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jgsugden
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Reply #35 on: July 17, 2014, 11:16:02 AM

Putting aside the gender/race/orientation/hair color/laterality issues in the change ups - I don't like change for the sake of change.  Someone new wielding Mjölnir for a while?  Sure.  Sam as Cap?  That's also be something I could get behind... but at the same time?  It looks like a dumb stunt, especially when everyone knows that it is temporary.  And when statements are made like "there are even more startling surprises to come", I get the idea that this is going to hit many more heroes... The Incredible Teen Hulk, Iron Raccoon, Hawkandroid, Spider-Potatoe...

Putting gender/race/orientation/hair color/laterality issues back on the table, the cumulative situation is offensive to me.  It is as good as stating that non-white non-males can't be popular unless they ride on the coat tails of 'established' white men characters.  That is not a move towards equality - it is bias condescension.  I wouldn't be offended by one character going through these 'recasting' issues... maybe two over a year... but when it becomes so prevalent as to be a stunt... it sends the wrong message to me.  I fully understand that not everybody sees it that way, but I'd rather they maintain the known characters and augment their universe by good writing and greater exposure to non-white and/or non-male existing and new characters that stand on their own.  We've seen before that a well written character with good stories can be universally popular.  We just need to work to make it happen.

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Threash
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Reply #36 on: July 17, 2014, 11:39:09 AM

I think it's kinda dumb that an effort to appear to be more racially inclusive is basically going to end up in getting rid of one of the few black super heroes.

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HaemishM
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Reply #37 on: July 17, 2014, 11:51:56 AM

Yeah, especially a character that just got a HUGE boost in popularity and notoriety thanks to a gigantic Hollywood blockbuster movie. Why not capitalize on that and put out a Falcon book?

Oh right, Joe Quesada. He really only has a few tricks in that pony.

Threash
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Reply #38 on: July 17, 2014, 12:26:01 PM

I hope a super-villain asks for his birth certificate.

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Raguel
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Reply #39 on: July 17, 2014, 12:31:19 PM

The more I think about it the more I want to see what's going to happen. I don't care about change for the sake of change but if this is all Jason Aaron's idea then I wonder how it all fits in. If you read the comics (or just know what's being going on for the last few decades  why so serious?) you know that Thor gets his hammer back.
 
Ingmar
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Reply #40 on: July 17, 2014, 01:11:12 PM

That guy must be having an aneurysm now that they've announced that Falcon will be taking over as Captain America in the comics.

So I guess that would make him... Captain Falcon?

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Fordel
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Reply #41 on: July 17, 2014, 01:52:50 PM

Does comic book Falcon have anything in common with movie Falcon?

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
Raguel
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Reply #42 on: July 17, 2014, 02:11:55 PM

Does comic book Falcon have anything in common with movie Falcon?

They are both named Sam Wilson? Pretty sure comic book version was never in the military, but I think he did volunteer work (unless I'm confusing him with another black friend lulz).
Ginaz
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Reply #43 on: July 17, 2014, 02:12:21 PM

New Thor to go along with new Captain America...who will be black but is actually the old Falcon.

So lets see.  Gay Green Lantern.  Female Thor.  Black Capt. America. Ohhhhh, I see.

http://ww2.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=arts.nationalpost.com/2014/07/17/the-new-captain-america-will-be-black-marvel-reveals-on-the-colbert-report

I'll pre order you SWTOR if you let me put my lightsaber in your sarlaac cave
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Nevermore
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Reply #44 on: July 17, 2014, 02:19:22 PM

I'm glad Joe Quesada made an effort to not look like a stereotypical comic book slob on his appearance on Colbert.

Over and out.
Numtini
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Reply #45 on: July 17, 2014, 02:40:21 PM

The Thor thing is pants on head stupid. The kind of idiotic and obviously going to be reversed stunt that I'd expect from DC. The Captain America change I think makes sense to me. The connection to World War II is just starting to really stretched and while the war has huge relevance to me as my father flew in it, it's ancient history to most people who aren't collecting social security.

