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Post By
Menshevik

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,026
In Reply To
The Silver Surfer

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Re: Well see, here's the thing (with a few additions)
Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 at 09:31:53 am PDT (Viewed 110 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Well see, here's the thing.
Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 at 08:33:11 am PDT (Viewed 97 times)



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      Whether you like it or not, it was shown working in-story. Given the more recent "Charles Xavier is a manipulative bastard" trend I suppose one could e. g. retcon in that he gave him a bit of a telepathic nudge to make him join the X-Men, but that really would say more about Charles than about John...



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    Whether YOU like it or not, that is still not an answer, but I pulled out my Marvel Milestone edition copy of Giant-Size X-Men, and there IS an answer given, and there is a ll kinds of story potential.


Now you want me to provide an answer, but when I previously answered another of your questions you said that didn't count because I was "just guessing". Incidentally, I looked up the story even before you did, I just didn't think that detail made that much of a difference. And as I already pointed out, the word "potential" does not awe me at all.


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    It says that he is ashamed of the Apache. I had completely forgotten about that. There is all the potential int he world there.



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    I don't believe Warpath has those feelings, though I could be wrong because I never read much X-Force.



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    He views his people as weak, that is why the taunts worked on him.



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    SO, you have an Apache ashamed of his people, then joins the X-Men who are all about the Mutant identity. HE does not fit in with them, he dies, and then if resurrected he learns that they barely cared about him. A footnote in the grand tale.


It is, I'm afraid, a story that would not work well today. Native Americans would find John Proudstar as a self-hating Apache incredibly offensive and would say this was a typical patronizing, at least borderline racist caricature of an Apache by a white writer. (He even uses the word "squaws", which not only is not an Apache word, but was considered deeply offensive by Native Americans even before that story was published). Maybe some Native American comic fans have already commented in this vein about the 1975 stories. I know I disliked that aspect of the story. Which goes to support what I wrote about the more badly a character being written, the more "potential" s/he has.


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    He is a man without a people, but has a brother who is at least all in with one of them.. maybe both.



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    Two groups of opressed people he belongs to, one he is ashamed of and the other hates him, he sets out to be his own man, but he can't leave it all behind because his brother is a part of it. A tough choice.



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    That sounds like an awesome story.


I'd say it is an exaggeration to say that the other X-Men hate(d) John. Some, e.g. Wolverine, may not have gotten along with him, but they did not want him dead. And by the same token, quite a few X-Men did not get along with Logan either (Angel once left the X-Men because he refused to be in the same team as him). The originals other than Scott barely were aware of his existence because they departed after GSXM #1 (Shiro also left around that time), and none of the post-GSXM #1 recruits ever met him.(1) That he was largely forgotten is primarily attributable to the fact that he got himself killed so soon after joining. There it was even worse with the Changeling - there most X-Men did not even know that he was a (secret) teammate. Also, I would think that e. g. those X-Men etc. who get along well with James Proudstar would also be favourably inclined towards John.

(1) To elaborate: Jean, Warren, Bobby, Alex and Lorna remember Thunderbird as merely one of the crowd of unfamiliar new guys who rescued them from Krakoa and made them feel it was time to leave the X-Men. Hank, who was an Avenger at the time, never met John in person.


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    I take it back, I think I do want him alive now.



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      Some of the above was established in-story. That he was a coward in Viet Nam seems unlikely, he came out of his service as a corporal. And joining the X-Men can hardly have been his only ticket out of the reservation. Other stuff obviously would have to be retconned in (at the time his three appearances were written, John Proudstar had no brother).



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    Many Indian reservations are steeped in poverty. I can't say I know for sure about the Apache or Arizona situation. But it could be quite the obstacle.



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      As a fan and reader you're allowed to guess. Sorry, I didn't get that your questions were purely rhethorical.



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    Yes, I know you are allowed to guess. But you are using as a means to say there was nothing there. So it is a pretty weak argument you were putting forward.


I did not say there was nothing there. I was just weighing probabilities, mentioning two possible options, one involving his character remaining unchanged, and one going off in an unexpected direction.


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      Never claimed that couldn't happen. But that would make John Proudstar a different character, much in the same way as James Proudstar's subsequent stories led to him developing a distinct personality of his own and becoming more than a revival of the original Thunderbird. But in the beginning they were pretty much cut from the same cloth, so the difference between the two is more comparable to that between two versions of the same character (Scott and Ultimate Scott, Scott and AoA Scott etc.) than that between real brothers



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    But John is so ill-defined that isn't true. There is not enough there to change him into a different character.


