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Author
Late Great Donald Blake


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,818




Now political discussion, often of the worst kind, dominates our conversation about Thor comics and comics generally.  This is obviously due to the advent of Jane-Thor and Marvel's current era of attempted diversity.   Because this iteration of that era seems to be drawing to a close, and Jane's story appears to be  coming to an end, I thought it might be worth thinking through what's been going on in the comics and what's been going on with us on this board. 

I think what Marvel is waking up to (hopefully) is that if you're going to make it a goal to increase diversity--and I think that a very good goal to make--you have to do it organically through good story telling. You can't just do it with flash in the pan publicity stunts or top down editorial mandates. Most of Marvel comics characters have taken the better part of sixty year to fully take root in the culture. And the bedrock of that has always been the adoration of true blue fans and the fundamental stories that have seduced them. If anything, I think Marvel's failure here isn't so much a failure of expressing their political values. It's a failure of belief: the belief that editorial control extends so far as to tell fans what they like or the belief that because they're behind the creative wheel, they can mold fan interest as easily as they can their stories. I don't think it's so much a matter of these characters representing different ethnic or gender identities that people are rejecting. I think it's their sheer newness. Point being, you can't just say to fans, by fiat, "here, these are the characters you'll be reading now." 


That being said, I do think there's a massive call--not necessarily from this board, but nevertheless--to see a more diverse array of people from different ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientations, etc backgrounds at the center of the Marvel's universe. And this I think is a legitimate desire on the parts of a big chunk of the current and potential fanbase that can't be easily or fairly dismissed. The other day in the comic store I saw a little black girl who must have been around 8 or 9 taking a Ms. Marvel comic up to the register, and I thought, "this is why diversity in comics is important. This is why we need black heroes and gay heroes and female heroes and disabled heroes and all the rest." Because I was 9 when I started reading comics and they have meant the world to me. And I want that little girl to feel like those kind of stories could be for her and about her. And that she's welcome and invited to read those stories. And that there are heroes out there for her too. Comics at their best have a capacity to inspire people and to show us a version of the world that's redeemable and where people do the right thing for the good of others. Comics can give people hope. So I think we have a duty to insure that everyone, no matter who they are or where they're coming from, feel like they have access to the kind of world that comics can provide. 

However... as noble as a goal like that might be, it doesn't mean the attempt to achieve it can't be made poorly or incompetently or cynically.. And in many ways, I think Marvel is guilty of this sort of activity. If one is critical, I think their mistakes have been pretty conspicuous. Their chief mistake has been their choice to replace classic characters, rather than independently build up new characters. The better strategy would be to prop up minority characters or create new ones to fight along side classic heroes, rather than have the new characters replace the old.

Marvel's strategy was doomed to fail from the beginning because it was necessarily divisive, and was counterproductive to the very values it supposedly means to espouse. The divisive thing is obvious. If you have to come up with a short list of the greatest fears of straight, protestant men when it comes to the culture landscape topping that fear list would be that they'll be replaced and erased by other cultural identities. And to me that's a legitimate fear. Irrational, dangerous, tribal, and selfish without a doubt, but it's a fear that's primitive and human. Understandable all the same. Now of course their feelings of being erased aren't more important than anyone else's, but the idea that Marvel was going to essentially symbolically reproduce a fear that so many conservative men have, by replacing all of their favorite heroes, like some bizarre horror puppet show, thereby stoking the flame of their fear and confirming every crazy reactionary eschatological terror fantasy, is beyond frustrating. It's insane. I think many of the conservative Thor fans for instance exaggerate the degree to which Marvel has hurt the character, but their claims aren't baseless and it makes sense they feel insulted and alienated. 

More to the point it absolutely sends the wrong message. Most people left of center don't support the idea of punishing or replacing white, straight men. They just want a world that gives minorities and women all the same access and opportunities that white straight men have enjoyed for so long. They want the cultural center to be shared and not dominated by a single cultural group. We want to see people from all walks of life coming together to fight evil in our hero stories (to be melodramatic about it), we don't want to groups replacing one another.  When conservatives say Marvel's "SJW" activities have been divisive, that's when they most have a case.  

And if Marvel was sincere about those values, there were some more honest ready-made strategies to realize said values. Chiefly, they could have gone with a similar technique that Geoff Johns did back with Green Lantern during the Sinestro Corp War, Blackest Night and all that, which is to say, rather than destroy or dismantle Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Johns just shifted the focus of the DC Universe to the events taking place in the Green Lantern titles. Pretty soon the fulcrum by which the DCU turned was the Green Lantern ring. Analogously, Marvel could have adopted a similar strategy, viz. take characters like Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Northstar, or whomever you like, and have them fill out cross overs more significantly. Make the things that happen to them be the crucial events that take place within the Marvel universe. Let the events that take place within the pages of Black Panther and Captain Marvel echo throughout other character's books like what happens with Spider-man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Thor. And let's be honest, this would mean that characters like Ironman, Thor, and Spiderman might have to take a step back in terms of how frequently they appear in the larger universe, to make room for a host of new heroes that better represent fanbase.  And many of you would be equally unhappy with characters like Storm or Monica Rambeau being the nucleus of Marvel events, but I think there'd be far less reason to object and far more likely those objections would be born out of naked bigotry.  Regardless, at least with this approach Marvel's classic characters would still be present, especially in their own titles and their respective fans wouldn't feel like their favorite characters had been denigrated or perverted. Comics fans are strangely a "death before dishonor" crowd. But rather than deliver the message, "we at Marvel believe in equality and inclusivity," Marvel's message has been "cultural power and presence is a zero sum game. Only one group can be king of the mountain and it's not you anymore." As such, Marvel's response to their larger diversity strategy has been this disappointingly pathetic surprise.  Things have backed fired and they've been caught on their heels.  But more on that in a minute.

Returning to the point, I don't mean that exclusively that Marvel comics should revolve around its non-white, non-male, non cis-gendered, non-straight characters as a policy, in perpetuity.  Just more often and equally, and that this is a more organic less abrasive way, and more likely to actually achieve diversity in comics.   The real success stories in Marvel for this new crop of so called "diverse" characters has gone more with the kind of gradual story based technique I'm referring to. Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Black Panther are all ascendant characters and none of them because Marvel commanded it by fiat or reduced fans' options forcing them to go with what was on offer, i.e. their new ling up. No, those successful characters have steadily won over fans through a combination of Marvel slowly but surely investing in them: higher profile talent on the books, critical successes, and having said character occupy more of the center of Marvel's interconnected universe.  People are choosing those books and those characters because of their own merits.

All this being said, the mistake I think many conservatives fans make in their diagnosis of Marvel's so called SJW agenda is to think that Marvel is primarily politically motivated in some extreme way.  This misses the mark substantially.  It's Marvel apolitical nature that's led to these snafus.  I think the political landscape at a pop culture level is more divided than it's ever been.  There's very little neutral ground now; there's nowhere to stand on these kinds of issues where half the country isn't going to call you a monster.  Marvel is dealing with a  shifting, divided political ground.  That is to say that it's not Marvel that's divisive, it's our politics themselves, and Marvel's just incompetent to meaningfully navigate the territory.  So, what many of you attribute to insidious political agendas, I think are much more likely a result of the company's political clumsiness.  Rather than be devious operators, I think Marvel is populated from top to bottom with political novices.  People who's background has never included having to really think through the realities of political conditions or their implications at this scale.  They're just a collection of pulp writers and company men.  Speaking as a leftist, I actually find what politics they are able to articulate predictable and banal.  Point being, Marvel is just playing the ball where it lies, and I think of what I'm saying as both and indictment and a defense.  They're just a publishing company that's expected to entertain in order to turn a profit, and I think from their vantage point the culture is changing and they're trying to keep up or get on top of it so they can continue to sell books.  At the same time, we should probably stop applauding them for their progressive bonafides.  As a practice, they generally adopt simplistic, uncritical, easy politics, and convenience is way more their watch word than principle or integrity.

That's of course them operating as a company driven by a profit motive incentived by market competition .  Within their ranks, however I think they' have some fantastic people doing some amazing work.  Ironically, I think Jason Aaron's Thor story has been a better example than most of competent, and at times, exceptional story telling.  Thor, God of Thunder: I think is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) Thor runs.  And as critical as I was of their decision to have Jane replace Thor and have Thor rendered unworthy, I think within those parameters the execution of that story has been superb.  I wish the original Thor was more central to the story, but I actually think the way he's been depicted over the course of Aaron's run has been multidimensional, impressive, and interesting.  The only damage or insult I can see are superficial details.  I think Thor himself has been handled quite well with respect to his character.

Anyway, I bring this up, because this board honestly is becoming intolerable, where Thor has now become a flimsy proxy for some of us to trot out our political axes to grind.  I thought I'd try to put some of this in a productive context, because some of our criticism against Marvel go double for us.  Everyone's been complaining Marvel is just using their comics as a launch pad to rail about their politics.  Isn't that precisely what this board has become?

cheers,
---the late great Donald Blake 



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jazzbass6


Member Since: Tue Sep 30, 2014
Posts: 735


LGDB:  I think Jason Aaron's Thor story has been a better example than most of competent, and at times, exceptional story telling.  Thor, God of Thunder: I think is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) Thor runs.  And as critical as I was with their decision to have Jane replace Thor and have Thor rendered unWorthy, I think within those parameters the execution of that story has been superb.


I have to strongly disagree with this.

I equate Aaron to Fraction with the difference being that Fraction didn't bastardize previous writers work; such as Gorr practically being a Desak ripoff for example.

The whole TGoT run was a snooze fest. The Gorr arcs were WAY to long, the Malekith story was lame, and the Last Days of Midgard was pretentious and insipid.

As far as Original Sin (which only real purpose was to set up the crap of the last three years with Jane) was a dumpster fire. The whole companion story with Angela (despite being written by Ewing) had ALL of Aaron's fingerprints on it.

I won't get into the last three years with Jane, because what more can be said that hasn't already ad nauseum. The absolute disdain and unprofeesional retconning of 50 plus years to push an ill conceived stunt/gimmick is unpardonable and extremely insulting to the loyal fans who have kept this medium alive in a digital age that will eventually replace it. As far as new readership, Marvel didn't seem to take into consideration that many new readers are the children of the long time fans; maybe a small percentage, but a percentage none the less.

