Avengers >> View Thread

Author
Comicguy1


Member Since: Tue Apr 04, 2017
Posts: 1,330


I have a few, but I think that the two obvious ones would be Hank and The Scarlet Witch. For Hank, he just can't seem to ever live down that pimpslap. And then we have his mental health issues and his breakdowns, and whenever he seems to be getting past that, some future writer always goes back to that stuff again with him. And now he's, Ultron? Evil? Dead? With Wanda, well, she's been turned into a villain twice, and then there is the whole House Of M thing. In addition to those two, I think that the Grim Reaper is a bit of a mess, too. He used to be a very big villain back in the day, and he used to be really cool, but his characterization has been all over the place for about a decade or two. Sometimes he's not really much of a villain, other times he has a stone-cold hatred of the Avengers and of his brother. I also think that he keeps on dying and coming back waaaaaaayyy too much! Maybe they just don't know what to do with him anymore. I guess maybe Dr. Druid has gotten a bad deal, to be honest though, I don't really care for the character. Tiara as well, she seems to have had some bad characterization. I can't think of any more off the too of my head, but what do you guys think?


Posted with Google Chrome 56.0.2924.87 on Linux
aquamariner


Member Since: Mon Aug 02, 2010
Posts: 1,090


Wonderman during first Civil War Green Goblin defeated him later Bendis Wrote him like spoiled bipolar


Posted with Google Chrome 62.0.3202.94 on Windows 7
Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,299


Spider-Man. This December marks end of the tenth year of systematic destruction of his character. Maybe things will finally get better when Slott finally leaves...


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 7
The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 25,765






City of Heroes is BACK!
Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 10
America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,120



    Quote:
    Spider-Man. This December marks end of the tenth year of systematic destruction of his character. Maybe things will finally get better when Slott finally leaves...


I'd be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this. I haven't been reading the book because it hasn't featured a Spider-Man I recognized. Every time I picked it up and paged through it, he'd do something like, say, dating his friend's girl friend, which the Bronze Age Spider-Man would never have done. I also thought making him the head of a company was a step too far. Working as a chemist for Tony Stark would have been fine. So now of course the pendulum swings back and he's bankrupt. He doesn't have to be either rich or destitute. A normal guy doing a normal job would be fine and could last indefinitely.








Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on Windows 10
The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 25,765


Honestly, for me, Avengers Spidey has been the only tolerable Spidey, because you don't really have to put up with the Slott stuff (except for that Superior Spidey crap, briefly).




City of Heroes is BACK!
Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 10
Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,299



    Quote:
    Honestly, for me, Avengers Spidey has been the only tolerable Spidey, because you don't really have to put up with the Slott stuff (except for that Superior Spidey crap, briefly).


I'm trying to respond to this but keep getting a notification that I'm spamming the site. Heaven knows why.



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 7
Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 13,284




Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 7
Ancient One

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,105


I'm hard pressed to think of a character that hasn't suffered poor treatment in this century.

Somewhere along the line, they've lost the 'Marvel Method' of writing characters.

Stan and co. GAVE their characters problems.

The last few regimes at Marvel seem to see the characters AS the problem.


Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 7
The Voice of Reason


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 542


Well said. I agree wholeheartedly.


Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on MacOS X
America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,120



    Quote:
    Well said. I agree wholeheartedly.


Me too. Some of these writers are writing the Marvel heroes like sitcom characters. On a sitcom, the characters are always to some extent moronic. They create stupid situations by being stupid. (Incidentally, I hate most sitcoms for that very reason. I hate watching stupid people be stupid.) Marvel heroes generally should not be presented as moronic.

Unfortunately the Silver Age writers laid down a precedent for one bit of stupidity: hot tempers. Ben, Johnny, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Warren Worthington, and some other heroes had hot tempers which would cause them to lash out unreasonably, stomp away in a huff, and do other silly things. Later writers would take this aspect and expand upon it, thinking they had solid precedent in the Silver Age. What these later writers didn't grasp was the inborn restraint of the heroic nature. The Thing generally would never, while stomping away in a huff, demolish some poor guy's vegetable stand. Not under Stan Lee (once Ben's heroic nature had been fleshed out) and probably not under Roy Thomas. Continue down the line of writers and you may find some example of Ben (and not a mind-controlled Ben) lashing out blindly at some innocent bystander's bread and butter. As soon as you find that, you will have found the point where the writers have ceased to understand where the fine line is.

Heroes do not do harm to civilians. Not even to their property. Not on purpose. This is the great principle. If Ben really needed to blow off some steam, he'd find some bad guys to pummel. Destroying bad guy property is allowed. Smashing their guns and tanks. Beating them into unconsciousness. All fine.

As for other forms of stupidity - they shouldn't occur. A stupid hero would soon be a dead hero. The weaker a hero is, the more intelligent that hero must be in order to survive. Hawkeye should be presented as a brilliant tactician brimming over with street smarts. He goes up against all comers no matter how powerful and all he has is a bow and arrows. Without tactical genius and exceptional street smarts he would be dead.






Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on Windows 10
Unstable Molecule


Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,878


Yup. When you look at (arguably) the core characters, they have all been tainted and damaged: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Hank Pym, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Carol, Wonder Man, Hawkeye. Some of these great characters are nearly unreadable for me now - like watching a Mel Gibson movie. Their ruin shines through in every scene I see them in.

