Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,617
In Reply To
America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,139
Subj: Re: All of them.
Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 at 06:28:03 am EST (Viewed 275 times)
Reply Subj: Re: All of them.
Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 at 01:21:40 pm EST (Viewed 256 times)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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