Jab's Builds! (Genis-Vell! Phalanx! Wolverine!)

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
MacynSnow
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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by MacynSnow » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:52 pm

Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:55 am
WOW. I just got to issue 275 of the old Captain America run, made way back in 1982. While the most relevant stuff is Bernie realizing who Steve really is (remember, this is back when Cap had a secret identity), more interesting was that there was a story about some Neo-Nazi's behaving like the scum of humanity they are, and holding a rally. All FIVE of them. But a Jewish man holds a protest for the rally, which draws a much larger crowd, and the Jewish man whips the protest (which was intended to be non-violent) into a frenzy and a fight break out.

Cap breaks up the fight and admonishes BOTH men. The Neo-Nazi's for denying the crimes of the past AND behaving like a scumbag, since as someone who fought the Nazi's and saved people from death camps, he knows exactly what a real Nazi was like. At the same time, Steve also calls out the Jewish protestor for letting his own hatred turn him into every bit the bully and monster the Neo-Nazi was being, since asshole or not, America guarantees everyone the right to speak. The second that guy used violence against someone who was just on a stage talking, he basically became just as bad as the guy he was against. Both men are so enraged at being called out that they attack Steve together, who sidesteps them and lets them crash off the stage and land on the ground.

It is very clear in calling out the Neo-Nazi's as scum, but it also shows that how you resist such people is just as important. Steve notes that the only reason the event got any publicity was because the counter-protestors showed up with nearly 100 people to a rally being held by 5 Neo-Nazi's, and that the press would have just ignored them if not for the protestors. It defends freedom of speech and condemns violent protests for the anarchy they are.

In an age of ANTIFA, it feels amazing relevant, and is something I doubt anyone could get away with in the modern age.
That's the thing that drew me to Cap's books at the time(well that and my massive Avengers tie-in collection...:D ),the just plain out,almost blatant,social commentary.I though they used the old man of the Avengers beautifully during this time frame....

It's too bad Bernie and Steve broke-up not long after this (she couldn't handle the duplicity,i think...),as i liked her a lot better than his other girlfriend's after this.....i'm looking at you Diamondback....

Yojimbo
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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by Yojimbo » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:59 pm

Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am
You know, I'm reading some of my old Captain America issues, and frankly, for all that the comic creators of the last 3 or 4 years like to pat themselves on the back for bringing diversity to comics, it's amazing how diverse a Captain America comic in 1982. Steve is dating a Jewish girl, he lives in a diverse boarding house, in several issues he'd hang out in Harlem, just chatting with normal people and helping them out, he had an old friend who was gay, his best friend Sam was black, etc.
I don't think it's "diversity in comics" that the last decade has been struggling with per se. We have always had sidekicks and supporting cast who were allowed to be ethnic. The problem, if problem there be, is that all the superheroes themselves were created in the 1940s or 1960s and by default are straight white dudes (many of them blonde haired and blue eyed to boot). Minorities want, and deserve, representation among the superheroes. Hopefully something beyond the various characters labeled "Black (whatever)," because comics readers are a diverse and varied lot and they like to see their own faces looking back at them out of a comic book.

The complication is that the same audience does not care for new characters at all (post-1975 - Hi, Wolverine!) on the one hand, and that creators can make more money making their own characters for Image or other self-publishing efforts on the other, so they save their more personal, non-work-for-hire ideas for elsewhere. In an effort to diversify the Avengers or what have you, Marvel mistakenly thought they had to destroy the previous generation of heroes to make may for people with different colored skin, genders, or sexual orientation who could wear the same outfit and use the same codename as their predecessors because marketing. The other layer of complication, naturally, is that the actors playing these characters in the films are aging and Marvel is trying out ideas to recast them for a younger audience of theater goers while not really giving a crap about the people actually buying comics. All these ingredients make the perfect storm for really ridiculous events and stories at Marvel these days.

It was a good idea to diversify the supporting cast in Captain America in the 80s, don't get me wrong. It was also a good idea to have Sam Wilson become Captain America. It was a bad idea to make Steve Rogers go evil as a counterpoint to making Sam Wilson wear the red, white, and blue. Hal Jordan didn't become evil when John Stewart got a ring for example.

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Woodclaw
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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by Woodclaw » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:38 pm

MacynSnow wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:52 pm
Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:55 am
WOW. I just got to issue 275 of the old Captain America run, made way back in 1982. While the most relevant stuff is Bernie realizing who Steve really is (remember, this is back when Cap had a secret identity), more interesting was that there was a story about some Neo-Nazi's behaving like the scum of humanity they are, and holding a rally. All FIVE of them. But a Jewish man holds a protest for the rally, which draws a much larger crowd, and the Jewish man whips the protest (which was intended to be non-violent) into a frenzy and a fight break out.

Cap breaks up the fight and admonishes BOTH men. The Neo-Nazi's for denying the crimes of the past AND behaving like a scumbag, since as someone who fought the Nazi's and saved people from death camps, he knows exactly what a real Nazi was like. At the same time, Steve also calls out the Jewish protestor for letting his own hatred turn him into every bit the bully and monster the Neo-Nazi was being, since asshole or not, America guarantees everyone the right to speak. The second that guy used violence against someone who was just on a stage talking, he basically became just as bad as the guy he was against. Both men are so enraged at being called out that they attack Steve together, who sidesteps them and lets them crash off the stage and land on the ground.

It is very clear in calling out the Neo-Nazi's as scum, but it also shows that how you resist such people is just as important. Steve notes that the only reason the event got any publicity was because the counter-protestors showed up with nearly 100 people to a rally being held by 5 Neo-Nazi's, and that the press would have just ignored them if not for the protestors. It defends freedom of speech and condemns violent protests for the anarchy they are.