Then the second-tier Avengers haven't fared any better. Hercules, Spider-man, Monica, She-Hulk, Wolverine, Beast, Hulk, Quicksilver, Rogue.

Then the third-tier characters: Black Knight, Moondragon, Mantis, Tigra, Jocasta, Mockingbird, War Machine, Scott Lang, Jessica Drew.

Looking at each of the above names, I can think or at least one (and in most cases, multiple) tragedies that stained the characters in some way - and that's without even researching them.

The only important Avengers that haven't fared too badly, in my opinion, are Black Panther, Falcon, Black Widow and Luke Cage.




And a lean, silent figure slowly fades into the gathering darkness, aware at last that in this world, with great power there must also come -- great responsibility!
Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on Windows 10
The Voice of Reason


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 542


While I enjoyed Fraction's Hawkeye, it wasn't really Hawkeye at all. Much like the good Captain said, Hawkeye, be it Avenger, Defender or/especially the Thunderbolts, was a smarter man than the hero presented in that book and subsequent books, in all honesty, we haven't see much of the real Hawkeye in the last 10 years or so.


Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on MacOS X
The Voice of Reason


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 542


Ah, yes, poor Simon.


Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on MacOS X
Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,299



    Quote:
    Me too. Some of these writers are writing the Marvel heroes like sitcom characters. On a sitcom, the characters are always to some extent moronic. They create stupid situations by being stupid. (Incidentally, I hate most sitcoms for that very reason. I hate watching stupid people be stupid.) Marvel heroes generally should not be presented as moronic.



    Quote:
    Unfortunately the Silver Age writers laid down a precedent for one bit of stupidity: hot tempers. Ben, Johnny, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Warren Worthington, and some other heroes had hot tempers which would cause them to lash out unreasonably, stomp away in a huff, and do other silly things. Later writers would take this aspect and expand upon it, thinking they had solid precedent in the Silver Age. What these later writers didn't grasp was the inborn restraint of the heroic nature. The Thing generally would never, while stomping away in a huff, demolish some poor guy's vegetable stand. Not under Stan Lee (once Ben's heroic nature had been fleshed out) and probably not under Roy Thomas. Continue down the line of writers and you may find some example of Ben (and not a mind-controlled Ben) lashing out blindly at some innocent bystander's bread and butter. As soon as you find that, you will have found the point where the writers have ceased to understand where the fine line is.



    Quote:
    Heroes do not do harm to civilians. Not even to their property. Not on purpose. This is the great principle. If Ben really needed to blow off some steam, he'd find some bad guys to pummel. Destroying bad guy property is allowed. Smashing their guns and tanks. Beating them into unconsciousness. All fine.



    Quote:
    As for other forms of stupidity - they shouldn't occur. A stupid hero would soon be a dead hero. The weaker a hero is, the more intelligent that hero must be in order to survive. Hawkeye should be presented as a brilliant tactician brimming over with street smarts. He goes up against all comers no matter how powerful and all he has is a bow and arrows. Without tactical genius and exceptional street smarts he would be dead.


I wonder if you aren't measuring up these characters not against how they actually were presented in the Silver Age but against of your ideal of what they were or should have been in your opinion. (And in general I think fans are more willing to make excuses for Golden and Silver Age stories than for those that came later).
Silver Age heroes could on occasion display an amazing degree of stupidity and unconcern for the "collateral damage" they caused. Take the first chapter of Fantastic Four #1:
When Mr. Fantastic fires off his signal for the first time, the other three members rush to him.
Sue Storm decides it's a good idea to do this while invisible, resulting in her knocking at least five or six passers-by and being left behind by the taxi she wants to use.
Ben Grimm demolishes the door and doorframe of the shop he leaves from, then he smashes his way in and out of a sewer. When he emerges from the ground he totals a moving car. (His own reaction is merely to call the people in the car fools and cowards, as if he was blameless).
Johnny Storm takes of through the roof of his car, mostly melting it in the process (had this been depicted realistically, there should have been a sizeable explosion, which would at least have injured the mechanic working on the car before Johnny took off, as the heat would surely have ignited the petrol in the tank?) He then is intercepted by several US fighter jets and "accidentally" destroys a number of them (one can only assume that all the crewmen from the downed planes escaped with their lives).
(Not to be outdone, the US armed forces then fire a hunter missile with a nuclear warhead at the Human Torch, but luckily Mr. Fantastic's intervention saves not only Johnny's life but also Central City from being incinerated).
Then of course there is the flashback where three of the four decide to disregard the dangers posed by cosmic rays despite Ben Grimm voicing concerns which are totally vindicated by subsequent events. Ben himself meanwhile is silenced by the simple trick of accusing him of being a coward (which exploits his hotheadedness). In real life of course the four would have ended up dead, and not gifted with superpowers.

