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Subj: Re: In defense of Slott
Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 12:24:42 pm EDT
Reply Subj: In defense of Slott
Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 12:07:08 pm EDT

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> WARNING! People who are sick of my complaints about Slott's writing better turn back. This is going to be brutal. Really brutal. If you continue on, it's your own fault if you don't like what you read. \:\-\)
> Here we go....
> Your drumming it all up in the tub line is probably correct. It wouldn't surprise me. I'm not sure how a writer can take someone like Ultimo, mention that he's nearly indestructible and then have him taken down with one shot that puts a hole through his "nearly indestructible" armor. Oh, wait, it's Slott. It's just another case of a writer creating a new, dull-as-dishwater character and, in his attempt to make the character a big bad-ass, has the person take out someone bigger and more important than him. This was the case with Grant Morrison and his crappy Fantomex character (when Darkstar was atrociously killed).

The way I see it, Slott was not attempting to make a "dull-as-dishwater character" seem like a "big bad-ass." The fact that Armory washes out by the end of the first issue seems to me like what Slott was doing was building up a character to the point where the reader would think she would play an important role, and then turning our expectations against us, which I think he achieved admirably. If he was just trying to create a bad-ass character out of Armory, the issue would have ended very differently. Yes, her power level seems extreme, and yes it was done because Slott wanted the reader to think she was a cool character, but he only wanted the reader to think that to get a certain reaction out of the end of the story.
> And I'm not surprised at the way the Bengel was treated.

This isn't the first time I've seen this mentioned, but I honestly don't see why. What is so wrong about Bengal's treatment? The guy has one line in the entire issue and it's "Sir, yes, sir," which, regardless of who you are, is pretty much always the correct answer when your drill instructor asks you a question. Is it because he has more experience then a lot of the other characters at the camp? That's true of a lot of people at the camp, but according to the SHRA, everyone gets trained or retires, so here he is. The only people that seem to be exempt from that rule are Avengers-level characters which certainly does not include Bengal.

Slott's history with obscure characters has already been proven to be absolutely terrible at best (see the Big House storyline and his handling of a new Ani-Men for examples).

That's rather selective I think. Yes, he uses minor characters in mass cameos on occassion and that means that sometimes they might not all get the attention or perfect characterization they might otherwise get if they were central to the story, but when you've got dozens of minor characters showing up every panel in the background, you can't expect all of them to be dealt with perfectly. At least Slott enjoys using characters like that, unlike a lot of writers who won't bother with anyone that doesn't have their own book or isn't their own creation.

There are lots of examples of minor characters being used excellently (in my opinion) in Slott's She-Hulk book. Awesome Andy for one, who has actually been given a personality and undergone character development for the first time in his decades-long history. Or Two-Gun Kid who, despite having disappeared from comics for years and years is now a supporting member of the book's cast. I think that, to make a blanket statement like "Slott's history with obscure characters has been terrible at best" is an unfair assessment.

I've heard this book will be featuring lots of obscure heroes and villains, but likely they'll all be used as cannon fodder, background material or in brief, let's-do-something-I-think-is-hilarious-that-I-think-other-people-will-think-the-same-thing cameos.

Slott has said this book is going to be very different in tone from his other work, meaning not a big humor-fest. I don't think we'll be seeing anyone put in compromising positions for the sake of a joke. And to be perfectly in honest, I like Slott's humor. Wendigo's appearance in the most recent issue of She-Hulk was hilarious without taking anything away from the character or the threat he posed.
> I didn't buy the issue, but I actually broke down and looked at the book in the store. Good Lord, I'm glad I spent my $2.99 on OMEGA FLIGHT #1 instead. I have heard from Slott, Marvel and people who work at MArvel that AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE is supposed to be vastly different than anything Slott has ever written, that's it's not supposed to be his trademark funny books like SHE-HULK. What a crock.
Right off the bat, Slapstick shows up. Strike one.

Slapstick shows up, makes a terrible joke, and is told to stop. I don't see how this is indicative of Slott's usual humor stories as much as it is a simple use of the Slapstick character.

The Bengal scene. Strike two.

Again, what scene? He sits in the background and is given the exact same treatment as everyone else who comes through the camp. Is this the problem? That he deserves better? To be honest I'm not all that familiar with Bengal as a character, but if you feel that Yellowjacket or Gauntlet shouldn't be treating him in such a fashion, I think it's actually a fair representation of what would happen, regardless of whether he deserves it. There is clearly no preferential treatment being given here. I mean, Rage was an Avenger, and he still gets thrown in with the rest, and I for one pretty much expected that.

And other stuff I saw. *gah* Whatever. And judging from the comments I've been seeing across the board, not too many other people liked the issue, either, and they've read the whole thing. Marvel jumped the gun by making this book an ongoing. I guess the readers assumed the book was going to be hot, since Slott was the one writing it, so everyone ordered it. Whoops.

I've seen a lot of negative reaction too, and the book certainly isn't without its flaws, but I for one like Slott, and as long as the Young Avengers remain in limbo, this is going to be the closest thing I'm going to get.

With that said, I really wish the Young Avengers weren't still in limbo as I'd much prefer that book to this one in the end. Still a fun read though.
> That said, I like the 50-State Initiative idea. I like the Camp Hammond idea. I think, in the hands of an excellent writer, like Ed Brubaker for one, these ideas would swell into something interesting to read. But Dan Slott is not that writer.

Personally, I would like to see what Fabian Nicieza could have done with this book.
> End of rant. And I apologize for upsetting anyone who ventured into this thread, ignoring the warning. It's just my opinion. Have a nice day. \:\-\)

No apology necessary. I too hope I have not offended anyone in defense of my opinions.

- Skippy

I haven't seen the Bengal used in a while, but he was a South Vietnamese assassin whose parents were killed in Vietnam. He sought revenge on all of the American veterans involved in destruction of his village, including Will Talltrees/Red Wolf, Willie Lincoln, and even James Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, who is a member of Slott's cast. Not only does he not need training (although I understand the "be sent to camp or retire" bit), but he wants James Rhodes dead, dead, dead. So, if I had been writing the book, I would have had the Bengal willingly go to the camp just so he could get his mitts on Rhodes and kill him. I suppose that could still happen, but really. That would be an actual plotline. It's likely Slott just thought the Bengal was cool and stuffed him in the book so people who liked the character would say "Hey, it's the Bengal! I haven't seen him in a while! Cool!".

And that's one of the many problems with AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE (one that likely would have plagued any writer, I admit) -- there are too many characters in the book. Most will be background, blink and you'll miss 'em cameos. And the characters who do make up the main cast (Gauntlet, Trauma, that lizard chick, and the other newbies) are dull and uninteresting, both character-wise and visually. And it's also more cases of creating new characters when an old one would suffice. Instead of Cloud 9, Slott should have used Cloud from the Defenders. These two are practically the same, except for background. Why not use Cloud? Heck, Cloud could turn from a woman into a man and back again. That was interesting to read about during Gillis' NEW DEFENDERS run, so I wouldn't have minded seeing Cloud pull the same trick at Camp Hammond. Imagine the reactions. But now, with Cloud 9 around, we'll likely never see Cloud ever again....unless Ellis uses her and kills her off/maims her in Thunderbolts or something.

Ah, well. But hey, thanks for your polite response. \:\-\)

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