Justin/Alex

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Pairing
Pairing: Justin/Alex Russo
Alternative name(s): Jalex, J/A
Gender category: Het, Incest
Fandom: Wizards of Waverly Place
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: popular
Archives:
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Alex/Justin is the popular incest het pairing of Alex Russo and Justin Russo in the Wizards of Waverly Place.

Canon

As the two are siblings and on a Disney Channel show, Alex and Justin are just siblings. However, as many can contest to, they have a very close relationship although it's sometimes antagonistic but they are always there for each other in the end. As described by Justin Russo, "It's a complicated relationship[1]."

Fandom

The Justin/Alex pairing is by far the largest in the Wizards of Waverly Place fandom, at least 40-60% or more of the fanworks produced for the series is of the pairing[2]. Some works aren't always shippy, and often just gen works that focus on the two or implied subtext as the show does, others represent unrequited love of one or the other. On Fanfiction.net, not everyone puts the "pairing" as Justin/Alex, some just simply leave them as the "main characters", and either will or won't put "JustinAlex" or "Jalex" in the summaries - it's generally taken for granted if Justin & Alex are the main characters in the fic on FFN, it's in a pairing way[3].

While FFN was one of the largest Justin/Alex fannish locations used by fans, LiveJournal was the second. While the LJ presence for the fandom was fairly small, the Justin/Alex fandom was fairly large - focused mainly on justin_alex community after the show had already been airing for over a year[4]. The two other Jalex related communities omgjustinalex and jalexified appeared in 2009 and 2011. YouTube was used for fanvids and "top moments" types of Justin/Alex videos.

In the wake of the LJ purging and the general fandom migration to Tumblr and the ending of the series in 2012, the Livejournal fandom has slowly became inactive with only a few posts here and there. For those that moved to Dreamwidth, only a few fics were posted, but only to a writer's individual blog, and although there is one ship blog, jalex, it is completely dead[5]. The Tumblr fandom for Justin/Alex besides a few posts and the tumblr blog FYeahJustinAlex, is only semi-active. On Tumblr, some fans often compared the relationship between Justin and Alex with those of Oliver and Thea from Arrow.

On Archive of Our Own, the pairing is the largest for the fandom[6], but overall the fandom is still small there. Despite that most of the fandom has moved on since the show's ending, even with the reunion TV movie in 2013, fanworks are still being produced as of 2016 on FFN, Tumblr and AO3.

Some of the earlier fanworks in the Jalex fandom has since been deleted, for example "Screw It" by ShortLILPunk[7] and "In Fire, In Ice" by moirariordan.

TV Tropes had a particular large page dedicated to Justin/Alex on their "Incest Yay" section before eventually shipping it off to Fetish Fuel Wiki. Despite the axe, the Wizards of Waverly Place and Radar sections still have a lot of Jalex related points.

The Movie

The movie garnered a lot viewers, and a lot of them were convinced of the Alex/Justin ship - so much so that a lot of them, even those that did not know they were siblings thought they would kiss in the campfire scene. Despite the fact that the film or its events were never mentioned again in the canon, fans often have fanworks such as fanfiction, picspams, icons, or vids focused around it.

What the Buck? review of the film is the perfect example to showcase how non-fandom people and non-shippers saw the relationship in the movie. This review was so popular in the fandom that it eventually landed in the hands of David Henrie (aka Justin), who watched it and was amused by it as posted on his Twitter.

Jalex & TPTB

Much like Life With Derek and its Derek/Casey fandom, the popularity of Justin/Alex grew so much that it was found out by TPTB and Disney. However, unlike the creator of LWD, the WOWP creator Todd J. Greenwald seemed more amused by it. For example, in a Twitter live chat with him:

"Oh my gosh, we got a Jalex question. Are Justin and Alex going to end up together? (Laugh) They're brother and sister, PEOPLE."[8]

Fans of Jalex were very happy with this, despite the denial of them getting together. For one, it's because he already knew the pairing name. For another, he seemed more amused about it than disgusted or disappointed. Plus the various quotes, subtext and potential shippy scenes as described by TV Tropes and their ship manifesto often had people believed that it was intentional.

Disney Channel, on the other hand, were not happy with it. Despite the popularity of the film and how well the series was doing, the PTB took it into their own hands in Seasons 3 and 4 - forcing the writers to separate Justin and Alex in the various storylines and reuniting them with their "true loves" of Juliet and Mason despite the fact they were originally supposed to be done with them, especially since they were essentially gone forever. This led someone[9], quitting from the show in Seasons 3/4 for creative differences/tensions. Fans were particularly disappointed with these episodes and seasons for lack of Justin/Alex moments. The second film, didn't even have Justin Russo in the film which disappointed a lot of fans in general despite David Henrie's valid reasons for not doing it. Instead, the second film had Mason and thus more Alex/Mason scenes much to the disappointment of Jalex fans.

