The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:45 pm

You know, re-reading that, it's actually kind of funny how even the characters I don't like got a relative happy ending, albeit after deconstructing them and pointing out their BS.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:09 pm

And while not comics related, I did always want to add something to the ending of Super Mario Sunshine:

Mario and his friends watch as the last of the Shines rise into the air, bathing all of Delfino Island in its light, forever banishing the darkness. Bowser and Baby Bowser have been defeated, the Princess has been rescued, and FLUUD has been repaired. And the assembled people of Delfino cheer and applaud in gratitude for all of his hard work.

"Well, time'a tah go."

The Delfinos are surprised at this, and as Mario, Peach and the rest of the the group start to head to the airport. The mayor of Delfino comes out and tells Mario that he had been planning to cover all of Mario's expenses on their vacation in gratitude for his help. And Mario just laughs at him.

"You're a'kiddin me, right? Ever'ah since I crashed on this'a God forsaken island, you people have'ah arrested me without'ah cause, subjected me to a kangaroo court without any real evidence, and then'ah locked me in jail, all'ah while the little toilet sucker that was'ah responsible for this was'ah runnin around free'ah. You'ah forced me to clean'ah uppa you entire damn island, and fight'ah all kind'ah monsters, something I would'ah done gladly if'ah you'dda just asked'ah for'ah my help'ah! And'ah because'ah that, you put'ah the Princess' life in danger.

"So no. You and'ah your entire island can'ah choke on my spicy Italian meat'ah balls. We're'ah goin t'ah Yoshi Island."

And as they again head off, the people hang their heads in shame while the mayor actually gets defensive and angry, demanding indignantly to know what gave Mario the right to judge them. Peach responds that it isn't Mario's judgement that the mayor should worry about. See, it was bad enough his people did all of these stupid, immoral things. They did it in front of the queen of the most powerful and prosperous kingdom in the world, and in front of backpack with an AI that could recall perfectly everything it saw. When this saga of Mario's adventures got told, Peach and FLUUD would make sure no details were left out. And that was before the trade and travel embargo the Mushroom Kingdom was going to enforce on Delfino Island.

The mayor was stunned. "But . . . but most of our wealth comes from tourism! We import all of our technology and most of our industry from other nations!"

"Well," Peach said with a shrug, "sounds like you either better start making some government reforms, or figure out how to actually take care of yourselves."

And with that, Mario, Peach and their friends left the island, even as the mayor had to turn to face the angry mob that was every single person on his island.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Darrin Kelley » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:52 pm

In Marvel? Fire all modern day writers, artists, and editors. Then roll back the timeline of the Marvel Universe to occurring just before the original Secret Wars. After that: Establish a house style that is more in keeping with the Bronze Age Marvel style. When Marvel was at its greatest. Pre-Miller.

In DC? Fire all modern day writers, artists, and editors. Then establish a new house style reflective of the classic DC Super Heroes style. Pre-Moore and Miller. Utterly eliminate Vertigo.

The point of this? Accessibility. Broadening the audience and affordability of the entire medium. Bring comics back to grocery stores and newsstands.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:38 pm

I'm not sure if this counts as petty or not, but amongst several things I'd do at Marvel, one of them would include making some changes to Carol Danvers. I'd still keep her as Captain Marvel within the Marvel Universe, and would still try to set her up as Marvel's version of Wonder Woman, but I'd also make it clear that some changes need to happen. Carol's most successful book was her Ms. Marvel series following House of M, and since that book was canceled and she was re-launched as Capt. Marvel in 2012, her book was canceled in 2013, relaunched in 2014, canceled in 2015, relaunched in 2016, canceled in 2016, relaunched AGAIN in 2016, canceled in 2017, relaunched in 2017, canceled in 2018, and finally relaunched again in 2019.

Even being extremely conservative, since 2012 she's averaged a canceled series every 1.5 years. That is TERRIBLE, but despite that repeated failure, Marvel just keeps setting her up to fail again, because they need to maintain the "Captain Marvel" brand and some folks have an agenda they're desperate to push.

So, what to change.

First off, I'd then explain that many of Carol's recent poor decisions have been due to a combination of extreme mental fatigue and political manipulation.