In an age of ANTIFA, it feels amazing relevant, and is something I doubt anyone could get away with in the modern age.
That's the thing that drew me to Cap's books at the time(well that and my massive Avengers tie-in collection...:D ),the just plain out,almost blatant,social commentary.I though they used the old man of the Avengers beautifully during this time frame....

It's too bad Bernie and Steve broke-up not long after this (she couldn't handle the duplicity,i think...),as i liked her a lot better than his other girlfriend's after this.....i'm looking at you Diamondback....
I think that the big divider was that Bernie was Steve's girlfriend, whereas Sharon and Rachel were Cap's girlfriends.
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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by Ares » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:35 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:27 am
Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am
You know, I'm reading some of my old Captain America issues, and frankly, for all that the comic creators of the last 3 or 4 years like to pat themselves on the back for bringing diversity to comics, it's amazing how diverse a Captain America comic in 1982. Steve is dating a Jewish girl, he lives in a diverse boarding house, in several issues he'd hang out in Harlem, just chatting with normal people and helping them out, he had an old friend who was gay, his best friend Sam was black, etc.
I think that the big difference stem from the fact that during the '80s run of Cap several of these elements were added as a plus not as the central point of a character. Today, we (the readers) know way too much about the creative process behind each book and the general feeling is that every new character is meant to be a representation of something. Was it all that different back then?

In my opinion no. If we look back Falcon and Jim Rhodes were introduced as the "black best friend" in the '70s, but since most of the creative process behind each book was something we knew nothing about this didn't irked us that much. If a writer tried something like that today he will probably be crucified by the social media even before issue #1 is out. I really don't understand how or why, but today everyone seem to have a hair trigger about something.
I agree to an extent, and it has a large part to do with social media. Before, fans really could only interact with the creators via the Letters column and conventions. Now we get to hear creators pat themselves on the back for writing the first solo series about a formerly-bi-now-totally-gay Latina superheroine while also decrying women of color who date and marry white men. You just get exposed to the ugly side of creators a lot more these days.

I'd also say that identity politics have really taken off within the last 3-to-5 years, moreso than the 70's and 80's. Introducing Rhodey and Sam to Tony and Cap's books was a big step back then, and what felt like a genuine effort to introduce those kinds of characters. You can tell because Sam was given his own identity as the Falcon while Jim was Tony's friend long before and long after he served as Iron Man for a year or so. No one would really bat an eye these days if you added a minority to a superhero's supporting cast, or even introduced a new hero of color. It's when you replace an existing hero with one of a different race or gender and then beat your chest about it that it comes off as having an agenda or pandering.
Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am
It's one thing that bugged me whenever people cry "racism" and "cultural appropriation" at Iron Fist. The guy was raised in an Asian city that he considers his home, he cherishes their philosophy, lifestyle and martial arts, his best friend and girlfriend are black, his other best friend is half-Japanese while his most respected rival is Chinese. Iron Fist is one of least racist characters in comics.
Just one more example of hair trigger in my book. If they remade Iron Fist into a Chinese character someone would probably cry "stereotype".
Yeah, the Netflix Iron Fist series was in a no-win situation. Keep Danny white and he's a "mighty whitey" that's "culturally appropriating", while if you make him Asian, you're perpetuating the stereotype that "all Asians know kung fu". So I'm glad they stuck to the source material, even if I'm not really 100% happy with the portrayal of Danny within the Neftlix shows.

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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by BriarThrone » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:40 pm

Yojimbo wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:59 pm
I don't think it's "diversity in comics" that the last decade has been struggling with per se. We have always had sidekicks and supporting cast who were allowed to be ethnic. The problem, if problem there be, is that all the superheroes themselves were created in the 1940s or 1960s and by default are straight white dudes (many of them blonde haired and blue eyed to boot). Minorities want, and deserve, representation among the superheroes. Hopefully something beyond the various characters labeled "Black (whatever)," because comics readers are a diverse and varied lot and they like to see their own faces looking back at them out of a comic book.

The complication is that the same audience does not care for new characters at all (post-1975 - Hi, Wolverine!) on the one hand, and that creators can make more money making their own characters for Image or other self-publishing efforts on the other, so they save their more personal, non-work-for-hire ideas for elsewhere. In an effort to diversify the Avengers or what have you, Marvel mistakenly thought they had to destroy the previous generation of heroes to make may for people with different colored skin, genders, or sexual orientation who could wear the same outfit and use the same codename as their predecessors because marketing. The other layer of complication, naturally, is that the actors playing these characters in the films are aging and Marvel is trying out ideas to recast them for a younger audience of theater goers while not really giving a crap about the people actually buying comics. All these ingredients make the perfect storm for really ridiculous events and stories at Marvel these days.

It was a good idea to diversify the supporting cast in Captain America in the 80s, don't get me wrong. It was also a good idea to have Sam Wilson become Captain America. It was a bad idea to make Steve Rogers go evil as a counterpoint to making Sam Wilson wear the red, white, and blue. Hal Jordan didn't become evil when John Stewart got a ring for example.
I'm largely in agreement with this, but I'd add a couple things.

I know very few people who are actually against diversity in comics. Ethnic characters, women, whatever. If the characters are good and the stories are good, then the fans will pick them up.

Unfortunately, a lot of the "diversity" characters aren't really there for the same type of stories that the previous characters are. Look how much love and respect they tend to get from the rest of the superhero community. Look how quickly everyone jumps to say that they're the best at what they do, or at least better than their predecessor. Lots of times, they come across as wanting to be a reality show about a glamorous celebrity, but they're forced to insert some conflict occasionally, reluctantly. This is especially true of female characters. Iceman's book is basically about being gay - in the most horrible possible way, apparently written by someone who thinks gay people are all super-bitter and awful - and Black Panther under Coates is about the "black experience," and if you're not black, the book isn't really "for you." Can I get some books about heroes who overcome real problems, please?

