What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

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M4C8
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by M4C8 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:07 pm

Ares wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:09 am
Scots Dragon wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:45 pm
Ares wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:02 pm
Not that Marvel has learned anything either. Apparently Psylocke/Betsy Braddock will be replacing her brother as Captain Britain. Because that's worked out well for Marvel in the last 5 years.
Yeah because that specific substitution has never happened before.

Image
It sure did. For a single issue back in 80s, wherein Betsy specifically said she didn't want to be Captain Britain and admitted she only took the role to motivate her then retired brother back into action. With said issue involving her getting the Hell beaten out of her and her eyes ripped out by Slaymaster.

A one issue stunt like that is about as meaningful as the time Capt. America became a werewolf or Spider-Man became Spider-Hulk.
Honestly the Captain Britain legacy is one of those that has substitute heroes built in, and it's not like they're currently actually doing anything with Brian that's all that major, so I don't see how this is in any way a big deal.
So basically the same reasoning for Jane-Thor and Falcon-America.

If they aren't doing anything with Brian, it's likely by design, and no excuse to give his identity away to someone else, not even his sister. Call me crazy, but I tend to feel this is disrespectful to both Brian and Betsy. Captain Britain and Psylocke are identities they made for themselves. It's like saying that being Psylocke wasn't good enough, we need to give her her brother's costume and name.

Don't get me wrong, I have no misconceptions about this being permanent. They'll do this, it might last 3 to 5 years, they'll get internet backpats from folks who don't buy comics about how they replaced a pale, male and stale character with a woman, it won't really help sales much and then another writer will come along, think this is stupid and change things back.

In the long run it doesn't matter, but I still have no problem calling out something stupid when I see it.
I completely agree, and I bet they'll do some sort of character assassination on Brian to justify the change as well :roll: .
'A shared universe, like any fictional construct, hinges on suspension of disbelief. When continuity is tossed away, it tatters the construct. Undermines it'

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:13 am

greycrusader wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 pm
Brian Braddock? Honestly, he's not all that interesting as a character. He really only works as the "straight man" of a team, or if the creative team on his book goes all-out gonzo with villains, situations,and supporting cast members, pretty much allowing him to play something of an overwhelmed "everyman" role. Otherwise he's just got too much going for him-tall, handsome, rich, cultured, flying brick power-set with extra magic abilities added on, brilliant scientist (did they HAVE to throw that in, too?), amazing girlfriend, etc., etc. etc. That's why Brian keeps going crazy or having odd things happen with his powers, or keeps losing his confidence-its Hank Pym syndrome, trying to make him interesting by having those things happen TO him.
I don't know, swap out the magical powers for power armor and you basically just described Tony Stark. Brian even had an alcoholism problem as well for a while.

Then again, it's been years since Brian's science background was even really referenced, let alone proved super useful. I had to look up what field of science Brian was suppose to be an expert in, and apparently he studied History, British Folklore and Physics. Honestly, I'd have dropped the physicist angle since it never really came up and would have Brian's college degrees be as a historian and folklore expert. Not only would it help him out as Captain Britain, it would also help him out in more "mystery" scenarios and remind folks that there are other college degrees besides SCIENCE!!!

Me personally, I always like Brian, especially in that last MI-13 book, though admittedly they did a lot to make Brian's powerset resemble Captain Marvel/Billy Batson, specifically citing Cap as an influence for Brian to be able to do things like see magic, grab an active magic spell and snap it like a twig. Brian seemed to get kind of a raw deal in his Excalibur days, being played as kind of an easily angered, cocky buffoon while Kurt, Kitty and Rachel tended to look more powerful and competent.

Overall tho, I see Brian as kind of like a British hybrid of Captain America and Thor. Every bit as noble as those two, every bit as patriotic as Steve, but also more prone to Thor's stubbornness and anger. He really should be leading his own European Avengers equivalent (not necessarily Avengers: Europe).
M4C8 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:07 pm
I completely agree, and I bet they'll do some sort of character assassination on Brian to justify the change as well :roll: .
There's really only three reasons to have one character assume another characters identity in comics.