See, originally Carol was the gold standard for a "mid-tier" heroine. As Ms. Marvel, she was basically Class 50 across the board in all categories. When she was upgraded to Binary, she became a Class 100 powerhouse on par with Thor and the Silver Surfer. When she lost that power-up, she returned to her Ms. Marvel power-levels, but with the potential to reach her Binary powerlevels if she absorbed enough energy to push her to those levels briefly. Since becoming Captain Marvel, Carol has generally operated at power levels higher than Ms. Marvel, but lower than Binary. The reason is that she's been basically using various power sources (such as the reactor on her old Alpha Flight satellite) to absorb and store energy in order to maintain her higher than average power levels, she has to mentally maintain those energy levels, she sleeps as little as possible since the energy bleeds out when she's no consciously controlling it, and doing so has been driving her to exhaustion.

Why? Because the Commission on Superhuman Activities has been manipulating her. They have been pressuring Carol to be a leader, an icon, appealing to Carol's feminism and desire to be a good role-model in order to have what they feel is the perfect hero of the modern era. They give her constant emotional validation, ever increasing authority within the superhuman world, they cover up most of her atrocities from Civil War 2, her failure during Secret Empire, promote her as being the best and most popular hero in the world, and Carol has basically been killing herself trying to live up to those standards. They also sugar-coat her interaction with fans, making sure she only sees the people who are either ignorant of much of what she's done, or are simply such big fans of hers that they don't care. And because of this, in order to not appear weak, she purposefully distances herself from her friends, especially any male friends and potential romantic interests, because she doesn't want to appear weak.

In short, trying to be this perfect, flawless icon has not only lead her to make very bad decisions, but has been more or less killing her, and it's all to serve the agenda of other people.

Because I can do incredibly unsubtle symbolism too.

Ultimately, I'd want this to be the reverse of the Captain America story where Cap was forced to give up his costume by a government agency because they wanted more control over him, and were being manipulated by the Red Skull. Here, it's that same committee who want to give Carol more authority and exposure, to make her the most popular heroine specifically so that they can use their influence over her to shape public opinion. After all, in an age where any criticism can be brushed off as sexism if the right people are involved, Carol basically makes their administration critique proof.

Carol would soon be slapped in the face with this by someone, possibly Spider-Man after Carol treats him like a butt-monkey one time too many. After a "my God, what have I done?" moment, she goes get a scientific once-over from several Marvel big brains that confirm that, yes, she has been pushing herself towards complete mental and physical exhaustion, and it does explain a few of her more recent mistakes. I'd also explain that her fluctuating figure was a result of her body basically canabilizing itself for energy at times, which is why she's bee reed thin in one series and have her classic figure in another. With the help of Monica Rambeau (now going by Pulsar again) and Quasar (which I'd make Wendell Vaughn once more), they're able to stabilize her body, and after a full nights rest she's back to her old self.

The next day she quits the Committee and publicly acknowledges her mistakes, and insists on standing trial for them. This reveal of her mistakes initially hurts her popularity, but most of the people that disown her are the type of people who were never really fans of hers to begin with, either simply those that pursue the recent popular thing, or who felt she justified some ideology of their own. She avoids prison time thanks to her friends speaking on her behalf, but in addition to losing all of her previous command statuses, she has to make several public apologies, make reparations to those she's harmed and do community service.

Later, Carol meets with Quasar, Pulsar and the recently resurrected (?) Phylla-Vel at Mar-Vel's grave. Carol comments that she spent so much time trying to be this perfect icon that she forgot whose name and memory she was honoring. She offers the name of Captain Marvel to anyone where, but all of them turn it down. All of them state that Carol has the biggest claim to the name, and that despite her missteps, she is the one who can most do right by Mar-Vel's legacy. Phylla actually gives Carol her father's Nega-Bands as a way to cement this moment of character growth. Once she puts the bands on, Carol gets a rush of power, as the bands not only maximize energy processing like they did for Mar-Vel, but her enhanced physiology actually responds better to them than he did. While wearing the bands, Carol is effectively at her old Binary levels, making her a top tier heroine once again, completely on par with the likes of Thor or the Hulk.

