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mygif

I never post comix rants to my journal because you always say that which is in my head, and so I think “oh well that’s taken care of” and spend my time looking at stupid cat pictures instead. Damn you.

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Hey, I know they finally confirmed Typhoid Mary as a mutant, but did they ever do the same for Bullseye? Not-missing is kind of big, even if all that really means is that he misses people like Daredevil and Spidey a bunch.

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mygif

“and Bullseye in anything outside of an issue of Daredevil (or very possibly Amazing Spider-Man) is just a waste of space.”

I think he’s great as a Deadpool villain, too.

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I will say that Bullseye on Thunderboltsmade the book even more interesting on Warren Ellis’s run. Ellis wrote him well, there was a logical reason to include the character, and he wasn’t overused.

NOW is a different story, but there exist places in which Bullseye can find a home.

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Crunch Buttsteak said on August 12th, 2009 at 9:35 am

Bullseye’s a great foil for Daredevil, because Daredevil is absolute poo. Willie Lumpkin with a jar full of bees > Daredevil.

Bullseye would be best used, I think, as the example of a supervillain who thinks far too highly of himself. He probably has a blog.

The best use of him was in Ellis’ run on Thunderbolts – hired because he’s an utter psychotic that comes with built-in plausible deniability. “Look, he’s from Hell’s Kitchen. Therefore he’s crazy. Hired by the government? Check that cowl to see if it’s lined with tinfoil. Maybe the adamantium from his spine is leaching into his brain.” Not to mention getting absolutely owned by American Eagle, a Q-lister “hero” who lampshades the fact that Bullseye never fights actual superhumans.

He’s like the king of all bar fights, but the moment you step out into the world of four-color costumes and radioactive spider-goop, he’s a jobber.

AMERICAN EAGLE, for god’s sake.

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I liked him in Thunderbolts because Ellis played him as a big bully who found himself vastly overpowered.

Sure, he totally fell into the trap of “guy who throws things is badasser (badder ass?) than radioactive Chinese dude”, but the payoff where American Eagle just takes him apart was sweet.

I hear he got better, which is a shame.

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mygif

I agree with all of your points about Bullseye. I could buy the idea of Bullseye being a very dangerous assassin, but to me he works well as a Daredevil enemy because Daredevil often tangles with people who would know how to hire Bullseye. And as neat as Daredevil’s abilities may be, he’s not superhumanly tough or strong. Even if you factor in the idea of him being trained by ninjas.

And it also makes Bullseye seem like someone who can understand his own limitations, if he’s mostly targeting regular people or the more squishy superheroes. Which, in turn, makes him a more credible threat to someone like Daredevil, since it emphasizes that for all of attempts at humor, he can still focus on the “killing his target” part of his business and take it seriously.

Also, there’s a better analogue to the Joker in the Marvel Universe already, and his name is Arcade. You might not like Arcade-in fact, you may think he’s a terrible character. But he still makes more sense as a counterpart to the Joker than Bullseye, at least to me.

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mygif

Agreed, he worked in Ellis’ Thunderbolts mostly because he was a “break glass in case of zombies” alternative. They only used him when they REALLY had to, and they treated him like the ultra-dangerous psychopath that he should be. He felt like a dangerous threat, and he just doesn’t always feel that way- much like the Joker. But fundamentally that’s the problem with mainstream superhero comics in general- if no one ever really dies, then how can any villain really be a major threat? Especially a guy like Bullseye, whose only purpose is to kill people. Well, you know he’s not going to kill Daredevil or Spider-Man or anyone else that isn’t a minor character no one cares about, so why should we care? That’s why he worked as a Deadpool foil- sure, he still can’t “kill” Deadpool but at least he doesn’t miss. :-p

This is one of the main reasons why I feel that comics continuity should be rebooted for each generation. Give the character’s story a beginning, middle, and end then start over every 20 years and redefine the character for the next generation. Death would have actual meaning, but not in the splatter porn way it was handled in Ultimatum. You’d actually have suspense and wonder if all the heroes were going to make it. You could actually have big deaths of major heroes without having to find some stupid way to resurrect them. Villains like the Joker and Bullseye would feel like the threats they should be.