I completely agree with you about pushing the "B-listers" and having the "A-listers" take a step back ala DC. The wholesale replacing of the icons to push the nonsense that Alonso forced on the loyalists might have done irreparable damage and Marvel might not bounce back like they would like. Cebulski will have his hands full to undo all of Alonso's piss poor decisions. I believe an absolute and universal retcon to re-establish the 616 back to its status before All New/All different (at least back to Quesada's EIC days) is in order to be at least an olive branch to the alienated readership but to borrow from Geoff Johns's notebook with Rebirth to keep some of what worked but to give the readers what they want so that they will put Marvel back on their pull lists at their LCS's.




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58brb


Member Since: Mon Feb 27, 2017
Posts: 83


Well thought out and presented, and here is the but. I dont read comics for anyone's political views, I read them for enjoyment. The Marvel comics have not provided that element, I believe many here enjoyed Thor GoT, which I thought was good not great. I have not enjoyed Jason Aarons run or much of Marvels core group. I have not purchased them but read online, my protest. I also understand your wanting diversity, that is noble among both readership and characters,regarding your views that diversity is a good thing I disagree to extent that as a nation we are one. I am not saying that as a nation we cannot celebrate or recognize differences, but sales is the best way to handle what characters are brought to the front not political stances writers or companies pushing. I would be interested seeing how original Thor stories would sell compared to Jane Thor, I think that people should judge what they want. I did enjoy your post as it is thought provoking, have a great holiday season.


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seeker


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,863


I agree with you on some of your points.   I think diversity is good if done right.  The Runaways and Blue Marvel all added diversity before the current trend and they did an excellent job of adding to it.  I agree that Marvel does not have an overall agenda aside from making money.  I think they started replacing old heroes in the hope it would attract more readers.  I agree it was in some cases poorly done especially in responding to criticism of it.  And I do agree that the current writers are left leaning.

That said, I think Aaron has done a terrible job at the diversity and has been shoving an agenda down the readers throats in a ham-handed way.

I think a female Thor had a lot of potential.  If they had wanted to make the wielder of Mjolnir a female minority little person that would be fine if done well.  I wouldn't mind Thor not being the center or really that involved in events.  I tend to avoid those and Thor is usually treated badly in those. 

Aaron though has been very hit or miss.  The War of Realms and exploring what it means to be worthy are intriguing ideas.  Yet instead of exploring them in a thoughtful manner Aaron has made the opposing side one-dimensional caricatures and character shelling Jane all to push an agenda and make characters fit a story they do not fit so he changes or ignores anything that blocks it.

You have Odin the Great White Bloodthirsty Patriarch with the temperament of a child and ignores the other realms contrary to all previous charcterization.

Odinson the Nameless Drunkard who I am still trying to figure out what makes him unworthy. 

Hercules the Reformed Buffoon who insist on an arm wrestling contest despite the urgency.

Titania the Sudden Feminist who stops a fight out of female solidarity despite trying to murder She-Hulk for over twenty years.

The Mother Storm which retcons the the specialty of Mjolnir and Odin wielding it.

Freyja the Reasonable who is victimized by Odin the Great White Bloodthirsty Patriarch.

Finally, you have Jane Foster who suddenly finds herself on the moon and can wield Mjolnir despite having to not go through any tests to prove if she even can wield a war hammer without any training.  Yet, somehow not only can she wield it, but she can do it better than Thor so much that she gets his name and reputation that he earned over centuries of work.  I have yet to see why she is worthy over Thor considering she behaves very similar to how Thor has usually behaved. 

Please explain to me how this has been multidimensional, impressive and interesting with only superficial damage.  What I see are a bunch of impressive ideas constantly being interrupted by a writer who is clumsily trying to shove an agenda down the readers throats by taking shortcuts with unexplained retcons, characterizations coming out of nowhere, character shelling along with the occasional fourth wall breaking to stick it to anyone who dislikes the writing.

With this last part I am trying to not talk about the political angle, but the way it has been conveyed itself I find to be poorly done.  Yes, there are some very good parts and the art is excellent.  Yet each time I try to read an issue and get into the story I am pulled out of it by one or more of the above.



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Upper_Krust


Member Since: Fri Aug 21, 2015
Posts: 337



    Quote:
    Now political discussion, often of the worst kind, dominates our conversation about Thor comics and comics generally.


...and why is that...I'll tell you why...because Marvel have spent the last 4+ years Ramming Leftist Identity Politics down the throats of readers who simply want to be entertained and not preached to.


    Quote:
    This is obviously due to the advent of Jane-Thor and


Jane-Thor was Aaron's political mouthpiece. Through her he was able to voice his contempt for religion and men.


    Quote:
    ...Marvel's current era of attempted diversity.


I'd argue Marvel didn't so much 'attempt' Diversity than FORCE it upon us.


    Quote:
    Because this iteration of that era seems to be drawing to a close, and Jane's story appears to be  coming to an end, I thought it might be worth thinking through what's been going on in the comics and what's been going on with us on this board.


Whats been going on is that half the fans are fed up with the preachy leftist identity politics.


    Quote:
    I think what Marvel is waking up to (hopefully) is that if you're going to make it a goal to increase diversity--and I think that a very good goal to make--you have to do it organically through good story telling. You can't just do it with flash in the pan publicity stunts or top down editorial mandates. Most of Marvel comics characters have taken the better part of sixty year to fully take root in the culture. And the bedrock of that has always been the adoration of true blue fans and the fundamental stories that have seduced them.


Totally agree with you here.


    Quote:
    If anything, I think Marvel's failure here isn't so much a failure of expressing their political values.


Totally disagree with you here.

There is no need for writers to force THEIR politics into comics they didn't create.
There is no need for creators to insult fans online and in interviews.


    Quote:
    It's a failure of belief: the belief that editorial control extends so far as to tell fans what they like or the belief that because they're behind the creative wheel, they can mold fan interest as easily as they can their stories. I don't think it's so much a matter of these characters representing different ethnic or gender identities that people are rejecting. I think it's their sheer newness. Point being, you can't just say to fans, by fiat, "here, these are the characters you'll be reading now."


Ten years ago (give or take) I was buying 8-10 Marvel titles a month including two female lead titles and a black lead title.

So what was different back then.

1. The comics didn't preach and talk down to me.
2. Diverse characters HAD personalities beyond simply being female and/or minorities
3. Female characters weren't Mary Sue's - like virtually every SJW hero at Marvel.
4. These characters didn't try to REPLACE the existing heroes - they stood on their own two feet.
5. Marvel writers (and by extension the heroes) were RESPECTFUL of the legacy heroes (who had earned that respect) - today's SJW heroes disrespect and talk down to established heroes at EVERY opportunity (don't believe me then check out the latest issue of Champions or Thor #702 where Jane disrespects Thor).
6. There were no (hateful) identity politics in the book.
7. The creators didn't hate the fans.
8. Heroes were actually HEROIC - they weren't spiteful, bitter, self-entitled whiny brats.


    Quote:

    That being said, I do think there's a massive call--not necessarily from this board, but nevertheless--to see a more diverse array of people from different ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientations, etc backgrounds at the center of the Marvel's universe. And this I think is a legitimate desire on the parts of a big chunk of the current and potential fanbase that can't be easily or fairly dismissed. The other day in the comic store I saw a little black girl who must have been around 8 or 9 taking a Ms. Marvel comic up to the register, and I thought, "this is why diversity in comics is important. This is why we need black heroes and gay heroes and female heroes and disabled heroes and all the rest." Because I was 9 when I started reading comics and they have meant the world to me. And I want that little girl to feel like those kind of stories could be for her and about her. And that she's welcome and invited to read those stories. And that there are heroes out there for her too. Comics at their best have a capacity to inspire people and to show us a version of the world that's redeemable and where people do the right thing for the good of others. Comics can give people hope. So I think we have a duty to insure that everyone, no matter who they are or where they're coming from, feel like they have access to the kind of world that comics can provide. 


We do need diverse heroes, but, not at the expense of the white male heroes.

Marvel puts out 100 books a month are they telling me they don't have room for:

1. An Iron Man title AND and Ironheart title
2. Hulk AND She-Hulk
3. Thor AND Storm
4. Wolverine AND X-23
5. Captain America AND Falcon

Are diverse heroes ONLY good when they STEAL the name of an existing white male character? If so, isn't that like saying diverse characters are not good enough or interesting enough on their own merits?


    Quote:
    However... as noble as a goal like that might be, it doesn't mean the attempt to achieve it can't be made poorly or incompetently or cynically.. And in many ways, I think Marvel is guilty of this sort of activity. If one is critical, I think their mistakes have been pretty conspicuous. Their chief mistake has been their choice to replace classic characters, rather than independently build up new characters. The better strategy would be to prop up minority characters or create new ones to fight along side classic heroes, rather than have the new characters replace the old.


...and this is what I don't understand because Marvel had an AMAZING formula for introducing new titles 15 years ago (under Quesada).

Step One: Have an Event...during that event, one character or group is prominently used and integral to the story:
Step Two: After the Event create a new title which leads into the next event

Example

> EVENT = Avengers Disassembled 2004
> NEW TITLE = New Avengers 2005
> EVENT = Civil War 2006
> NEW TITLE = Mighty Avengers 2007
> EVENT = Secret Invasion 2008
> NEW TITLE = Dark Avengers 2009
> EVENT = Siege of Asgard 2010
etc.

Its ****ing SIMPLE! This was done ALL throughout the Quesada era.

They did the same for their X-books (House of M) and also their Cosmic books (Annihilation and so forth).

Instead of that approach however Alonso-era Marvel prefers to DIVIDE and SEGREGATE its titles along identity politics lines:

A-Force...all female team
Ultimates...virtually all black team

I mean personally I don't have a problem with A-Force or Ultimates but exactly what message are they giving out? Doesn't a diverse cast list (white AND black; men AND women) create more of a contrast and with that friction drive the story and relationships between characters.