With the bands, Carol decides to have another costume change. Next time she's shown on Earth, her outfit is essentially Mar-Vel's outfit and color scheme, but with some of the recent additions like the gold lines connecting her star symbol to her shoulders and a few other small changes, along with the nega-bands. The faux-hawk mask is gone, and everyone comments on how glad they are that she got rid of it, because it was stupid. She apologizes to everyone for the last year, and have her focus on just being the best hero she can be.

Then you make her an icon the way you're suppose to: building up a rogue's gallery and supporting cast, establish fun crossovers with other heroes, treat said heroes with respect, and telling legitimately fun adventure stories.

Oh, and that retcon about her mom being a Kree? Yeah, getting re-retconned out as a bad fever dream when she was absorbing some particularly toxic energies from a supervillain.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by FuzzyBoots » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:26 pm

I think that that could work if well implemented. After all, even Batman got his back broken because he tried to take too much on himself. However, there are some potential minefields in that you're hitting some stereotypes about women trying too hard to please those around them, and/or overworking to "prove themselves as good as the men", which seems like a positive thing at first, hard work and all, but would also hint that she has to work twice as hard just to keep up unless you show that she really is getting superior results, maybe with it being subtle shaded as "not enough" by her handlers even those those outside can see that she could do as much good without wearing herself thing.
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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:00 pm

I'd take great pains to point out that Carol's current predicament has nothing to do with her being a woman, only that people wanted to use her status as a woman for their own advantage. Her career in the military was beyond reproach, her time as an Avenger marred largely by the failure of her teammates the first time, and her time as Ms. Marvel is largely to be proud of. I'd have Iron Man point out that he didn't do any better when he was likewise forced to take accountability for the entire superhero population, and that one reason he fought Carol so hard was because he'd been in her shoes, and might have made the same mistakes in CW2 if he hadn't already screwed up in CW1. Other heroes, male and female, would share similar stories about how the had similar problems when taking on too much and when letting themselves be led by others with a agenda. And point out that Carol did admirable work in terrible conditions, that lesser heroes would not have managed as well as she did, but that other people kept her from realizing said conditions until it was almost too late. At the end of the day, there's no shame in admitting mistakes or weakness in admitting you can't do everything. Steve, Thor and Tony would be the first to tell her that. Clark, Diana and Bruce as well, for that matter.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by catsi563 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:35 am

restore several married relationships as happy and productive and fun instead of constantly dramatizing them and crowbarring them apart because OMG MUST HAVE DRAMA

namely and in no order
Hawkeye and Mockingbird
Aquaman and Mera
Peter and MJ
Batman and Catwoman

also throw some relationships together that people night not expect because they aren't cute or traditional persay such as Rogue and Wolverine as a couple.
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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:57 am

Definitely agree about restoring those relationships as well. Toss in gettin Clark, Lois and their son Jon together as a family. Because screw Bendis. Also Dick and Kory, because screw Bat Editorial. Also get Colossus and Kitty Pryde married finally, because that bait and switch was just infuriating.

I'd keep Rouge and Gambit married, as I'd hate to break up a married in the process of restoring others.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ken » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:01 am

Hawkman and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman.
W: Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.

PP: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.

W: So your work has not changed.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Woodclaw » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:50 am

catsi563 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:35 am
Batman and Catwoman
On the subject of Batman and Catwoman I had this image stuck in my mind for a while.

Not long after the honeymoon, Bruce is trying to open the secret door behind the clock and it doesn't work.

Bruce: Alfred?
Alfred: Yes, master Bruce.
Bruce: Do you know what happened to the 'cellar' door?
Alfred: Of course, sir, Miss Selina changed the code yesterday.
Bruce: And I suppose you know it, don't you?
Alfred: That I do, sir, but she also made me swore not to tell you.
Bruce: Alfred, you know I can still fire you.
Alfred: I doubt that, sir. Not many people are privy to the secret of ironing a five million dollars bulletproof costume. Still, Miss Selina never said anything about giving you a clue... Master Bruce, for many years I saw you live in fear, even with your friends. You were afraid of losing something... someone, again. Now you've given yourself a chance to live beyond fear, maybe that's a thing to remember.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by catsi563 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:31 pm