1) The change is meant to showcase how the original character is the only one really suited to perform their role, and after trials and tribulations they get their identity back. This was the point of the Captain America/John Walker storyline where Steve lost his identity and became the Captain for a while, as well as the point of the Knightfall storyline, showcasing why 90's anti-hero Azrael was not fit to take the mantle of Batman from Bruce Wayne.

2) The change is meant to be temporary, with the replacing character destined to be spun off as their own hero after the original returns. This often is a result of Reason #1. Eric Masterson becoming Thunderstrike after filling in as Thor for a year or two, Rhodey becoming War Machine after filling in for Iron Man, Walker becoming USAgent after filling in as Cap, etc.

3) The change is meant to be permanent, with no intention of the original character returning. This is by far the riskiest one, and the least successful. Even replacements that seemed like successes, such as Wally West becoming the Flash or Kyle Rayner becoming Green Lantern would get overturned, with the original hero returning and their replacement hero being sidelined to some degree. Jaime Reyes has been one of the very few long lasting replacement heroes, and even he still has to worry to some degree about Ted returning to active duty.

It's not uncommon for a character replacement to start out as a #3, but pushback from fans and changes by later writers result in it ultimately becoming a #1 or #2. It's especially bad when a character doing the replacing had their own heroic identity, implying that their is more value in them assuming someone else's identity rather than creating their own.

Things like Iron Fist posing as Daredevil or Psylocke originally becoming Captain Britain didn't really count as any of those, because they were relatively short lived changes and at the time, no one honestly thought Danny was going to take the identity permanently away from Matt.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by saint_matthew » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:51 am

greycrusader wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 pm
There already IS a female Captain Britain-and no, I'm not referring to any of the alternate Cap Britain Corps alternates; its Kelsey Leigh Kirkland, who was introduced in the whole Avengers Disassembled story arc, though she got little used (and mostly misused actually) after that, eventually being rechristened "Lionheart" before shuffling off to comics limbo.
Ugggg, Chuck Austen. A man who has only ever written one good comic book & it was the one where he was trying to write a parody & accidentally recreated The Authority, but with different characters & no one realised it was meant to be a parody.
greycrusader wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 pm
Brian Braddock? Honestly, he's not all that interesting as a character.
Yep. I concur. He had his day, but that day was a very specific time in the history of a very specific location & that location has long ago passed out of that particular trend & the character did not. Either they need to do something real with the character, or do something brand new with a different character, to take up the role of the UK's main superhero.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:48 am

Image

I hate Gwenpool.


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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:39 am

squirrelly-sama wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:43 am
What the hell did they do to She-hulk?
"Character development". :roll:

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by greycrusader » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:47 pm

Except She-Hulk was NOT originally "invented as eye candy"-in her early incarnation, she was intelligent but often depicted as looming and nearly feral in appearance, though not especially muscular; later (when she first joined the Avengers), Jen was portrayed as (honestly) rather "butch" in her mannerisms-she wasn't a sex-symbol type of hero until Byrne got ahold of her, and even then, her solo series under JB saw her go through semi-regular physical transformations (more pumped-up, short and chubby when Shulky "body-swiched" with Weezi, a couple others). And for the record, I really have nothing against an ultra-muscular heroine, but the current Avengers writers have Jen's character ALL WRONG-it was established without question that shortly after her early, more unstable transformations, Jen's She-Hulk form and persona WAS her idealized self, the way she was most comfortable.

And again-I'm was often in agreement a lot of female super-heroes got REALLY sexualized by various artists (a consequence of so many coming from posters/book covers rather than traditionally-trained comics illustrators); Ms. Marvel (the Carol Danvers one) didn't need to be wearing a THONG, for example-but the "fix" seems to be some really unappealing costumes (such as the Spider-Woman leather jacket bit) or character derailment.

