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Todd Arliss




I'm really pissed off Orka died in HFH #8,he was always a favorite of mine.

Now I'm worried that Tiger Shark (the villain,not the poster) will get bumped off in AVENGERS:THE INITIATIVE.

Please Marvel,DON'T DO THIS!!!!!

You can have your Sabretooth and Bullseye,I like Tiger Shark more than either of them. If he gets killed off,I'm quitting Marvel forever!!!

You have been warned.


'Nuff Said!


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Attok12




I feel for you in regards to Orka, but at least his death was written well, in my opinion. And Shang-Chi certainly avenged him, the little monkey.


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Tiger Shark




He has been hugely mistreated and cast aside during the last two decades, and is, in a way, ripe for slaughter under Nu Marvel.

But he was treated very, very respectfully in the recent handbook, and, if you read the CW Battle Damage report, you know that many villains and former villains are being considered for SHIELD employment as registered agents by Tony Stark.

So Tiger Shark, who has had well-documented periods of heroism before, may find that Tony approaches him and helps him control his human-to-shark mutation, and asks him to join. Certainly, an underwater team of heroes will be needed, including Stingray, so why not Todd as well?

Regardless, if he's going to be chopped up for fish bait, your appeal is coming wayyyyyyyyyy too late. It's already a done deal.

Orka's death was utterly pointless and so indicative of Nu Marvel. They just brought him up from the watery ranks, dusted him off, introduced him to a new generation of readers, made him viable...and then they kill him. Ho Ho Ho. What a waste.

That's why I've dropped HFH and will encourage others to do so too...seeing the Man-Ape in a terryclothe bathrobe was clearly just the beginning...and the Reaper's head in a toilet. I'm surprised the artist didn't include a 'floater' in the john just to make the Reaper's indignity all that more undignified. Marvel is not above that these days.




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Attok12




There are indications in H4H#8 that the Grim Reaper seen in the storyline may not have been the real deal. The person who hired him is an ongoing mystery as well, so there may be more to things than meets the eye. That may not have even been the real Man-Ape.


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spiderprince




> There are indications in H4H#8 that the Grim Reaper seen in the storyline may not have been the real deal. The person who hired him is an ongoing mystery as well, so there may be more to things than meets the eye. That may not have even been the real Man-Ape.

Granted I'm not big Man-Ape or Reaper fan or anything, and maybe I would react differently if they were villians I considered "big", but I don't see what the fuss is all about. Man-Ape in a robe over his costume? It was funny. Seemed more like a sight gag to me then editorial wanting to disgrace the character. Reaper's head in the toilet? I can see the anger here, but Eric did come across as pretty badass during the whole arc. I know you probably won't ever see Doom with his head in a toilet, but thats cause he's Doom.




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Omar Karindu




If Namor or Stingray are in the story, you can generally rely on Tiger Shark being written as a proper character; it's his "dark mirror" relationship to Namor and his familial relationship to Stingray that allow his more rounded dimensions to emerge.

But when Namor doesn't have a series or Stingray isn't being used anywhere, Tiger Shark's rather personal motivations and his water-dependent powers tend to turn him into a rent-a-thug with a "shred his water-suit" Achilles heel.

Kurt Busiek seemed to be setting something up by making him more animal-like in Thunderbolts, following up a Roy Thomas plot from Namor's 90s series, but the payoff wasn't quite there. And Archie Goodwin and John Byrne attempted to turn his bitterness at having intially been crippled into some sort of hero-hatred, but ended up reinforcing the generic quality of that as a motivation anyway.

The best of his stories, as you note below, play off of his hidden, bitterness-crushed desire for heroism; and that has always played out best as a counterpoint to Namor's own brashness and occasional bouts of antiheroism, or against his sister's and bro-in-law's relative normality. The worst of his stories treat him as a gain-motivated criminal...and unfortunately, that's most of them.

Tiger Shark's basic problem for writers is that it's fairly hard to work out why, for example, he's joining the Masters of Evil under Egghead or teaming with Whirlwind to rip off an experimental gadget. Those kinds of stories helped rapidly reduce him to generic muscle. I'd argue that he's a villain who really has to be used sparingly and in very specifically tailored stories in order to be more than a thug with an often inappropriate or seemingly random "ocean predator" gimmick.

