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emerick-man

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Phoenix punning aside, which era had Jean looking the hottest?
(And click on this beautiful variant for promising, fun, mutant, PREVIEW renditions of Wolverine, Beast and Quicksilver.)



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Mr Sinister






The costume isn't so great, sure, but she's actually Jean, rather than being the plaything of a mangy cosmic parrot.

Also, she was written with something close to real-people dialogue, not bloated Claremont-speak or Morrison's frequently-nonsensical "look at how metatextual I am" dialogue.



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Nitz the Bloody





    Quote:
    Also, she was written with something close to real-people dialogue, not bloated Claremont-speak or Morrison's frequently-nonsensical "look at how metatextual I am" dialogue.


Real people by way of audience wish-fulfillment. Jean minus the portrayals of the aforementioned writers (and possibly Louise Simonson) wasn't a rounded character so much as an idealization of the girl next door-- she had the perfect body and the perfect looks, but it was all-natural and she was always clothed (insofar as spandex counts as clothing, but she was fully covered with it). Also, she just happened to pick the most socially awkward of the X-Men as her mate for an OTP, and she was fully committed to the X-Men's cause despite being able to pass in a way none of the other characters could. Even her powers were completely invisible when in use. And her character flaws extended to "having a temper when loved ones are threatened", and being too harsh on Sabretooth hardly counts as ambiguity.


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The Black Guardian 

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1970s

The Phoenix costume is, imo, easily one of the Top 5 best looking superhero costumes of all time. I honestly think it's better than Superman, Batman, and Spidey.

I fluctuate between liking the normal green or Dark Phoenix red version. On one hand, I like the green contrast with her red hair, but I'm not really a fan of green and prefer red.

I absolutely hated her 1990s costume. It too often made her look lumpy, and I did not like the colours. I'd rather the 1960s green mini-dress and mask. And there was nothing whatsoever that I liked about the Quitely X-Men designs of the 2000s.




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Mr Sinister





> Real people by way of audience wish-fulfillment.

And no other comic character falls under this? Come on now. Most of them are absurdly muscular men or incredibly slender amazons, which most comic readers are not, but would probably like to be. Most of them can do or be things the audience cannot possibly do, but would very much like to be able to do (flying is a popular choice, it seems). Spider-Man, especially when he was a teenager, fell into this category, and one can also argue that he fell into this category when he was married to Mary Jane, an absurdly attractive supermodel/actress. Jean is hardly unique in this respect.

> Jean minus the portrayals of the aforementioned writers (and possibly Louise Simonson) wasn't a rounded character so much as an idealization of the girl next door-- she had the perfect body and the perfect looks, but it was all-natural and she was always clothed (insofar as spandex counts as clothing, but she was fully covered with it).

As opposed to what? Being dressed like a stripper like quite a few other female characters?

> Also, she just happened to pick the most socially awkward of the X-Men as her mate for an OTP, and she was fully committed to the X-Men's cause despite being able to pass in a way none of the other characters could.

And again, no other character falls into this category? You're just clutching at straws here. Even with the original X-Men, Iceman looked completely normal when out of "costume" (I'm using the quote marks because dressing in snow and pirate boots barely counts as clothing, let alone a costume).

> Even her powers were completely invisible when in use. And her character flaws extended to "having a temper when loved ones are threatened", and being too harsh on Sabretooth hardly counts as ambiguity.

Plenty of mutants' powers are completely invisible (Magneto's powers, for example), and plenty of characters have only a few defining character flaws. Batman, for example, is basically a nut with parental abandonment issues when you get right down to brass tacks. And Superman, the most enduring superhero ever, barely has any aside from "I'm the last of my race".



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Nitz the Bloody





    Quote:
    And no other comic character falls under this? Come on now. Most of them are absurdly muscular men or incredibly slender amazons, which most comic readers are not, but would probably like to be. Most of them can do or be things the audience cannot possibly do, but would very much like to be able to do (flying is a popular choice, it seems). Spider-Man, especially when he was a teenager, fell into this category, and one can also argue that he fell into this category when he was married to Mary Jane, an absurdly attractive supermodel/actress. Jean is hardly unique in this respect.


Ideally characters have other traits to make them rounded personalities, flaws and quirks that keep them from being one-dimensional escapism. The "classic" Jean doesn't have these any substantial fashion.


    Quote:
    As opposed to what? Being dressed like a stripper like quite a few other female characters?


Jean's costume leaves nothing to the imagination, but covers her so as to preserve her chastity. It's part of the character's fetishized purity-- see also the fact that she's the mother of several Summers children that never actually came out of her womb, thus preserving her virginity.


    Quote:
    Plenty of mutants' powers are completely invisible (Magneto's powers, for example), and plenty of characters have only a few defining character flaws. Batman, for example, is basically a nut with parental abandonment issues when you get right down to brass tacks. And Superman, the most enduring superhero ever, barely has any aside from "I'm the last of my race".


You say that like it's a good thing.

Also, it's worth noting that even many of the other mutants who have invisible powers have identity markers that keep them from being identified as normal. Magneto, for example, has pure white hair. So does Storm, which is even more notable in contrast with her skin tone. Colossus is utterly huge even without his metal form. Wolverine is short and abnormally hairy. And Cyclops has to wear protective eyewear 24/7.


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Mr Sinister






    Quote:
    Ideally characters have other traits to make them rounded personalities, flaws and quirks that keep them from being one-dimensional escapism. The "classic" Jean doesn't have these any substantial fashion.


Most of Stan Lee's original female characters weren't great, let's face it. Sue Richards' original power was simply to be invisible, for crying out loud - no force-fields or anything, just invisibility, so that the guys and their powers could do all the heavy lifting.


