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

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

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:45 am

Yeah, my build of the character made many of the same points- it captured a very solid character from a community you don't see very often in comics, and did it in a way that felt REAL- not flawless, not idealized, but REAL. Kamala was given a BIT of validation by other, established heroes, but it wasn't the non-stop love-fest most of Marvel's newer heroes have gotten, so her struggles felt harder. It helps that her powers weren't great and her villains weren't big deals.

The Lee/Ditko thing is an apt comparison- it really did have that "Rookie Hero" feel the way it's SUPPOSED to be. And it actually put the work into making the supporting cast interesting, and beyond simple stereotypes and cliches.

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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 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:44 pm

Kamala's solo book has not been great when it comes to villains, I know she's a rookie hero but her biggest enemy to date has been an anthropomorphic cockatiel who was apparently a botched clone of Thomas Edison. She does however seem less preachy in it compared to how she's portrayed in the Champions, although all the characters in that book suffer from that trait at times.

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

Post by Batgirl III » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:41 pm

Even the obligatory “I’m here to boost sales, bub.” cameo by Wolverine was less awkward than most such cameos. His attitude towards her is basically ‘Okay kid, it’s cute that your playing superhero for your hometown. Have fun with that.’ Kind of treating her exactly like he would have a rookie Spidey... Kamala, for her part, is impressed by him but doesn’t gush like she would for an A-List superhero.
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greycrusader
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by greycrusader » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:31 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:45 am
Yeah, my build of the character made many of the same points- it captured a very solid character from a community you don't see very often in comics, and did it in a way that felt REAL- not flawless, not idealized, but REAL. Kamala was given a BIT of validation by other, established heroes, but it wasn't the non-stop love-fest most of Marvel's newer heroes have gotten, so her struggles felt harder. It helps that her powers weren't great and her villains weren't big deals.

The Lee/Ditko thing is an apt comparison- it really did have that "Rookie Hero" feel the way it's SUPPOSED to be. And it actually put the work into making the supporting cast interesting, and beyond simple stereotypes and cliches.
Yeah, I've checked out the book from time to time. I'm not really the demo its reaching for, but the last story I picked up had Ms. Marvel and her friend Red Dagger (who's just a street level teenage acrobat/skill monkey) struggling to stop a runaway train without derailing it. And...it was really good. No super villain. No world shaking feats. Just two young heroes whose powers/skills aren't well suited to the job having to improvise, push themselves, and think fast to avoid a disaster. And it was something this reader could relate to more easily than pushing aside a moon or leveling a mountain. Sure, its been done before-the second Spider-Man movie-but it was done well.

And yes-it helps that she's not constantly, incessantly pushed/shilled to readers. That sort of thing is why the Sentry is hugely hated by fans while the Blue Marvel is mostly liked as a character (albeit very low tier).

All my best.

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

Post by Ares » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:32 am

Also, I think it's safe to say that DC has gone overboard with all of the "forces". I already thought the whole Emotional Spectrum thing was a bit much and over-complicated. The Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corps rings should both just run on willpower, the difference being what they recruited you for (overcoming will vs inspiring fear). The other corps, frankly, are pretty much wastes of space.

But apparently over in the Justice League and Flash they've introduced a half-dozen new forces and counter-forces, like the Still Force, the evil version of the Speed Force that's trying to slow everything down.

Over in the Flash, they apparently brought back Hypertime, only apparently now "All speedsters are done with time travel. Forever. Not even with the Cosmic Treadmill". Pffft. Yeah. Lets see how long that lasts.

And of course, they put Hunter Zolomon in the classic Flash costume while Barry and Wally are running around in the overly complicated Tron Lines outfit.

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

Post by Beleriphon » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:31 pm

Ares wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:32 am
Also, I think it's safe to say that DC has gone overboard with all of the "forces". I already thought the whole Emotional Spectrum thing was a bit much and over-complicated. The Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corps rings should both just run on willpower, the difference being what they recruited you for (overcoming will vs inspiring fear). The other corps, frankly, are pretty much wastes of space.