On a similar subject, it's a fantastic psychological motivation for a character, but why exactly is Magneto still kicking around?

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
HaemishM
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Reply #46 on: July 17, 2014, 02:47:20 PM

I know he had been "de-aged" at one point... hell, he's been "killed off" only to find out that wasn't actually Magneto a few months later. I don't know that they've ever given a justification for him still being alive.

Velorath
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Reply #47 on: July 17, 2014, 03:17:13 PM

Putting gender/race/orientation/hair color/laterality issues back on the table, the cumulative situation is offensive to me.  It is as good as stating that non-white non-males can't be popular unless they ride on the coat tails of 'established' white men characters. 

I think it's more a matter of new comic book characters never becoming as popular as old established mainstays, who all happened to be white males due to when they were created.
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Reply #48 on: July 17, 2014, 04:03:23 PM

I know he had been "de-aged" at one point... hell, he's been "killed off" only to find out that wasn't actually Magneto a few months later. I don't know that they've ever given a justification for him still being alive.

When Wanda Maximof went mad they vaguely suggested that she may have resurrected him, but it was never made explicit.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:36:14 PM by palmer_eldritch »
Velorath
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Reply #49 on: July 17, 2014, 04:12:47 PM

The Thor thing is pants on head stupid.

I'm ok with the idea of "hey, let's diversify of major characters a bit" as long as the writing is good. They way they're trying to explain this though ("this is the one and only Thor, but Thor is still Thor, he just doesn't have the power of Thor and this woman has the hammer now so she has the power of Thor but she's not Lady Thor, she's Thor, and totally the only Thor in the MU") leads me to believe that the writing will be shit.
HaemishM
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Reply #50 on: July 17, 2014, 04:19:32 PM

I've liked Jason Aaron's stuff so far, so I'm not totally on the "this is fuckstupid" bandwagon yet.

Raguel
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Reply #51 on: July 17, 2014, 06:56:36 PM


I'm all in on this if it's who I think it will be

Khaldun
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Reply #52 on: July 17, 2014, 08:18:12 PM

Y'all are doing exactly what Marvel wants you to do, which is talk up something that is fucking old news in comic books. This is like soap opera fans getting worked up about somebody being revealed as an evil twin.

The gender switch is about the only slightly new part of this, and only slightly. Don't worry, Thor will be a big white man again in a year or two. In the meantime, you might get some good stories or you might not. But please recognize it for what it is, which is just a slight stir of a soup that's been cooking for forty years.

Velorath
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Reply #53 on: July 17, 2014, 08:58:54 PM

Well... I enjoy talking about comics. It's not like Marvel is somehow tricking me into molesting goats against my better judgement.
HaemishM
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Reply #54 on: July 17, 2014, 09:40:02 PM

The goat swore her name was Thor.

Raguel
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Reply #55 on: July 17, 2014, 11:15:23 PM

I'm glad Joe Quesada made an effort to not look like a stereotypical comic book slob on his appearance on Colbert.

I'm just assuming you're being sarcastic as I have an irrational loathing of Quesada (I don't know the man I just blame him for Bucky and all the Spider-man shenanigans, which may or may not be fair). 
jgsugden
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Reply #56 on: July 17, 2014, 11:35:00 PM

Putting gender/race/orientation/hair color/laterality issues back on the table, the cumulative situation is offensive to me.  It is as good as stating that non-white non-males can't be popular unless they ride on the coat tails of 'established' white men characters. 
I think it's more a matter of new comic book characters never becoming as popular as old established mainstays, who all happened to be white males due to when they were created.
Wolverine was new (late 74) when the Avengers, FF, X-men, Spider-man, Hulk had a decade of history behind them.  Cable, Gambit and Bishop are creations of the 90s and have a steady fandom.  They introduce new characters and they grow when they appeal to an audience.  It is hard to make any character popular, but there is no reason to believe that they can't build new interesting characters without this type of racial/gender arrogance.