    Quote:
    Marvel's strategy was doomed to fail from the beginning because it was necessarily divisive, and was counterproductive to the very values it supposedly means to espouse. The divisive thing is obvious. If you have to come up with a short list of the greatest fears of straight, protestant men when it comes to the culture landscape topping that fear list would be that they'll be replaced and erased by other cultural identities. And to me that's a legitimate fear. Irrational, dangerous, tribal, and selfish without a doubt, but it's a fear that's primitive and human. Understandable all the same. Now of course their feelings of being erased aren't more important than anyone else's, but the idea that Marvel was going to essentially symbolically reproduce a fear that so many conservative men have, by replacing all of their favorite heroes, like some bizarre horror puppet show, thereby stoking the flame of their fear and confirming every crazy reactionary eschatological terror fantasy, is beyond frustrating. It's insane. I think many of the conservative Thor fans for instance exaggerate the degree to which Marvel has hurt the character, but their claims aren't baseless and it makes sense they feel insulted and alienated. 


Agreed.


    Quote:
    More to the point it absolutely sends the wrong message. Most people left of center don't support the idea of punishing or replacing white, straight men. They just want a world that gives minorities and women all the same access and opportunities that white straight men have enjoyed for so long. They want the cultural center to be shared and not dominated by a single cultural group. We want to see people from all walks of life coming together to fight evil in our hero stories (to be melodramatic about it), we don't want to groups replacing one another.  When conservatives say Marvel's "SJW" activities have been divisive, that's when they most have a case.
  

Exactly.


    Quote:
    And if Marvel was sincere about those values, there were some more honest ready-made strategies to realize said values. Chiefly, they could have gone with a similar technique that Geoff Johns did back with Green Lantern during the Sinestro Corp War, Blackest Night and all that, which is to say, rather than destroy or dismantle Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Johns just shifted the focus of the DC Universe to the events taking place in the Green Lantern titles. Pretty soon the fulcrum by which the DCU turned was the Green Lantern ring.


ie. DC Comics copied the Quesada-era Marvel FORMULA I outlined above and spun new titles out of BIG Event books and were very successful doing it.


    Quote:
    Analogously, Marvel could have adopted a similar strategy, viz. take characters like Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Northstar, or whomever you like, and have them fill out cross overs more significantly. Make the things that happen to them be the crucial events that take place within the Marvel universe. Let the events that take place within the pages of Black Panther and Captain Marvel echo throughout other character's books like what happens with Spider-man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Thor. And let's be honest, this would mean that characters like Ironman, Thor, and Spiderman might have to take a step back in terms of how frequently they appear in the larger universe, to make room for a host of new heroes that better represent fanbase.


Absolutely. Have the characters you are trying to promote be the 'stars' or at least integral to the Big Event. Have the popular heroes still appear (to get their fanbases invested) BUT not necessarily be the focus of the story.


    Quote:
    And many of you would be equally unhappy with characters like Storm or Monica Rambeau being the nucleus of Marvel events,


Actually I think it would be a good idea. I loved Monica Rambeau in Nextwave. Never really been an X-Men fan (or interested in any of its characters like Storm) but I'd love to read a Storm book that was about her heavily interacting with African Mythology.

Note that the most recent Storm book by Marvel (Black Panther and the Crew) was a multi-issue story about some black 'heroes' driving regular white people out of Harlem (yes I'm not joking) with Storm saying something like "there's too much mayonnaise around here." (again I'm not joking...wish I was).


    Quote:
    but I think there'd be far less reason to object and far more likely those objections would be born out of naked bigotry.  Regardless, at least with this approach Marvel's classic characters would still be present, especially in their own titles and their respective fans wouldn't feel like their favorite characters had been denigrated or perverted. Comics fans are strangely a "death before dishonor" crowd. But rather than deliver the message, "we at Marvel believe in equality and inclusivity," Marvel's message has been "cultural power and presence is a zero sum game. Only one group can be king of the mountain and it's not you anymore." As such, Marvel's response to their larger diversity strategy has been this disappointingly pathetic surprise.  Things have backed fired and they've been caught on their heels.  But more on that in a minute.


Fortunately the Disney Overlords have stepped in and Alonso (among others) are gone.

Apparently Cash > Causes.


    Quote:
    Returning to the point, I don't mean that exclusively that Marvel comics should revolve around its non-white, non-male, non cis-gendered, non-straight characters as a policy, in perpetuity.  Just more often and equally, and that this is a more organic less abrasive way, and more likely to actually achieve diversity in comics.   The real success stories in Marvel for this new crop of so called "diverse" characters has gone more with the kind of gradual story based technique I'm referring to. Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Black Panther are all ascendant characters and none of them because Marvel commanded it by fiat or reduced fans' options forcing them to go with what was on offer, i.e. their new ling up. No, those successful characters have steadily won over fans through a combination of Marvel slowly but surely investing in them: higher profile talent on the books, critical successes, and having said character occupy more of the center of Marvel's interconnected universe.  People are choosing those books and those characters because of their own merits.


They've had to REBOOT/RELAUNCH Captain Marvel multiple times recently because sales figures have been so low...same with Black Panther.

Personally I think this is because their comics have been terrible, rather than because they feature diverse heroes.

Ms. Marvel is ALSO a terrible comic with low sales but they'll keep that going to avoid the obvious backlash of cancelling THAT title.

Ultimately I think all three of those heroes could have successful books if the books were written by talented writers that were not all about identity politics.


    Quote:
    All this being said, the mistake I think many conservatives fans make in their diagnosis of Marvel's so called SJW agenda is to think that Marvel is primarily politically motivated in some extreme way.  This misses the mark substantially.  It's Marvel apolitical nature that's led to these snafus.  I think the political landscape at a pop culture level is more divided than it's ever been.  There's very little neutral ground now; there's nowhere to stand on these kinds of issues where half the country isn't going to call you a monster.


Agreed. But it seems that the ones FORCING politics into comics ARE the Leftist SJW writers. Where are the Conservative writers? They might exist but they are certainly not injecting their politics into the books; yet every other Marvel writer seemingly must have the backbone of every story be about identity politics.


    Quote:
    Marvel is dealing with a  shifting, divided political ground.  That is to say that it's not Marvel that's divisive, it's our politics themselves, and Marvel's just incompetent to meaningfully navigate the territory.


I disagree. Marvel are being DELIBERATELY divisive if they are only forcing one-side of the political spectrum.

Personally I don't want to see any identity politics in comics (unless the writer created that franchise). But if we must have politics in comics then it should be fair and balanced.


    Quote:
    So, what many of you attribute to insidious political agendas, I think are much more likely a result of the company's political clumsiness.  Rather than be devious operators, I think Marvel is populated from top to bottom with political novices. 


All of whom are left wing idealogues with any conservative voices at the company totally silenced by the SJWs.


    Quote:
    People who's background has never included having to really think through the realities of political conditions or their implications at this scale.  They're just a collection of pulp writers and company men.  Speaking as a leftist, I actually find what politics they are able to articulate predictable and banal.  Point being, Marvel is just playing the ball where it lies, and I think of what I'm saying as both and indictment and a defense.  They're just a publishing company that's expected to entertain in order to turn a profit, and I think from their vantage point the culture is changing and they're trying to keep up or get on top of it so they can continue to sell books.  At the same time, we should probably stop applauding them for their progressive bonafides.  As a practice, they generally adopt simplistic, uncritical, easy politics, and convenience is way more their watch word than principle or integrity.


Agreed.


    Quote:
    That's of course them operating as a company driven by a profit motive incentived by market competition .  Within their ranks, however I think they' have some fantastic people doing some amazing work.  Ironically, I think Jason Aaron's Thor story has been a better example than most of competent, and at times, exceptional story telling.  Thor, God of Thunder: I think is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) Thor runs.  And as critical as I was of their decision to have Jane replace Thor and have Thor rendered unworthy, I think within those parameters the execution of that story has been superb.  I wish the original Thor was more central to the story, but I actually think the way he's been depicted over the course of Aaron's run has been multidimensional, impressive, and interesting.  The only damage or insult I can see are superficial details.
 

He's a clever writer and good for a modern Marvel writer (although that is not a glowing endorsement). His biggest success was in the spinning of the mysteries/shocks which was expertly done along the lines of the Quesada-era Marvel 'event > spin-off > event > spin-off etc.' Formula (only on a smaller scale within one title).

Who is Gorr?
What did the Watcher say to Thor to make him unworthy?
Who is the new (female) Thor?
Who will gain ultimate Mjolnir?
Who is War Thor?


    Quote:
    I think Thor himself has been handled quite well with respect to his character.


No he hasn't.

Basically they took a title about a strong male 'god' and got a writer who hates men and hates religion to write it. End result...50 years of continuity flushed down the drain so Aaron can force his politics on us.


    Quote:
    Anyway, I bring this up, because this board honestly is becoming intolerable, where Thor has now become a flimsy proxy for some of us to trot out our political axes to grind.  I thought I'd try to put some of this in a productive context, because some of our criticism against Marvel go double for us.  Everyone's been complaining Marvel is just using their comics as a launch pad to rail about their politics.  Isn't that precisely what this board has become? 


At the risk of sounding a bit juvenile about it...WHO STARTED IT?

Fans weren't complaining about Marvel forcing their Leftist Identity Politics down our throats UNTIL they started doing it.

So you can't blame FAN VITRIOL here (the secondary issue) when the Primary Problem is blatantly obvious for all to see; including your good self, judging from the short essay you posted above.




You address Omnipotence...tread carefully.
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jazzbass6


Member Since: Tue Sep 30, 2014
Posts: 735


Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome points!!!!!!!!!!!!


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zvelf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,613


I don't rate Aaron's run as highly as you do, but I also don't think it's as awful as many here do. The first God of Thunder/Gorr arc, though overly drawn out, was the best Thor story in a long time, better than anything JMS did and better than the vast majority of Jurgens' long run, maybe better than all of it. After that, though Aaron started faltering with pacing out the Malekith and War of the Realms stories properly. The stories certainly still have some highlights, but post-Gorr stories have been pretty uneven.That said, your post is tremendous in its analysis and I agree with most of it. You should reword it just a little bit so you can email it to Marvel.