But apparently over in the Justice League and Flash they've introduced a half-dozen new forces and counter-forces, like the Still Force, the evil version of the Speed Force that's trying to slow everything down.
The Still Force is kind of this thing holding this other thing at bay. It snot evil per se, so much as the opposite of the Speed Force. And its a call back to a goofy Flash villain.
Over in the Flash, they apparently brought back Hypertime, only apparently now "All speedsters are done with time travel. Forever. Not even with the Cosmic Treadmill". Pffft. Yeah. Lets see how long that lasts.
Not long, I recall the Flash using it with Batman, and then Superman using it with Booster Gold fairly recently. But then recent might but up to 12 to 18 issues ago so yeah. I also read like 40 back issues in a week, so that might just skew my perspective a bit.

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

Post by Chris Brady » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:08 am

Ares wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:15 am
Batgirl III wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:28 pm
Simone has developed a bad case “Frank Miller Syndrome,” when a comic book writer becomes more concerned with their celebrity status than the quality of their work; where contemporary works seem like a shallow parody of their own previous works; and the quality of contemporary works are so poor they begin to retroactively make older works seem worse.
I don't think anyone will be able to take away Birds of Prey and Secret Six from Gail, but yeah, her recent stuff has been shit.

Mark Waid has suffered a similar fate, which is heartbreaking. The man wrote some of my favorite stories, but he's not only suffered "Frank Miller Syndrome" with his recent Capt. America and Champions work, if what's being said about him is true, he's gone completely off the deep end. The feud between him and Zack of Diversity & Comics has only really made Mark look like an extremely bad person that needs help.

And we can tell his writing has suffered because the instant Mark left the Champions . . the Champions became kind of readable. It's not fantastic, but Amadeus Cho and Riri Williams got re-designs that (while a bit generic for Cho) actually look okay and give them their own identity. The characters are actually given some pathos, some real emotions, and while Riri still doesn't human very well, she's the least annoying she's ever been. They've introduced a new character named Snowguard, who is basically an Inuit version of Snowbird, and I actually appreciate that they didn't just have Snowbird killed off and replaced with her, though having another animal shifter when you could have given her almost any powers seems kind of uninspired. Overall tho, the moment Mark left the book, the team became a lot more bearable as people and the book has almost become what I'd want from an average Marvel comic.
Waid has always been that way, though. Just recently though, his handlers have let him slip his leash. He's not allowed to go anywhere near the DC offices because Didio (That Didio) was afraid that Waid would come in with a gun ready to go off. But he's always been 'King Baby'. It's actually the secret nickname the Marvel Offices gave him since his last Captain America run.

Simone is the same way. The only reason she got in comics in the first place was because she did the Women in Refrigerators bullshavic. But now that being an extreme leftist/Marxist is the way to be politically, she can finally let it all out. I wish she'd tuck it in back her shirt.

Kamala Khan has always been Muslim propaganda, all the signs are there.

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

Post by Batgirl III » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:25 am

You have a very different definition of “propaganda” than most.
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BriarThrone
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by BriarThrone » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:28 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:25 am
You have a very different definition of “propaganda” than most.
Off the top of my head: "An idealized portrayal of a subject that lies about or explicitly avoids examining potential unpleasant aspects." It does occur to me that there is such a thing as negative propaganda too, but in this context... good enough. Like Soviet art that portrayed smiling agricultural workers harvesting loads and loads of beautiful golden grain.

The recent romantic subplot was a dead giveaway. The writer is trying to have Kamala be a regular teenage girl and a proper Muslim girl at the same time, resulting in some... awkwardness. She kisses a boy... who promptly vanishes, so no further impropriety can happen. It's weird. Her family may be from across the world and from a vastly different culture, but everyone is presented as a Good Person - an American college campus progressive. Meanwhile, Kamala can't behave in a way that Muslims would object to. The struggle is evident.

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

Post by Batgirl III » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:15 pm

Of course Kamala and her family are presented as good people: she’s the hero. The Kents were more idyllic than a Norman Rockwell painting, the Parkers about as controversial as a Rodgers and Hammerstein song, Billy Batson is literally empowered because of how Beaver Cleaver nice he is...

The OED defines propaganda as “[t]he systematic dissemination of information, esp. in a biased or misleading way, in order to promote a political cause or point of view.”

