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

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

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 am

The thing that I think most writers forget about Captain Marvel is that he isn't a naive kid, sure he's incredibly pure and incorruptible, but he's not Pollyanna. Billy is a streetwise survivor and Cap posses the friggin' Wisdom of Solomon. Way too many depictions of Captain Marvel that would otherwise be really enjoyable (Young Justice Season Two, anyone?) fall apart because the write Captain Marvel like a goofy kid and write Billy like a dweeb.
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:28 am

Okay, massive Captain Marvel rant coming in

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2 . . . .

1 . . . .
Batgirl III wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 am
The thing that I think most writers forget about Captain Marvel is that he isn't a naive kid, sure he's incredibly pure and incorruptible, but he's not Pollyanna. Billy is a streetwise survivor and Cap posses the friggin' Wisdom of Solomon. Way too many depictions of Captain Marvel that would otherwise be really enjoyable (Young Justice Season Two, anyone?) fall apart because the write Captain Marvel like a goofy kid and write Billy like a dweeb.
I'll admit, my preferred take on the Wisdom was the way Winick portrayed it: it essentially functions as a mystical database of knowledge on magic, the supernatural world, mythology, history and tactics, as well as a language translator and a few other little odds and ends like detecting magic, seeing through illusions/shapeshifting, etc.. It essentially gives Billy all of the information he needs to make an informed decision, but the decision is ultimately up to Billy. That seemed like the best way to keep Billy Batson in the drivers seat without the Wisdom changing his personality, way better than Johns portrayal where Solomon is actively speaking in Billy and Mary's heads.

Other than that, YES. THANK YOU. I've been saying that for years, and most recently on a CBR thread about Cap, and half the people there think I'm nuts apparently.

Ironically, Johns likely thinks he's showing what a street smart, non-naive Billy would be like, but to do that he had to come up with a completely different character who is this incredibly emo-punktard asshole that is unrecognizable as Billy Batson. Conversely, other writers make Billy out to be incredibly naive and kind of dumb, writing the character like he was straight out of the Silver Age, ignoring that Cap skipped the Silver Age entirely.

With Billy, the idea is that the Wizard waited 5,000 years to pick someone who would not be corrupted by their power, who would have the humility to turn back into their mortal form and never lose touch with their humanity, and whose empathy and compassion for others would never allow that person to feel he was better than everyone else. And in all that time, only Billy measured up to Shazam's ideals. Not because he was destined for it, or because he's "The Chosen One". Billy doesn't need any trials to confirm that he's worthy of the power and the mission.

Billy's trials where his life. A life where his parents were killed (murdered in most cases), he lost his sister, and then the person who was suppose to take care of him swindled him out of his inheritance and left Billy a homeless orphan. Billy then spent several years living alone on the streets. Billy is amazingly aware of how cruel the world is, and what its like to lose everything.

But that's the point. Billy lost everything . . . except his compassion, empathy, his sense of humor, his morality and humanity. When the world breaks people down, they tend to do one of two things. They either focus solely on themselves, their own pain and suffering, or they look outwards and recognize that other people are suffering the same as they are, maybe worse. That doesn't make the first group bad, it just means that they become focused on their own survival, which is rational. If taken too far, it can lead to some selfish behavior and personality disorders. With the latter, you see things like people opening charities to aid others in similar circumstances, who become more willing to help others, etc.

Billy should be the ultimate example of the person who connects with people. He makes friends easy because he has genuine empathy for them. He doesn't see himself as better than anyone because he sees everyone as an equal. He doesn't use his bad situation as an excuse to lash out at others or to be bitter or cruel. To paraphrase a great line I found on the Incredible Hulk writeups.org page many moons ago, "[Billy] is unwilling to allow his circumstances make him a worse person". Billy is optimistic about the world because even at its worst, he's seen the human spirit endure, seen people who don't have a lot share with each other, everyone suffering a little so that no one has to suffer a lot, or alone. He has hope for the future because he believes everyone has the ability to rise above a bad situation and treat those around them like brothers and sisters.

Basically, take everything everyone likes about movie Captain America, the fact that he was chosen for his good character, his idealism but awareness of the world's cruelty, his desire to be a good person, his compassion and empathy for others, and combine that with Spider-Man's sense of humor and ability to relate to people.

When Optimus Prime and Superman show up, people are often in awe, like this great figure of myth has shown up to save them danger, and their relief is palpable. With Captain Marvel, the feeling should be more like your big brother, the one you admire and love, the one that takes you eat pizza when mom and dad are out of town, the one who read comics with you and played video games with you, has shown up to teach the bullies a lesson. The relief is the same, but there's more of a comforting knowledge with it, a warmth and joy unique to Cap.

That's the thing everyone who writes the character needs to understand: Billy Batson is the hero. Captain Marvel is just Billy Batson with the power to affect positive change on the world. As he said in Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam "The only thing [the power] changes is that I can choose my own fate now". And Billy Batson chooses to be a hero. If Billy were written as competently as, say, the average Robin, there'd be no issue. Captain Marvel would then just be Billy with more raw power and acting slightly more seriously, but still being the same optimistic, friendly, good hearted guy we all know and love.