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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by M4C8 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:05 pm

Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:35 pm
Woodclaw wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:27 am
Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am
You know, I'm reading some of my old Captain America issues, and frankly, for all that the comic creators of the last 3 or 4 years like to pat themselves on the back for bringing diversity to comics, it's amazing how diverse a Captain America comic in 1982. Steve is dating a Jewish girl, he lives in a diverse boarding house, in several issues he'd hang out in Harlem, just chatting with normal people and helping them out, he had an old friend who was gay, his best friend Sam was black, etc.
I think that the big difference stem from the fact that during the '80s run of Cap several of these elements were added as a plus not as the central point of a character. Today, we (the readers) know way too much about the creative process behind each book and the general feeling is that every new character is meant to be a representation of something. Was it all that different back then?

In my opinion no. If we look back Falcon and Jim Rhodes were introduced as the "black best friend" in the '70s, but since most of the creative process behind each book was something we knew nothing about this didn't irked us that much. If a writer tried something like that today he will probably be crucified by the social media even before issue #1 is out. I really don't understand how or why, but today everyone seem to have a hair trigger about something.
I agree to an extent, and it has a large part to do with social media. Before, fans really could only interact with the creators via the Letters column and conventions. Now we get to hear creators pat themselves on the back for writing the first solo series about a formerly-bi-now-totally-gay Latina superheroine while also decrying women of color who date and marry white men. You just get exposed to the ugly side of creators a lot more these days.

I'd also say that identity politics have really taken off within the last 3-to-5 years, moreso than the 70's and 80's. Introducing Rhodey and Sam to Tony and Cap's books was a big step back then, and what felt like a genuine effort to introduce those kinds of characters. You can tell because Sam was given his own identity as the Falcon while Jim was Tony's friend long before and long after he served as Iron Man for a year or so. No one would really bat an eye these days if you added a minority to a superhero's supporting cast, or even introduced a new hero of color. It's when you replace an existing hero with one of a different race or gender and then beat your chest about it that it comes off as having an agenda or pandering.
Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am
It's one thing that bugged me whenever people cry "racism" and "cultural appropriation" at Iron Fist. The guy was raised in an Asian city that he considers his home, he cherishes their philosophy, lifestyle and martial arts, his best friend and girlfriend are black, his other best friend is half-Japanese while his most respected rival is Chinese. Iron Fist is one of least racist characters in comics.
Just one more example of hair trigger in my book. If they remade Iron Fist into a Chinese character someone would probably cry "stereotype".
Yeah, the Netflix Iron Fist series was in a no-win situation. Keep Danny white and he's a "mighty whitey" that's "culturally appropriating", while if you make him Asian, you're perpetuating the stereotype that "all Asians know kung fu". So I'm glad they stuck to the source material, even if I'm not really 100% happy with the portrayal of Danny within the Neftlix shows.
Danny Rand's race is an important aspect of his early characterisation, not only so that he's the obvious outsider in K'un-Lun and therefore had to train and fight harder than anyone else just to gain acceptance, but also as a comment on race relations when it comes to his brother-like relationship with Luke Cage. For me the whole white saviour/cultural appropriation argument doesn't stand up, not only can white (and black) people be martial arts champions but Danny is just the most recent in a long line of IF's (I think he's the 66th) and K'un-Lun is a mystical city-state in another dimension founded by aliens. To ignore all that history, important aspects of what makes the character who he is, the wishes of generations of fans and race-swap him to Asian because 'he does martial arts' is just ridiculous and frankly an even more overused cliche. Just because something sounds like an SJW cause doesn't automatically make it right, nor does it in any way make anyone who disagrees with it a bigot. I found the whole thing really unfair, especially since most of those who were 'outraged' were not even comic book readers.

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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by Ares » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:09 pm

Yojimbo wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:59 pm
Ares wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am
You know, I'm reading some of my old Captain America issues, and frankly, for all that the comic creators of the last 3 or 4 years like to pat themselves on the back for bringing diversity to comics, it's amazing how diverse a Captain America comic in 1982. Steve is dating a Jewish girl, he lives in a diverse boarding house, in several issues he'd hang out in Harlem, just chatting with normal people and helping them out, he had an old friend who was gay, his best friend Sam was black, etc.
I don't think it's "diversity in comics" that the last decade has been struggling with per se. We have always had sidekicks and supporting cast who were allowed to be ethnic. The problem, if problem there be, is that all the superheroes themselves were created in the 1940s or 1960s and by default are straight white dudes (many of them blonde haired and blue eyed to boot). Minorities want, and deserve, representation among the superheroes. Hopefully something beyond the various characters labeled "Black (whatever)," because comics readers are a diverse and varied lot and they like to see their own faces looking back at them out of a comic book.
I agree that there should be an ample supply of minority heroes, that representation is important, but I also think its a dangerous thing for companies to assume that people will only be able to identify with someone who is the same gender, race or orientation. People can and should like characters for their character, their personality, their core concept, and everything else should be secondary. Christopher Priest mentioned that until he wrote Black Panther, most of his black friends liked Spider-Man, the Hulk and Thor, rather than T'Challa. One thing that annoyed him was that once the corporate heads at Marvel found out he was black, they moved him from Spider-Man to work on minority books.