I think there is also another reason why there is a fair number of characters who appear to be hotheaded, immature or at least slightly stupid, and that is that writers in the Silver Age found it easiler to portray the "followers" that way than to convincingly show the leaders as smart or highly intelligent. Thus Angel and Iceman, and to a lesser extent Marvel Girl and the Beast, appear as rather immature during the Silver Age in order to validate Professor X and Cyclops as leaders, and the same is true for Ben, Johnny and to a lesser extent Sue vis-à-vis Reed in the Silver-Age FF, and Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and to a lesser extent the Scarlet Witch and Hercules during the Cap's Kookie Quartet phase and immediately after. It does seem to me that these "hothead" characters generally tend to be common in team books and rare in solo titles (other than The Incredible Hulk).


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 7
America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,120



    Quote:
    I wonder if you aren't measuring up these characters not against how they actually were presented in the Silver Age but against of your ideal of what they were or should have been in your opinion. (And in general I think fans are more willing to make excuses for Golden and Silver Age stories than for those that came later).
    Silver Age heroes could on occasion display an amazing degree of stupidity and unconcern for the "collateral damage" they caused. Take the first chapter of Fantastic Four #1:
    When Mr. Fantastic fires off his signal for the first time, the other three members rush to him.
    Sue Storm decides it's a good idea to do this while invisible, resulting in her knocking at least five or six passers-by and being left behind by the taxi she wants to use.
    Ben Grimm demolishes the door and doorframe of the shop he leaves from, then he smashes his way in and out of a sewer. When he emerges from the ground he totals a moving car. (His own reaction is merely to call the people in the car fools and cowards, as if he was blameless).
    Johnny Storm takes of through the roof of his car, mostly melting it in the process (had this been depicted realistically, there should have been a sizeable explosion, which would at least have injured the mechanic working on the car before Johnny took off, as the heat would surely have ignited the petrol in the tank?) He then is intercepted by several US fighter jets and "accidentally" destroys a number of them (one can only assume that all the crewmen from the downed planes escaped with their lives).
    (Not to be outdone, the US armed forces then fire a hunter missile with a nuclear warhead at the Human Torch, but luckily Mr. Fantastic's intervention saves not only Johnny's life but also Central City from being incinerated).
    Then of course there is the flashback where three of the four decide to disregard the dangers posed by cosmic rays despite Ben Grimm voicing concerns which are totally vindicated by subsequent events. Ben himself meanwhile is silenced by the simple trick of accusing him of being a coward (which exploits his hotheadedness). In real life of course the four would have ended up dead, and not gifted with superpowers.


You can't go by FF #1. That's why I said, "Once his heroic nature had been fleshed out." The earliest issues of the FF were basically preliminary. I'm not sure where the cut-off is. I'd have to go back to my Masterworks. Eventually a point is reached where all four characters are unequivocally heroic in a recognizable way. I'm going to say it's later than the Ben-as-Blackbeard story.

Now of course you'll find stories where property gets damaged accidentally as the FF fights some villain. That's different. Eventually even that gets addressed, with Reed sending money to people or sending construction crews to fix things. But Johnny getting frustrated and burning some guy's store to the ground? Once the preliminary issues are behind us, such wanton destruction never happens.


    Quote:
    I think there is also another reason why there is a fair number of characters who appear to be hotheaded, immature or at least slightly stupid, and that is that writers in the Silver Age found it easiler to portray the "followers" that way than to convincingly show the leaders as smart or highly intelligent. Thus Angel and Iceman, and to a lesser extent Marvel Girl and the Beast, appear as rather immature during the Silver Age in order to validate Professor X and Cyclops as leaders, and the same is true for Ben, Johnny and to a lesser extent Sue vis-à-vis Reed in the Silver-Age FF, and Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and to a lesser extent the Scarlet Witch and Hercules during the Cap's Kookie Quartet phase and immediately after. It does seem to me that these "hothead" characters generally tend to be common in team books and rare in solo titles (other than The Incredible Hulk).


I think you're probably right about that. Hot-headedness is also used as an excuse for heroes to briefly fight each other.







Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on Windows 10
Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,299



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I wonder if you aren't measuring up these characters not against how they actually were presented in the Silver Age but against of your ideal of what they were or should have been in your opinion. (And in general I think fans are more willing to make excuses for Golden and Silver Age stories than for those that came later).
      Silver Age heroes could on occasion display an amazing degree of stupidity and unconcern for the "collateral damage" they caused. Take the first chapter of Fantastic Four #1:
      When Mr. Fantastic fires off his signal for the first time, the other three members rush to him.
      Sue Storm decides it's a good idea to do this while invisible, resulting in her knocking at least five or six passers-by and being left behind by the taxi she wants to use.
      Ben Grimm demolishes the door and doorframe of the shop he leaves from, then he smashes his way in and out of a sewer. When he emerges from the ground he totals a moving car. (His own reaction is merely to call the people in the car fools and cowards, as if he was blameless).
      Johnny Storm takes of through the roof of his car, mostly melting it in the process (had this been depicted realistically, there should have been a sizeable explosion, which would at least have injured the mechanic working on the car before Johnny took off, as the heat would surely have ignited the petrol in the tank?) He then is intercepted by several US fighter jets and "accidentally" destroys a number of them (one can only assume that all the crewmen from the downed planes escaped with their lives).
      (Not to be outdone, the US armed forces then fire a hunter missile with a nuclear warhead at the Human Torch, but luckily Mr. Fantastic's intervention saves not only Johnny's life but also Central City from being incinerated).
      Then of course there is the flashback where three of the four decide to disregard the dangers posed by cosmic rays despite Ben Grimm voicing concerns which are totally vindicated by subsequent events. Ben himself meanwhile is silenced by the simple trick of accusing him of being a coward (which exploits his hotheadedness). In real life of course the four would have ended up dead, and not gifted with superpowers.