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

Post by Ken » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:40 am

Or worse. They make him an ass.

Besides being a streetwise survivor, Billy is also mature for his age and a nice guy. Yes, he's a child. But he was a child with his own news show. He'd be on these adventures, and, yes, things would happen and he'd become the Captain. But the stories were about a boy having adventures. He'd have to talk to people, and he cared. But he wasn't doing everyday kid things. He was having adventures that previously would have been reserved for adults in adventure strips.

Billy Batson is as much a paragon of virtue and right as his alter-ego.

Peter Parker was the teenage hero that readers could identify with because he had the problems teens could identify with.

Billy Batson was pre-teen hero that readers could identify with because he was living the life the readers wanted to have.

(oh, and Ares posted his rant while I was composing this, so I didn't see it until after I was done. :) )
Last edited by Ken on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:41 am

HalloweenJack wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:37 pm
I might interested depending on my schedule. The monster I call "Work" takes most of my time.
No worries. I'm not certain we'd get the 4, 6 or 8 folks we'd need for it, but hey, it'd be nice to see if we can pull it off. Didn't you or someone else on Herochat do something a while back where you took teams built in one thread and basically ran a solo-writing tournament? Worse case scenario, I might just do that and use it as a means to stretch my writing muscles.

Another idea if we have a small number of folks is to just let them write out the entire tournament in one thread, and be judged by the final product. Like, if we have only 4 people, while that could work for a two-round tournament, we could also just let them each write a 3 chapter story, each chapter focusing on whichever team they want to fight at the time, and have that judged.
MacynSnow wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:59 am
Ares wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:20 pm
HalloweenJack wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:18 pm


.....writing tournament eh?
I've got the itch, we've got plenty of creative types here, figure its worth throwing out there.
I'd definitely be intrested.Straight Marvel/DC Brawl's or are we talking actual storyline Like Fights?
It's generally left up to the individual writer. The only thing that must happen is a conflict between your team and your opponents team in which your team wins. Over the years I've seen several different methods of storytelling. Some make it a straight up interdimensional fighting tournament, some do the Collector/Grandmaster type thing of having cosmic beings select folks for a competition, some manage to work the battle into an ongoing story and make the fights happen organically, etc.

It can be whatever you want, whatever is more entertaining for you and plays to your strengths.

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

Post by HalloweenJack » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:26 pm

Ares wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:41 am
HalloweenJack wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:37 pm
I might interested depending on my schedule. The monster I call "Work" takes most of my time.
No worries. I'm not certain we'd get the 4, 6 or 8 folks we'd need for it, but hey, it'd be nice to see if we can pull it off. Didn't you or someone else on Herochat do something a while back where you took teams built in one thread and basically ran a solo-writing tournament? Worse case scenario, I might just do that and use it as a means to stretch my writing muscles.

Another idea if we have a small number of folks is to just let them write out the entire tournament in one thread, and be judged by the final product. Like, if we have only 4 people, while that could work for a two-round tournament, we could also just let them each write a 3 chapter story, each chapter focusing on whichever team they want to fight at the time, and have that judged.

Yeah. AP, Bamf, and a few others did that. I wasn't a part of that one technically, but I did write out a team battle between a team I assembled and one that one of my friends at work came up with that was pretty well received. Scourge in particular was very fond of the way I wrote Black Widow.

Personally, I was most proud of having Christopher Reeve Superman defeat DBZ: Abridged Vegeta via Amnesia Kiss

"What did you do to him?"

"...I'd rather not say."

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

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:30 pm

HalloweenJack wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:26 pm
Ares wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:41 am
HalloweenJack wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:37 pm
I might interested depending on my schedule. The monster I call "Work" takes most of my time.
No worries. I'm not certain we'd get the 4, 6 or 8 folks we'd need for it, but hey, it'd be nice to see if we can pull it off. Didn't you or someone else on Herochat do something a while back where you took teams built in one thread and basically ran a solo-writing tournament? Worse case scenario, I might just do that and use it as a means to stretch my writing muscles.

Another idea if we have a small number of folks is to just let them write out the entire tournament in one thread, and be judged by the final product. Like, if we have only 4 people, while that could work for a two-round tournament, we could also just let them each write a 3 chapter story, each chapter focusing on whichever team they want to fight at the time, and have that judged.

Yeah. AP, Bamf, and a few others did that. I wasn't a part of that one technically, but I did write out a team battle between a team I assembled and one that one of my friends at work came up with that was pretty well received. Scourge in particular was very fond of the way I wrote Black Widow.

Personally, I was most proud of having Christopher Reeve Superman defeat DBZ: Abridged Vegeta via Amnesia Kiss

"What did you do to him?"

"...I'd rather not say."
Hehe, nice. I have to admit, it'll be hard if I ever write the DBZ crowd again to not write them as their Abridged versions. Then again, why would I want to write them any other way?