Speaking for myself, I know that some of my favorite comic characters have been guys like Shang Chi, Icon, the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle and Static, alongside guys like Capt. Marvel, Spider-Man, and Iron Fist, while some of my other heroes are from series like Kamen Rider Kuuga and Heaven's Sword/Dragon Saber. I realize that as a straight white guy, I've been the prime target for comics for a while, so I've always had a wealth of guys who looked just like me out there. But I also have a Mexican friend whose favorite character is Spider-Man and his favorite anime is Sailor Moon. Ultimately I think that character creation needs to be primarily about what you want to write about, and everything else is secondary.
The complication is that the same audience does not care for new characters at all (post-1975 - Hi, Wolverine!) on the one hand, and that creators can make more money making their own characters for Image or other self-publishing efforts on the other, so they save their more personal, non-work-for-hire ideas for elsewhere. In an effort to diversify the Avengers or what have you, Marvel mistakenly thought they had to destroy the previous generation of heroes to make may for people with different colored skin, genders, or sexual orientation who could wear the same outfit and use the same codename as their predecessors because marketing.
That to me is the biggest sin of current comics, because it misses the whole point. People like Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man because of Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Peter Parker. These are people with personalities, histories, complications, relationships. A temporary change of having someone else in the suit and then spinning them off into their own identity later is tried and true method we've seen with War Machine, USAgent, Thunderstrike and the like, but modern writers seem to think that outright replacing characters in this manner permanently is a good idea. It isn't helped when you see people refer to the new character as "The REAL _______" or have them do things to mock the previous hero in some fashion. Comic companies, Marvel in particular, spent the last several years treating the branding as more important than the character and pandered to a vocal minority who largely don't even read comics.
The other layer of complication, naturally, is that the actors playing these characters in the films are aging and Marvel is trying out ideas to recast them for a younger audience of theater goers while not really giving a crap about the people actually buying comics. All these ingredients make the perfect storm for really ridiculous events and stories at Marvel these days.
Which is an extra layer of stupid because the movies use the comics for source material, not the other way around. That's not to say I don't recognize when an adaptation is superior to the source material (Blade), or when new characters created for said adaptation are then adapted to the source material (Harley Quinn). But trying to make the comics characters match the movie characters is the wrong way to go about things. You let the comics be the comics, the cartoons be the cartoons and the movies be the movies. Simple as that.
It was a good idea to diversify the supporting cast in Captain America in the 80s, don't get me wrong. It was also a good idea to have Sam Wilson become Captain America. It was a bad idea to make Steve Rogers go evil as a counterpoint to making Sam Wilson wear the red, white, and blue. Hal Jordan didn't become evil when John Stewart got a ring for example.
I'd argue that making Sam Wilson into Captain America WAS a bad idea, or at the very least, poorly timed. If you were going to make Sam take Cap's place, the time for it was when he was dead following Civil War. The movies especially have made the Falcon a more relevant and cool character, and rather than focus on Sam as the Falcon, as the identity he made for himself, they stuck him in Steve's outfit.

This is also playing into some weird thing where Marvel has been against just letting Steve BE Captain America since Civil War I. Sure, he shows up in the outfit every once in a while, but after he came back he was Steve Rogers, Agent of SHIELD pretty much up until Secret War III, and then he was in that alternate Cap outfit while Sam took over the role. And then he was turned into a monster.

There was a very narrow window when Sam would have worked as Capt. America, and that was a while back. Far better these days to focus on him being the Falcon.

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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by M4C8 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:09 pm

BriarThrone wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:40 pm
Yojimbo wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:59 pm
I don't think it's "diversity in comics" that the last decade has been struggling with per se. We have always had sidekicks and supporting cast who were allowed to be ethnic. The problem, if problem there be, is that all the superheroes themselves were created in the 1940s or 1960s and by default are straight white dudes (many of them blonde haired and blue eyed to boot). Minorities want, and deserve, representation among the superheroes. Hopefully something beyond the various characters labeled "Black (whatever)," because comics readers are a diverse and varied lot and they like to see their own faces looking back at them out of a comic book.

The complication is that the same audience does not care for new characters at all (post-1975 - Hi, Wolverine!) on the one hand, and that creators can make more money making their own characters for Image or other self-publishing efforts on the other, so they save their more personal, non-work-for-hire ideas for elsewhere. In an effort to diversify the Avengers or what have you, Marvel mistakenly thought they had to destroy the previous generation of heroes to make may for people with different colored skin, genders, or sexual orientation who could wear the same outfit and use the same codename as their predecessors because marketing. The other layer of complication, naturally, is that the actors playing these characters in the films are aging and Marvel is trying out ideas to recast them for a younger audience of theater goers while not really giving a crap about the people actually buying comics. All these ingredients make the perfect storm for really ridiculous events and stories at Marvel these days.

It was a good idea to diversify the supporting cast in Captain America in the 80s, don't get me wrong. It was also a good idea to have Sam Wilson become Captain America. It was a bad idea to make Steve Rogers go evil as a counterpoint to making Sam Wilson wear the red, white, and blue. Hal Jordan didn't become evil when John Stewart got a ring for example.
I'm largely in agreement with this, but I'd add a couple things.

I know very few people who are actually against diversity in comics. Ethnic characters, women, whatever. If the characters are good and the stories are good, then the fans will pick them up.

Unfortunately, a lot of the "diversity" characters aren't really there for the same type of stories that the previous characters are. Look how much love and respect they tend to get from the rest of the superhero community. Look how quickly everyone jumps to say that they're the best at what they do, or at least better than their predecessor. Lots of times, they come across as wanting to be a reality show about a glamorous celebrity, but they're forced to insert some conflict occasionally, reluctantly. This is especially true of female characters. Iceman's book is basically about being gay - in the most horrible possible way, apparently written by someone who thinks gay people are all super-bitter and awful - and Black Panther under Coates is about the "black experience," and if you're not black, the book isn't really "for you." Can I get some books about heroes who overcome real problems, please?
It's come to the point in comics and the TV shows/movies based on them where diversity is the main focus, characterisation, a good story and what fans actually want to see no longer seen to matter so long as the cast is as diverse as possible.