    Quote:
    You can't go by FF #1. That's why I said, "Once his heroic nature had been fleshed out." The earliest issues of the FF were basically preliminary. I'm not sure where the cut-off is. I'd have to go back to my Masterworks. Eventually a point is reached where all four characters are unequivocally heroic in a recognizable way. I'm going to say it's later than the Ben-as-Blackbeard story.


Well, we have to recall that we are talking about different things here. I think even after FF #5 you'll find more than a few stories where members of the FF behave stupidly and/or hotheadedly (you'll not that in FF #1 did not really cause damage or injury worth going to court over, she just acted very stupidly).


    Quote:
    Now of course you'll find stories where property gets damaged accidentally as the FF fights some villain. That's different. Eventually even that gets addressed, with Reed sending money to people or sending construction crews to fix things. But Johnny getting frustrated and burning some guy's store to the ground? Once the preliminary issues are behind us, such wanton destruction never happens.


IMO that is not a consequence of the FF's "heroic nature" but of the fact that they operate as a "public" team and that they are rich. As already shown in the Silver Age, people in the Marvel Universe have the option of suing them for damages they cause in civil courts of law and they have to respect the law of the land. (Thus their unrestrained behaviour in FF #1 may actually show their inner nature more immediately than their restrained behaviour later).
That they send money or construction crews to people whose property they damage is only sensible as it avoids time-consuming trials, lawyers' fees, legal costs and the negative publicity fallout they would otherwise risk. (For that reason the FF also don't do that much damage to the property of bad guys even though you would excuse that).

Heroes who operate outside of the law rarely pay for the damage they cause, and most of them, like the chronically broke Silver Age Peter Parker, simply lack the necessary funds. Others apparently can't be bothered, leading to the 1980s saying that you can always tell where the X-Men have been. And the Punisher has literally been allowed to get away with mass murder since the 1970s.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      I think there is also another reason why there is a fair number of characters who appear to be hotheaded, immature or at least slightly stupid, and that is that writers in the Silver Age found it easiler to portray the "followers" that way than to convincingly show the leaders as smart or highly intelligent. Thus Angel and Iceman, and to a lesser extent Marvel Girl and the Beast, appear as rather immature during the Silver Age in order to validate Professor X and Cyclops as leaders, and the same is true for Ben, Johnny and to a lesser extent Sue vis-à-vis Reed in the Silver-Age FF, and Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and to a lesser extent the Scarlet Witch and Hercules during the Cap's Kookie Quartet phase and immediately after. It does seem to me that these "hothead" characters generally tend to be common in team books and rare in solo titles (other than The Incredible Hulk).



    Quote:
    I think you're probably right about that. Hot-headedness is also used as an excuse for heroes to briefly fight each other.


Oh yes, hot-headedness and the teenage immaturity leading to fights even without the pretext of a misunderstanding. A classic example was the long-running series of "practical jokes" played by the Human Torch on the Thing in the FF, and also some of the interactions between the Torch and Spider-Man. In the backup story to ASM #8 for instance Peter "With Great Power Must Come Great Responsibility" Parker picks a fight with Johnny, which escalates into a fight with the entire Fantastic Four, just for giggles. (Maybe he still had a chip on his shoulder for them refusing to make him a member in ASM #1). But they have enough good sense to take that fight to a place where they apparently don't do damage to civilian property...


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 7
America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,120



    Quote:
    IMO that is not a consequence of the FF's "heroic nature" but of the fact that they operate as a "public" team and that they are rich. As already shown in the Silver Age, people in the Marvel Universe have the option of suing them for damages they cause in civil courts of law and they have to respect the law of the land. (Thus their unrestrained behaviour in FF #1 may actually show their inner nature more immediately than their restrained behaviour later).
    That they send money or construction crews to people whose property they damage is only sensible as it avoids time-consuming trials, lawyers' fees, legal costs and the negative publicity fallout they would otherwise risk. (For that reason the FF also don't do that much damage to the property of bad guys even though you would excuse that).


I often have trouble understanding why you argue the points that you argue. In this instance, do you think it's false that Marvel heroes in the Silver Age were actually heroic? Do you think it's false that they tried their best not to harm civilians or their property - and that they did this for the simple reason that it was the right thing to do?

Even in the Bronze Age and somewhat beyond -
I would contend that even the Punisher (maybe especially the Punisher) would restrain himself from damaging a civilian's house or store unless a life was on the line. Wolverine, if attacked by some jerks in a bar, would smash a few tables. But he wasn't the jerk who started the fight.

Intentionally destroying some innocent person's property just because you can is an abuse of power. It's villain behavior. If I had seen a hero do it in the Silver Age or most of the Bronze Age it would have shocked the heck out of me. But why are we even debating this? This is one of those instances where I don't understand your motivation. Unless you have evidence of Iron Man (before he became a drunk or after he was sober) intentionally repulsoring some civilian's car into scap metal just to let off steam, or Thor obliterating a billboard because it advertised some product he didn't like, or something equally shocking, then you don't really have a reason to dispute the essentially heroic nature of Marvel heroes under Silver Age and most Bronze Age writers. Which is the only point I was making in this context.






Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on Windows 10
Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,299



    Quote:

      Quote:
      IMO that is not a consequence of the FF's "heroic nature" but of the fact that they operate as a "public" team and that they are rich. As already shown in the Silver Age, people in the Marvel Universe have the option of suing them for damages they cause in civil courts of law and they have to respect the law of the land. (Thus their unrestrained behaviour in FF #1 may actually show their inner nature more immediately than their restrained behaviour later).
      That they send money or construction crews to people whose property they damage is only sensible as it avoids time-consuming trials, lawyers' fees, legal costs and the negative publicity fallout they would otherwise risk. (For that reason the FF also don't do that much damage to the property of bad guys even though you would excuse that).



    Quote:
    I often have trouble understanding why you argue the points that you argue. In this instance, do you think it's false that Marvel heroes in the Silver Age were actually heroic? Do you think it's false that they tried their best not to harm civilians or their property - and that they did this for the simple reason that it was the right thing to do?


Heh. You keep wondering about my motives for posting and I keep wondering why you attach such importance to it. I would say that I often have difficulties leaving categorical general assertions (such as "hero x never did this" or "writer x wrote only bad stories") uncontradicted, sometimes even when I agree with the general sentiment. When one or more counter-examples come to my mind, I feel an itch to bring them up. I am also of the opinion that perhaps too many fans and, more problematically, fans-turned-creators tend to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses while conversely refusing to give more recent stories and creators their due credit. (In this particular thread I think you are exaggerating the difference between Silver Age and more recent heroes - not every present-day hero is a Deadpool, and there aren't even that many Silver Age heroes that are as nice, self-effacing and pleasant as Squirrel Girl is in her current series). Also, my skepticism is aroused when people say that this or that counter-example doesn't count because it happened "too early" in the series or for whatever reason.

The thing is that Marvel's heroes often were portrayed as fallible persons, and doing the right thing is often shown as something they have to learn, becoming a superhero as a redemption story often involving their hubris being punished (the origins of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are classic case-studies). Thus I think that if they could get away with it quite a few Marvel heroes would engage in irresponsible behaviour more often, and that things like the negative publicity it would gain them or the danger of suits for damages etc. would be at least as important as questions of the act being ethically right or wrong.

Again, look at Silver Age Spider-Man, who starting early in the Ditko run developed this habit of webbing J. Jonah Jameson to his chair and/or webbing his mouth shut. In-story it is presented as a "funny" prank, but of course taken seriously it is not so harmless (just consider how JJJ must feel experiencing breathing difficulties when his mouth is webbed shut), and it certainly did nothing to de-escalate the feud between Spidey and the head of the Bugle. Early on JJJ had contented himself with negative articles and editorials (which he often enough would retract when it was revealed that they were actually based on false information), but then he progressed to actual criminal acts like funding various Spider-Slayers and the origin of the Scorpion...


    Quote:
    Even in the Bronze Age and somewhat beyond -
    I would contend that even the Punisher (maybe especially the Punisher) would restrain himself from damaging a civilian's house or store unless a life was on the line.


Well, we probably won't agree on the Punisher as I see him as a villain powered by self-righteousness and protected by the authors contrivances ensuring that he never (seriously) hurts an innocent person and only kills guilty ones against all realistic expectations. For others the time when he opened fire on jaywalkers etc. was an exceptional case they like to discount, for me it brought his true nature into sharp relief.


    Quote:
    Wolverine, if attacked by some jerks in a bar, would smash a few tables. But he wasn't the jerk who started the fight.


Check out Uncanny X-Men #183 (1984 - still in the Bronze Age). Here Wolverine takes out Colossus to a bar in the West Village intending to physically "punish" him for the way Piotr broke up with Kitty after his return from the first Secret War (vide his thoughts on p. 16 - don't know if he intended to beat up Piotr in the bar or to get him drunk and then beat him up outside - although he could have done the latter in Harry's Hideaway in Salem Center without driving to Manhattan). As it turns out he doesn't have to because while they are arguing Piotr bumps into the Juggernaut, spilling beer all over him, which leads to a big fight in a very crowded bar which ultimately leads to Colossus and the Juggernaut completely demolishing the building. Yet Wolverine decides to just sit back and enjoy watching the fight, and also stops Nightcrawler from intervening. In the end Juggy wins and leaves unhindered by the two other X-Men. As an added bonus, it is Juggernaut who leaves a big roll of banknotes "for the owner t'fix this place" even though from his POV it clearly was Colossus who had started the fight. Now I wouldn't say he was "actually heroic" in this scene, but apparently there may be a code of honour for many supervillains that leads to similar results as that of superheroes.

(On a much less serious level, there was a scene in a 1970s X-Men story where the X-Men are sitting in the mansion and Wolverine passes the time by playing noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe) by carving the lines and symbols fairly deep into what appears to be an antique coffee-table belonging to Charles Xavier. Not exactly respectful of other people's prized possessions.)



