using the MS amazon link.(Don’t know if you guys get credit for Kindle purchases or not)

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