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Re: Jab's Builds! (Bishop! Black Swan, Black Goliath & Black Talons! Blink!)

Post by BriarThrone » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:12 pm

M4C8 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:09 pm
BriarThrone wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:40 pm
Yojimbo wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:59 pm
I don't think it's "diversity in comics" that the last decade has been struggling with per se. We have always had sidekicks and supporting cast who were allowed to be ethnic. The problem, if problem there be, is that all the superheroes themselves were created in the 1940s or 1960s and by default are straight white dudes (many of them blonde haired and blue eyed to boot). Minorities want, and deserve, representation among the superheroes. Hopefully something beyond the various characters labeled "Black (whatever)," because comics readers are a diverse and varied lot and they like to see their own faces looking back at them out of a comic book.

The complication is that the same audience does not care for new characters at all (post-1975 - Hi, Wolverine!) on the one hand, and that creators can make more money making their own characters for Image or other self-publishing efforts on the other, so they save their more personal, non-work-for-hire ideas for elsewhere. In an effort to diversify the Avengers or what have you, Marvel mistakenly thought they had to destroy the previous generation of heroes to make may for people with different colored skin, genders, or sexual orientation who could wear the same outfit and use the same codename as their predecessors because marketing. The other layer of complication, naturally, is that the actors playing these characters in the films are aging and Marvel is trying out ideas to recast them for a younger audience of theater goers while not really giving a crap about the people actually buying comics. All these ingredients make the perfect storm for really ridiculous events and stories at Marvel these days.

It was a good idea to diversify the supporting cast in Captain America in the 80s, don't get me wrong. It was also a good idea to have Sam Wilson become Captain America. It was a bad idea to make Steve Rogers go evil as a counterpoint to making Sam Wilson wear the red, white, and blue. Hal Jordan didn't become evil when John Stewart got a ring for example.
I'm largely in agreement with this, but I'd add a couple things.

I know very few people who are actually against diversity in comics. Ethnic characters, women, whatever. If the characters are good and the stories are good, then the fans will pick them up.

Unfortunately, a lot of the "diversity" characters aren't really there for the same type of stories that the previous characters are. Look how much love and respect they tend to get from the rest of the superhero community. Look how quickly everyone jumps to say that they're the best at what they do, or at least better than their predecessor. Lots of times, they come across as wanting to be a reality show about a glamorous celebrity, but they're forced to insert some conflict occasionally, reluctantly. This is especially true of female characters. Iceman's book is basically about being gay - in the most horrible possible way, apparently written by someone who thinks gay people are all super-bitter and awful - and Black Panther under Coates is about the "black experience," and if you're not black, the book isn't really "for you." Can I get some books about heroes who overcome real problems, please?
It's come to the point in comics and the TV shows/movies based on them where diversity is the main focus, characterisation, a good story and what fans actually want to see no longer seen to matter so long as the cast is as diverse as possible.
Especially if, by "diverse," they mean "90% racially homogenous... just not white."

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Black Tom Cassidy

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:44 pm

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BLACK TOM CASSIDY
Created By:
Chris Claremont & Dave Cockrum
First Appearance: The Uncanny X-Men #99 (June 1976)
Role: Evil Family Member, Blaster
Group Affiliations: The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
PL 9 (120)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 11 DEXTERITY 1
INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Acrobatics 3 (+6)
Athletics 2 (+4)
Deception 6 (+9)
Expertise (Terrorist) 9 (+11)
Insight 3 (+5)
Intimidation 4 (+7)
Investigation 3 (+5)
Perception 4 (+6)
Persuasion 3 (+6)
Ranged Combat (Blast) 2 (+10)
Technology 2 (+4)
Vehicles 3 (+4)

Advantages:
All-Out Attack, Daze (Deception), Equipment 2 (Shillelaugh, Weapons), Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Shillelaugh, Blast), Improved Initiative, Improved Smash, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Ranged Attack 7, Seize Initiative, Set-Up, Taunt, Teamwork

Equipment:
"Shillelaugh" Strength-Damage +2 (2)

Powers:
"Mutant Powers: Power Blasts Via Wooden Mediums"
Blast 8 (Flaws: Medium- Requires Wooden Objects) [8]
"Cassidy Clan" Immunity 1 (Banshee's Powers) [1]

Offense:
Unarmed +11 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Shillelaugh +11 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Blast +10 (+8 Ranged Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +7

Defenses:
Dodge +10 (DC 20), Parry +11 (DC 21), Toughness +3, Fortitude +5, Will +6

Complications:
Motivation (Greed)
Enemy (Sean Cassidy)- Sean & Tom were the best of friends as youngsters, though they quarreled at times. None more so than when they fought for the love of Maeve Rourke. Eventually, she married Sean, and Tom spent the rest of his life trying to prove her right for doing so.
Relationship (Theresa Cassidy)- When Terry was born, Sean was away on government business. Maeve was killed shortly thereafter, leaving Tom to raise the girl. When Sean came back, he assaulted Tom for failing to take care of Maeve, and in revenge, Tom never told him of Terry. He was a devoted guardian to the girl, but she was enraged upon learning of his deception, as was Sean.
Relationship (Cain Marko)- Black Tom & The Juggernaut eventually became Heterosexual Life Partners (well... maybe not ENTIRELY...), teaming up in all things. Eventually the two split when Tom went increasingly-crazy, his body mutating into the wood that he used to fire his powers.
Involuntary Transformation (Plant Monster)- Tom has transformed into a hideous plant-creature in the past, and may do so again.
Disabled (Leg)- Tom walks with a limp, requiring a walking stick (which he uses as a weapon). Without it, Tom's speed will be half it's normal level.