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 7
America's Captain 

Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,120



    Quote:
    Heh. You keep wondering about my motives for posting and I keep wondering why you attach such importance to it. I would say that I often have difficulties leaving categorical general assertions (such as "hero x never did this" or "writer x wrote only bad stories") uncontradicted, sometimes even when I agree with the general sentiment. When one or more counter-examples come to my mind, I feel an itch to bring them up.


Ah. OK. Now I get you. You're a member of the "never say never" and "never say always" police. If someone says "almost never" or "almost always" it doesn't bug you but if someone say "never" or "always" it triggers you to look for counter-examples. That explains a lot.

I often run afoul of the "never say never" and "never say always" police because I only care about general trends. If something is almost never true then I treat it as never true. If something is almost always true then I treat it as always true. I simply don't acknowledge exceptions. Only overall patterns are real to me. When I encounter exceptions it will often cause me to drop a book - but despite making that decision, I drop the exception from my memory banks, because as far as I'm concerned it's not real.

But even so, I think it's not valid to take a character's origin story and treat it as emblematic of how the character behaves post-origin. Many characters were deeply transformed by their origins. Peter Parker was. Stephen Strange was. Tony Stark was. There are also some characters who were deeply transformed by Captain America. These include the Falcon, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. Marvel heroes often had turning points, after which they were almost different people.


    Quote:
    I am also of the opinion that perhaps too many fans and, more problematically, fans-turned-creators tend to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses while conversely refusing to give more recent stories and creators their due credit. (In this particular thread I think you are exaggerating the difference between Silver Age and more recent heroes - not every present-day hero is a Deadpool, and there aren't even that many Silver Age heroes that are as nice, self-effacing and pleasant as Squirrel Girl is in her current series).


Oh, there are some very inspirational recent heroes. Squirrel Girl certainly. Hawkeye the girl. Ms. Marvel. America Chavez. All-New Wolverine. Ironheart. These characters are very intentionally being written as inspirational. I applaud them.


    Quote:
    Also, my skepticism is aroused when people say that this or that counter-example doesn't count because it happened "too early" in the series or for whatever reason.


The "early in the series" comment is most applicable to the FF. You can't seriously tell me you see no difference between the FF as depicted in the first few issues and the FF as depicted in later issues. Ben in particular is very different.


    Quote:
    The thing is that Marvel's heroes often were portrayed as fallible persons, and doing the right thing is often shown as something they have to learn, becoming a superhero as a redemption story often involving their hubris being punished (the origins of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are classic case-studies).


Exactly! Their origin stories were transformative.


    Quote:
    Thus I think that if they could get away with it quite a few Marvel heroes would engage in irresponsible behaviour more often, and that things like the negative publicity it would gain them or the danger of suits for damages etc. would be at least as important as questions of the act being ethically right or wrong.


Why do you even WANT to think that? Abuse of power is the essence of evil.


    Quote:
    Again, look at Silver Age Spider-Man, who starting early in the Ditko run developed this habit of webbing J. Jonah Jameson to his chair and/or webbing his mouth shut. In-story it is presented as a "funny" prank, but of course taken seriously it is not so harmless (just consider how JJJ must feel experiencing breathing difficulties when his mouth is webbed shut), and it certainly did nothing to de-escalate the feud between Spidey and the head of the Bugle. Early on JJJ had contented himself with negative articles and editorials (which he often enough would retract when it was revealed that they were actually based on false information), but then he progressed to actual criminal acts like funding various Spider-Slayers and the origin of the Scorpion...


I never thought of the breathing difficulty angle. I'll have to give you that one. But I doubt the writer thought of it either. Or the artist. Or most readers. As for webbing Jonah to his seat - we're talking about a man who was deliberately targeting Spider-Man for profit. The fact that all Peter did was web the guy to his chair is pretty amazing. (Again, I never thought of the breathing difficulty angle. I don't typically analyze so deeply.)


    Quote:
    Well, we probably won't agree on the Punisher as I see him as a villain powered by self-righteousness and protected by the authors contrivances ensuring that he never (seriously) hurts an innocent person and only kills guilty ones against all realistic expectations. For others the time when he opened fire on jaywalkers etc. was an exceptional case they like to discount, for me it brought his true nature into sharp relief.


I don't know how people see the Punisher as a villain. Agent of chaos, yes. I see him as chaotic good. If he was in the room with you and some criminal shot at you and the only way the Punisher could save you is by taking the bullet himself, he would take the bullet.


    Quote:
    In the end Juggy wins and leaves unhindered by the two other X-Men. As an added bonus, it is Juggernaut who leaves a big roll of banknotes "for the owner t'fix this place" even though from his POV it clearly was Colossus who had started the fight. Now I wouldn't say he was "actually heroic" in this scene, but apparently there may be a code of honour for many supervillains that leads to similar results as that of superheroes.


That was cool. I definitely think it's true that some villains have a sense of honor. Ordinarily I wouldn't have counted the Juggernaut among them. I'm not sure if that scene was really in character for him. But it was cool nonetheless.


    Quote:
    (On a much less serious level, there was a scene in a 1970s X-Men story where the X-Men are sitting in the mansion and Wolverine passes the time by playing noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe) by carving the lines and symbols fairly deep into what appears to be an antique coffee-table belonging to Charles Xavier. Not exactly respectful of other people's prized possessions.)