The Grey Gargoyle, whom you discussed some time back, has much the same problem. His original motivation was that he desired immortality, after all, and the stories that have worked best with him have been those that played to this notion. Indeed, the best Gargoyle story I can remember other than his debut was in Michelinie/Layton's second run on Iron Man, in issues #237-8 or so, the one in whih the Gargoyle fakes a career as a sculptor by using a plastic sheath to permanently (and horrifically) turn his victims into stone and sell them as sculptures to the idle rich.

His other great problem is that he's very much the product of a 1950s B-movie kinf o mentality. The gargoyle-come-to-life bit is a rather 50s-ish take on the Gothic, after all, and the aesthete whose medium is his weapon seems at least tangentially inspired by of House of Wax and its like. That Michelinie /Layton tale essentially is House of Wax's plot, come to think of it, right down to the villain's preference for gorgeous women as his artworks/victims.

Again, what works with the Gargoyle is the realization that he is, at some level, a horror character, and a specific type of horror character at that. The magic of the Marvel Universe is that he can actually become his own favorite artwork, his demand for a mobile immortality in stone metaphorizing the perverse, ultimately stunted and childish ambitions of a purer narcissist than even Doctor Doom. (Doom is too grand and too worldly in his desires and self-entitlement to be simply self-obsessed.)

He was created to battle Thor, after all, and Thor's best-concieved enemies invvariably partake of either the godly or the monstrous. Even the seemingly "human" villains follow this pattern -- the Absorbing Man is explicitly compared with Thor's monstrous mythological foes in his early appearances and has always had an apelike, subhuman appearance, one especially pronounced under Kirby, Buscema, or Byrne as persisting in his various transformations; the Wrecker's original concept was a mortal thug given the physical and magical powers of an Asgardian god, and the Wrecking Crew (much as I love Len Wein) is a horrible dilution of this essential idea in the character.

It also helps that Jack Kirby's original visual concept for him was somewhat grotesque -- the splash page of Journey Into Mystery #113 even depicts an inhuman gargoyle monster akin to others of that type Kirby had created in Marvel's monster comics. But aside from his first, eerie appearance and the Michelinie/Layton story I've mentioned, that's never been played up. (I did rather like Cary Nord's much more gargoyle-like rendition of him in Kesel's Daredevil run, though. The story itself wasn't a great use of Paul Pierre-Duvall, however.)

And as much as people tout the Gargoyle's battle with the Avengers, in all honesty, he's rather undermotivated for most of that story, only becoming compelling (as opposed to merely physically dangerous to the heroes) when he discovers the "silly woman" who has taken over his apartment and thrown out his life's work. His tantrum at this discovery, coupled with his hideous and peurile sense of entitlement -- fantasizing about riding in a Presidential limo, absurdly expecting that a posh NYC apartment would remain unrented because it's his -- bring back elements of his monstrous aestheticism.

That's my take, anyway; the pop influences behind the villains have to be taken into account when crafting stories that will involve them. If you can;'t come up with an appropriate story to make use of that, then you're not going to write a worthwhile adventure featuring that villain. You're going to, no matter how hard you try, contribute to the "villain-of-the-month" syndrome.

> He has been hugely mistreated and cast aside during the last two decades, and is, in a way, ripe for slaughter under Nu Marvel.
>
> But he was treated very, very respectfully in the recent handbook, and, if you read the CW Battle Damage report, you know that many villains and former villains are being considered for SHIELD employment as registered agents by Tony Stark.
>
> So Tiger Shark, who has had well-documented periods of heroism before, may find that Tony approaches him and helps him control his human-to-shark mutation, and asks him to join. Certainly, an underwater team of heroes will be needed, including Stingray, so why not Todd as well?
>
> Regardless, if he's going to be chopped up for fish bait, your appeal is coming wayyyyyyyyyy too late. It's already a done deal.
>
> Orka's death was utterly pointless and so indicative of Nu Marvel. They just brought him up from the watery ranks, dusted him off, introduced him to a new generation of readers, made him viable...and then they kill him. Ho Ho Ho. What a waste.
>
> That's why I've dropped HFH and will encourage others to do so too...seeing the Man-Ape in a terryclothe bathrobe was clearly just the beginning...and the Reaper's head in a toilet. I'm surprised the artist didn't include a 'floater' in the john just to make the Reaper's indignity all that more undignified. Marvel is not above that these days.
>
>

- Omar Karindu

"A Renoir. I have three, myself. I had four, but ordered one burned...It
displeased me." -- Doctor Doom

"It's not, 'Oh, they killed Sue Dibney and I always loved that character,' it's 'Oh, they broke a story engine that could have told a thousand stories in order to publish a single 'important' one.'" -- John Seavey


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Tiger Shark




'There was a time.....' when Marvel had about 12 Big Gun Villains like those named above as well as the Mandarin, the Grand Master, Annihilus, Magneto, Ultron, Immortus, the Leader, Dormammu, the Collector, Kang, Attuma (and that's pushing it on this list), and a few others...