Ms. Marvel’s crush is no more “misleading” than any other teen romance featured in any other work targeting tweenage girls. Have you seen Girl Meets World, Fuller House, Avalon High, Supergirl, or any shoujo anime ever? Ever read The Babysitters Club or Percy Jackson? If you want a quick 90-minute summary of how this whole genre works that isn’t as cloyingly saccharine as to give your eyeballs diabetes, go watch The Princess Diaries or Bend It Like Beckham.

The lead girl’s boyfriend is always perfectly handsome, perfectly polite, perfectly understanding, and utterly bland as unflavored oatmeal; Interpersonal conflicts with friends are always overcome by the end of the story with hugs and laughter; Familial conflicts are always resolved with a moral lesson, everyone growing as a person, and hugs... Welcome to fiction for tweens. It’s got all of its own genre conventions, tropes, cliches, and formulae, plus those of whatever other genre it’s aping.

Ms. Marvel is a tween-targeting superhero story. This it tells a very specific type of story... It’s Lee and Ditko’s Spider-Man as if it was written by Francine Pascal (and it’s 2018 instead of 1968).

You seem to be expecting a story like Towelhead or The Hurt Locker, when it’s actually a story for an audience that still runs around their bedroom with a towel-for-a-cape pretending to be Supergirl whilst simultaneously slipping notes into their crush’s locker.
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by L-Space » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:50 pm

Chris Brady wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:08 am
Kamala Khan has always been Muslim propaganda, all the signs are there.
Why do you feel the need to bring this up every time someone mentions her? All it does is start a pointless debate and derail the thread. Here's the link to the Muslim Culture, History and Politics - Open Debate thread that Ares created the last time you brought this up. It would be more appropriate to talk about it there, IMO.
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Chris Brady
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Re: What's new with the big two: Marvel and DC Comics discussion thread.

Post by Chris Brady » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:47 pm

L-Space wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:50 pm
Chris Brady wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:08 am
Kamala Khan has always been Muslim propaganda, all the signs are there.
Why do you feel the need to bring this up every time someone mentions her? All it does is start a pointless debate and derail the thread. Here's the link to the Muslim Culture, History and Politics - Open Debate thread that Ares created the last time you brought this up. It would be more appropriate to talk about it there, IMO.
Yes, I do. Because she was the beginning of the current infiltration of all the garbage that Marvel is trying to shill out.

Here's the thing about Kamala Khan that everyone seems to want to gloss over: Let's ignore the fact that she's always been a Mary Sue, everyone loves her, her problems are never of her own making and she never really fails. Another sad fact is that there are quite a few violent extremists out there, most of which nowadays are of Middle Eastern origin, most often Muslim as well. And yet, she's never had to deal with this. In fact, they are currently portraying lies about it. I lived in a Muslim neighbourhood for four years, and in general, they're very nice, sociable people. I used to be greeted by several when I went out, we never really talked, but they were nice and polite. Thing is, they had their hang ups.

And I hate to bring this up, but it's pertinent as to why she's built on lies that people are expected to believe about the Muslim religion. First, they hate Jews, even the moderates do not like them. Second, they hate Gays and barely tolerate Lesbians. Now, I'm going to be nice and say that Kamala's family are likely much more moderate than most. And yet, she can hang out with them without any problems whatsoever. Which is a lie, at the very least her family would disapprove of her hanging out with the 'infidels', and maybe they'd argue, getting into a yelling match, but it SHOULD be portrayed.

It's not. She's being portrayed as an angel from the 'Religion of Peace' and that's a lie designed to fool the reader, thus propaganda.

I want Comics to go back and portraying ALL peoples as both GOOD and BAD. But showing only ONE side as GOOD, is as bad as making one side as all EVIL. Groups and ideologies can be evil, sure, and let's have that! Good old heroism vs. Hydra is a lot of fun, but it's an analog, and allegory for the ills of society that we, the readers, want to see get solved/resolved. Not all this Right bashing and whining about made up societal ills.

Bleagh, comics are dead. I'm gonna go mourn one of my favourite mediums. Peace Out, peeps.

