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

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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,876
In Reply To
Grey Gargoyle

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 20,299
Subj: Re. the non-Carol Danvers parts of your last post
Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 at 04:42:28 am EDT (Viewed 63 times)
Reply Subj: What do you think of Carol Danvers? :-)
Posted: Mon May 03, 2021 at 06:08:56 pm EDT (Viewed 65 times)

    Not that Superman's and the Joker's claims to originality are unassailable. People have noted e.g. certain similarities between Clark Kent, the Man of Steel, and Clark Savage Jr., the Man of Bronze. And there were plenty of killer clowns before the Joker, notably two operatic ones , Rigoletto (based on a Victor Hugo novel) and Canio from "I Pagliacci" (based, according to Leoncavallo, on a case from real life).(1) The case for the Joker being original is not exactly strengthened when you recall that he was modeled on Conrad Veidt in the title role of "The Man Who Laughs" (based on another Hugo novel).

    (1) That opera became the inspiration for the Spirit villain Palyachi, the Killer Clown, who debuted in July 1940, not long after the Joker's first appearance.

    Yep, I did the same research than you when I was watching 'American Horror Story - the Cult'. Just like you, I wanted to know more about the origin of the 'killer clown'.
    I don't fully agree with you: the Joker isn't the first, that's true, but he was more influential than I would have imagined. I was the first to be surprised.

Well, yeah, but "influential" is a quite different animal from "original". Because of their influence on what came after, many fans are unaware that Captain America wasn't the first superpatriot dressed in the Stars and Stripes, and these days many people erroneously believe that Wonder Woman - the most influential Golden Age superheroine - also was the first superheroine. While in reality there were well over two dozen superheroines of various types who came before her, including two Amazon heroines - the pulp heroine The Golden Amazon (1939) and Amazona the Mighty Woman (1940, one comicbook story only). And some of Wonder Woman's creative predecessors are still around these days (e.g. Hawkgirl and the Phantom Lady). But of course the majority has been forgotten because they were created for now-defunct publishers or not revived in the Silver Age...


      The way I read it (in Dave Cockrum's interview in The X-Men Companion I (Fantagraphics 1982)), Storm is an amalgam of this Black Cat and another Cockrum creation - originally pitched for the Legion of Superheroes - called Typhoon. In Dave Cockrum's original vision, this Black Cat's powers were very similar to Wolfsbane's (Rahne was of course created several years later), except feline, not canine.

    The problem is that, when they decided to drop the bad luck angle, they emphasized the similarities with Catwoman.
    Also, if Black Cat had been the nemesis of Spider-Woman, there would have been no flirt between the protagonist & the antagonist and, thus, no parallel would have been made with Batman.

Well, Claremont wrote Spider-Woman for a time, so maybe he would have added a lesbian subtext to their antagonism. ;\-\)

    At the same time, Scarlet Witch already had this bad luck power.

    It is funny that, later, Chris Claremont created two female characters, one with the bad luck power (Roulette) and the other, a werecat (Catseye).

Luck powers seem to have been a thing in the 1980s. Ann Nocenti then created Longshot, who has good-luck powers, and he eventually became an X-Man. And IIRC, Claremont originally created Gambit as a dark version of Longshot.

    If that was not enough, in the 1990s, in the X-Force book, Domino had a bad luck power, she had been impersonated by Copycat and, in parallel, there were also two werecats, Feral & Thorn.



      Speaking of Storm, her co-creator Len Wein had a very different vision of Ororo (as more of an ageless goddess figure) and was quite vocal in his 1982 interview that he disliked the way Chris Claremont foisted Modesty Blaise's origin story on her...

    That's interesting! I wonder what Len Wein had planned for the character.
    Do you have information about that?

All I have is this from Len Wein's 1982 interview:

Peter Sanderson: Well, that [Claremont's changes to Colossus] would also affect Storm, I would think, since you wanted to have her living with an African tribe all her life until Xavier came along.

Len Wein: Yes, she had been born and bred out there. To them, she had been a goddess her entire life. She wasn't sophisticated, she wasn't an American out there. By making her American you cancel out part of the international part of the group. She was African. Where she lived was where she had lived her whole life. She had the powers, immediately upon expressing them as a child they assumed her to be a goddess, and they treated her that way. And she grew up that way; they would leave fruits and flowers at her temples and she'd eat and have a good time. It was a good relationship and she enjoyed it.

Sanderson: And when she came to America she would suffer culture shock all over the place.

Wein: Exactly. None of which she did.

Sanderson: Why did she and Colossus come to the X-Men, do you suppose?

Wein: Sense of obligation. Sense of duty. The whole routines I did with Professor X and them, going "Yes, I'll stay here." And they came to the sense that "maybe he's right, we owe it to ourselves and the world to find out if he's right, to go out there and see if it is better for us to give up everything we know so that the world's a better place.["] And who knows, they may have discovered that it was wrong and wanted to quit. I probably would have done stories along the way where they decided [t]hat they'd rather go back to their old life.


Sanderson: Would Storm's personality have been much different from the way she evolved?

Wein: Not terribly, except for the origin, and nuances, things like the claustrophobia. She would have been much the character - majestic. She's a very noble figure, and Chris has written her the same way.


Incidentally, misremembered the crucial part. In his interview Wein mentions that he wrote Storm as being age 17. It was Dave Cockrum who wanted her to be ageless:

"I really didn't want to see an origin for Storm, quite frankly. I really wanted everybody not to know who she is, where she came from. I was always of the opinion that Storm should be ageless. You could never tell whether she was fifteen or two hundred or a thousand years old. [...] There was a piece of copy in the first story that Len wrote, "Her eyes are blue and older than time," and I liked that. I thought we should never elaborate beyond that. And now she's just a person. I kind of enjoyed the idea that - well, she's not a goddess... but she might be, you know. Well, it's too late to do any of that now."


      After all, it would not have been possible to get out of a plagiarism suit re. Superman merely by making your Superman rip-off a woman.

    By the way, what do you think of Carol Danvers? \:\-\)

    (nb: I think that her case is very interesting. Actually, I like Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel even though the character is obviously strongly inspired by previous characters...)

I've already spent quite a bit of time on this response, so I'll save up my thougths re. Carol for later, promise!

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