Yeah, that was a stupid scene.






Posted with Google Chrome 63.0.3239.84 on Windows 10
The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 25,765


I do agree with you that the essence of Frank Castle is completely not villainous.

But I think a lot of post-1990 writers have taken Punisher and Wolverine in horrible directions. I find many stories just completely absurd and unfitting what the characters were created to be.




City of Heroes is BACK!
Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 10
Menshevik


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,299



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Heh. You keep wondering about my motives for posting and I keep wondering why you attach such importance to it. I would say that I often have difficulties leaving categorical general assertions (such as "hero x never did this" or "writer x wrote only bad stories") uncontradicted, sometimes even when I agree with the general sentiment. When one or more counter-examples come to my mind, I feel an itch to bring them up.



    Quote:
    Ah. OK. Now I get you. You're a member of the "never say never" and "never say always" police. If someone says "almost never" or "almost always" it doesn't bug you but if someone say "never" or "always" it triggers you to look for counter-examples. That explains a lot.


Well, sometimes "almost never" and "nearly always" also bothers me. ;\-\) Also, in many cases I don't have to look for counter-examples, they often enough spring to my mind unbidden.

Addendum: I think I may be a bit more empirically-minded than you - what is important for me is what happened in actual stories. You often have very definite ideas as to what a characters proper characterization is or should be, with a temptation to disregard stuff which does not fit this "general pattern" as OOC etc. Looking back I notice that here you've used completely hypothetical examples a few times, one even involving myself (what the Punisher would do if he found himself in a room with me etc.). For instance, you spoke of a hypothetical situation where Wolverine got into a brawl in a bar and then would give the bar's owner money to pay for the damages. That got me thinking of actual examples where Logan was involved in a bar fight, and what first sprang to mind (unbidden) was UXM #183, partly because I misremembered it, thinking that this was an occasion where Logan left money to pay the damages (for me this is one of the exciting things about taking part in such discussions: it was only when I reread the story to double-check that I (re)discovered that it actually was Juggy who paid, not the X-Men).
The second thing that came to mind was UXM #173 where Wolverine and Rogue heavily damage a bar in Tokyo and rough up the staff (and patrons?) in order to gain information without leaving money behind to cover the damages, but since here the staff were either in cahoots with the yakuza (or being blackmailed by them) I supposed it would fall under your "destroying villains' property is allowed" caveat. (Which would also apply to most of the barroom fights "Patch" got into in Madripoor).
So it turns out I couldn't readily recall any occasion where Logan actually paid for property damage he caused (intentionally or unintentionally). I also did not readily remember any occasion where Spider-Man paid anyone for property damages (he usually didn't have enough money anyway), and neither did I for Daredevil, another superhero who operates outside the law and therefore cannot be compelled to pay via legal action in the way the members of the Avengers and Fantastic Four can. Although I have to say that my memories of Daredevil (a title I read quite a bit in the 1970s and 1980s, but hardly ever since) are a bit hazy.
End of the addendum.

But I have to reject the "police" part emphatically. Just because I happen to disagree does not mean I set myself up as a police officer or judge, i.e. assuming I have authority over you.


    Quote:
    I often run afoul of the "never say never" and "never say always" police because I only care about general trends. If something is almost never true then I treat it as never true. If something is almost always true then I treat it as always true. I simply don't acknowledge exceptions. Only overall patterns are real to me. When I encounter exceptions it will often cause me to drop a book - but despite making that decision, I drop the exception from my memory banks, because as far as I'm concerned it's not real.


Well, I happen to disagree over what you see as "overall patterns" and which sometimes seem to me more like "unfair generalizations".


    Quote:
    But even so, I think it's not valid to take a character's origin story and treat it as emblematic of how the character behaves post-origin. Many characters were deeply transformed by their origins. Peter Parker was. Stephen Strange was. Tony Stark was. There are also some characters who were deeply transformed by Captain America. These include the Falcon, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. Marvel heroes often had turning points, after which they were almost different people.


Then I think one should not use a term like "heroic nature" - it is not something inborn, something immutable, but something they had to learn, frequently through tragic experiences (Stephen Strange's debilitating car accident, the murder of Uncle Ben, etc.). And occasionally other experiences may make them less heroic (vide Tony Stark's alcoholism, Henry Pym hitting his wife and attacking the Avengers etc.) but not without hope of an eventual redemption. (BTW, I don't think Captain America changed Hawkeye, Quicksilver or the Scarlet Witch all that much. They had already gone through their change due to their experiences as villains' minions. Can't comment on the Falcon as I didn't read his origin.)


    Quote:

      Quote:
      I am also of the opinion that perhaps too many fans and, more problematically, fans-turned-creators tend to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses while conversely refusing to give more recent stories and creators their due credit. (In this particular thread I think you are exaggerating the difference between Silver Age and more recent heroes - not every present-day hero is a Deadpool, and there aren't even that many Silver Age heroes that are as nice, self-effacing and pleasant as Squirrel Girl is in her current series).



    Quote:
    Oh, there are some very inspirational recent heroes. Squirrel Girl certainly. Hawkeye the girl. Ms. Marvel. America Chavez. All-New Wolverine. Ironheart. These characters are very intentionally being written as inspirational. I applaud them.