THE POWER OF EMPATHY IN THE MCU:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy1zKcddbNk
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Paul




That was excellent and fair analysis. I think many people can agree with a lot of that regardless of what they think on the issue.

The one point I disagree with though is your idea that Marvel's problem is incompetence in navigating the integration of diverse characters. You don't believe their problem stems from political motivation, however there is plenty of evidence that it does. Too many people who work for Marvel shout their political/ideological opinion as if doing so is their primary focus rather than comic books. It's simply unbelievable to me that the passion for their political ideas, and the absolute hatred for different political ideas is merely a coincidence to what we're seeing in the books today. Or...long story short, I think the problem is politically motivated and not just incompetence.  

Writer, Gabby Rivera, has posted on social media that a way to cheer up during the holidays is to harass white people in department stores. She also has been very clear in her dislike of anyone of Hispanic heritage marrying "whitey". She's posted that she's tired of Latin folks defending whiteness. She's publicly advocated for hackers to steal money from those better off than herself, and for the hackers to redistribute the money to those who haven't earned it. 

In "The Crew", Storm and Misty Knight are glad to see there are no mayonnaise stores moving into Harlem. You know....because all white people LOVE mayonnaise, and you wouldn't want any of "those people" moving into town.

Sina Grace has a picture of himself on social media with a t-shirt, "The future is female". Not that the future is "equality", but it is decidedly, and solely female. 

Mark Waid has said that he is proud of being a "SJW", and it's his stated opinion that so is every superhero ever. As a proud SJW who thinks that ever superhero ever is also a SJW, then why wouldn't he include his politics of what it means to be a SJW into his writing? 

Waid posted on Twitter his belief that if Trump had lost the election, Trump voters would have been setting off car bombs "on every corner", and that they would have destroyed every single mosque in America. That doesn't sound like someone who has a fair opinion of those who simply have differing political beliefs. 

A tweet by Waid telling Republicans to "go f**k themselves" (censoring done by me, Waid used the full word) received a reply from someone mockingly criticizing the harsh language used. Waid's response was to accuse the random fan of trying to remove medical care from a cancer patient, and told him to "f**k off" (again, censoring done by me, not Waid), and then Waid told him never to buy his books. Another fan who reminded Waid that he shouldn't insult fans who have different political beliefs was told by Waid that he doubted neo-nazis read his books, and he doesn't want their money anyway. Got that? Anyone who disagrees with Waid politically is a neo-nazi. It can't be a good business model to continually insult your customers, and then if any of those customers complain about being insulted, you simply tell them to stop buying your product. Comic sales are falling for enough reasons already, should creators be telling fans to "f**k off" and tell them not to buy comics if they don't vote for the same politician???

Nick Spencer has tweeted for people not to believe in the "myth of the good Republican". Because it's certainly not the case that good people can have different political views, no, Nick Spencer and people like him are "good", those who disagree with him simply aren't good. End of story. 

In another tweet by Nick Spencer, he admits hating "most if not all republicans". Hatred is a very strong word. And it's hard for me to imagine hating millions of individuals because of them having different opinions, but that's the kind of people we have working at Marvel. Unless you vote for the same politician, they hate you. And they will proudly announce to the world that they hate you.

Spencer's work has frequently been criticized for being unsubtly politically one-sided. And looking at his public comments, there can be very little doubt this is on purpose. It's not some innocent mistake while trying to add focus to a more diverse set of characters. He hates the people who disagree with him on political issues. He doesn't try to understand their point of view, he doesn't try to find common ground. He simply hates them, and he puts that into his comics. 

It's not just that all those examples exist....it's that people at Marvel are presenting this voluntarily on social media. This is how they promote themselves! When given the chance to let the world know about staff at Marvel, anything at all....what they really want you to know is that some of them hate white people, hate people of color who don't hate white people, and hate anyone who votes for a different politician. Many of those comments would be completely foreign to thinking adults. Most of us have relatives, friends, or coworkers who have very different political beliefs. We learn to have respectful conversations, or to avoid certain conversations if we think emotions may get too high. But most people don't announce to the world statements of hatred. Even on this board, when people strongly disagree, I don't think I've ever seen anyone told to f**k off. When so many at Marvel find those comments acceptable, it speaks to the culture within Marvel.

I've heard rumors that CB Cebulski is not in line with this thought that Marvel should be pushing what people on this board call a "SJW agenda". We'll have to wait and see.


Merry Christmas everyone!





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jazzbass6


Member Since: Tue Sep 30, 2014
Posts: 735



    Quote:
    I don't rate Aaron's run as highly as you do, but I also don't think it's as awful as many here do. The first God of Thunder/Gorr arc, though overly drawn out, was the best Thor story in a long time, better than anything JMS did and better than the vast majority of Jurgens' long run, maybe better than all of it. After that, though Aaron started faltering with pacing out the Malekith and War of the Realms stories properly. The stories certainly still have some highlights, but post-Gorr stories have been pretty uneven.That said, your post is tremendous in its analysis and I agree with most of it. You should reword it just a little bit so you can email it to Marvel.

Completely disagree with your JMS and Jurgens comments. Aaron is worse than Fraction and a blatant ripoff hack.




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MjolnirsPower


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,362


You had me with you, and still do for the most part. Until you praised Jason Aaron, EVERYTHING about his writing is trash. Self fulfilling prophecies, Especially in such a contrived manner as his, isn't amazing.... it's predictable.
Much like Chris Yost laughing at what a beating Thor takes from Hulk in HIS OWN animated movie. Like he was a spectator seeing it for the fist time and was caught completely off guard. A comic laughing for 10 minutes at a joke he told.
He's attempted to alter Thor's history to an extent it calls into question all that Thor has ever done.  His writing and everything attached to it has been trash, from Day ONE!!!!




"Pay Homage to the Might of Thor, Son of Odin!"- Odin
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MjolnirsPower


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,362



    Quote:
    Completely disagree with your JMS and Jurgens comments. Aaron is worse than Fraction and a blatant ripoff hack.


THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! A million times over.... THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





"Pay Homage to the Might of Thor, Son of Odin!"- Odin
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jazzbass6


Member Since: Tue Sep 30, 2014
Posts: 735



    Quote:
    You had me with you, and still do for the most part. Until you praised Jason Aaron, EVERYTHING about his writing is trash. Self fulfilling prophecies, Especially in such a contrived manner as his, isn't amazing.... it's predictable.
    Much like Chris Yost laughing at what a beating Thor takes from Hulk in HIS OWN animated movie. Like he was a spectator seeing it for the fist time and was caught completely off guard. A comic laughing for 10 minutes at a joke he told.
    He's attempted to alter Thor's history to an extent it calls into question all that Thor has ever done.  His writing and everything attached to it has been trash, from Day ONE!!!!



Yup. TGoT was a snooze fest from go. We Thor fans at the time Aaron started were so starved for a good representation that we swallowed the frosting and didn't realize there wasn't any cake underneath. When you get right down to it, TGoT was rehashed works done piss  poorly because Aaron is a hack writer who relies on shock/gimmick and bait and switch (Jane).



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Visitor


Member Since: Sun Jul 30, 2017
Posts: 974



    Quote:

      Quote:
      You had me with you, and still do for the most part. Until you praised Jason Aaron, EVERYTHING about his writing is trash. Self fulfilling prophecies, Especially in such a contrived manner as his, isn't amazing.... it's predictable.
      Much like Chris Yost laughing at what a beating Thor takes from Hulk in HIS OWN animated movie. Like he was a spectator seeing it for the fist time and was caught completely off guard. A comic laughing for 10 minutes at a joke he told.
      He's attempted to alter Thor's history to an extent it calls into question all that Thor has ever done.  His writing and everything attached to it has been trash, from Day ONE!!!!



    Quote:

    Yup. TGoT was a snooze fest from go. We Thor fans at the time Aaron started were so starved for a good representation that we swallowed the frosting and didn't realize there wasn't any cake underneath. When you get right down to it, TGoT was rehashed works done piss  poorly because Aaron is a hack writer who relies on shock/gimmick and bait and switch (Jane).


I agree with you here partially.  Yes we were starved for good representation  swallowing the frosting ( I know I did!) because the title was off to a good start.  No writer had ever wrote and brought together Thor from 3-different time-lines into one story.  While the story itself was lengthy, it was original and epic.  The art was also fantastic. 

Everything looked to be so promising after the Galactus storyline, my mouth was salivating of the future stories to come.


What a waste......all this time since then, wasted over on yet another , clone Thor story that served no purpose.  Unworthy Thor has yet to show any redeeming promise because it was poorly conceived and executed from the onset.  

Aaron chose to fight the masses to promote Jane to the point he crossed the line and disrespected canon with no middle or endgame to build Thor's character without Mjolnir.  

Now the only question remains is, will Aaron continue on the book after the Mangog story concludes?    Has anyone heard anything?   




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jazzbass6


Member Since: Tue Sep 30, 2014
Posts: 735



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:
        You had me with you, and still do for the most part. Until you praised Jason Aaron, EVERYTHING about his writing is trash. Self fulfilling prophecies, Especially in such a contrived manner as his, isn't amazing.... it's predictable.
        Much like Chris Yost laughing at what a beating Thor takes from Hulk in HIS OWN animated movie. Like he was a spectator seeing it for the fist time and was caught completely off guard. A comic laughing for 10 minutes at a joke he told.
        He's attempted to alter Thor's history to an extent it calls into question all that Thor has ever done.  His writing and everything attached to it has been trash, from Day ONE!!!!

      Quote:

        Quote:

        Yup. TGoT was a snooze fest from go. We Thor fans at the time Aaron started were so starved for a good representation that we swallowed the frosting and didn't realize there wasn't any cake underneath. When you get right down to it, TGoT was rehashed works done piss  poorly because Aaron is a hack writer who relies on shock/gimmick and bait and switch (Jane).


      I agree with you here partially.  Yes we were starved for good representation  swallowing the frosting ( I know I did!) because the title was off to a good start.  No writer had ever wrote and brought together Thor from 3-different time-lines into one story.  While the story itself was lengthy, it was original and epic.  The art was also fantastic. 