Ten years into the current storyline they begin the next- comparable to Amazing Spidey and Ultimate Spidey. After the previous “mainstream” titles ran their course the “Ultimate” version would become the “mainstream” and a new “Ultimate” line would begin. Rinse and repeat.

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mygif

I never really read Thunderbolts, so when I was reading Spider-Man and Osborn showed up with his team, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why everyone was acting like Bullseye was such a big, scary psycho when you’ve got fucking VENOM on the same team. You know, a biologically altered freak possessed by a shapeshifting alien that rips out people’s guts and eats their brains. Isn’t HE the scary, dangerous, unpredictable one on the team? Bullseye is a fucking punk.

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mygif

My big problem with Bullseye is actually the way writers use the “he can turn anything into a deadly weapon” bit. Because it’s utter bullshit. I don’t care how cool you think it is, Bullseye is not killing anyone with a fucking playing card. Because Bullseye is not super-humanly strong. If Bullseye throws a playing card at you, the worst he’s going to be able to do is poke you in the eye. There are ways to use that. But if he’s throwing anything less than a weighted object with a point at the end, it is not going to pierce the skin. I know we let comics get away with a lot with regards to physics (and we should; suspension of disbelief, rule of cool, etc.), but for some reason this just drives me right up the walls.

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mygif

I know what you mean, but I rather enjoy Bullseye in the Dark Avengers. Sure, his power set means he’s out matched by 99.9% of everything, but so is the REAL Hawkeye.

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Is anyone else just sick of the Dark Avengers stuff in general?

Personally, I can’t wait to see Dark Runaways, Dark Dazzler, Dark Black Knight, Dark Black Bolt and Dark Darkhawk.

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This is going to be a little vague and ranty, so, uh, you’ve been warned, I guess.
First: If Bullseye is being recast into the Marvel Universe’s Joker (and I agree that’s pretty much the case), then Norman Osborne’s pretty clearly the Lex Luthor. Is this any better a fit? (Serious question.)

Second: Someone else brought up Venom, and to me, the Mac Gargan is pretty uninteresting, and doesn’t add anything new (except for the particular hatred for Jonah, but arguably, Brock had that as well). I mean, as far as a more dangerous, more willing-to-kill version of Venom goes, we already did that– his name was Carnage. He was very 90s.

Third: I hate to say this, but at what point does Deadpool become overexposed? Between the two series, the miniseries, the recent one-shot, the Marvel Zombies appearance, and the Thunderbolts and X-Force cross-overs, he’s been getting almost as much face time as Wolverine. And his power level has been raised to the same point of ridiculousness. I know that he’s something of a special case when it comes to being overexposed, since he can actually can do things like actually come out and SAY he’s being overexposed, but even he’s got to have an over saturation point.

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mygif

Hate to be THAT guy, but Bullseye’s skeleton was give some kind of adamantium-treatment that allows him to, you know, not break his bones when he goes against bigger threats. Not saying this explains for the other character’s fear of him, but at least it explains how he is able to keep up with the rest of the Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers.

Also, he is supposedly going to appear in the next Punisher MAX series. I’d be worrying if it wasn’t for the fact that Jason Aaron is writing it.

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After Bullseye once stabbed someone from a distance by throwing a plastic utensil at him, Don Thompson of Comics Buyers Guide challenged the story’s author to a duel where said author could try to hurt him by throwing as many plastic utensils at him as he wanted. Hee hee.

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God dammit, Joker’s main nemesis is Batman – another major character WITH NO POWERS! He’s anti-Batman, in the sense that you can justify him rolling with the big bad villains / fighting overpowered superheroes because – hey – Batman could do it. Watching Joker walk all over Superman isn’t unbelievable, for instance.

Bullseye’s arch nemesis is (last I checked) Daredevil, a guy WITH POWERS. And he’s not even Daredevil’s main antagonist (that honor, I guess, going to Kingpin). He was always 2nd tier at best.

The very idea that you would even compare Bullseye to Joker is what’s wrong with all this. They’re not in the same league by miles.

That said, the power curve in Marvel tends to be a lot broader than in DC. You’ve got guys like Cyclops and Jubilee whose powers really boil down to “unlimited ammo”. And then you’ve got guys like Thanos and Silver Surfer who periodically create and destroy galaxy spanning empires.

