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Post By
Mr Sinister

In Reply To
Nitz the Bloody

Subj: Re: I'm gonna go with 90s Jean.
Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 at 07:09:57 am EDT (Viewed 191 times)
Reply Subj: Re: I'm gonna go with 90s Jean.
Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 01:07:52 pm EDT (Viewed 273 times)

    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.

    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.

    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".

    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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