....and then an additional HUGE cast (like, over a thousand) of viable, deadly, and dangerous 'lesser' villains who were taken with Utter Seriousness by the writers, and these included Electro, Mr. Fear, the Cobra, the Sandman, the Grim Reaper, Kraven the Hunter, the Living Laser, Mesmero, the Jester, the Petrified Man, Llyra, Mastermind, the Purple Man, Doctor Octopus, the original Zodiac and Scorpio, Titania, Dr. Dorcas, Mr. Hyde, the Vamp/Anima, Spymaster, Mysterio, Firebrand, the Wingless Wizard, Medusa, the Savage Land Mutates, Madame Masque, the Man-Bull, the Flying Dutchman, Sunfire, the Scorpion, Blaastar, the Viper, the Eel, Commander Kraken, Moonstone, the Owl, Diablo, the Basilisk, the Grey Gargoyle, Tiger Shark, the Melter, Klaw, the Enchantress, and all the rest.

I can only assume you missed this decades-long period when most of Marvel's villains were less-than-first-tier in terms of power and world dominance. They were essentially characters out of Romance, and would never be portrayed as walking about in their bathrobes, farting, belching, and frying eggs. They were mysterious, calculating, powerful, unknowable even. They weren't objects of 'fun.'

Today, we live in a very unimaginative, flat, prosiac (at Best) age, when it's popular to shit on and tear down all things Better than what the current generation can and has been able to drum up. Almost everything is irony, sarcasm, and attempts at droll 'wit' and 'humor,' like what we see in Bendis' New Avengers. Spider Man's going to poop his drawers! Well, my. Cover your eyes and pull your daughters indoors fast.

Aunt May I can see in a bathrobe, or Mary Jane, or Peter, Scott, Jan, or Bruce in the morning, but No, it's pretty pathetic (and not in the manner intended) to have the Man-Ape walking around in a bathrobe OVER HIS COSTUME. That's just making a mockery of him--clearly. It's saying, 'This guy is a pathetic idiot, under no circumstances to be taken seriously.'

Consequently, where is the drama in the story? We already know the GR and the Man-Pae are idiots, we've practically been told so outright.

And if you're going to give me the argument that the villains listed above and their peers were always losers, well, No, that was not the case; and excellent writers took even these lesser (that's 'lesser in the GRAND scheme of things') villains like Sabertooth, the Green Goblin (who was, at one time, simply one of SM's enemies among many), Mastermind, and Kraven the Hunter and brought them right to the fore of some very powerful and influential stories. Look what happened to Jean and the X-Men as the result of the 'pathetic Mastermind.'


Which is to say that the potential of any given character is in the creator's eye, and not in the character's boilerplate.





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Attok12




...by the bit with the Reaper's head in the toilet. It made sense to me. Misty and Colleen were using it as an interrogation tactic, one that I have seen used before. Seeing Man-Ape in the robe while still weraing his costume was a bit silly, however, but not overly so. I love H4H. It's the perfect blend of humor, action and seriousness all at the same time. Plus, the book is a fabulous dumping ground for lost 70's characters. I hope the series sticks around for a long time.


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Attok12




I agree with you about seeing Man Ape wearing a robe OVER his costume. That wasn't really right. But I thought the Grim Reaper was written well. While I can see why you disliked the scence featuring the Reaper's head in the toilet, I thought it was fine because Misty was using it as an interrogation technique, one I've seen before. If the Reaper just stuck his head in the toilet for whatever reason, then I wouldn't have liked it. But that's not what happened. Meanwhile, the writers reminded us of the Grim Reaper's racism, as well as showed just how much of a bastard he is when he just outright murdered poor Saboteur by slicing her head off -- just because she said the wrong thing at the wrong time. That was a genuinely surprising moment for me that had much more meaning than, say, the "I saw it coming a mile away" so-called shocker of an ending to CIVIL WAR #2, where Spidey unmasked. *yawn*


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Tiger Shark




I've long-advocated for a kind of new 'Night Shift' criminal group located and active in the Midwest (and not necessarily in urban areas by any means) which would only strike at night, which would play off of humanity's fears of them in and of themselves, being all fairly spooky types.