So complaining that Bullseye has been “misplaced” in the Marvel universe is a bit unfair if only because it’s very easy to be suddenly out of your league.

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Craig Oxbrow said on August 12th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Nice to see the Thunderbolts demolition job getting thumbs up, even if it didn’t take.

Also: Colin Farrell with a “shoot me here” scar on his forehead. Not his or anyone else involved’s best work.

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candlejack said on August 12th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

How does his adamantium-treated skeleton keep him from popping tendons, tearing muscles, or getting his kidneys pummeled into pudding?

But to be fair, Dark Avengers is just following the trend. A lot of superteams seem to be required to have that one guy who should be useless compared to the rest of the team, but somehow doesn’t die. The guy with no powers, or lame powers, who’s getting by on ninja training or a trick weapon or scavenged equipment or high intelligence. My guess that this is due to affirmative action, or possibly union rules.

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Is anyone else just sick of the Dark Avengers stuff in general?
Personally, I can’t wait to see Dark Runaways, Dark Dazzler, Dark Black Knight, Dark Black Bolt and Dark Darkhawk.

I’m personally waiting for Dark Great Lake Avengers.

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Back in the late 80’s I collected a lot of the Miller Daredevil run. I always thought that Bullseye’s character in those stories was pretty cool: he was a highly skilled blue-collar sort of guy with a chip on his shoulder. He killed people for a living, and sometimes enjoyed it, soemtimes for the feeling of power it gave him, sometimes for the challange involved, but he wasn’t CRAAAAZZZYYYY. My mental image of him is from the comic right after he’s escaped from prison (it might actually be DD issue 182)and he’s in a slouch hat and drinking cheap whisky out of a bottle and half-drunkenly looking at a file of Matt Murdock and laughing to himeself because this guy looks a lot like Daredevil.

And then the crappy movie came out and it’s all shaved-head and dumbass scar and crappy over-the-top nutball antics.

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equinox216 said on August 12th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Take everything said about Bullseye and cross-apply it to Frank Castle, and you have my feelings on the Punisher. I’d take him more seriously if he was more of a legacy/Crow-like figure, where someone reallllly motivated goes out and takes their vengeance as hard and often as possible, and then… actually died because that’s what happens to non-bulletproofpeople who play around with guns and explosives and villains.

And then the next week, someone else’s Righteous Vengeance puts on a skull t-shirt and…

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Lister Sage said on August 12th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

MGK: Blame Bendis. Dark Reign is his event and Dark Avengers is his comic. And because Marvel makes such a big fucking deal about him everyone else has to tow the line and do a Bullseye story. Since Bullseye is the weakest physical character it’s ok for him to job a hero, as Crunch Buttsteak put it, and the reason why Bullseye would be crazy enough to try and go toe to toe against Wolverine, well, he IS crazy. I’m not saying this is a good idea, but it seems to be the one Marvel’s going with.

Grazzt: I agree. Given how Deadpool has changed over the years since he got his own book, him fighting Bullseye is almost like him fighting himself from ten years ago. By that I mean Wade tends to be more mindful of bystanders nowadays where Bullseye is more interested in causing more collateral damage.

karellan: Agreed. I’d rather face Bullseye then Venom, Ares or The Sentry. Bullseye throws things at you. Venom eats you, Ares will cut your head off, The Sentry will throw you into space. Throws things at you is silly in comparison to that.

ThatNickGuy: “Dark Darkhawk”
Wasn’t that what War of Kings: Ascension was about?

Person of Consequence: Norman is a terrible equivalent to Luthor. Go back and read the Luthor post MGK did a while ago for a better run down, but to try and nutshell it: Luthor is a great foil for Superman because Luthor wants to be Supes but can’t whereas Norman is the physical and scientific match for Spidey. Plus Norman doesn’t live at home with his mother and is fucking rich. Norman is also batshit crazy and no matter how many screws loose Luthor has for trying to fight Superman, he doesn’t put on a green mask a purple boots and fly around cackling and throwing pumpkin shaped bombs.