Total: Abilities: 54 / Skills: 44--22 / Advantages: 22 / Powers: 9 / Defenses: 13 (120)

Black Tom- Suddenly-Introduced-Kinda-Sibling:
-Black Tom was an interesting villain, being your token "evil sibling" (well cousin, really, but they were childhood best buds, so it accounts for the same thing) driven to villainy by tragedy. He was a rogueish charmer to Sean's more stable, stoic personality type, and was friendly to Sean, despite wanting the Cassidy Keep estate, and the hand of Maeve Rourke. There's a nice X-Men Vignettes story by Claremont, where Tom lies to prevent Sean from taking Maeve out, finds himself able to get into her heart... but gives her up, because he sees how much she loves Sean, and can't stand her sorrow at thinking he abandoned her. He confesses everything, and drives her into Sean's arms.

-Tom, however, took a dark path. When Maeve was killed in an IRA bombing, leaving Sean a widower, Sean blamed Tom for failing to care for her. He unleashed his Sonic Scream, tearing apart the ground beneath Tom's feet, leaving him hobbled for the rest of his life. Out of revenge, Tom decided to hide the fact that Maeve had given birth to her & Sean's daughter, Theresa, and raised the girl himself. Eventually, Terry became Siryn, and was a criminal like her Uncle- Tom had since fallen into a life of crime. "Black" Tom, as he'd now been known, was introduced by Claremont as a Suddenly-Introduced Relative to Banshee, during the early years of that version of the X-Men.

-Tom is also given as the best friend of Silver Age X-Men foe The Juggernaut, forming a partnership that would last a long time (well, whenever the writer didn't want to just use Juggernaut solo, which eventually they almost all did). Tom was beaten in a duel by Banshee (they are immune to each other's powers), and later hired Arcade to kill them. He & Siryn were eventually arrested in a fight against the X-Men & Spider-Woman (against whom Siryn had debuted fighting), but Tom, feeling this wasn't the life he wanted for Theresa, exonerated her of all crimes, and wrote a letter to Banshee, explaining who she was.

Iron Age Tom:
-The 1990s was odd to Black Tom- it was a time where most of the X-Men villains of old were done away with, and Tom was badly injured in an X-Force story (also involving Spider-Man) where he & Juggernaut took over the World Trade Center (which included beating up Gideon & Sunspot, in that little arc). Tom nearly died, but doctors grafted wooden materials into his wounds, which allowed him to heal, using his mutant powers through that instead of his trademark walking stick/shillelaugh. This, however, turned Tom into a weird Plant Monster. This eventually caused Tom to lose his mind, but not before he helped Theresa get over her alcoholism (this was an odd bit, as the two were antagonists to the point of Tom trying to kill Siryn earlier in the series, but now he was a patriarchal figure).

-Tom later formed a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, having The Juggernaut infiltrate the X-Men and fake a "Face Turn". However, Juggy, like all popular villains, had actually started to see the light and became what he was only pretending to be. A vindictive Black Tom thus murdered young Sammy the Squid-Boy, who'd been responsible for Juggy turning good. Tom was then sucked into a portal by Xorn, returning after M-Day as a human once more. He later attacks Excalibur while Juggernaut was on that team, with Juggy rejecting him for his past actions, despite Tom pointing out "that wasn't me". They've lately reappeared as partners once more, apparently having made up.

-Black Tom, despite having close relationships with three characters of varying importance (Banshee, Siryn & Juggernaut), actually doesn't appear that much, likely owing to his plain appearance (bearded guy in baggy clothes) and lame powers (Generic Energy Blast through a shillelaugh). The relationships are actually quite complex- Tom is Juggernaut's closest friend; Banshee was Tom's brother-in-spirit; Siryn is his daughter, for all intents and purposes, and she both loves and despises him for what he did to her life- he raised her, but left her without her birth father. Unfortunately, we really don't see much of him. I have a feeling that if they'd given him better powers and a neater concept, they could have kept using him. But nowadays, it seems like the writers just want the Juggernaut, and always leave Tom by the wayside- his ten-plus year arc of being a Plant Man seem to indicate that.

Somehow Makes Wielding a Shillelaugh Kind of Lame:
-Black Tom's fairly low-level in combat, having only one really solid attack that itself is limited badly, but he can still kick ass at a PL 7.5 level with his Shillelaugh (pronounced "shill-AY-lee"). His terrorist stuff is far more effective, as he's more of a planner. Also effective are his allies like Juggy. Note that he gains the "Sibling Immunity" that only the Summers boys also have to my recollection, being immune to Banshee's Sonic Scream.

ImageImage

BLACK TOM CASSIDY
Created By:
Chris Claremont & Dave Cockrum
First Appearance: The Uncanny X-Men #99 (June 1976)
Role: Evil Family Member, Blaster
Group Affiliations: The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
PL 10 (168)
STRENGTH
7 STAMINA 7 AGILITY 3
FIGHTING 11 DEXTERITY 1
INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Acrobatics 3 (+6)
Athletics 2 (+9)
Expertise (Terrorist) 6 (+8)
Intimidation 8 (+11)
Perception 4 (+4)
Ranged Combat (Blast) 2 (+10)
Vehicles 3 (+4)

Advantages:
All-Out Attack, Daze (Deception), Equipment 2 (Shillelaugh, Weapons), Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Shillelaugh, Blast), Improved Initiative, Improved Smash, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Ranged Attack 7, Seize Initiative, Set-Up, Taunt, Teamwork