      Everything looked to be so promising after the Galactus storyline, my mouth was salivating of the future stories to come.


      What a waste......all this time since then, wasted over on yet another , clone Thor story that served no purpose.  Unworthy Thor has yet to show any redeeming promise because it was poorly conceived and executed from the onset.  

      Aaron chose to fight the masses to promote Jane to the point he crossed the line and disrespected canon with no middle or endgame to build Thor's character without Mjolnir.  

      Now the only question remains is, will Aaron continue on the book after the Mangog story concludes?    Has anyone heard anything?   



    Quote:



It was FAR from original...it was rehashed Jurgen's Desak. As far as epic goes...Oeming was/is epic with Thor Disassembled Ragnarok. Aaron is a repeat of Fraction with no respect for the character or the history.



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Visitor


Member Since: Sun Jul 30, 2017
Posts: 974



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:

          Quote:
          You had me with you, and still do for the most part. Until you praised Jason Aaron, EVERYTHING about his writing is trash. Self fulfilling prophecies, Especially in such a contrived manner as his, isn't amazing.... it's predictable.
          Much like Chris Yost laughing at what a beating Thor takes from Hulk in HIS OWN animated movie. Like he was a spectator seeing it for the fist time and was caught completely off guard. A comic laughing for 10 minutes at a joke he told.
          He's attempted to alter Thor's history to an extent it calls into question all that Thor has ever done.  His writing and everything attached to it has been trash, from Day ONE!!!!

        Quote:

          Quote:

          Yup. TGoT was a snooze fest from go. We Thor fans at the time Aaron started were so starved for a good representation that we swallowed the frosting and didn't realize there wasn't any cake underneath. When you get right down to it, TGoT was rehashed works done piss  poorly because Aaron is a hack writer who relies on shock/gimmick and bait and switch (Jane).


        I agree with you here partially.  Yes we were starved for good representation  swallowing the frosting ( I know I did!) because the title was off to a good start.  No writer had ever wrote and brought together Thor from 3-different time-lines into one story.  While the story itself was lengthy, it was original and epic.  The art was also fantastic. 


        Everything looked to be so promising after the Galactus storyline, my mouth was salivating of the future stories to come.


        What a waste......all this time since then, wasted over on yet another , clone Thor story that served no purpose.  Unworthy Thor has yet to show any redeeming promise because it was poorly conceived and executed from the onset.  

        Aaron chose to fight the masses to promote Jane to the point he crossed the line and disrespected canon with no middle or endgame to build Thor's character without Mjolnir.  

        Now the only question remains is, will Aaron continue on the book after the Mangog story concludes?    Has anyone heard anything?   

      Quote:

        Quote:



    Quote:

    It was FAR from original...it was rehashed Jurgen's Desak. As far as epic goes...Oeming was/is epic with Thor Disassembled Ragnarok. Aaron is a repeat of Fraction with no respect for the character or the history.

Desak, if I recall correctly, while his overall purpose was similar, resorted to brute force to overwhelm his foes.  Gorr used various clandestine methods to stay undetected to achieve his ultimate goal but still took time to systematically torture his prey without a trace. 

GoTG was a great start for the title all things being considered.  The biggest negative I remember reading at the time was it was too lengthy. 

The follow-up with future Galactus taking on King Thor was way better than what Fraction EVER did and showed promised for more great stories.        




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jazzbass6


Member Since: Tue Sep 30, 2014
Posts: 735



    Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:

          Quote:

            Quote:
            You had me with you, and still do for the most part. Until you praised Jason Aaron, EVERYTHING about his writing is trash. Self fulfilling prophecies, Especially in such a contrived manner as his, isn't amazing.... it's predictable.
            Much like Chris Yost laughing at what a beating Thor takes from Hulk in HIS OWN animated movie. Like he was a spectator seeing it for the fist time and was caught completely off guard. A comic laughing for 10 minutes at a joke he told.
            He's attempted to alter Thor's history to an extent it calls into question all that Thor has ever done.  His writing and everything attached to it has been trash, from Day ONE!!!!

          Quote:

            Quote:

            Yup. TGoT was a snooze fest from go. We Thor fans at the time Aaron started were so starved for a good representation that we swallowed the frosting and didn't realize there wasn't any cake underneath. When you get right down to it, TGoT was rehashed works done piss  poorly because Aaron is a hack writer who relies on shock/gimmick and bait and switch (Jane).


          I agree with you here partially.  Yes we were starved for good representation  swallowing the frosting ( I know I did!) because the title was off to a good start.  No writer had ever wrote and brought together Thor from 3-different time-lines into one story.  While the story itself was lengthy, it was original and epic.  The art was also fantastic. 


          Everything looked to be so promising after the Galactus storyline, my mouth was salivating of the future stories to come.


          What a waste......all this time since then, wasted over on yet another , clone Thor story that served no purpose.  Unworthy Thor has yet to show any redeeming promise because it was poorly conceived and executed from the onset.  

          Aaron chose to fight the masses to promote Jane to the point he crossed the line and disrespected canon with no middle or endgame to build Thor's character without Mjolnir.  

          Now the only question remains is, will Aaron continue on the book after the Mangog story concludes?    Has anyone heard anything?   

        Quote:

          Quote:

      Quote:

        Quote:

        It was FAR from original...it was rehashed Jurgen's Desak. As far as epic goes...Oeming was/is epic with Thor Disassembled Ragnarok. Aaron is a repeat of Fraction with no respect for the character or the history.

      Desak, if I recall correctly, while his overall purpose was similar, resorted to brute force to overwhelm his foes.  Gorr used various clandestine methods to stay undetected to achieve his ultimate goal but still took time to systematically torture his prey without a trace.

Pretty much the SAME EXACT concept despite differing M.O.'s.

 GoTG was a great start for the title all things being considered.  The biggest negative I remember reading at the time was it was too lengthy. 

The follow-up with future Galactus taking on King Thor was way better than what Fraction EVER did and showed promised for more great stories.        



    Quote:

Agree to disagree




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Late Great Donald Blake


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,818


"Please explain to me how this has been multidimensional, impressive and interesting with only superficial damage.  What I see are a bunch of impressive ideas constantly being interrupted by a writer who is clumsily trying to shove an agenda down the readers throats by taking shortcuts with unexplained retcons, characterizations coming out of nowhere, character shelling along with the occasional fourth wall breaking to stick it to anyone who dislikes the writing."


LGDB: Well honestly I don't think this is the kind of thing we can argue about productively.  We can certainly talk about it, but I mean, I think that preference and aesthetic judgement is grounded so subjectively, that if for instance you don't enjoy something or judge it harshly, it isn't very likely going to change your opinion about things if I tell you I felt the opposite.  The point of my post wasn't so much to try and talk people into liking things they don't rightly like.

But just to answer your question clearing up what I meant.  I think Aaron's run has depicted Thor as (1) multidimensional (2) impressive (3) interesting:

    (1) by multidimensional I just meant that Aaron's Thor is complicated.  Thor fans on this board tend to emphasize all the moments in the run where Thor acts unfavorable, while sort of ignoring Thor's good moments in the series.  There have been plenty of moments where Aaron portrays Thor as valorous and like the old Thor we all know and love.  Thor taking Jane to the moon in the God of Thunder run is a great example of that, but this stuff kind of gets drowned out by all the outrage and hand wringing.   I think this Thor has a lot of underlying tension, which is always interesting character work.  As a matter of fact my favorite stories are usually where the plot is propelled by a character's inner tension or ambivalence.  So, Aaron's Thor I think is a character with a bunch of inner strife all at once in a good way.   For one, he's trapped between trying to do what's right to protect the innocent, which means being Thor to the fullest, but he's  also filled with doubt over what it means to be a god, and if being a god can even be done in a benevolent way.  This is a theme I positively adore!  I should say, I'm not entirely sure that it makes sense that this dilemma would cause Thor to be unworthy.  If anything I think that would make him more worthy.  But the stories not over and maybe part of what it'll take to become worthy again will be his accepting that gods can't be perfect.  And using power is always a risk.  So the power of a god always runs a particularly high risk of corruption or abuse.  Perhaps what the Thunder God has to understand is that while most gods suck, a better answer to the problem isn't no gods, but better gods.  I digress.  Point being, Thor dealing with this issue of what it means for a god to be worthy I think is a theme that's always been implicit with the character and I think Thor struggling with this balance of doubt and arrogance is engaging and it adds dimension to the character.  
    And that of course propels him into a kind of second order dilemma which is one of identity.  So, when Thor steps down--which in effect he has by committing to the notion that no gods are worthy--there's also this question of who is he without the hammer?  Who is he without the winged helmet, which is to say who is he without the mantle of Thor?  I understand of course Thor is his name and who he is, but I mean without the mantle of the resident Thunder God that's been usurped by Jane.  So in the context of the story, Thor is trying to figure this out--to better or worse result--and the readers also get to see what how much of Thor is just the hammer, the name, and winged helmet, and how much of him is the character underneath.  
    
I could go on, but this is basically what I meant when I said Aaron's Thor is multi-dimensional.  And yes I think there have been some problems here or there in the execution.  I think Aaron has had some trouble tying the whole thing together.  Like Thor's doubts in the validity of gods might be enough to shock his confidence and effect his worthiness, but why would Nick Fury saying it to him be a sufficient catalyst?  And what does that have to do with the Mother Storm angle?  Is the mother storm rejecting Thor and his own doubt for the gods just a coincidence?  This is as such unresolved, honestly though, I don't care.  I don't think that kind of inconsistency is enough to affect my feeling about the overall book.  Aaron's Thor has in the main had a compelling level of complexity.  More than the normal Thor writer has ventured.  Honestly, I prefer this to the two-dimensional always steadfast and true characterization.  I think it's more interesting when a character has an inner struggle as well as an outer one.