I find it amazing that Bendis kills Carnage, then between him and Ellis they turn Venom into Carnage for no good reason (well maybe Ellis had one), which pisses me off because I liked Carnage so this really made his death unnecessary.

When Deadpool is on every X-book, has three solo books, is a member of the Avengers and guest starts in at least three other titles a month. That is when Wade will be over-exposed. For me, when Wolverine was put on the Avengers was the second I said “Fuck Wolverine” and I was a big Wolvie fanboy in my teens.

Craig Oxbrow: Colin Farrell was the best thing about the Daredevil movie.

Thok: I would so read this. Take a bunch of z-string villains and have them terrorize some Midwest town until the GLA show up, hilarity ensures.

equinox216: The thing about the Punisher is that Marvel usually keeps Frank away from people and situations that are WAY out of his league. That was kind of the point of the Ennis’ Punisher. Get Frank away from all the crazy “guy with a particle accelerator strapped to his back” type stuff and have him deal with realistic threats. Hell even back in his original series he almost never fought guys with superpowers.

Fuck that was a long post.

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He’s great against Deadpool, though. They’re the Itchy & Scratchy of the Marvel Universe.

Which I guess makes Norman Poochy.

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Sofa King said on August 12th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

And of course Batman/Bullseye. I also enjoyed seeing Bully get destroyed by American Eagle. Though sometimes I get frustrated and just wish Matt would call in, I dunno, Wonder Man, to just splatter him.

And of course now there’s LADY BULLSEYE.

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I should have clarified my Luthor/Osborn analogy. Where I see them the same is that Luthor went from a businessman/supervillain type to Machiavellian world leader, and it looks like Marvel’s trying to fit Osborn into the same role. Like Lister Sage says, it doesn’t really fit.

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mygif

At least Lady Bullseye just seems to be yet-another-stripper/ninja but with a shtick.

As for Bullseye, I think his ability is wasted on him in his current idiot-savant psychopath status. The man that can throw anything to hit anything is wasted when he’s magically (or unimaginatively) spitting his tooth through someone’s head. With his skills, you could have a slick street level plainsclothes character with an endless bag of tricks. Door shutting? Flip a coin to land edgewise between it and jamb. Stealthy kill? Toss a poison pill in someone’s drink from 20 feet away. Need to threaten someone. Reveal that you’ve just changed a dollar for 100 pennies.

Heck, all it takes is for his abilities to be used cleverly instead of brute force killage. Wolverine attacking? Stick something inbetween each of his major joints from ten feet away so that he can’t bend. Iron Man? Poison needle through an inevitable seam in the costume. There are many ways that the ability can be used for an entertaining trick, but at the moment, he’s just a drooling zerg.

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MooseAlmighty said on August 12th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

equinox beat me to it! Punisher was my first thought on reading this post. He was a villain tangling with Spidey and DD for crying out loud. Leave him and Bullseye with DD, Moon Knight etc where they fit.

Hawkeye works with the Avengers despite his low power level because he has been there since basically the start. And because he is usually written as wanting to be part of the big show. He dedicates himself to the team or even causes conflict in wanting to lead the team. (whereas Bullseye pretty much wants to be paid and left to his own devices)

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VoodooBen said on August 12th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

My favorite Bullseye appearance (outside of Miller’s Daredevil) was in Deapool’s first solo book – back when it was written by Joe Kelly. They actually teamed up on a hit. It was kind of awesome.

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Tenken347 said on August 12th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

“Issue #16 – Greece.” That’s my favorite issue of Kelly’s entire run, and I agree, a great use of Deadpool. As far as Norman being put into a Lex Luthor – type role, I’d argue that this is not really the case. I’ve already read four or five books where the characters point out that the inevitable end of Dark Reign is that Norman is going to eventually loose his shit completely, and the whole thing’s going to fall apart. If Norman’s being used as a Lex analogue, I think it’s just to show him trying on a role that’s too big for his britches.

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@Tenken347: That… makes sense. They’re definitely trying to sell Bullseye as ubercool a lot harder than they’re trying to sell Osborne as a permanent threat.

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First off, someone up there (I’m lazy and not looking) said Daredevil had powers. And they’re right. He hears real good. And smells good (well actually he reeks, from being in the back alleys of hell’s kitchen, I mean, cmon, but you get what I’m saying). He doesn’t have any superheruman abilities that make him tougher or stronger or more agile. Other than super senses he is a normal dude.