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Maven
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Reply #57 on: July 17, 2014, 11:39:28 PM

"Someone else's creative contribution to our property created a massive boost in a character's popularity. As we are a company who creates fictional works for money, how do we capitalize on that?"

Alternatively: "our customers tastes are changing to include such desires as diverse and inclusive representations in our character pool."

I don't even know why we argue about this. You go to Literature for stories about the realities of someone's race, gender, or political situation and the big picture in an effort not only to understand but to grow as a person through the alternative perspective. You go to comics for watered-down fan wank that gives people what they want, not what they might need -- with the occasional meaningful work.

I write this as someone who earns a pittance writing niche comic books for an audience hungry for one very specific thing. Marvel and DC are mainstream fetish without the sexuality (typically).
Raguel
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Reply #58 on: July 18, 2014, 12:45:35 AM

HYPE TRAIN COMING THROUGH  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?




Teleku
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Reply #59 on: July 18, 2014, 02:30:49 AM

So, horrible writing it is then!

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Raguel
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Reply #60 on: July 18, 2014, 02:37:50 AM

So, horrible writing it is then!

You don't like Aaron or just the pages I posted?
Khaldun
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Reply #61 on: July 18, 2014, 05:47:19 AM

Aaron's Thor has been pretty great. About as metal as the character has ever been. So I'm pretty much willing to let him try anything he likes for a while.
Khaldun
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Reply #62 on: July 18, 2014, 06:12:09 AM

Long-form serial storytelling with characters who are valuable intellectual property but who have to remain somewhat recognizable to retain value creates some basic restrictions on any writer. You can't really age your characters, you can't really have them grow or change in a permanent way, you can't change the status quo around them too dramatically.

Soap operas have many of the same constraints and limitations. An improbable number of events that should be brutally traumatic and/or life-changing builds up over time, but they have to just be doing the same thing more or less a year or two of storytelling ahead. Events that should change everything about the world the character lives in only are meaningful for a short while.

Serial storytellers with these constraints need a host of tricks to keep going. In soaps, that's stuff like evil twins, amnesia, deaths-that-aren't-deaths, secret pasts that flip a character from good to evil or vice-versa, etc.

In comics, it's stuff like "the hero quits!" (for a little while); "the hero is replaced!" (for a little while); "the hero died!" (it only looked that way); the sidekick/loved one/friend died!" (only looked that way, though the interval of being dead can be a lot longer). "Your major villain died/was defeated for all time! You can have hope that your endless fight might end!" (villain returns; hope is dashed). You use alternate dimensions and time travel to show versions of the characters who have evolved or changed, to escape the constraints of the status quo. After a while, you've seen all the tricks possible.

Superhero movies have been, so far, different. First, because the intervals between stories are a lot longer, and nobody's kept a franchise going for more than three stories so far without rebooting. Second, they have just bypassed some of the staple features of the comic-book stories. Almost all of them have dispensed with the "secret identity" as a fetish right away--the hero is generally known at least to any friends or loved ones almost from the get-go, and usually is known to the public. The villains are disposable, generally dying or being taken out of the story at the conclusion. The status quo in the hero's world actually changes pretty substantially from film to film because each installment of the story needs to feel monumental in some fashion--something needs to move ahead.

The TV show Arrow is an interesting middle ground. A lot changes over a season, and sometimes from episode to episode, but it's being more and more comic-booky in certain respects, most notably in setting up villains who are very likely to return. Doctor Who is an interesting case of serial storytelling where some aspects of the status quo change significantly and others don't.

Comic books are mostly tethered to the characters who provide value and to storytelling that happens monthly and continues forever.