As I tried to explain, I was looking at the situation when James first appeared in New Mutants, when he also only had ca. three appearances. Most of the development that set him apart from his deceased brother came later, was done by a different writer and no doubt with the intention of making James different from John.


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    More importantly, if James changed into a character beyond just faux-resurrection of John... why couldn't John grow into a different and more well rounded character?


Stress on the word "different". But this is precisely what I argued - it is as if John and James were completely different characters from the beginning, they were extremely similar at that point. James' character development to a large extent is something that could have happened with John, had he not been killed, and, as a consequence, James would never have been introduced.


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      You can always retcon in more, I wanted to focus on the differences we were actually shown so far. But if you want, John can always become half-Skrull or whatever.



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    Any lack of difference, is because John didn't have much character development. It is a ridiculous argument to make, because one has had decades of character development, and the other was killed off because they decided they liked Banshee on the team.


See above. I was comparing the two in their respective ca. three first appearances. James' later character development did not enter into it.


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    Like, seven days of hos life are recorded. IF ou borught him back and didn't expand on him, that would be called bad writing.



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    Your Skrull crack is ridiculous, because you are comparing adding backstory to a character who has all but none, to to turning him into a skrull.



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    I know it was a joke but it was a bad one.



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    Again, backstory, tends to be a good thing in stroytelling. It is not the same thing as a giant curve ball.



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    Steve Rogers mother dying while he was young and poor, Xavier having lost loves before the X-Men were founded, Wolverine's love of Japan and Mariko, Alex Summers even existing, these were all "retcons." They also made the characters more interesting and unique, without fundamentally changing who they are, just how we understand them.


To be nitpicky, Mariko was no retcon. We saw their first meeting, and things progressed from there.

Did the death of Steve Rogers' mother qualify as a retcon - did it contradict anything that had been stated before? AFAIK precious little had ever been said about Steve's parents and they made no appearance in his Golden and Silver Age stories, he seems to have lost his parents before his first appearance (pretty standard for Golden Age heroes). Let's look: according to Marvel wiki, Sarah Rogers' first on-panel appearance was in 1980, in CA #255, but the story contradicted a slightly earlier story (established in CA #225, undone as a memory implant in #247), which had given him a different set of parents. It is part of the whole continuity mess that is Steve's much-retconned origin, in this case the fault of Roger Stern and John Byrne, who wanted to make Steve the son of first-generation Irish immigrants (even though a ca. 1976 story had given him an ancestor who fought in the American Revolution as an 18th-century proto-Captain America). Perhaps not the best example to choose as a beneficial retcon.

Havok could have existed as a new X-Man anyway, he just wouldn't have been a Summers or Scott would have been unaware of what he was doing all the time. Because the latter detail was the only thing that was hard to accommodate with what readers and creators knew of Scott's backstory at that point.

I'm not against retcons in principle, so there's no need to defend them. Some retcons are good, some are bad, and some are necessary to repair the problems created e. g. by violations of established continuity. Others are really unnecessary, executed by editorial mandate (Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch must not be mutants because of Marvel's quarrels with another firm, so their origin has to be changed yet another time) or to satisfy a creator's ego (some writers seem to be especially prone to changing classic origins in order to leave a permanent mark on characters other people created). But retconned-in additions to a character's backstory can be anything, including making John half-Skrull (this was merely a variation on the fairly recent (2018) change to Carol Danvers' backstory, making her half-Kree).


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    The odds of John and James having all the same experiences and reactions are pretty low.



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      It's not that I don't see it, but the same thing is true about literally every character who as ever appeared in a Marvel comic.



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    So, why should John be any different? Why is he the exception?


"Every character who has ever appeared in a Marvel comic" means just that, it includes countless characters who only appeared in one issue or even in just one panel as part of a crowd, and who are never considered for revival. So I don't want to make him an exception, you do.

PS:

One thing that makes me feel dubious about the "necessity" of John's revival is that with so many more native American characters in the X-books, there aren't really that many stories that you could do with nobody but him. The Viet Nam veteran angle - already hard to reconcile with the sliding timescale - is also covered by Forge, the spiritual and magic stuff by Dani and her family, by Forge and his mentor Nazé, and, to some extent, by Shaman, Snowbird and Talisman - in fact to such an extent that having John Proudstar enter into it would lead to accusations of lacking imagination and an unhealthy addiction to the "magical Indian" trope. There maybe is the angle of his relationship to his brother, but there I'm not too optimistic, as sibling stories in the X-books are almost never done well. And I'm not too keen to read stories that establish (via retcon) that John was a coward or a criminal before joining the X-Men.


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