Second off, everyone on Norman’s Thunderbolts run outside Chen and Melissa is batshit crazy. That’s the point. You’ve got crazy incest Swordsman and crazy brain eating Venom and crazy crazy Bullseye and crazy about to have a breakdown Osborne and crazy cutter Pennance and CRAZZZZYYYYY. Bullseye fit right in.

Third off, yes he is maybe a little overmatched as a Dark Avenger but here’s the thing. He’s replacing Hawkeye. Who was also just a dude. Who for the most part, just shot arrows. (Yes I am over simplifying but ok) Bullseye is a more than competent archer and can easily fill that role.

Fourth yeah he’s overexposed. But he sort of fits.

Fifth, yeah he needs to be a mutant. The accuracy can be his own skill, but the “everything is deadly” needs to be some sort of hazy mutant power.

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mygif

I do not know when Bullseye became the new Joker and I don’t care, because Bullseye fucking sucks

And the Joker doesn’t?

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equinox216 said on August 12th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Lister, thing is (for me at least), the.Punisher doesn’t have to be going up against Tetragrammaton Ted or Power Punk Princess to grossly merit having, at some point in his career, accidentally caught a bullet in a major artery/organ/chakra point and died. He’s not out there out-TIDDLYWINKING organized crime, after all. Spidey’s got agility and ill-defined ‘spider sense’, Iron Man’s got Iron in his name, and all Castle’s got is… what, narrative and historical imperative? Great, call him the Capitalist Punisher, send him out there to deal with the running dogs, and leave him with an ice axe in the back of his Trotsky hat, then bring in someone with a new bone to pick. “Shit, my family died” really isn’t that hard an origin story to replicate, you know?

As for Bullseye, I think his ‘grim’n’gritty killer’ shtik has been eclipsed, you know? Making him a MORE brainless killer isn’t character development or storytelling, unless your alternative is being in talks for Daredevil’s new nemesis to be Dark Prostate Cancer.

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Osborn can never be Luthor. Luthor can, in the write hands, actually be interesting and multifaceted. Osborn’s just a psycho. You would never get such a wonderful monologue that conveys depth such as:

“All men are created equal. All men. You are not a man. But they’ve made you their hero. And they worship you. So tell me, what redemption do you offer them?

Those red eyes. I’m sure they look right through me, like I am nothing more than a nuisance. But when I see you? I see something no man can ever be. I see the end. The End of our potential. The end of our achievements. The end of our dreams. You are my nightmare.

But even staring at you — the Abyss — I am not afraid. Trust me, I’m not. Because whatever you have? I have more. I have hope.”

That’s right. Lex Luthor, You have the capacity for great Hope, welcome to the Blue Lantern Corps.

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VersasoVantare said on August 12th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Equinox, do you think the other low or no-powered characters like Captain America, Batman and Daredevil should all have caught a bullet at some point and died too?

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Sofa King said on August 12th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

What’s the Punisher’s Big Point? Cap has patriotism and hope for the country, Daredevil’s fighting for the little guy…Castle has what? Kill people who Done You Wrong? He’s just a movie slasher except he uses guns not a machete. Course, Batman also falls under this…

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mygif

At least Lady Bullseye just seems to be yet-another-stripper/ninja but with a shtick.

Her costume isn’t remotely stripper-ish, actually (though the fact that half of it is white and she wears white face paint confuses some people).

As for Bullseye, I don’t know that he’s any more markedly out of place than any other non-powered character who survives in extreme situations (such as, as others have mentioned, Hawkeye, the man he’s imitating).