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

Post by HalloweenJack » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:38 pm

my thoughts exactly. DBZ: A is my head canon more or less now. :D

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

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:43 pm

HalloweenJack wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:38 pm
my thoughts exactly. DBZ: A is my head canon more or less now. :D
Ditto. I mean, if I was going to use them in an actual setting I'd dial it down a little, but not much. Though from what I've seen of Super, it's kind of interesting that Vegita is really more of the hero now than Goku is.

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

Post by Ken » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:48 pm

HalloweenJack wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:26 pm
Ares wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:41 am
HalloweenJack wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:37 pm
I might interested depending on my schedule. The monster I call "Work" takes most of my time.
No worries. I'm not certain we'd get the 4, 6 or 8 folks we'd need for it, but hey, it'd be nice to see if we can pull it off. Didn't you or someone else on Herochat do something a while back where you took teams built in one thread and basically ran a solo-writing tournament? Worse case scenario, I might just do that and use it as a means to stretch my writing muscles.

Another idea if we have a small number of folks is to just let them write out the entire tournament in one thread, and be judged by the final product. Like, if we have only 4 people, while that could work for a two-round tournament, we could also just let them each write a 3 chapter story, each chapter focusing on whichever team they want to fight at the time, and have that judged.

Yeah. AP, Bamf, and a few others did that. I wasn't a part of that one technically, but I did write out a team battle between a team I assembled and one that one of my friends at work came up with that was pretty well received. Scourge in particular was very fond of the way I wrote Black Widow.

Personally, I was most proud of having Christopher Reeve Superman defeat DBZ: Abridged Vegeta via Amnesia Kiss

"What did you do to him?"

"...I'd rather not say."
You do realise that the the Amnesia Kiss was two separate powers administered simultaneously, right?

The Super-Kiss Image

AND

Super-Hypnotism Image

He normally does NOT administer them in tandem.
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by HalloweenJack » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:51 pm

it was a joke regarding the Reeve Superman

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

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:11 pm

Regarding that "Super Amnesia" bit, I have to say I never understood the moral quandary they tried to bring up with Identity Crisis. Sure, them screwing with Dr. Light's personality was wrong, but they tried to make it seem questionable that the heroes were having Zatanna erase their secret identities from the minds of villains everytime the villains learned of them. To that, I saw, "screw that noise". I don't see anything unethical about erasing only that information from someone's mind. The alternative is either banish the villain to the Phantom Zone or kill them, because having someone like Lex Luthor know my secret ID just isn't happening. The only reason it works for guys like Dr. Sivana and Ra's Al Ghul is because those guys have weird codes of honor, where Sivana keeps the secret to himself and wants to kill Captain Marvel, not Billy Batson, and Ra's wants to beat Batman fairly.

Changing someone's personality, I will admit, is wrong. That's changing who they are against their will, when personality changes have to come with time, self-reflection and a desire to change. But little bits of info like that, such as my secret ID and the location of my HQ? Fuck yeah I'm taking that out of their brains.

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

Post by Ken » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:30 pm

But that's just it. They did change Light's personality. Someone wanted to explain why Doctor Light went from being one of the League's most feared opponents (as described in JLA #149 [12/77]) to the Teen Titans whipping boy (see Teen Titans #46 [11/76]). The fact that the former was published after the latter is unimportant. Because TT #46 set the stage for the abuse Dr. Light received in the NEW Teen Titans in the early 1980s.

Of course, to explain they had to ignore the Monitor Duty rules of the era AND introduce Satellite visits that never happened.

But it made the silver/bronze age Justice League darker and edgier, so who gives a fuck.
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:42 pm

Ken wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:30 pm
But that's just it. They did change Light's personality. Someone wanted to explain why Doctor Light went from being one of the League's most feared opponents (as described in JLA #149 [12/77]) to the Teen Titans whipping boy (see Teen Titans #46 [11/76]). The fact that the former was published after the latter is unimportant. Because TT #46 set the stage for the abuse Dr. Light received in the NEW Teen Titans in the early 1980s.

Of course, to explain they had to ignore the Monitor Duty rules of the era AND introduce Satellite visits that never happened.

But it made the silver/bronze age Justice League darker and edgier, so who gives a fuck.
That's what I'm saying. What the League did to Dr. Light was wrong. But Identity Crisis and the JLA tie-in following it seemed to try and say whether or not it was morally justifiable to mind-wipe opponents regarding secret identities. Which is a total non-issue to me.

Now, the League mind-wiping Batman was wrong, because he caught them doing something they knew was wrong, and they erased his memory to escape the consequences of that. Which was stupid.

And there really wasn't a need to ret-con Dr. Light's performance fall in the first place. Jab's phrase of "New Villain Stink" exists for a reason. Dr. Light was a guy who started off big, surprising the JLA, but you only get one shot at a superhero team like that while your abilities are relatively unknown before your effectiveness goes downhill. You either constantly improve like the big name villains, or you become a known villain the heroes can prepare for. Hence the Titans.

But then again, we both agree that Identity Crisis isn't really a great story.

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

Post by Ken » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:09 pm

I did start a thread called "Identity Crisis is Feces", and yeah we agreed there.
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Remember, sonny...
That's rabbit's foot...
Didn't save the bunny...
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