Powers:
"Mutant Powers: Power Blasts Via Wooden Mediums"
"Cassidy Clan" Immunity 1 (Banshee's Powers) [1]

Blast 10 (Feats: Split) (21) -- [23]
  • AE: "Siphon Life Energy Via Tendrils" Weaken Stamina 6 (Extras: Ranged) (12)
  • AE: "Plant Control" Move Object 10 (Extras: Perception Range) (Flaws: Limited to Plants) (20)
"Summon Plant Duplicates" Summon 4 (Plant Minions) [8]

"Impossible to Destroy"
Regeneration 12 [12]
Immortality 2 [4]

Offense:
Unarmed +11 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
Blast +10 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
Initiative +7

Defenses:
Dodge +10 (DC 20), Parry +11 (DC 21), Toughness +3, Fortitude +7, Will +6

Complications:
Motivation (Greed)
Enemy (Sean Cassidy)- Sean & Tom were the best of friends as youngsters, though they quarreled at times. None more so than when they fought for the love of Maeve Rourke. Eventually, she married Sean, and Tom spent the rest of his life trying to prove her right for doing so.
Relationship (Theresa Cassidy)- When Terry was born, Sean was away on government business. Maeve was killed shortly thereafter, leaving Tom to raise the girl. When Sean came back, he assaulted Tom for failing to take care of Maeve, and in revenge, Tom never told him of Terry. He was a devoted guardian to the girl, but she was enraged upon learning of his deception, as was Sean.
Relationship (Cain Marko)- Black Tom & The Juggernaut eventually became Heterosexual Life Partners (well... maybe not ENTIRELY...), teaming up in all things. Eventually the two split when Tom went increasingly-crazy, his body mutating into the wood that he used to fire his powers.
Involuntary Transformation (Plant Monster)- Tom has transformed into a hideous plant-creature in the past, and may do so again.

Total: Abilities: 68 / Skills: 28--14 / Advantages: 22 / Powers: 48 / Defenses: 15 (168)

-Plant-Form Tom is WAY more powerful (he was largely created to make Tom more of a threat, really), possessing an unkillable nature and PL 10 Blasting capabilities. By contrast, he's also crazy and loses most of his Skills.

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KorokoMystia
Posts: 501
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Jab's Builds! (Black Goliath! Black Talons! Blink! Black Tom Cassidy!)

Post by KorokoMystia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:17 pm

I'm curious..If you were to do the Black Order, would they belong here with the "B"s, or in their own set?

Jabroniville
Posts: 7033
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Jab's Builds! (Black Goliath! Black Talons! Blink! Black Tom Cassidy!)

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:12 pm

KorokoMystia wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:17 pm
I'm curious..If you were to do the Black Order, would they belong here with the "B"s, or in their own set?
Probably when I repost Thanos. But I've been dreading a whole TEAM of New Character Statting Syndrome.

User avatar
KorokoMystia
Posts: 501
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:42 pm

Re: Jab's Builds! (Black Goliath! Black Talons! Blink! Black Tom Cassidy!)

Post by KorokoMystia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:34 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:12 pm
KorokoMystia wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:17 pm
I'm curious..If you were to do the Black Order, would they belong here with the "B"s, or in their own set?
Probably when I repost Thanos. But I've been dreading a whole TEAM of New Character Statting Syndrome.
Yeah, it sounds like it'd be a pain. Though, Thorp has builds for them right here on Echoes, so that's at least something to use as reference!

Jabroniville
Posts: 7033
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Blue Streak

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:17 am

ImageImageImageImage

BLUE STREAK I (Don Thompson)
Created By:
Roy Thomas & John Buscema
First Appearance: Captain America #217 (Dec. 1978)
Role: Jobber Villain, Speedster
Group Affiliations: The Corporation, S.H.I.E.L.D.
PL 7 (100)
STRENGTH
1 STAMINA 2 AGILITY 4
FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 0
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 1 PRESENCE 1

Skills: 
Athletics 4 (+6)
Deception 6 (+7)
Expertise (Criminal) 3 (+4)
Expertise (Spy) 5 (+6)
Perception 3 (+4)
Stealth 2 (+6)
Technology 3 (+4)

Advantages: 
Equipment (Criminal Gear, Caltrops), Great Endurance, Ranged Combat 7

Powers:
"Speed-Skating Costume" (Flaws: Removable) [32]
"Rocket-Powered Skates" Speed 6 (120 mph) (6)
Leaping 2 (30 feet) (2)
Enhanced Advantages 5: Evasion 2, Improved Defense, Improved Initiative, Seize Initiative (5)
Enhanced Dodge 3 & Parry 1 (4)
"Padded Costume" Protection 2 (2)

"Wrist-Mounted Lasers"
"Automatic Setting" Blast 7 (Extras: Multiattack) (Inaccurate -1) (20) -- (21)
AE: Blast 7 (Feats: Split) (15)
-- (40 points)

Offense:
Unarmed +8 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Laser +7 (+7 Ranged Damage, DC 22)
Initiative +4 (+8 Costume)

Defenses:
Dodge +8 (+12 Skates, DC 22), Parry +10 (+11 Skates, DC 21), Toughness +2, Fortitude +5, Will +2

Complications:
Motivation (Greed)

Total: Abilities: 36 / Skills: 26--13 / Advantages: 9 / Powers: 32 / Defenses: 10 (100)

-Blue Streak is another terrible villain, created with ROCKET-POWER SKATES~~ with which he intended to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. as a fake-agent and student of The Falcon. He was uncovered and quickly beaten afterwards, and next appeared in the "Scourge of the Underworld" storyline. He actually had a really big role in his appearance, being chased around on the highways by Cap, deftly-avoiding him, and he finally succeeded. At which point he hitched a ride (his skates were smashed in the fight) with some "friendly" truck driver and justice most DEFINITELY was served. Another Blue Streak showed up during the Civil War, and ANOTHER one showed up in Thunderbolts- this one was a psychic who was controlling Venom, but got killed by Bullseye. The original Blue Streak returned in that "seventeen Scourge victims are resurrected" story arc in The Punisher, but Frank's partner killed him.