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@ Aulayan:
I preface this comment by saying I am in no way trying to put Osborn up as nuanced as Luthor, ’cause, well, he’s not, as you’ve demonstrated. It’s easier to defend the view that Marvel’s trying to make him fit that mold, but that’s another argument entirely.
Mostly though, I’m just glad you gave me an opportunity to provide the most memorable (and let’s face it, only memorable) Osbourne monologue:
I’m so glad I never washed this particular costume. Smells like death, blondes, and victory. Maybe this could be my presidential uniform. Do presidents have uniforms? I suppose not. Still, since I’d be the president, I could do what I like, really… I’d rewrite all this superhuman registration legislative junk, I’ll tell you that for nothing.
‘Are you a self-proclaimed super hero?’
‘Why, shucks, sir, I sure am a regular guy in bad underpants who fights crime without understanding one damn thing about how the world works, yes.’
‘Excellent. I send you now to a concentration camp where you will be sterilized, lobotomized, tenderized and pasteurized. So says President Goblin!’
Actually, that’s a bit more Doctor Doom, isn’t it? Still, the idea’s sound.
Note to self: give naked dictation more often. The ideas seem to flow more freely.
…Now let’s take care of business. And then, I think I shall viciously beat some complete strangers at random.”

That puts the final nail in my Osborn/Luther analogy, since, yeah, not so much nuanced as crazy as hell, but at least it reminds us all how good Ellis is at insane rants.

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equinox216 said on August 12th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I’ll admit that part of my antipathy to the Punisher is a lack of interest; all I’ve ever been able to see him as is gun and explosives and splatter porn. The other guys you mentioned at least have storylines, narratives, life events that even though I don’t regularly follow them, I know about and find interesting. Punisher’s not funny, interesting, or sympathetic, at least to me. His continued survival doesn’t narratively answer any questions, or raise any new ones, about comics or heroism. I guess I just don’t see the POINT.

“Punisher as cultural event” or “modern mythology” would make it more interesting, give it a life that Grimmy McKilling’sAllIKnow(ExceptForThatOneChickSometimeIThink) doesn’t and hasn’t in decades.

Bulletshield ex machina’s fine and well to keep a story alive, but what’s the story here? Other than ‘gunporn sells’?

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Allegretto said on August 12th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

There was a bit of dialogue in some issue of Black Panther that said pretty much everything there is to say about Bullseye. When confronted by a Skrull with bullseye abilities T’challa said: “The guy who can hit his targets with any object? you realize we have circus performers capable of the same feat, right?” (Or something along those lines)

I have to agree with MGK on this one.

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“Watching Joker walk all over Superman isn’t unbelievable, for instance.”

For you, maybe.

I find it incredibly unbelievable. A really fast, really durable, superstrong guy who shoots lasers out of his eyes and uses them to perform tricky brain surgery on people against a guy who… Well, I guess he’s pretty good at chemistry.

Superman isn’t even vulnerable to lethal laughing gas, so what’s The Joker going to do? If it wasn’t for that crappy JLA story where they tried to say the only way to defeat the Joker was to use telepathy on him, it would take Superman about three panels to stop the dude.

I’m a huge DC fan, but I seriously think we should all just ignore everything from the Nineties JLA series. A lot of incredibly stupid crap became canon just because “tell, don’t show” writing was easier than coming up with better plots.

“Batman can beat everybody… but he still has a hard time stopping The Joker… Therefor, The Joker must be almost as awesome as Batman!” doesn’t really fly if you think about it critically for about five seconds.

The Joker is just a skinny dude with an acid squirting flower who has a knack for finding abandoned amusement parks in convenient locations. Just because he’s written well sometimes, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad ass.

Anybody tougher than Jason Todd should be able to defeat him really easily. I don’t care how “unpredictable” he is.

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Yeah, isn’t the Joker thing just ultimately a point about Batman? Batman doesn’t belong, logically, in the wider DC universe, because it makes no sense. The only way Batman can roll with the rest of the DC superheroes is to raise him to his own power: he must be Batman^Batman, which is how we end up with a guy who’s not a very wealthy, brilliant man who’s undergone extensive training to become a great detective and a world-class hand-to-hand combatant, but rather one of the five richest men in the world, with an intellect that’s maybe a hair’s breadth shy of Brainiac’s, the greatest tactical and strategic mind since Scipio Africanus, and the best non-powered hand-to-hand combatant in the known universe. And you know what? Even then the Flash could kick his ass.

Ditto, of course, for Bullseye and Daredevil (who do go together) except that they get a leg up for being sorta-enhanced, what with the adamantium and the super-senses.