When you think of what happened with the 'Mad Gasser of Mantoon' 'hysteria' in the 40s, you see, or at least I see, how this could play out very nicely. Like the Maruaders, they could strike and withdraw, strike and withdraw. They wouldn't introduce themselves by shouting our their monikers or group name, or easily be identified by the press or those investigating the attacks.

I see Quasimodo, the Corruptor, the Owl, the Grey Gargoyle, the Man-Bull, Headlok, the Vulture, the Scarecrow, Nekra, the Black Talon, the Flying Tiger, the Griffin, the female Halflife, Mr Fear, a Hate-Monger, the original Jester, a new Hangman, even perhaps Diablo, and Amphibius, being members. And having Mr. Hyde, Glob, and Vermin on hand as needed (and otherwise contained) might be a good idea for emergencies.

They could all be using this group to eventually fund their own plans and obssessions (like the Gargoyle's desire to live forever).

The Grim Reaper--the classic Grim Reaper--is, of course a natural for this group to me, and, with the Owl, the Corruptor, Quasimodo, and the Grey Gargoyle, would have to be in some kind of leadership role.

They're all physically and mentally bizarre and/or grotesque in their own way, and, knowing this, set out to strike fear into the hearts of sleeping citizens, small towns and communities who wake up to find themselves confronted by...well, essentially monsters.

The Griffin, Amphibius and the Gargoyle in his stone form are monsters, to my way of thinking, and Mr. Fear is certainly monstrous in his costume. Do they have larger motivations and goals as a group? Of course they do.

Like Ray Bradbury's 'The Clown At Midnight,' who would want to answer the door at midnight and find the Jester standing there in the moonlight, smiling or sneering? Not me. or the Griffin, or the Scarecrow either. Writers need to responsibly exploit the weirdness about these characters That's Already There.

And no member would be treated as extraneous by the group or the writers.

I agree with you wholly about Tiger Shark--he should be used sparingly and only when his 'real' personality and motivations can come into play or be carefully elaborated upon---not as he was portrayed in Egghead's ludicrous MOE. I thought Byrne did a fairly good job back in Wolverine.

IMO, the whole essentially, specifically unexplained shark-mutation thing has been a big bust and also ruined his wonderful classic appearance. It certainly wasn't an improvement, and I was glad to see the recent handbook addressing/acknowledging it in some way.

TS was the prototype of Sabertooth and many others, and should be respected. With his long history and often-heroic work (as in the later part of the 'Namor' series with Tamara), there's no reason why he can't evolve as a character and still remain true to his roots, and perhaps even become a full-time hero.

He's well-conected to Walter, Diane, Tamara, Namor, Triton, Attuma, Llyra, Krang, the FF, the Avengers, and others, in ways both 'good' and 'bad.'

Thanks.


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Tiger Shark




...and I don't. The kind of humor we found in Silver and Bronze Age Spider Man was fine for that title or series of titles, but 99% of Marvel's output then didn't need it or utilize it, and certainly not on any kind of regular basis.

Imagine the classic FF 100, in which they fought an army of super villains after crashing landing in the middle of nowhere, if once on every page Crystal, Sue, Johnny or Reed said, 'Oh Yeah--Dragon Man--RIGHT. I'm Shivering in my Boots! Bring it On, Big Boy."

I have no problem with a hero putting a criminal's head in a toilet, but

A) it's a stilted, unoriginal, and over-used tool (and in more ways than one, in the 'Nelson' sense, 'I feel like such a tool') in less-than-firstrate films and television programs;

and

B) The way it was done was clearly farcical. It was intended to be 'funny' to the reader and also hugely insulting to the GR. It was a Tarantino-esque take on such an action, just like most of the rest of the book. I doubt his headgear would have fit in the john.

That's not my cup of tea. No one will ever take the GR seriosuly again; "Oh--that's the bloke that that Afro Chick flushed down the crapper! Haha. Yeah, right--HE'S attacking the X-Men? Haha."