    Quote:
    Jean's costume leaves nothing to the imagination, but covers her so as to preserve her chastity. It's part of the character's fetishized purity-- see also the fact that she's the mother of several Summers children that never actually came out of her womb, thus preserving her virginity.


Huntress had a similar costume before Jim Lee shoe-horned her into yet another of his exotic-dancer outfits. Scarlet Witch's first costume and subsequent outfits before the George Perez "getting in touch with her heritage" belly-dancer outfit were pretty conservative. Wonder Woman's also currently dressing in a fairly conservative costume (which ironically was also designed by Jim Lee, yet actually covers her legs and boobs). Both Psylocke's armoured costume and the costume she wore during her brief time as Captain Britain were both full-body deals. And Storm's 90s outfit also covered her entire body. Jean is hardly alone in being a female character with a fairly chaste costume.

And as for that virginity thing... thanks to Weapon Plus, Emma Frost had thousands of kids that never came out of her womb. Thousands. Are you going to tell me that that was a device to keep her pure? I doubt it. I think it's more to do with the notion that while it's fun to have next generation characters, nine months in comic time is obviously going to be far more than nine months in real time (MJ was pregnant for about two years during the Clone Saga, I think, and I don't know how long Sue Richards was pregnant with Franklin). Rachel, X-Man and Cable are, like Skaar, X-23, or even Daken, primarily fun to have around.


    Quote:
    You say that like it's a good thing.


Just making a point that characters do not necessarily have to ooze multiple levels of psychosis or be a study in literary genius to be a success. Hell, Wonder Woman is who most non-comics readers would mention if they were asked to name a female comics character, and her gimmick at the start of her run was "she gets tied up a lot because her creator is a pervert".


    Quote:
    Also, it's worth noting that even many of the other mutants who have invisible powers have identity markers that keep them from being identified as normal. Magneto, for example, has pure white hair. So does Storm, which is even more notable in contrast with her skin tone. Colossus is utterly huge even without his metal form. Wolverine is short and abnormally hairy. And Cyclops has to wear protective eyewear 24/7.


Magneto has white hair solely because he's an old man. You can't exactly use that as an example of an outlandish physical trait - Storm (and Quicksilver)'s white hair you might have a point with, though. In any case, characters do need a visual hook so that the reader can go "Hey, that's [whoever]! I like them!" Whether that's a physical trait or a costume gimmick, every character needs one. Jean's, unfortunately, has for years been the Phoenix effect rather than a physical trait.




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Nitz the Bloody





    Quote:
    Most of Stan Lee's original female characters weren't great, let's face it. Sue Richards' original power was simply to be invisible, for crying out loud - no force-fields or anything, just invisibility, so that the guys and their powers could do all the heavy lifting.

But many of them developed into more complex and interesting personalities. Aside from Phoenix, that can't be said for Jean, other than making her powers actually useful.


    Quote:
    Huntress had a similar costume before Jim Lee shoe-horned her into yet another of his exotic-dancer outfits. Scarlet Witch's first costume and subsequent outfits before the George Perez "getting in touch with her heritage" belly-dancer outfit were pretty conservative. Wonder Woman's also currently dressing in a fairly conservative costume (which ironically was also designed by Jim Lee, yet actually covers her legs and boobs). Both Psylocke's armoured costume and the costume she wore during her brief time as Captain Britain were both full-body deals. And Storm's 90s outfit also covered her entire body. Jean is hardly alone in being a female character with a fairly chaste costume.

As an individual trait, it doesn't say anything. My complain is with the bigger picture the character represents.


    Quote:
    And as for that virginity thing... thanks to Weapon Plus, Emma Frost had thousands of kids that never came out of her womb. Thousands. Are you going to tell me that that was a device to keep her pure? I doubt it. I think it's more to do with the notion that while it's fun to have next generation characters, nine months in comic time is obviously going to be far more than nine months in real time (MJ was pregnant for about two years during the Clone Saga, I think, and I don't know how long Sue Richards was pregnant with Franklin). Rachel, X-Man and Cable are, like Skaar, X-23, or even Daken, primarily fun to have around.

See above. It's also worth noting that Madelyne, the character who actually bore Nathan Summers, was written out of the books in a fashion that made her an evil (and skankily dressed) cliche.


    Quote:
    Just making a point that characters do not necessarily have to ooze multiple levels of psychosis or be a study in literary genius to be a success. Hell, Wonder Woman is who most non-comics readers would mention if they were asked to name a female comics character, and her gimmick at the start of her run was "she gets tied up a lot because her creator is a pervert".

First of all, Wonder Woman became more complex. 

Secondly, "multiple levels of psychosis" isn't the issue; it's "multiple levels of ANYTHING" that Jean's lacking. Aside from being an implicitly fetishized avatar of perceived female purity, what does Jean add to the team? Especially in contrast with other characters, especially other female characters that aren't trapped in that All-American Girl Next Door box.


    Quote:
    Magneto has white hair solely because he's an old man. You can't exactly use that as an example of an outlandish physical trait - Storm (and Quicksilver)'s white hair you might have a point with, though. In any case, characters do need a visual hook so that the reader can go "Hey, that's [whoever]! I like them!" Whether that's a physical trait or a costume gimmick, every character needs one. Jean's, unfortunately, has for years been the Phoenix effect rather than a physical trait.

Flashbacks have shown that Erik's hair was white even when he was a younger man, and his physical age is inconsistently portrayed.

And also, you're not exactly helping your case for the merits of non-Phoenix Jean by saying that she lacks any compelling visual look.



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