(2) impressive - This one is somewhat simpler, I just mean that for all the complaints people have had about Aaron's Thor, his has been one of the more consistently powerful depictions of the character.  Thor: God of Thunder saw Thor operating consistently at peak power levels, what with his lifting mountains and falling into stars without dying.  Even after Thor ceded the hammer, he hasn't really been shown as any kind of light weight.  Thor bringing down the thunder without Mjolnir, thanks to Aaron is no longer just a obscure set of occurrences scattered through out the characterizes history, but essentially the mainstream interpretation now, and part of the character's basic power set.  And the UnWorthy Thor miniseries Aaron pinned, Thor was no less the badass.  Thor's manhandling of the Collector and Thanos's stooges without any weapon is up there in terms of relative Thor showings.  Furthermore, Thor outside of his doubt fueled inability to weild Mjolnir, has been shown as consistently heroic throught the series.  Sure he's been a bit of a sulky lush, but he's stood by Jane's side during the nigh-impossible odds of facing off against the Phoenix, the assembled an army of woman warriors against the Destroyer, he was ready to die defending Karnilla, and equally so to prevent the Ultimate Mjolnir from falling into the wrong hands.  So yeah, I think Aaron's Thor has been plenty impressive.

(3) As far as interesting, I just mean I think the story has been well written in terms of having several threads of story woven together effectively.  Aaron's Thor runs I think are well paced, they have a variety of engaging believable characters, and are consistently peppered with bigger than life rewarding moments.  The scope of Aaron's Thor stories always feel very vast.  I think we he writes the 9 Worlds they feel open ended, like there's more and more world and story out there to discover; they don't just feel like the backdrop for the dramatic family squabbles of Asgardian royalty.  I get that this is very subjective, but even leaving aside Thor: God of Thunder which I think was brilliant through and through, I think the Asgard vs Shiar story has been fantastic, and the War of Realms and Mangog stuff is really doing it for me.   I'm very impressed with Aaron's ability to depict classic characters and Thor tropes in stories that are difficult to predict and still provide for intrigue and mystery, and that don't lack big climactic moments.  So yeah, to me interesting.


As far as superficial damage, I mean more plainly that almost anything added in this series that seems like a serious scar will more or less evaporate with the next writer or perhaps even any post Jane, Thor stories.  And whatever change do prove to be lasting, I see them as superficial to the character.  So I think eventually Thor is going to get Mjolnir back.  Things always return to their foundations and I don't think this will be any different.  And Thor's lost an arm, but I don't really think this is all that important.  It's much more like Luke's bionic replacement arm: for all intents and purposes it's just like his regular arm.  I imagine Thor will have his old arm replaced, but if he doesn't matter that much to me.  This one seems to work just as well as the old one.  


cheers,
---the late great Donald Blake

   

  



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Upper_Krust


Member Since: Fri Aug 21, 2015
Posts: 337



    Quote:
    But just to answer your question clearing up what I meant. I think Aaron's run has depicted Thor as (1) multidimensional (2) impressive (3) interesting:

    (1) by multidimensional I just meant that Aaron's Thor is complicated. Thor fans on this board tend to emphasize all the moments in the run where Thor acts unfavorable, while sort of ignoring Thor's good moments in the series. There have been plenty of moments where Aaron portrays Thor as valorous and like the old Thor we all know and love. Thor taking Jane to the moon in the God of Thunder run is a great example of that, but this stuff kind of gets drowned out by all the outrage and hand wringing. I think this Thor has a lot of underlying tension, which is always interesting character work. As a matter of fact my favorite stories are usually where the plot is propelled by a character's inner tension or ambivalence. So, Aaron's Thor I think is a character with a bunch of inner strife all at once in a good way.


I agree he has done all that, but at the end of the day (Four years on) we are left with TWO unlikeable Thor's.


    Quote:
    For one, he's trapped between trying to do what's right to protect the innocent, which means being Thor to the fullest, but he's also filled with doubt over what it means to be a god, and if being a god can even be done in a benevolent way. This is a theme I positively adore! I should say, I'm not entirely sure that it makes sense that this dilemma would cause Thor to be unworthy. If anything I think that would make him more worthy. But the stories not over and maybe part of what it'll take to become worthy again will be his accepting that gods can't be perfect. And using power is always a risk. So the power of a god always runs a particularly high risk of corruption or abuse. Perhaps what the Thunder God has to understand is that while most gods suck, a better answer to the problem isn't no gods, but better gods. I digress. Point being, Thor dealing with this issue of what it means for a god to be worthy I think is a theme that's always been implicit with the character and I think Thor struggling with this balance of doubt and arrogance is engaging and it adds dimension to the character.


This is one of the key themes of Aaron's run (in effect espousing his Atheist beliefs* ).

*Onto a Universe where there is clear evidence gods exist.

Aaron's position is that the gods are not worthy, but anyone turning a casual glance back to the past 50+ years of continuity will see how many times Thor has been responsible for saving not only countless lives, not only the Earth multiple times but also the Galaxy several times (and probably the Universe as well).

I recall Dan Slott's She-Hulk run from about 10+ years ago. In it, Hercules was being sued by some civilian who got hurt during Hercules battle with a villain. She-Hulk (Herc's lawyer) outlined to the civilian how Hercules had personally saved the Earth (and everyone on it) 58 times (or something like that).

This alone makes a mockery of Aaron's point that the gods are unworthy.


    Quote:
    And that of course propels him into a kind of second order dilemma which is one of identity. So, when Thor steps down--which in effect he has by committing to the notion that no gods are worthy--there's also this question of who is he without the hammer?


We see this answered in Thor: Ragnarok with one sentence from Odin "Your not the god of hammers".


    Quote:
    Who is he without the winged helmet, which is to say who is he without the mantle of Thor?


Its not so much who he is but who he isn't.

He isn't a hero.
He isn't a warrior.
He isn't a role model/icon.


    Quote:
    I understand of course Thor is his name and who he is, but I mean without the mantle of the resident Thunder God that's been usurped by Jane. So in the context of the story, Thor is trying to figure this out--to better or worse result--and the readers also get to see what how much of Thor is just the hammer, the name, and winged helmet, and how much of him is the character underneath.


He's been sidelined to occasional supporting character in his own book.


    Quote:
    I could go on, but this is basically what I meant when I said Aaron's Thor is multi-dimensional. And yes I think there have been some problems here or there in the execution. I think Aaron has had some trouble tying the whole thing together. Like Thor's doubts in the validity of gods might be enough to shock his confidence and effect his worthiness, but why would Nick Fury saying it to him be a sufficient catalyst? And what does that have to do with the Mother Storm angle? Is the mother storm rejecting Thor and his own doubt for the gods just a coincidence? This is as such unresolved, honestly though, I don't care. I don't think that kind of inconsistency is enough to affect my feeling about the overall book.


Explaining things isn't Aaron's strength and I think a bunch of stuff has been twisted to suit his...dare I say 'agenda'?


    Quote:
    Aaron's Thor has in the main had a compelling level of complexity. More than the normal Thor writer has ventured. Honestly, I prefer this to the two-dimensional always steadfast and true characterization. I think it's more interesting when a character has an inner struggle as well as an outer one.


I agree with this.

While I dislike Aaron's Thor (he's no hero in my eyes...and neither is Jane) he certainly has more to deal with than at any other point in his history.

Unfortunately I read comics to be entertained, not depressed.

While I want to see Thor experience hardship and struggle, I want to see him rise above it to win. Its coming on FOUR YEARS we've had to stomach this stuff.


    Quote:
    (2) impressive - This one is somewhat simpler, I just mean that for all the complaints people have had about Aaron's Thor, his has been one of the more consistently powerful depictions of the character. Thor: God of Thunder saw Thor operating consistently at peak power levels, what with his lifting mountains and falling into stars without dying. Even after Thor ceded the hammer, he hasn't really been shown as any kind of light weight. Thor bringing down the thunder without Mjolnir, thanks to Aaron is no longer just a obscure set of occurrences scattered through out the characterizes history, but essentially the mainstream interpretation now, and part of the character's basic power set. And the UnWorthy Thor miniseries Aaron pinned, Thor was no less the badass. Thor's manhandling of the Collector and Thanos's stooges without any weapon is up there in terms of relative Thor showings. Furthermore, Thor outside of his doubt fueled inability to weild Mjolnir, has been shown as consistently heroic throught the series. Sure he's been a bit of a sulky lush, but he's stood by Jane's side during the nigh-impossible odds of facing off against the Phoenix, the assembled an army of woman warriors against the Destroyer, he was ready to die defending Karnilla, and equally so to prevent the Ultimate Mjolnir from falling into the wrong hands. So yeah, I think Aaron's Thor has been plenty impressive.


Sulky Lush...I like that. \:\)


    Quote:
    (3) As far as interesting, I just mean I think the story has been well written in terms of having several threads of story woven together effectively. Aaron's Thor runs I think are well paced, they have a variety of engaging believable characters, and are consistently peppered with bigger than life rewarding moments. The scope of Aaron's Thor stories always feel very vast. I think we he writes the 9 Worlds they feel open ended, like there's more and more world and story out there to discover; they don't just feel like the backdrop for the dramatic family squabbles of Asgardian royalty. I get that this is very subjective, but even leaving aside Thor: God of Thunder which I think was brilliant through and through, I think the Asgard vs Shiar story has been fantastic, and the War of Realms and Mangog stuff is really doing it for me. I'm very impressed with Aaron's ability to depict classic characters and Thor tropes in stories that are difficult to predict and still provide for intrigue and mystery, and that don't lack big climactic moments. So yeah, to me interesting.


Politics aside I'd probably like his run.


    Quote:
    As far as superficial damage, I mean more plainly that almost anything added in this series that seems like a serious scar will more or less evaporate with the next writer or perhaps even any post Jane, Thor stories. And whatever change do prove to be lasting, I see them as superficial to the character. So I think eventually Thor is going to get Mjolnir back. Things always return to their foundations and I don't think this will be any different.


From the Previews we see Thor does NOT get Mjolnir back after this and he gets a new metal arm (suggesting Mangog destroys the existing one). Plus the old Thor timeline from Aaron also suggests he retains a metal arm.


    Quote:
    And Thor's lost an arm, but I don't really think this is all that important. It's much more like Luke's bionic replacement arm: for all intents and purposes it's just like his regular arm. I imagine Thor will have his old arm replaced, but if he doesn't matter that much to me. This one seems to work just as well as the old one.