I like that a lot
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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:49 am

I want to say I've mentioned this in another thread, but I'm not a fan of John Constantine. To me he's basically Harry Dresden, but without any of the qualities I like about Harry. And whenever John shows up, he's almost always managing to out-scheme other heroes he shares page space with, including making Batman look like a fool in Injustice and killing Dr. Fate in a Future's End story. Hell, the Dr. Fate story is one long "Constantine thinks Dr. Fate sucks and wants to kill him more than anyone else he's ever met" moment while John proceeds to do just that.

And it's annoying because while I know that John's schtick is "being a clever bastard", I hate seeing other heroes basically being constantly jobbed out to a guy, especially since it frequently reads more like the "Jim Starlin" brand of outsmarting someone, where the other person is written down so that John can look good.

So, I'd take Constantine down a peg. And naturally, I'd use Billy Batson to do it.

It'd basically start with Billy at home, reading a book when there's a loud *thump* noise and a wind chime he keeps in his apartment. Billy would then go to his front door and look down to see John Constantine, flat on his ass, rubbing his head. He admits to having tried to do his usual "appear in someone's home without them realizing it" schtick, only to have gotten kicked by some of the strongest mystical wards he's ever encountered, certainly more than he was expecting from a kid. At which point Billy points out that, even forgiving the various beings that might know his secret and want to do him harm, he lives in a world of vampires, demons, dark gods and jerk sorcerers, and his boss is one of the oldest, most powerful mystical entities in existence. Of COURSE his home is warded to Heaven and back. He's actually got as much of the city warded as he could get permission to do because, well, he's Cap.

In any case, John would do his usual thing of explaining the problem he's currently dealing with, but not telling Billy the whole story because, well, it's John. He then starts mentally gearing up to do his usual bit of coercion to get Billy's help, but Billy actually volunteers to help John before he can even begin. I don't precisely what the adventure would entail just yet, but John would basically have this elaborate scheme to get everything in place, getting certain artifacts from certain mystical entities via trickery, trying to get other entities where he needs them, only every time John starts that part of his scheme, Cap would cut simply ask to borrow the artifacts, or pay for them, and then just asks the beings to be where they need them, sometimes having to do a favor for said being, but usually just by being upfront about it, because most of these beings actually LIKE Cap and are willing to help him out. But while Billy is doing all of this, we'd also see John doing his usual backroom dealings, giving the impression that while Billy is making things easier than John expected, he's still the one ultimately pulling the strings and taking advantage of Billy.

Only for when the time comes for John to pull off his scheme, something that would have required some people being sacrificed, Cap pulls off another plan that saves the day without anyone dying. Because as Cap reveals, while John was doing his backroom dealings, Cap had not only figured out the full extent of what was going on, but made deals of his own with the people in power, and worked things out so that the day could be saved without anyone needing to be sacrificed.

John begrudgingly admires Cap's cleverness, admitting that he underestimated Billy, but that he won't do so again. Billy then comments that all of this could have been avoided if John had just been straight with him from the start. John counters that, unlike Billy, he's just a moral spellcaster, and not even an especially powerful one like Dr. Fate or Zatanna. He doesn't have Cap's raw power or spotless reputation, so he's got to get by on his wits. Billy counters that he has earned his reputation, the same way John has earned his own reputation for being untrustworthy: by their actions. John has taken advantage of and abused so many people and beings that he has to trick them to get what he wants, because John has never dealt honestly with anyone. If John is in a deep hole, it's a hole he dug himself, and one he refuses to climb out of.

In the end, Billy acknowledges that John has done some good and helped people, but his whole need to outsmart certain beings is partially his own ego at play. John gets off on feeling smarter than other people, which is why he will default to trickery when honesty might gain him just as much. In the end, Billy sums it up by saying that it's less about John being clever and more about him being a jerk, and that before John even thinks about coming back to Fawcett, he should clean up his act a little.