Just treat the characters with respect. Don't distort their personalities and histories to make a point. Don't tear down exist characters to "shill" new ones-just make the new ones likable (or interesting) and write solid, exciting stories with them! Two cases in point-there was NOTHING wrong with the Jame Foster Thor (except, you know, Thor is a male god) or her adventures-the complaints came with Thor Odinson being declared "unworthy" (for a never-disclosed reason), Mjolnir "prefering" Jane Foster, and villains like Titania going out of their way (and character) to praise Jane-As-Thor. Likewise, the reason Kyle Rayner got a backlash FOR YEARS while Wally West was accepted was because DC editorial went out of their way to character-assassinate Hal Jordan, which created a permanent resistance to Kyle until HJ was brought back and "exonerated" through a ret-con.

And the above is coming from one of the most liberal members of this forum (at least in terms of American politics).

All my best.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:45 am

That page basically seems to sum up how a lot of Marvel's current writers have this oddly adversarial relationship with fans and the characters.

The implications of the "Fanservice until someone fixed them later" is pretty dismissive of the creators of those characters, and is blatantly wrong in multiple cases. It comes off as "older writers were sexist but modern writers have fixed their mistakes, and you're bad if you enjoyed the older versions".

The "Popular with young readers, bewildering to older readers" likewise comes off as adversarial, but also hilariously wrong. "Popular" is quite a stretch given most of the characters there have had their books cancelled for low sales, in some cases multiple times. The only one there with any noticable degree of popularity is Miles Morales, and that has more to do with being a spin-off of Spider-Man that got to appear in a decent animated film. It's not that older readers don't understand these characters, we get them just fine. A lot of the older fans just really don't care for those characters, and the constant cancellations and low sales reflect that.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by squirrelly-sama » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:23 am

If I had to rewrite that page
Panel 1:
Supertext: The Varsity Line Up
Gwenpool: The "Only Reason you're here" group, I've invited them here because they're the only names people will care about at a glance enough to buy this comic.

Panel 2:
Supertext: The "Our writers want to use them to insult our past!" Crew.
Gwen: I've invited these nobodies for two reasons. One, because the publishers need to fill a quota their weekly quota for signalling how good an ally they are. And two, so we can try and sell the viewers on sexy women in bikinis while also lecturing them for liking sexy women in bikinis!
Spider Woman: I find that offensive!
Gwen: Good, then we're already halfway there!

Panel 3:
Supertext: The "Nobody bought their own comic books so they're here to inflate the sales figures" squad.
Gwen: Not that Marvel will ever release the numbers, but hey if all else fails we may trick a couple suckers into buying a copy of their books by accident!

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by greycrusader » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:30 am

Well, both Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales/Spider-Man DO have a fan base, enough to sustain decent runs in today's market...and so does the marketed-to-young-girls version of Squirrel Girl (for THAT book to run nearly 60 issues is AMAZING); no, they don't approach the levels of young readers Marvel books had a generation ago, but that's true for all titles across the board. But NONE of them is "bewildering to me"-I've read and enjoyed a few issues of some of these characters, and a couple others are just written for a whole different demographic. Nothing wrong with that. Comics NEED to reach all sorts of groups, and there's a dearth of comics that appeal to the pre-teen/early teenage set.

But the "invented for eye candy but got character development later" bit? Yeah, I know its supposed to be written in Gwenpool's voice, but its also author-snark...except its just about entirely wrong. Is there ANY familiarity with those characters at all? Tigra, AKA The Cat, was created as a FEMINIST superhero (and yeah, Marvel made a half-assed effort which failed, given point) and reworked into Tigra as part of their MONSTER-themed comics (all of which are long gone); Atlas, AKA Power Man I, was an Avengers villain in a Wonder-Man knock off costume: the only one who comes close is Black Widow, who was created as a Soviet era femme fatale mastermind/spy, and Black Cat.who DIDN'T start off that way but was given some hyper-sexualized art treatments (see my earlier comments above).