If losing the arm doesn't matter, why lose it at all?

The answer being simply to emasculate and disfigure Thor, because Aaron doesn't want him to be any sort of alpha male hero.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud character progression/development as much as the next person but IF you are going to cut off a hero's arm, then for goodness sake make it the most bad@ss scene imaginable, not two throwaway Frost Giants holding him down for wimpy Malekith.




You address Omnipotence...tread carefully.
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Late Great Donald Blake


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,818


I agree he has done all that, but at the end of the day (Four years on) we are left with TWO unlikeable Thor's.


LGDB: I really don't want to be a contrarian, but I don't agree.  I don't think either have been unlikable.  I think the real Thor needs to sort of get his ass in gear, that is, get out of the self-doubt funk, but I imagine he will.  I think Aaron is writing Thor as a kind of dynamic character.   That he's going through something that we can imagine he'll overcome.  I think people are mistaking the nadir of Aaron's Thor Odinson story arc with a new status quo he's trying to create.

As far as Jane-Thor I agree a bit more that she's being written as somewhat unlikable.  But I think this depends somewhat on your perspective and how sensitive you are to attitude.  Aaron seems to be writing Jane as headstrong, unapologetic, decisive, and so on.  Basically I think he's writing Jane with the same character traits and behavior we might associate with Thor.  I think there's some portion of fans that are a bit misogynistic and find it off-putting or even offensive to see "strong women", which is to say women exhibiting characteristics we associate with dominant men.  I think it's true that there's probably an underlying unconscious bias most of us have with men and women; that we perceive the same behaviors and reactions differently depending on whether the subject is a man or woman.  (I know, I know, you've heard this all before.) 

 But, I do think Aaron takes this too far.  Sometimes Jane's assertiveness moves into a down right rudeness or even abusiveness.  Her decisiveness sometimes slips into recklessness or even a propensity towards being prone to violence.  In otherwords, in trying to write Jane as a strong woman, sometimes she reads more like a bad man.  Somes Jane-Thor reads more like overcompensation for equality.  Moreover, it's not clear to me whether this is intentional on Aaron's part.  If it is, his writing is more sophisticated than I would have originally given it credit.  If he's not self aware about it, I'd say it's understandable given how difficult the territory is to navigate.  That Jane, in the context of trying to save the world can be kind of a bitch sometimes just isn't a capital crime.  And to put it in relative gender context, it's not as if comics are untouched by ornery heroes.  Namor, Quicksilver, the Hulk, Wolverine, etc. are all characters that can be unapologetic jerks, but it's the reason we love them.  Or at very least we love them more in spite of these character flaws.  




This is one of the key themes of Aaron's run (in effect espousing his Atheist beliefs* ).

*Onto a Universe where there is clear evidence gods exist.

Aaron's position is that the gods are not worthy, but anyone turning a casual glance back to the past 50+ years of continuity will see how many times Thor has been responsible for saving not only countless lives, not only the Earth multiple times but also the Galaxy several times (and probably the Universe as well).

I recall Dan Slott's She-Hulk run from about 10+ years ago. In it, Hercules was being sued by some civilian who got hurt during Hercules battle with a villain. She-Hulk (Herc's lawyer) outlined to the civilian how Hercules had personally saved the Earth (and everyone on it) 58 times (or something like that).

This alone makes a mockery of Aaron's point that the gods are unworthy.


LGDB:  Well I think you're conflating a theme in his story for a point he's trying to make or a position he's holding.  I think doubt in the gods is something that gets bandied back in forth by characters in the story, and the issue is thematic, but I don't think it's clear this is a point Aaron is trying to make.  Afterall, he's certainly writing god characters that are noble and heroic even while he's calling into question the legitimacy of the gods. While in this point in our story, Thor's decided gods aren't worthy, the larger story has been more complicated.   As a matter of fact I think his God Butcher sort of conflicts with your speculation about his position on gods.  What is a Gorr but a character whose overly anti-god zeal lead him to become a genocidal monster who became a dark and deformed version of the very thing he hated.  Aaron's angle for that portion of the story certainly wasn't Gorr was right.  I don't think that's how you depict a character whose meant to extol your values.  So, I wouldn't mistake this doubt that's snuck into Thor's head in the context of the story with a value that the larger story means to communicate.  I think Aaron's position as articulated by the story is that the gods aren't above judgment or the gods aren't above ethical reproach.  That a gods moral status is dictated by their actions and not by their station.

And Aaron might be an atheist, but there are a lot of different kinds of atheism and different reason for being one.  I'm personally an atheist, but that's only because I doubt the existence of god or gods.  I think evidence and argument (from what I've come to) don't lead to that conclusion.  But I don't have disdain for the concept of gods.  If gods exist I wouldn't be repulsed by pure dint of their divinity.  I mean my favorite character of all time is a god. lol  So, I can't go along with the idea that because Aaron is an atheist his story that's critical of the idea of gods is an automatic expression of that atheism.  



We see this answered in Thor: Ragnarok with one sentence from Odin "Your not the god of hammers".


LGDB: Well yeah, this is a great moment, but it's just a single line.  It's not the sort of expansive Thor story that Aaron is weaving.  I take your point that you don't NEED to write a story to make this point.  But you don't NEED to write a story for any reason.  What I was getting at is that Aaron had created a Thor story where Thor is struggling with his identity and that that was one way he was creating a multidimensional depiction of Thor who was dealing with an inner tension, and those are elements to good story telling.  I don't mean to say that him writing this kind of story was the only way we were going to get at an answer.  



  Its not so much who he is but who he isn't.

He isn't a hero.
He isn't a warrior.
He isn't a role model/icon.


LGDB:  This is the part I guess I can't understand.  I mean Thor's definitely doing heroic things in Aaron's run.  He's still fighting the good fight and risking his life to do what's right.  He's undoubtedly being a warrior; he's kicking ass all over the place.  I alluded to a few examples in my previous post.  I could name more, but Thor not being a warrior for me is a hard sell.  Him not being a role model/icon I think is a bit harder to argue.  I mean currently, self doubting drinking Thor probably isn't a good one, and without the hammer, cape, and helmet all the markers of icon have been kind of stripped away, so I'd reservedly concede that last one.  We'll just have to see what happens.  



He's been sidelined to occasional supporting character in his own book.

LGDB:  Yeah this part just kind of sucks.  Like I said, I'd prefer it were a 50/50 split if Aaron was going to do this story.  Rather than the kind of 85/15 ratio we've been getting.  I think this was a tactical error on Aaron's part in that it alienated a lot of older fans, and it doesn't serve the story that all that much.  That is to say that if this story was as much Thor's story as it was Jane's, even with her having Mjolnir and him struggling with doubt, I think fans would have accepted it as a story of Thor suffering or being temporarily laid low or dealing with being replaced.  This is a theme I think fans classically are patient with or even appreciate it.  I think replacing him in this semi-permanent, open ended way was the real error that drove fans away in droves.  And didn't really attract more new fans than I think a 50/50 split would have. 



From the Previews we see Thor does NOT get Mjolnir back after this and he gets a new metal arm (suggesting Mangog destroys the existing one). Plus the old Thor timeline from Aaron also suggests he retains a metal arm.


LGDB:  Well he's getting a hammer back.  Still pretty mysterious as to where it comes from or how it comes into being.

***my theory is that it's going to be forged out of what's left of Mangog's body after he's defeated.   Which is why it's gold.

But I'm sure eventually Thor's going to be reunited with Mjolnir.  If not by Aaron himself, then by the next writer.  I could be wrong, but I think that's where the good money's at.


If losing the arm doesn't matter, why lose it at all?

The answer being simply to emasculate and disfigure Thor, because Aaron doesn't want him to be any sort of alpha male hero.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud character progression/development as much as the next person but IF you are going to cut off a hero's arm, then for goodness sake make it the most bad@ss scene imaginable, not two throwaway Frost Giants holding him down for wimpy Malekith.


LGDB:  Yeah I don't really get this either.  I don't think it's meant to emasculate Thor in that if that was the goal you'd do something that would affect Thor's abilities or performance.  In this case Thor with his real arm and Thor with his uru arm appear to operate at virtually the same different.  I think technically it does disfigure him, but he actually looks pretty cool with it.  Part of me thinks that the decision purely aesthetic.  But there could be other reasons.  Like, maybe Aaron just wanted to put him mark on the character in a more permanent way and he's hoping that further creative teams will keep it going.  Or maybe it's just meant to symbolize everything that Thor has lost.   Or further, maybe he's emphasizing how important the hammer is to Thor in that Thor loses his arm and his hammer (lol arm & hammer) but that he's way more upset about losing the hammer.

Agreed that if it had been me, I definitely would have made it a bigger scene.


cheers,
---the late great Donald Blake   



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Oliva


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,603


Excellent analysis of the whole situation with Marvel. I recall Kurt Busiek saying on this MB that they didn't have to respond to any of the fans letters. If they did- it was to do us a favor. In other words, they don't seem to put any emphasis on having a good rapport with any of their clients. No business model should be able to operate or function in this manner, because it will fail. Yes, unlike what Busiek said, They must and had to respond to their fans- LIKE IT OR NOT!!!

These people running the Marvel Industry are very arrogant in their mentality. They think (like some Extreme Socialist/Liberals in the goverment) that they could tell you what to do, how to think, and that you must conform to whatever crap they put out- out there. Do you actually think that they will apologyze to the thousands of Thor's fans and others who they dissapointed and offended with their Radical Political nonsense? Don't hold your breath on that one, because they will never accept any wrong doing to the masses that do not conform to their Liberal Agenda, and who they think are a bunch of peons anyways. Better yet, they think that were're a bunch of cattle that need to be indoctrinated into their way of thinking- or do you actually think that Aaron is not getting the full support from the people on top that are running the show in Marvel? Aaron is just a tool that Marvel is using to Indoctrinate the masses- just like countless other Corporations that are part of the Media are doing 24 hrs. a day.



