Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nurses as Supporting Characters: Young Brides 17 - "Act of Faith"

The interesting cover of this issue of Young Brides points to a different story that I'll hopefully get time to scan one day. Here we'll take a look at a medical romance story in the issue that features a doctor, with a nurse only playing a minor supporting role. Douglas Wilson is a newly qualified young doctor and husband, who fails to save his wife when she succumbs to peritonitis from a burst appendix. He blames himself for her death, quits the medical profession, and joins a traveling carnival as a mechanic (I'm sure I've read a few Simon/Kirby stories in which roustabouts and circuses feature!). After a while a young woman, Diane, falls for him, but Doug restrains himself from getting involved, even though he's attracted to her. His hand is forced when she becomes the victim of a violent ex-employee of the carnival, and Doug has to come out of the medicine cabinet and use his skills to save her life. That's the turning point, and he is able to move past his grief at the loss of his first wife, marry Diane, and resume his work as a doctor.

The story is narrated by Doug, so it is in the minority as far as romance comics are concerned, in which the 'confessions' usually come from the woman. The image of nurses portrayed in this story is that of the Doctor's Handmaiden. She serves the doctor by following his orders and performing support duties such as taking calls. She's professional in her appearance and conduct, and in this story she's not in love with the doctor!