There's no question the comics industry was often quite sexist in its portrayals, even the "forward-thinking" Marvel U, but that doesn't mean EVERY female character created prior to the current millennium was/is somehow an embarrassment, or that the fans and creators of said heroes and villains should FEEL embarrassed. That's just smug disdain.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:42 am

Miles and Kamala have small but loyal fanbases, though both have had their books cancelled and relaunched. Squirrel Girl is some kind of anomaly where the sales were consistently pretty bad, but for some reason it managed to avoid being cancelled and rebooted the way Capt. Marvel was over half a dozen times, or the times Iceman, Unstoppable Wasp, Ms. Marvel or similar books got cancelled and relaunched.

There definitely isn't anything "bewildering" about those characters, other than the fact that Marvel continues to push them against all reason. Heck, Squirrel Girl was created back in the 70s, and aside from her, every other character there is just a legacy character of more well known hero.

I do agree it's important to encourage the creation of new characters and to push characters to appeal to a younger audience, but in a lot of cases, guys like Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men already appealed to younger characters. Marvel has a ton of existing characters who are diverse that could be fun with a little tweaking, but Marvel seems to have focused on a selection of characters that they feel must succeed for various reasons, whether they sell or not.

The comic industry is certainly guilty of a few things, including sexist portrayals of characters. A lot of early Marvel heroines like Sue and Jean were often damsels in distress, and you'd get infamous storylines like Carol Danvers being mind-controlled, raped and then gave birth to her rapist. At the same time, I'm not sure I'd say it was particularly systemic. They were pushing Ms. Marvel as a feminist superheroine back in the 70s, in the 80s Storm was leading an X-Men team that was almost an even split between men and women, the Invisible Woman was acknowledged as pretty much the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four, etc. I'd say the portrayal of women in comics in general was pretty positive, long before the current writers decided that things needed to be fixed.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by saint_matthew » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:18 am

greycrusader wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:30 am
Well, both Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales/Spider-Man DO have a fan base, enough to sustain decent runs in today's market...and so does the marketed-to-young-girls version of Squirrel Girl (for THAT book to run nearly 60 issues is AMAZING)
Um, no, not really. Magnificent Ms Marvel has been under the cancellation point since issue 2. Technically it didn't reach below the cancellation point until issue 3, sitting at 26,000 odd sales at issue 2 which puts it 6,000 sales above the cancellation point, but we know for a fact that with issue 2 Marvel did a double over-ship, where they shipped twice the issues actually ordered, so only 13,000 some issues were ordered, but 26,000 were shipped.

It's also likely that the first issue had some level of over-ship too, but there is no official statement from Retailers, Diamond, or Marvel on that issue 1, so we'll just assume that issue 1 sold entirely legitimately & so the book didn't hit the cancellation point until issue 2.

As for Squirrel Girl, that was selling less than 11,000 units for a couple of years now & was cancelled beginning of this year after being at about 8,000 units sold for a couple of years.

The only thing amazing about Squirrel Girl reaching the issue it did was how much time the book spent under the point of profitability & the ideologically driven refusal to cancel a failed book. A book that was so ugly they couldn't even sell the trade to a target demographic of Japaenese school girls, without pulling a bait & switch on the cover art.

But don't worry, I'm sure they'll relaunch it by December & insist that the relaunch was totally justified by popular demand & how it totes sells well in digital & to libraries.

The only one of those mentioned characters that actually has a enough of an audience to sustain a book is Miles & one can never tell how much of that audience is made up of actual readers & how much of it is retailers wishful thinking that this time it'll be popular.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by squirrelly-sama » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:06 pm

saint_matthew wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:18 am
greycrusader wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:30 am
Well, both Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales/Spider-Man DO have a fan base, enough to sustain decent runs in today's market...and so does the marketed-to-young-girls version of Squirrel Girl (for THAT book to run nearly 60 issues is AMAZING)
Um, no, not really. Magnificent Ms Marvel has been under the cancellation point since issue 2. Technically it didn't reach below the cancellation point until issue 3, sitting at 26,000 odd sales at issue 2 which puts it 6,000 sales above the cancellation point, but we know for a fact that with issue 2 Marvel did a double over-ship, where they shipped twice the issues actually ordered, so only 13,000 some issues were ordered, but 26,000 were shipped.