===============

The other thing to realize about Marvel and DC at this point is that for them the comics are mostly a loss-leader at this point. Not so much that they promote the cinematic or televisual versions, though they do that and would do that even if Thor was a woman for a while or Rocket Raccoon gained the power of Hulk. More that both publishers have been told by their parent companies that their job is to keep trying to create new intellectual properties that might eventually have value. New characters, new situations, new versions of old characters. Marvel's strategy for doing that lately has mostly been to hire very interesting writers and artists and let them do their own thing on their own books, with less concern than they had in the past for editorial control. DC's strategy is the opposite: a tight company-wide aesthetic with only a few exceptions.
Velorath
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Reply #63 on: July 18, 2014, 07:03:33 AM

Putting gender/race/orientation/hair color/laterality issues back on the table, the cumulative situation is offensive to me.  It is as good as stating that non-white non-males can't be popular unless they ride on the coat tails of 'established' white men characters. 
I think it's more a matter of new comic book characters never becoming as popular as old established mainstays, who all happened to be white males due to when they were created.
Wolverine was new (late 74) when the Avengers, FF, X-men, Spider-man, Hulk had a decade of history behind them.  Cable, Gambit and Bishop are creations of the 90s and have a steady fandom.  They introduce new characters and they grow when they appeal to an audience.  It is hard to make any character popular, but there is no reason to believe that they can't build new interesting characters without this type of racial/gender arrogance.

When one of the only examples you can come up with is a 40 year old character, you might want to reassess your argument. Also I have no idea what point you're trying to make in that last sentence, but Marvel has indeed created a number of new and interesting characters (of various races, gender, and backgrounds). M, Husk, Blink, Rockslide, Mercury, Armor, Blindfold, the Runaways, the Young Avengers, Layla Miller (after Peter David started writing her), Amadeus Cho, The Order, Sentry (his miniseries, before Bendis started writing him), Cammi, Hazmat, The Hood (kinda), the X-Statix, the Warbound, Elsa Bloodstone, Isaiah Bradley, and even as recently as the new Ms. Marvel who got a bunch of press for being Muslim, there are plenty of examples of good new characters and concepts that Marvel has come up with in the last 20 years.

Short of getting a big movie push like the Guardians of the Galaxy (which is hard since Marvel only puts out two movies a year), none of those characters ever have a chance of becoming anywhere near as iconic as Marvel's top tier characters. Part of it is that there just aren't enough comic readers anymore. The new Ms. Marvel book for instance was fairly well promoted and sells better than a lot of other books although it's only on issue #4, but even that's only somewhere between 30k and 40k readers. Maybe if you introduce a character in Avengers or X-men and 100k people will see them. Most of Marvel's top tier characters are recognized by millions of people. The other issue is that a lot of writers are reluctant to use newer characters, because there's more of sense of ownership of characters than there was back in the old days. A lot of people have been reluctant to use characters like the Runaways or the Young Avengers so they can go long periods of time without exposure until someone is finally willing to do something with them.

Long-form serial storytelling with characters who are valuable intellectual property but who have to remain somewhat recognizable to retain value creates some basic restrictions on any writer. You can't really age your characters, you can't really have them grow or change in a permanent way, you can't change the status quo around them too dramatically.

Looking at comic book sales levels, I think there may come a time when that's no longer true. So few people read them now, why not have drastic changes stick? Should they really be worried about pissing off the 33,000 people that bought Fantastic Four last month? Is there really value being retained there by keeping things recognizable? One of the liberating things that should come with the fact that nobody gives a shit about actual comic books these days is that you don't really have a whole lot to lose by taking chances. I feel like that's part of the reason you see stuff like Superior Spider-man go on for a few years rather than just being a six-month stunt. This whole conversation show really be part of the thread in the comic sub-forum because people who just watch the movies don't really give a shit about this stuff, but there's speculation that between the Time Runs Out story being hyped up for Avengers right now, and the X-men stuff with the original team being brought to the present day, and all the "time is broken" crap, that Marvel might be heading towards doing a Crisis or New 52 kinda reset. If so I could see them sticking with their new "now with more diversity" Big Three for a long stretch.
Khaldun
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Reply #64 on: July 18, 2014, 07:16:10 AM