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Upper_Krust


Member Since: Fri Aug 21, 2015
Posts: 337



    Quote:
    LGDB: I really don't want to be a contrarian, but I don't agree. I don't think either have been unlikable. I think the real Thor needs to sort of get his ass in gear, that is, get out of the self-doubt funk, but I imagine he will. I think Aaron is writing Thor as a kind of dynamic character. That he's going through something that we can imagine he'll overcome. I think people are mistaking the nadir of Aaron's Thor Odinson story arc with a new status quo he's trying to create.


Aaron's Thor is emo-Thor and has been for 3-4 years...how did you put it...'sulky lush'.


    Quote:
    As far as Jane-Thor I agree a bit more that she's being written as somewhat unlikable. But I think this depends somewhat on your perspective and how sensitive you are to attitude.


On top of the politics its just too much.

If Jane had been likeable, fun, respectful towards Thor and Odin, humble in her having the power of Thor then I maybe could have stomached some of Aaron's political preaching because I would have grown to like Jane.


    Quote:
    Aaron seems to be writing Jane as headstrong, unapologetic, decisive, and so on. Basically I think he's writing Jane with the same character traits and behavior we might associate with Thor. I think there's some portion of fans that are a bit misogynistic and find it off-putting or even offensive to see "strong women", which is to say women exhibiting characteristics we associate with dominant men. I think it's true that there's probably an underlying unconscious bias most of us have with men and women; that we perceive the same behaviors and reactions differently depending on whether the subject is a man or woman. (I know, I know, you've heard this all before.)


Being a 'strong woman' doesn't mean taking on the traits of a man...let alone the name of a man. Those last two are facets forced upon modern female characters by SJWs (the 3rd facet being their Mary Sue status).

Strong (non-masculine) female characters: Princess Leia, Ripley,

Masculine SJW Mary Sue's: Rey (Star Wars); Michael (Star Trek)


    Quote:
    But, I do think Aaron takes this too far. Sometimes Jane's assertiveness moves into a down right rudeness or even abusiveness. Her decisiveness sometimes slips into recklessness or even a propensity towards being prone to violence. In otherwords, in trying to write Jane as a strong woman, sometimes she reads more like a bad man.


Exactly.


    Quote:
    Somes Jane-Thor reads more like overcompensation for equality. Moreover, it's not clear to me whether this is intentional on Aaron's part. If it is, his writing is more sophisticated than I would have originally given it credit. If he's not self aware about it, I'd say it's understandable given how difficult the territory is to navigate. That Jane, in the context of trying to save the world can be kind of a bitch sometimes just isn't a capital crime.


It seems to be the way Leftists write 'strong women'...as men.


    Quote:
    And to put it in relative gender context, it's not as if comics are untouched by ornery heroes. Namor, Quicksilver, the Hulk, Wolverine, etc. are all characters that can be unapologetic jerks, but it's the reason we love them. Or at very least we love them more in spite of these character flaws.


Characters who 'earned it' over the years although notably Namor and Quicksilver started as Villains and Jane's recent behaviour towards Thor is something more akin to what I would expect from a villain and not a former lover. Hulk generally has the brain of a neanderthal.

I don't know much of Wolverine (from the comics) - does he disrespect a lot of women? I'd doubt it.

If anything Jane-Thor probably reminds me of the barbaric 'younger' Thor of Aaron's Three Thors storyline...and let's remember THAT version of Thor was unworthy.


    Quote:
    LGDB: Well I think you're conflating a theme in his story for a point he's trying to make or a position he's holding. I think doubt in the gods is something that gets bandied back in forth by characters in the story, and the issue is thematic, but I don't think it's clear this is a point Aaron is trying to make. Afterall, he's certainly writing god characters that are noble and heroic even while he's calling into question the legitimacy of the gods. While in this point in our story, Thor's decided gods aren't worthy, the larger story has been more complicated. As a matter of fact I think his God Butcher sort of conflicts with your speculation about his position on gods. What is a Gorr but a character whose overly anti-god zeal lead him to become a genocidal monster who became a dark and deformed version of the very thing he hated. Aaron's angle for that portion of the story certainly wasn't Gorr was right. I don't think that's how you depict a character whose meant to extol your values. So, I wouldn't mistake this doubt that's snuck into Thor's head in the context of the story with a value that the larger story means to communicate. I think Aaron's position as articulated by the story is that the gods aren't above judgment or the gods aren't above ethical reproach. That a gods moral status is dictated by their actions and not by their station.


Aaron's angle WAS that Gorr was right...otherwise Thor wouldn't have questioned his worthiness.


    Quote:
    And Aaron might be an atheist, but there are a lot of different kinds of atheism and different reason for being one. I'm personally an atheist, but that's only because I doubt the existence of god or gods. I think evidence and argument (from what I've come to) don't lead to that conclusion. But I don't have disdain for the concept of gods. If gods exist I wouldn't be repulsed by pure dint of their divinity. I mean my favorite character of all time is a god. lol So, I can't go along with the idea that because Aaron is an atheist his story that's critical of the idea of gods is an automatic expression of that atheism.


I'm a deist (basically an optimistic atheist), but the problem here is that the gods knowingly exist in the Marvel Universe; therefore with mere disbelief off the table as an option Aaron has chosen to discredit and devalue instead.


    Quote:
    LGDB: Well yeah, this is a great moment, but it's just a single line. It's not the sort of expansive Thor story that Aaron is weaving. I take your point that you don't NEED to write a story to make this point. But you don't NEED to write a story for any reason. What I was getting at is that Aaron had created a Thor story where Thor is struggling with his identity and that that was one way he was creating a multidimensional depiction of Thor who was dealing with an inner tension, and those are elements to good story telling. I don't mean to say that him writing this kind of story was the only way we were going to get at an answer.


Aaron's Thor story is so 'expansive' Thor is barely in it, lol.


    Quote:
    LGDB: This is the part I guess I can't understand. I mean Thor's definitely doing heroic things in Aaron's run. He's still fighting the good fight and risking his life to do what's right. He's undoubtedly being a warrior; he's kicking ass all over the place. I alluded to a few examples in my previous post. I could name more, but Thor not being a warrior for me is a hard sell. Him not being a role model/icon I think is a bit harder to argue. I mean currently, self doubting drinking Thor probably isn't a good one, and without the hammer, cape, and helmet all the markers of icon have been kind of stripped away, so I'd reservedly concede that last one. We'll just have to see what happens.


We can agree to disagree and I'll defer to your opinion on this one since you are certainly reading more of Aaron's run than I am amigo.


    Quote:
    LGDB: Yeah this part just kind of sucks. Like I said, I'd prefer it were a 50/50 split if Aaron was going to do this story. Rather than the kind of 85/15 ratio we've been getting. I think this was a tactical error on Aaron's part in that it alienated a lot of older fans, and it doesn't serve the story that all that much. That is to say that if this story was as much Thor's story as it was Jane's, even with her having Mjolnir and him struggling with doubt, I think fans would have accepted it as a story of Thor suffering or being temporarily laid low or dealing with being replaced. This is a theme I think fans classically are patient with or even appreciate it. I think replacing him in this semi-permanent, open ended way was the real error that drove fans away in droves. And didn't really attract more new fans than I think a 50/50 split would have.


I can sort of see Aaron's reasoning here - he had to commit to his vision of a female Thor and while the 50/50 split would have been more palatable, I just don't think it reinforces his stance that Jane IS Thor. So while I 'hate it' in a sense, I understand his reasoning.

That said my problem is with the political reasoning for the whole storyline in the first place and the emasculation of Thor to reinforce how much better Jane-Thor is. I think that's mainly what drove the fans away.


    Quote:
    LGDB: Well he's getting a hammer back. Still pretty mysterious as to where it comes from or how it comes into being.


Could be interesting. I'll give it a chance as long as Aaron isn't writing and Jane is killed off/not involved.


    Quote:
    ***my theory is that it's going to be forged out of what's left of Mangog's body after he's defeated. Which is why it's gold.


So he'll have a hammer made from a being of pure 'hate'...what could go wrong. \:p


    Quote:
    But I'm sure eventually Thor's going to be reunited with Mjolnir. If not by Aaron himself, then by the next writer. I could be wrong, but I think that's where the good money's at.


Then all they have to do is resolve all this God Storm silliness...


    Quote:
    LGDB: Yeah I don't really get this either. I don't think it's meant to emasculate Thor in that if that was the goal you'd do something that would affect Thor's abilities or performance. In this case Thor with his real arm and Thor with his uru arm appear to operate at virtually the same different. I think technically it does disfigure him,


Exactly...how often would you envision kids saying "when I grow up I want to be a hero with only one arm"...?


    Quote:
    but he actually looks pretty cool with it. Part of me thinks that the decision purely aesthetic. But there could be other reasons. Like, maybe Aaron just wanted to put him mark on the character in a more permanent way and he's hoping that further creative teams will keep it going.


'Luckily' this sort of thing only happens to white alpha male characters.


    Quote:
    Or maybe it's just meant to symbolize everything that Thor has lost. Or further, maybe he's emphasizing how important the hammer is to Thor in that Thor loses his arm and his hammer (lol arm & hammer) but that he's way more upset about losing the hammer.

    Agreed that if it had been me, I definitely would have made it a bigger scene.


It was very badly orchestrated.




You address Omnipotence...tread carefully.
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JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 20,427


My main beef with Marvel has been that they just delighted in running roughshod over all prior established continuity, and have tried to ram down our theoats PC heros and diversity now.

I know that the Disney company is really liberal in their stance on causes and agendas, which is OK, but not to the extent of just seeming to what to either kill off or take out of action every established male white character.

And rest assured that the next 2 Avengers movies will be their way to take off the board the steve and cap and Thoirs of Marvel,o bring in their more diversed crew now.

DC has shown to them that can have a Wonder Woman who highlights the power of a woman, without cutting down men in the process. Think tthe real solution is to get more creative and making the next Black panthers and WW, and not go for the just get rid of all of the old, and remake it for the new!

Peter and Miles can be both Spider man, and the simple truth is that certain icons should just be what they are, as Clark is Superman, Bruce Bats, and Bruce is Hulk, and Odinson is and should always be the real Thor!





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