It's also likely that the first issue had some level of over-ship too, but there is no official statement from Retailers, Diamond, or Marvel on that issue 1, so we'll just assume that issue 1 sold entirely legitimately & so the book didn't hit the cancellation point until issue 2.

As for Squirrel Girl, that was selling less than 11,000 units for a couple of years now & was cancelled beginning of this year after being at about 8,000 units sold for a couple of years.

The only thing amazing about Squirrel Girl reaching the issue it did was how much time the book spent under the point of profitability & the ideologically driven refusal to cancel a failed book. A book that was so ugly they couldn't even sell the trade to a target demographic of Japaenese school girls, without pulling a bait & switch on the cover art.

But don't worry, I'm sure they'll relaunch it by December & insist that the relaunch was totally justified by popular demand & how it totes sells well in digital & to libraries.

The only one of those mentioned characters that actually has a enough of an audience to sustain a book is Miles & one can never tell how much of that audience is made up of actual readers & how much of it is retailers wishful thinking that this time it'll be popular.
Well with Spiderverse out it might actually start interesting people, especially those not too familiar with the current state of marvel comics.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by saint_matthew » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:22 pm

squirrelly-sama wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:06 pm
Well with Spiderverse out it might actually start interesting people, especially those not too familiar with the current state of marvel comics.
Unlikely. After all he was also a major character in the later seasons of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon too & that was 2014 & it's not like there was some massive run on the comics then either.

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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:05 am

Yeah, that Gwenpool page is kind of emblematic of some things going on at Marvel right now (some of which I thought were gonna be done with once they cycled back to the "real Avengers").

Aside from getting some things incorrect for the sake of a joke (She-Hulk was more monstrous at first; Atlas was more a Generic Punching Bag until he was depicted as handsome in Thunderbolts, and even then he wasn't really a Fanservice character at all), it kind of reflects the "Smug Disdain" thing, as GreyCrusader says.

While comics teasing the audience was always a thing- Byrne did it in She-Hulk, and Peter David did it routinely in Captain Marvel and other books- it was never quite this mean-spirited and "You're just too OLD and UNCOOL for us!". It also comes off as infantile given that they're propping up unpopular, low-selling books as if it's just grumpy old whiners not buying them. Byrne's teasing of the fans was very tongue-in-cheek, making fun of them for not buying her book that much or being into it for perverted reasons... while joking about its own poor sales, and giving the fans Fanservice. Nobody felt TRULY insulted reading She-Hulk.

It doesn't help that the books are usually floundering. While "the sales are POOR!" is an annoying thing to research (too many side-factors, too much industry speculation and weird economic tomfoolery involved so people can "prove" their side), the books are often failing, and just as often largely kept around for Saving Face purposes- much like how DC gave Aquaman and Wonder Woman and endless series of mulligans for political reasons (Aquaman was a character they always wanted to be important; WW was the ultimate female superhero), Marvel didn't want the "embarrassment" of killing numerous "Feminist Books" at once, given how it fit their current and obvious M.O. So a ton of books were kept around for the purposes of acting like allies rather than because the sales justified it. But... I don't really CARE about that, so long as other, better books aren't cancelled in their stead.

But yeah, this Gwenpool thing now portrays "You're not reading The Unstoppable Wasp? Well you're just ABE SIMPSON, and what's 'it' is now confusing and scary to you!" when really... it's just not a hot-selling title. I mean, I adored Dan Slott's goofy-ass Silver Surfer, but that one sold like a hill of limp dicks- I'm not out there decrying how old, shitty and grumpy fans are for not being into a book I loved.

It creates an adversarial relationship with the reader. One that Marvel can't afford to have- while its print industry is largely now an "Idea Repository For Actually-Profitable Media" and it barely matters how profitable it is, hurting the comics-readers who are the REASON THE COMPANY EVEN SURVIVED TO GET BOUGHT BY DISNEY IN THE FIRST PLACE isn't a smart move. And worse, it's a distinctly unkind, smug, disdainful, clueless one. And history is being written to prove people like the Marvel Execs more and more wrong- "Get Woke Go Broke" is becoming a meme for a reason.

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