Common Tropes & Fanon

  • Episode Tags/Season tags are fairly popular in Jalex related fanworks, especially if they focused on the Justin/Alex centric-episodes. While this more often appeared in the early seasons of the series, rewrites/fix-its often appeared for Season 3 and 4, often to fix Disney's influences of the lack of Justin & Alex together moments. (For example Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger starts in S3 canon and then grows from there.)
  • Alternate Universes are very common for fanworks, especially those fans that are/were not okay with incest and thus often create different means where Justin and Alex were no longer siblings. AUs generally appeared anyway since the pairing is obscure and would not happen in canon, at least not a Disney Channel show, thus any fic could be considered AU.
  • Spells/Potions Go Wrong is very popular trope, which due to the amount of canon backs it up (Magic often goes wrong on the series). Often Alex or Max are the reasons the spell/potions go wrong, though Justin is not immune to it. Some examples include: Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered and Tactile Reasoning.
    • Magic in general is popular element to get the two together or admit their feelings for each other.
    • Clonecest since it's canon in the series of Alex making doubles of herself, it's also appeared in a few fics where both she and Justin have some fun with their doubles together. (Compromise at omgjustinalex)
  • Futurefics often appeared as well, usually set in a setting where they are secretly married or are together. Sometimes they even have kids, but this is shown less often. Before the reveal of Alex making a double of Justin and sending him off to college, many used the College as a way to get the two to admit their feelings. Angst is fairly common in these times of fics, however there are some happy endings.
    • Someone Finds Out About Them, while generally it is Harper or Max, Justin and Alex's parents often play a role in these types of works. Depending on the fic, it could be played for angst/drama, but sometimes humor and ended with it being ok. (Example: Eyes Open)
    • Family Wizard Competition related type works were also fairly common, most of them dealt with idea of the Family Wizard being either Justin or Alex - others often had Max win (Example: make straight the paths that crooked lie). Since adoption/not related fics often used this as a way to get them both to be full wizards, it's not uncommon to find works were both get to keep their powers. This is later canonized at the end of the series since Alex wins the competition and Justin was given Professor Crumbs' powers.
  • Pre-canon stories were often gen, with little to no shipping side indicated since the works often had to deal with younger versions of Justin and Alex. Other times they appear inside a fic focused on the present time/future (Example: Her Everything).
  • Unrequited Love often appeared, mostly as a form to represent one or both of Justin and Alex's feelings. Often the reasoning was a secret due to fact that its incest, they think the other does not feel the same, and/or how others would react to it. (Example: Principles, although a WIP, it remains a very good example of Justin dealing with his feelings for Alex)
  • Holiday fics where Justin/Alex appear fairly often to get together or spend time together, while it's mostly Christmas, other holidays such as Halloween also happen.

Fanworks

Fanfiction

  • Never Kill A Boy On The First Date by amathela, In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. In this case, she's Alex Russo - one girl in all the world born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil, blah blah blah. She also might be kind of falling in love with her brother. But first, she has an apocalypse to avert. (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fusion)
  • reach out and touch someone by omens, Rated M, “Careful, Justin; that almost sounds like ‘what are you wearing territory?’ there.”
  • Dark Side of Today by lonewonderslove, A deadly virus outbreak decimates the Wizard World and sweeps through the mortal world, killing those with magic and turning mortals into monsters. Justin and Alex will need to find strength in each other if they and their small band of friends are to survive. “The world might be ending, but all I need is you.”
  • OTP by Save vs. Magic, With ‘Charmed and Dangerous’ set to become a movie, Alex is shocked to discover the books based on her life are wildly popular. Even more shocking is what some fans are reading between the lines. And most disturbing of all? Justin might be one! (set in Season 3/Post Movie)
  • Further Adventures At WizTech by amathela, Explicit, When Alex becomes suspicious of a new teacher at WizTech, she pulls Justin into trouble right alongside her.

Archives & Fannish Links

LiveJournal

Tumblr

Resources

References

  1. 2 gifs of Justin describing their relationship.
  2. Crack Van's Small Fandom Overview (2011-12-01) says 60 while the Ship Manifesto stated 40.
  3. Using FFN's fandom search Justin & Alex finds 1.2k, while Justin x Alex finds 32 works. This is largely due to the fact that the "pairing" search feature is still fairly new and thus a lot of the older works do not have it. Before that, the "main characters" features was new and thus not everyone used it.
  4. As of August 24, 2016, the Justin_alex community has 608 posts and over 5.3k comments.
  5. jalex, the DW community was created in July 2009, however as of August 2016, no posts.
  6. As of August 24, 2016, on AO3 100 works out of 159 is Alex/Justin
  7. [1]/[2]/[3] search requests at justin_alex.
  8. justin_alex post about the live chat.
  9. I cannot remember who at this moment.