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Not only do I totally agree with you, I think there should be another post just like this one on Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin. I read the first 121 issues of Spider-Man, right up until the man caught a goblin glider through the chest. You know what the Green Goblin was? A two-bit punk, a Kingpin wannabe with a bag of tricks who couldn’t even scheme together a way to take over New York City’s mobs, let alone become a power player on the scale of Doctor Doom. His only talent was a knack for slipping away when things got rough, and he spent easily half his time forgetting he was the Green Goblin at all. The only reason he was ever remade as a poor man’s Luthor was because they’d written themselves into a corner with the Clone Saga and needed a Big Name Villain to be behind it all.

I realize that in Dark Reign, Doom’s supposed to be manipulating him, but honestly? Doom would crush Normie’s skull like a grape, atomize the body, and turn to the rest of the group and say, “That’s the kind of cheap punk we don’t use. Now let’s find some real allies.”

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@SC: Okay. I would say I was misled by that variant cover to Daredevil # 111.
http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/288/141420_20080927140937_large.jpg

I think that we all need to realize that Norman Osborn is in no way intended to be Lex Luthor.

He’s supposed to be supervillain Dick Cheney. (Or the liberal caricature thereof, if you prefer) I think he works great at this, as he’s the guy you want to lose. Quite frankly, I think they should maintain him this way as long as possible. It’s sometime quipped that the Joker has a power of super-sanity, well, Norman’s power is super-assholery. He’s not just a lying dick, he’s a cheating dick, a craven dick, and more. He doesn’t emulate a dark or emo version of a power fantasy, as so many villains have become. He’s slightly less silly Snidely Whiplash. He’s the love child of Tommy Lee Jones from Under Siege and Tommy Lee Jones from the Fugitive.

Hell, he’s probably not even insane. He’s probably just giddy from self-awareness.

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Andrew W. said on August 13th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I think, like other people have mentioned, that you have to give Bullseye a bit of a pass because he’s the normal dude every Avengers team ever pretty much had.

Though, I do remember when Hawkeye got Pym particles or some bullshit and grew large and became Goliath or something.

I do agree that he’s annoying and overplayed, though. But, y’know, so’s Wolverine. You just can’t do much about it, sometimes. And, well, at least Bullseye got his comeuppance against American Eagle instead of taking nukes and not dying or some shit.

“Doom would crush Normie’s skull like a grape, atomize the body, and turn to the rest of the group and say, “That’s the kind of cheap punk we don’t use. Now let’s find some real allies.””

If the group is all those supervillains Osborn got together, which I remind you includes the fucking Hood, then I am very disappointed in you.

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Lister Sage said on August 13th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

equinox216: I can’t defend the Punisher in the way your asking. Because while I feel that as Ennis’ run on the MAX series did a little of this you’ll never be able to get through the book to see it. Plus, the reason I like the Punisher is the escapist, eye for an eye, violence that many of Frank’s victims deserve. Because when Spidey and Daredevil are to pussy to drop the serial killing, violent, rapist off the top the the Empire State building, Frank will do it and wrap him up in a bow tie.

Putting a rabid dog in a cage doesn’t always fix the problem. You need to put Cujo down.

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Lister Sage said on August 13th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

John Seavey, Andrew W.: If you haven’t read it I’d highly recommend Dark Reign: The Cabal, which came out a few months ago. It has a story for each of the members (though I can’t remember if Norman had one or what Loki’s was about) starting with Doom. Now this is a good thing and a bad thing. Bad because it technically happens a year into the future, which kind of wastes the point of the whole event, but good because you get to see Doom’s plan come to fruition without reading a bunch of crap. Needless to say Doom has no respect for any of the other members, though be gives a lot of respect to Namor, but that’s because Doom isn’t stupid.

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equinox216 said on August 13th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Lister: No problem with the killing (remember my ‘modern mythology’ statement from before; mortal vengeance is a-okay). It’s the lack of compelling -anything else- written around the killing in the stories.

The bad guys are bad enough to merit getting killed; we GET it already, Frank. But for all the ‘stark realism’ of the depictions of the violence and the nastiness of the nasties what deserve killin’, the only thing that draws people in (and keeps Frank alive ex machina) is… that the killing is apt? Is that really as pointless a point as the title’s got? No story, characters, or plot, just contortedly and guaranteed-as-written justifiable murder? I mean, didn’t we invent video games for that, and horror movies for ‘killing that’s not even apt’?