Part of it is that the remaining people who buy them are buying them for nostalgic reasons. DC's New 52 was supposed to allow for a cleaner, simpler take on their major characters to invite new audiences to read them, but instead it turned into a bizarre recreation of the comics of the 1990s with lots of bad costumes, faux man-baby grimdark "adult! because someone's arm got cut off and you can see Catwoman's tits" storytelling, etc., because the guys making them are pretty much locked into that moment where Image Comics was the new thing and comics had special holographic collectible covers and all that. I think Marvel's new direction is more likely to get a few buyers who really don't care what Captain America did with the Cosmic Cube back in Issue #174 in 1983, but probably not that many.

You can see how strong the drift is towards constantly returning to the status quo even with non-Marvel/DC lines that aren't trying to defend static characters who are valuable intellectual property. I've been sort of interested in how Busiek's Astro City keeps things coming back to its established baseline, partly because he wants to keep exploring the stories that don't get told about a Marvel/DC style universe. Most of the people who write comics that tell a real story that has an endpoint don't do so inside of strictly or strongly super-hero style universes or settings.
jgsugden
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Reply #65 on: July 18, 2014, 10:11:39 AM

When one of the only examples you can come up with is a 40 year old character, you might want to reassess your argument.
Why?  It is a solid example of exactly what was expressed not to exist.  I was establishing a pattern and didn't bother to point out that the pattern continued on through the X-men runs... they constantly introduce new chartacters and their list of most popular characters features characters from every era of the X-men.
Quote
Also I have no idea what point you're trying to make in that last sentence, but Marvel has indeed created a number of new and interesting characters (of various races, gender, and backgrounds). M, Husk, Blink, Rockslide, Mercury, Armor, Blindfold, the Runaways, the Young Avengers, Layla Miller (after Peter David started writing her), Amadeus Cho, The Order, Sentry (his miniseries, before Bendis started writing him), Cammi, Hazmat, The Hood (kinda), the X-Statix, the Warbound, Elsa Bloodstone, Isaiah Bradley, and even as recently as the new Ms. Marvel who got a bunch of press for being Muslim, there are plenty of examples of good new characters and concepts that Marvel has come up with in the last 20 years.
Although some of your examples are really suspect, I agree with your point - and it agrees with my point: They've made some great new characters without relying upon tricks like this that give us 'diverse' versions of the established characters.  I'd love to see diverse new characters.  However, giving us a black Captain America for the sake of giving us a black Captain America is racist.  Giving us a female Thor for the sake of giving us a female Thor is sexist.  You're doing these things because of race / gender issues.  One of these types of things in the natural flow of a story - no problem.  Doing a bunch of these things in a short span for the sake of doing it: Offensive.

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MahrinSkel
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Reply #66 on: July 18, 2014, 11:49:50 AM

They're doing these things because doing them gets free press.  Trying to read some deep social commentary into it is pointless.  They've taken the lesson of Black Heimdal and Latino Spiderman: Controversy is good, and picking a fight with assholes always makes you look like the good guy.

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Speedy Cerviche
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Reply #67 on: July 18, 2014, 12:00:35 PM

^ Well not if everyone can just see it as the cynical publicity stunt it is.
HaemishM
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Reply #68 on: July 18, 2014, 12:18:28 PM

Girls of Thunder?

Goddamnit, that made my balls shrink back up into my body.  swamp poop

Raguel
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Reply #69 on: July 18, 2014, 12:35:05 PM

^ Well not if everyone can just see it as the cynical publicity stunt it is.

The p.r. bit is; I'm not certain the actual change is, depending on who new Thor is.

Massive spoilers for those who haven't been reading Thor and Loki related titles:

https://forums.marvelheroes.com/discussion/comment/1469264#Comment_1469264
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