-Rocket-Powered Skates is a pretty sad gimmick, and Blue Streak was especially pathetic, though rather hard to hit. He was actually able to evade Captain America himself (even on his new Ameribike... no it wasn't actually called that), but that didn't save him in the end. His costume enhances most of his defensive capabilities, from his Defenses to his Advantages, but he's still a PL 7 poser who couldn't really kick anyone's ass.

Jabroniville
Posts: 7033
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Bloodwraith

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:06 am

Image

BLOODWRAITH (Sean Dolan)
Created By:
Mark Gruenwald, Roy & Dann Thomas & Tony DeZuniga
First Appearance: The Black Knight #2 (July 1990)
Role: Soul-Empowered Revenant
Group Affiliations: None
PL 12 (118)
STRENGTH
4 STAMINA 6 AGILITY 2
FIGHTING 12 DEXTERITY 2
INTELLIGENCE 0 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Close Combat (Swords) 2 (+14)
Intimidation 8 (+8)
Perception 4 (+4)

Advantages: 
All-Out Attack, Improved Critical (Swords), Improved Initiative 2, Minion 6 (Valinor)

Powers:
"Summonable Ebony Blade" (Feats: Indestructible) (Quirks: May Be Disarmed) [0]
Teleport 15 (Extras: Accurate) (Flaws: Limited to the Ebony Blade's Location) (30) -- [34]
  • AE: "Redirect Energy" Deflect 12 (Extras: Redirect) (24)
  • AE: Nullify Magical Powers 7 (Extras: Sustained +2) (Flaws: Touch Range, Limited to Shields) (14)
  • AE: Nullify Energy Powers 7 (Extras: Broad) (Flaws: Touch Range) (14)
  • AE: "Sword Slash" Strength-Damage +5 (Feats: Improved Critical 2, Penetrating 7) (14)
Move Object 1 (Flaws: Limited to Ebony Blade) [1]

Offense:
Unarmed +12 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Ebony Blade +14 (+9 Damage, DC 24)
Initiative +10

Defenses:
Dodge +10 (DC 20), Parry +12 (DC 22), Toughness +6, Fortitude +8, Will +4

Complications: 
Motivation (Taking Lives)- Especially innocent ones.
Power Loss (Killing)- Some that are killed by the Ebony Blade may return to life if the good souls are able to defeat the evil souls trapped within it.

Total: Abilities: 52 / Skills: 14--7 / Advantages: 10 / Powers: 35 / Defenses: 14 (118)

-Packing one of the most 1990s names in comic history, Bloodwraith is a man possessed by the souls of all those slain by the Ebony Blade- the weapon of the Black Knight. He was an amateur swordsman, and Dane Whitman's squire, who was transformed after he found the Blade once Whitman's alternate-timeline self (Proctor- a failed Avengers villain) lost it- the souls turned him into a murderous monster, out to slay innocents. One time, he even murdered NAMOR, but the Sub-Mariner was able to return to life after defeating the evil souls within the Blade. Later, Dolan was doing volunteer work in Slorenia (the country Ultron annihilated) when he transformed again- this version was incalculably-powerful, and the Avengers only defeated him when the Scarlet Witch bound him permanently to Slorenian soil, and S.H.I.E.L.D. built a WALL around the entire country!

-Bloodwraith, having given himself entirely to the Blade, is MUCH more powerful than Dane Whitman ever was, and can use the thing to kill people as powerful as Namor. In an Avengers issue, he used the dead Slorenians' souls to become so powerful that the Avengers couldn barely budge him, but that's not his "usual" self. Having never read an issue featuring him, all I can do is guess as to his overall level, but even "New Villain Stink" doesn't seem to afflict him overly much.

VALINOR
Role:
Flying Mounted Beast
PL 7 (75)- Minion Rank 6
STRENGTH
6 STAMINA 6 AGILITY 2
FIGHTING 6 DEXTERITY 0
INTELLIGENCE -4 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE -2

Skills:
Athletics 2 (+8)
Expertise (Survival) 2 (+5)
Insight 3 (+6)
Intimidation 6 (+5 Size)
Perception 5 (+8)

Advantages: 
All-Out Attack, Attractive (To Women), Diehard, Follow-Up Strike, Great Endurance, Improved Critical (Hooves), Improved Initiative, Power Attack

Powers:
"Animal Senses" Senses 3 (Acute Scent, Low-Light Vision, Radius Sight) [3]
"Animal Physiology" Speed 3 [3]
"Natural Weapons- Hooves" Strength-Damage +1 (Feats: Reach) [2]

"Natural Size" Growth 3 (Str & Sta +3, +3 Mass, +1 Intimidation, -1 Dodge/Parry) -- (10 feet) (Feats: Innate) (Extras: Permanent +0) [7]
Protection 2 [2]

"Wings" Flight 5 (60 mph) (Flaws: Winged) [5]

Offense:
Unarmed +6 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
Hooves +6 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
Initiative +6

Defenses:
Dodge +6 (DC 16), Parry +6 (DC 16), Toughness +8, Fortitude +10, Will +6

Complications: 
Disabled (Animal)- Valinor cannot speak to humans, nor use his hooves to easily manipulate objects.

Total: Abilities: 22 / Skills: 18--9 / Advantages: 8 / Powers: 23 / Defenses: 13 (75)

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