That's what comes of such disrespect, as we clearly see voiced on this board all the time, even in this series of posts. and Ryker used to do it on the Avengers board daily.


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Tiger Shark




--just to rub in the excellence.


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Tiger Shark




Yes, I have no problem with the Man-Ape wearing a bathrobe or frying some eggs in the morning---but NOT in his costume. The same with the reaper--it would have been interesting to see Erik out of costume, in a bathrobe, sitting at the table and thinking.

But not out of costume and sitting on the john, hoping the laxitive he took before bed will work, while the Man-Ape belches and fries eggs in his bathrobe, and complains about the smell from the bathroom.

When the writer writes in such characters strolling around the house in their costumes with an old bathrobe thrown over it, it's icon-breaking, and done on purpose--"he-he-he, ain't I a funny one."

And while neither the GR or the MA may be objectively iconic in the Red Skull, Kang, Ultron, Thanos, or Doctor Doom sense, to me they are Marvel Icons, due to my long history with them in decades when they whupped a lot of hero butt and were treated with full respect by their creators and later writers than used them.




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Attok12




I'm not actually that big of a fan of so-called super-hero humor comics. It's pretty well known how much I can't stand Dan Slott's writing. I don't think he's even remotely funny. And I don't think Bendis is that funny, either, because he overdoes it. He has every character cracking jokes in NEW AVENGERS when it should be limited to just Spider-Man. That said, somehow HEROES FOR HIRE works for me. Who knows why? Chalk it up to one of life's little mysteries. It may be because, despite the quirky humor, H4H still has tons of action and genuinely serious moments. Orka's death was extremely well done and had more meaning to me than other deaths I won't mention. I mean, the poor guy got a giant hole blown through his chest. And Shang-Chi going all ballistic on the Headmen was fabulous. Orka was his ally, and he didn't think Orka deserved what happened to him. Shang even went so far as to bust up his own hands in order to take down the Doombot. That kind of thing balances out the quirky aspects of the title. At least I think so.


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spiderprince




Its not he had his head in the toilet like while at Rykers so that the entire supervillian community saw. And seriously, has the Grim Reaper recently been seen as a threat? Outside of Heroes for Hire I don't think so.

Do you remember when Dr Doom lost to Squirrel Girl. That was embarassing I'm sure, but it doesn't detract from Doom as a character. It was meant to be funny and was (Doom even got his revenge) but he's still treated as a legitimate threat.

This may seem kind of ironic considering most of the titles I like are "grim" but I do enjoy a nice fun story. Heroes for Hire delivers that along with good action and characters that I have to look up in handbooks (which I like as I am bored to tears with Hydra/Mr Hyde/The Wrecking Crew).


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Tiger Shark




~


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spiderprince




Just that the fact that they are not top tier works against them. Them not being big name villians means that they are up for "grabs" so to speak when it comes to portraying them in certain ways. I doubt you'll ever see Doom or Magneto with their heads in a toilet or anything like that.

That said I just don't see what the fuss is about. Do you think that a few panels and all of a sudden Man Ape and GR's career as villians are over? Its an isolated incident, done in a book that where its supposed to be humorous and its not even as over the top humour as Slott likes to write in She Hulk or GLA. I still think Eric came across looking better than he has in a while despite being strongarmed into a toilet.


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spiderprince




> ~


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Tiger Shark




Busiek was the last person to use him in a big way as part of a larger story about Ultron. Millar trussed him up with the Vulture, like common cannon-fodder, in the first loathesome issue of CW.

But he's certainly had his day over the decades (and even became an evil disembodied wraith for a while), and deserves respect from where I'm sitting.


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spiderprince




> Busiek was the last person to use him in a big way as part of a larger story about Ultron. Millar trussed him up with the Vulture, like common cannon-fodder, in the first loathesome issue of CW.
>
> But he's certainly had his day over the decades (and even became an evil disembodied wraith for a while), and deserves respect from where I'm sitting.

Yea that Busiek story was actually my first real introduction to him outside of Wonderman flashbacks (really showing my age aren't I).

I see what you're saying about respect, just seems to me that he still came across as pretty badass. Killing his teammate because she said the wrong thing, almost taking out the H4H. The head in toilet, while funny, doesn't detract from that imo.


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