Yeah, but a lot of old-time fans hate them because they're new (or for something else). One of the things that appalled me the most on these boards when Bendis announced he was leaving Marvel was two fans gleefully calling for Riri to be dismembered and put into a refrigerator...


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Also, my skepticism is aroused when people say that this or that counter-example doesn't count because it happened "too early" in the series or for whatever reason.



    Quote:
    The "early in the series" comment is most applicable to the FF. You can't seriously tell me you see no difference between the FF as depicted in the first few issues and the FF as depicted in later issues. Ben in particular is very different.


I never claimed there was no difference, but these things happened. Also, again, the debate was not just about wanton destruction of civilian property, but also about hot-headedness and general stupidity, and there I would say that it took Ben and Johnny years, if not decades to learn to hold their tendency to make rash, often faulty decisions in check. BTW, with "whatever reason" I was thinking e.g. of the somewhat indiscriminate use of "out of character" by some people. Readers will often disagree as to what behaviour they consider in or out of character.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      The thing is that Marvel's heroes often were portrayed as fallible persons, and doing the right thing is often shown as something they have to learn, becoming a superhero as a redemption story often involving their hubris being punished (the origins of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are classic case-studies).



    Quote:
    Exactly! Their origin stories were transformative.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      Thus I think that if they could get away with it quite a few Marvel heroes would engage in irresponsible behaviour more often, and that things like the negative publicity it would gain them or the danger of suits for damages etc. would be at least as important as questions of the act being ethically right or wrong.



    Quote:
    Why do you even WANT to think that? Abuse of power is the essence of evil.


But obviously we both probably could come up with examples of Silver Age heroes abusing their powers - for another example see how back then Professor X would habitually wipe bystanders' minds of memories of what happened through the involvement of the X-Men.

Well, but apparently it is condoned by you if it is aimed at someone you dislike:


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Again, look at Silver Age Spider-Man, who starting early in the Ditko run developed this habit of webbing J. Jonah Jameson to his chair and/or webbing his mouth shut. In-story it is presented as a "funny" prank, but of course taken seriously it is not so harmless (just consider how JJJ must feel experiencing breathing difficulties when his mouth is webbed shut), and it certainly did nothing to de-escalate the feud between Spidey and the head of the Bugle. Early on JJJ had contented himself with negative articles and editorials (which he often enough would retract when it was revealed that they were actually based on false information), but then he progressed to actual criminal acts like funding various Spider-Slayers and the origin of the Scorpion...



    Quote:
    I never thought of the breathing difficulty angle. I'll have to give you that one. But I doubt the writer thought of it either. Or the artist. Or most readers. As for webbing Jonah to his seat - we're talking about a man who was deliberately targeting Spider-Man for profit. The fact that all Peter did was web the guy to his chair is pretty amazing. (Again, I never thought of the breathing difficulty angle. I don't typically analyze so deeply.)


Yeah, the stories presented in in a way that sympathized with Spidey, so many readers did not see it as a big deal and would probably have excused Spider-Man bullying JJJ even worse. The "for profit" thing is questionable IMO, especially as JJJ hate on Spidey has been shown often enough as resulting from his innermost feelings. Also Peter Parker depended on the Bugle coverage for his own livelihood long enough. But he clearly was abusing his powers here, and this type of thing may not seem as insignificant to the person being bullied. It certainly did nothing to convince JJJ that Spider-Man wasn't a threat or menace.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Well, we probably won't agree on the Punisher as I see him as a villain powered by self-righteousness and protected by the authors contrivances ensuring that he never (seriously) hurts an innocent person and only kills guilty ones against all realistic expectations. For others the time when he opened fire on jaywalkers etc. was an exceptional case they like to discount, for me it brought his true nature into sharp relief.



    Quote:
    I don't know how people see the Punisher as a villain. Agent of chaos, yes. I see him as chaotic good. If he was in the room with you and some criminal shot at you and the only way the Punisher could save you is by taking the bullet himself, he would take the bullet.


He abuses his powers (combat prowess, marksmanship) to set himself up as judge, jury and executioner and to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. It is only thanks to the writers (who ensure that he doesn't kill an innocent person when he targets one) that he hasn't been shown up for what he is. BTW, one has to wonder how many people one could realistically expect to have been turned to crime and the pursuit of revenge because the Punisher killed their beloved relatives (i.e. become darker Inigo Montoyas). No doubt you'll say I'm overthinking things.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      In the end Juggy wins and leaves unhindered by the two other X-Men. As an added bonus, it is Juggernaut who leaves a big roll of banknotes "for the owner t'fix this place" even though from his POV it clearly was Colossus who had started the fight. Now I wouldn't say he was "actually heroic" in this scene, but apparently there may be a code of honour for many supervillains that leads to similar results as that of superheroes.



    Quote:
    That was cool. I definitely think it's true that some villains have a sense of honor. Ordinarily I wouldn't have counted the Juggernaut among them. I'm not sure if that scene was really in character for him. But it was cool nonetheless.


Well, that was just the cherry on top. The crucial thing here was how Wolverine behaved.



Posted with Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 7
MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 2,953


>


Posted with Mozilla 11.0 on Windows 10

Alvaro's Comicboards powered by On Topic™ © 2003-2018 Powermad Software