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

Post by BriarThrone » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:58 am

I first learned about Islam from a first generation Pakistani-American girl I went to high school with. Not too dissimilar to the character Kamala, except, y'know, smart. Very nice girl, too. I learned a lot about the challenges of being raised in a Muslim family while being an American teenage girl. I recognize none of what she said in Kamala.

A couple years later, on September 11, 2001, her father, a doctor, was walking around the hospital all smiles and jubilation. Alienated every single coworker. Moved away soon after.

Now, I live about a block from a series of Pakistani stores, businesses, and restaurants. I visit them fairly regularly, and I talk to them. The men, obviously - the women are nowhere to be seen. I learn about their culture. I see none of what they say in Kamala.

The story presents itself as the story of a Muslim Pakistani-American teenage hero. It is not that. THAT story could be very interesting, with contradictions and tensions that make for real feelings and an examination of humanity. In presenting Kamala as just-another-progressive-girl-with-an-awesome-life, they aren't just wasting an opportunity. They're lying by omission, misrepresenting Islam as the kind and cuddly thing it never really can be.

Of course, it may be through ignorance. That's what happens when you get a Western convert with no interest in research to write about an immigrant family from a much different culture.

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

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Or your experience may be anecdotal and hardly a representative sample. G. Willow Wilson may be a convert, but she's also a member of the community. I'll still lend more credence to her experience than yours.

Anyway, this is a thread about comics. Shouldn't we be talking about comics? Especially with Comic Con going on. Grant Morrison and Liam Sharpe are taking over Green Lantern. That should be trippy!

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

Post by BriarThrone » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:16 pm

Yojimbo wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:07 pm
Or your experience may be anecdotal and hardly a representative sample.
The things I've heard from my friend in high school and my neighbors about the Pakistani culture and what the experience is like trying to integrate into America are supported by what I've read about Pakistani culture and what I learned in my university PoliSci courses about how immigrants integrate, and what cultural factors can prevent them from doing so effectively. I am not ruling out the possibility that there is some tiny corner of Pakistan that is more culturally adjacent to UC Berkeley than to the rest of Pakistan, but I have yet to hear of it.
Yojimbo wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:07 pm
G. Willow Wilson may be a convert, but she's also a member of the community. I'll still lend more credence to her experience than yours.
What experience is it that you think G. Willow Wilson has? She's a Muslim, sure, but assuming she has relevant "experience" is like saying that hiring a person from a high-end Catholic private school is innately qualified to write about Italian mobsters, IRA members, and the Knights Templar. Because they're part of that community. Except that said Catholic school kid would actually have been living in a Western society the whole time and has at least a grounding in the same culture of those groups. G. Willow Wilson may be a Muslim, but I see no evidence that she knows anything about Pakistan beyond the name. As she was moving to America, Kamala's mother was worried that her son's accent would single him out among the kids, instead of the somewhat more pressing issue of if the local Pakistani community would have set up their own junta elder-council legal system that they would expect her to live under. Or maybe that her neighbors will be secretly funneling money and recruits to terrorist organizations, like one of my neighbors was arrested for, and that her son would be a prime candidate for recruitment. But no, the accent is super important.

I was charitable in my earlier post, saying that it "may" be due to ignorance, but I don't really believe that. You can see it in the way GWW lightly brushes against subjects that are part of the values conflict I mentioned earlier, and then nopes out immediately to avoid further examination. That's why I agree with Chris Brady's (poorly placed, somewhat obnoxious) insistence that the book is propaganda. The message the book is promoting is "Look, they're just like us!" instead of saying "There's something interesting and not entirely positive going on here that needs to be examined!" The book could be examining the terrifying and awful aspects of the experience of Islamic immigrants to Western countries and contrasting those elements against the good people there... but that's sacrificed on the altar of pushing the narrative that there are no such things. Deliberately.
Yojimbo wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:07 pm
Anyway, this is a thread about comics. Shouldn't we be talking about comics?
Arguably, we are arguing about one. But yeah, this should be on the Debate thread, and I've have ignored it if it was just Chris Brady's comment, but BGIII's snarking about the definition of "propaganda" will draw me in every time.
Yojimbo wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:07 pm
Especially with Comic Con going on. Grant Morrison and Liam Sharpe are taking over Green Lantern. That should be trippy!
Nice!

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