A dead Frank Castle, a martyred Frank Castle, is a more compelling character than a live Frank Castle. You could write any number of other big-name characters dead, and show the wake on inspiration in their passing. Many HAVE. But all those other characters? Also have stories to be told while ALIVE, and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s bothering to do it with the concept of or the role of the Punisher.

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equinox216 said on August 13th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Which actually brings this back around full-circle to Bullseye. ‘Popup contract killer’ isn’t a problem, it’s when you append ‘pointless’ and ‘dramatically bankrupt’ (and not in the Green Arrow way :p ) that there’s a problem with the character. Using him more and ‘failing to add’, or even ‘SUBTRACTING’, depth, means you need MGK to show up with a 5-part series, “Why I Should Write The Bullseye-Punisher Murder-Suicide Lovers’ Pact”.

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VersasoVantare said on August 14th, 2009 at 1:41 am

I can’t really see MGK dong that, seing as how he put the Punisher in his top fifty comicbook characters list.

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Lister Sage said on August 14th, 2009 at 11:32 am

equinox216: The most character development the Punisher has had in years was in Punisher: Born by Garth Ennis, which was about Frank’s last tour of Vietnam.

Other then that, your not going to get anything. Frank is figuratively and literally the Grim Reaper. He’s not a real person, just a personification of death and death doesn’t change so Frank doesn’t change. It’s not like Frank hasn’t inspired others to take up his mantle even without having him die. Personally I think the idea of someone else becoming the Punisher would be better off without Frank being killed, just missing for a while with everyone assuming he died, simpily because you won’t piss off any fanboys and, comics being comics, he’d come back from the dead anyway.

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The Osborn as Luthor wannabe thing probably goes back to this weird period after the Clone Saga where suddenly he was using his money and business connections to annoy Spider-Man in various ways. For example, at least for a while he owned the Daily Bugle. He bought it just so he could mess with Spidey while he was at work. Right around the same time, Lex Luthor had bought the Daily Planet and was doing the same kind of stuff to Superman (except with Osborn, it made a little more sense because he knew Spidey’s real identity).

Osborn started wearing white suits and doing that whole “you know I did it, but you can’t do anything to me” routine that Marv Wolfman and John Byrne came up with for Lex Luthor back in the Eighties. One could argue that Osborn became a more effective Kingpin wannabe, but the shameless way they ripped off story ideas from the Superman comics made the Luthor comparison hard to avoid.

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And now, my first actual comment about Bullseye…

“Fifth, yeah he needs to be a mutant. The accuracy can be his own skill, but the “everything is deadly” needs to be some sort of hazy mutant power.”

I used to have a beaten up used copy of the first appearance of Bullseye. I definitely got the impression from his origin story that this was exactly the case.

I was really disappointed when I read an Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe update several years later and found out that the official story (at that point, anyway) was just that he’s stronger than he looks and he practices a lot.

A vague throwing stuff power actually makes more sense than saying it’s a learned skill. Which is probably why they gave Gambit super agility to help explain why he throws playing cards instead of shuriken or something.

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@Lister Sage: Oh, I know Doom doesn’t actually have any respect for Norman in ‘Dark Reign’. I’m saying that in a more accurate depiction of the character, he wouldn’t even pretend to have any respect for Norman in ‘Dark Reign’. :)

(Sort of like ‘Acts of Vengeance’, where Doom spends the entire time acting snippy to the other villains and treats the whole thing as an excuse to pull an elaborate practical joke on Reed Richards.)

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Evil Abraham Lincoln said on August 17th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Norman Osborn as a Luthor analogue? Seriously?

Marvel’s gone off the deep end. The only Spiderman villain who’s ever come close to mirroring Luthor’s level of untouchability is Roderick Kingsley (the Hobgoblin).

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Jack Balfour said on October 25th, 2011 at 11:38 am

Bullseye has become the Major Force of the Marvel U. He’s a dimwitted thug who likes to kill people, and you know the government’s untrustworthy because someone with power gave Bullseye a mission instead of a padded cell.

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