Normally with team-ups I'm against one hero being shown to be obviously superior to the other, I hate to see characters strawmaned, and I prefer that the characters involved all have their good moments to shine. But John Constantine has basically been getting away with making other heroes look dumb for years, so I feel this is kind of warranted.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by catsi563 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:18 pm

In fairness to John though it almost always ends up being a case of you played yousefl as often as he wins,

its literaly a case of no matter how much John wins he almost always loses something in the process because he isn't as clever as he thinks he is. Yes I do agree a good portion of it is that hes gotten so cynical that he has to do stuff like threaten a bunch of flowers to get Swamp thing to talk to them like he did in JL Dark, but that's because hes become so cynical and been burned so often--as often by himself--as much as anything that he just cant bring himself to ask

Also remember that he schemes because most of the things he deals with are schemers in their own right with centuries and sometimes millennia of plans within plans within schemes so he has to by rote take everything with a lakebed of salt and assume that everything is out to get him. remember its possible to be paranoid and still have something out to get you

plus hes lost so much that he thinks that conning people is literaly the only way to keep them safe because when he starts to care they get lost to demons and other terrors because he wasn't strong enough or clever enough to prevent it.

like I said I do agree that John mostly digs a lot of his own graves but I don't quite agree that its because hes a jackass for no reason there is a reason beyond his own need to feel clever and its based in a lot of his own personal tragedy admittedly a chunk of it self made but still.

all told though yeah I think seeing a team up between those two would be fun
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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:19 am

catsi563 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:18 pm
In fairness to John though it almost always ends up being a case of you played yousefl as often as he wins,

its literaly a case of no matter how much John wins he almost always loses something in the process because he isn't as clever as he thinks he is. Yes I do agree a good portion of it is that hes gotten so cynical that he has to do stuff like threaten a bunch of flowers to get Swamp thing to talk to them like he did in JL Dark, but that's because hes become so cynical and been burned so often--as often by himself--as much as anything that he just cant bring himself to ask

Also remember that he schemes because most of the things he deals with are schemers in their own right with centuries and sometimes millennia of plans within plans within schemes so he has to by rote take everything with a lakebed of salt and assume that everything is out to get him. remember its possible to be paranoid and still have something out to get you

plus hes lost so much that he thinks that conning people is literaly the only way to keep them safe because when he starts to care they get lost to demons and other terrors because he wasn't strong enough or clever enough to prevent it.

like I said I do agree that John mostly digs a lot of his own graves but I don't quite agree that its because hes a jackass for no reason there is a reason beyond his own need to feel clever and its based in a lot of his own personal tragedy admittedly a chunk of it self made but still.

all told though yeah I think seeing a team up between those two would be fun
No decent character exists in a vacuum, but while all of those things do explain John's behavior, they don't excuse it. John is largely a bastard of his own making and his own decisions, and while he does try to do some good, the way he goes about it, the way he treats others, the way he chooses to behave, that's all on him.

I have Billy say that John has done some good, and stress that the bit about being clever is only partially about his ego, but I still firmly believe that John's need to trick people into doing what he wants is part of his own ego at work. It's similar to how Ozymandias from Watchmen claimed that he felt so bad about murdering millions of people and how he had no other choice to save the world . . . which ignores the fact that he's a supergenius with incredible wealth and access to the most powerful person on Earth. Adrian's decision to save the world that way was done, at least partially, because he felt the need to "trick" the world and prove how big his brain was, which is why he had so much fun gloating about his win to the other heroes.

So I'm not saying that John doesn't have his own tragic backstory or that he's a jerk for no reason. It's just that most of said reasons boil down to "John makes poor decisions". Ultimately, I'm just holding John accountable for how he behaves.

Granted, the real reason John behaves this way is that because a lot of writers enjoy the "Snarky bastard Brit who is a right jerk but gets away with it by being clever" character, hence people like John and Pete Wisdom. And these guys frequently make other heroes look bad in their presence. Well, if Batman can be called out on his BS, there's no reason John here can't be likewise and have a little humble pie as well.

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Re: The most petty thing you'd do as a comics creator

Post by Ares » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:06 pm

As a follow up to that post I made about Carol Danvers, this is a rough idea of what her updated costume would look like:

Image

Cause if you're going to call yourself Captain Marvel, you should look the part.

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