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Tales to Enrage said on May 5th, 2010 at 9:21 am

I love your use of the Hank Pym scale for unlikability, mostly because I’m actually starting to like Hank Pym in Mighty Avengers. I also loved the idea of Thanos eating a planet, because while the shrill fanboy part of my brain wants to scream “It’s Galactus,” we both know you meant to type Thanos, and thus the idea of Thanos eating a planet is funny as hell. Because you know Thanos would eat a planet, just to say he did. (Assuming he hasn’t already.)

I do wonder if part of the problem is the fact that DC had to retcon its characters into being more “realistic” post Crisis, though. Sure, Marvel had to do that with some of its characters in the 60s, but it let most of its Golden Age heroes rot when they started their big revival. I think there’s a thread of sensitivity about the pre-Crisis adventures of legacy characters now, and it butts up against the nostalgia kick many of the top writers at DC have.

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I skipped this one because that’s pretty much what I was expecting – but honestly, I’d characterize the Rise of Arsenal as DC doing something too much like Marvel, not completely unlike them.

I mean, seriously. “Let’s see how much we can fuck up Spider-Man’s/Arsenal’s life today.” That’s not the kind of thing I read comics for. It’s not entertaining to me.

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“We all know that superheroes are a stupid concept and they don’t work if you think about them for two seconds.”

I’ve thought about the concept, and noticed that, with the really successful characters, you see that they all have one very important power that is reimagined in a myriad of ways over the years: that which brings them added knowledge – Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense, Daredevil’s Radar Sense, Superman’s various visions and superhuman senses, Batman’s deductive skills, the Shadow’s network of agents, Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto. They all give them a very important tool: the knowledge of WHEN to act.

So, what I’ve derived from the concept of the superhero (which I wonder sometimes if this was borne of Jewish persecution) is, “when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that something is wrong, it is our responsibility as human beings to right it.”

And then came the Silver Age, when Stan Lee and Marvel Comics added a little something extra: “…and if you don’t, the cosmos will find a way to punish you.”

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Sent too soon: So basically I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t agree with you on that point. :)

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This is the same reason I have problems with lots of gore in superhero comics. You’re dealing with characters who can defy the laws of physics (even Batman, because let’s face it, the laws of physics are scared of him), Wonder Woman can bounce bullets off her wrist bracers without suffering any knockback or shattered bones, Superman can lift up a plane and not just one part of it, etc.- realistically bones should be snapping and viscera flying every time these people get in a scrap, but to do it selectively just confuses everything.

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One of the Six Remaining People, reporting for duty.

Actually, no, wait, I don’t count, since I only knew that the Teen Titans existed because of the cartoon. Okay never mind.

(P.S. Roy Harper was okay in that too. Nothing special, but he was sort of fun and very gay for Aqualad).

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I mean, seriously. “Let’s see how much we can fuck up Spider-Man’s/Arsenal’s life today.” That’s not the kind of thing I read comics for. It’s not entertaining to me.

Before I get into this, like MGK, I was a DC Fanboy growing up. Hell, I even liked Roy Harper for some reason.

The difference is, Clone Saga aside, they never tried to ruin Spiderman’s life by ripping his arm off, killing his kid, having him take drugs and getting in the face of every superhero he knows. The “classic” Spiderman story never gets that Grand Guignol. His life never actually gets “ruined” it just gets more and more crap piled on top of it.

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Norman Rafferty said on May 5th, 2010 at 11:15 am

Amen. The #1 thing that keeps me from being a hardcore DC fan is that recurring self-consciousness. Talking about how stupid superheroes are while alternately revelling in their stupidity.

Titles like Preacher and Hitman only re-inforce this. The schizophrenia in DC is maddening. Why can’t comics simply be comics?

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Gemma Files said on May 5th, 2010 at 11:15 am

Considering your stance on Civil War, I’ve been wondering about how/if you’ve liked the whole Dark Reign/Dark Avengers thing. I have, as you know–but then again, sometimes I think my ability to like any comic has grown in direct proportion to my lack of investment in most comics. Does that make sense? I can just suspend my vulnerability to canon making me its bitch, and go: “Mmm, interesting direction! I never thought about those characters interacting liked that; the government hired a supervillain to run its internal security, who then hired another bunch of supervillains to pretend they’re heroes. Huh. That’s pretty hilarious!”

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Y’know differences of opinion aside I usually respect your opinion, MGK, so in the interest of that continuing I must ask you to never again link to someone who thought Blue Beetle and Final Crisis were bad comics for purposes of anything other than mockery.

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I’m totally using the Pym scale of Forever-Unlikability from now on. Personally I’d put Tony Stark at about a 6, and Reed Richards is at least a 9.

I never really read DC comics, except for ‘special’ titles like Watchmen and Fables and the odd Batman event comic. I think their universe lacks suspension of disbelief…and maybe that’s another symptom of the same problem as MGK has with them.

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Y’know differences of opinion aside I usually respect your opinion, MGK, so in the interest of that continuing I must ask you to never again link to someone who thought Blue Beetle and Final Crisis were bad comics for purposes of anything other than mockery.

Abhay doesn’t think Blue Beetle is a bad comic. He thinks it’s a well-meaning, somewhat clumsy attempt at a character introduction that’s been tainted by DC-ness. I largely agree.

As for Final Crisis, I’m long on record as thinking it’s, at best, an interesting failure.

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Aulayan said on May 5th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I would just like to correct a certain assumption that the mini will end with Roy all positive and the like.

All the hints show him going Supervillain.

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“I would just like to correct a certain assumption that the mini will end with Roy all positive and the like.

All the hints show him going Supervillain.”

Point – “rise” should’ve been a clue, there…

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@Paul Wilson – So your point is that Marvel’s methods of shitting on their character’s happiness are slower and more tedious? :)

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“If I pick up a Spider-Man comic, I barely ever have to read a thinly veiled diatribe from some writer about how I’m wrong for not liking Spider-Man the way that they like Spider-Man.”

You have a point – they don’t do that…IN THE BOOKS. Message boards are another story.

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I’m not being snarky or derisive when I say this, MGK: you should just stop reading them.

I can testify that after I cut out all monthly comics I have been generally much happier. The relationship turned toxic for me and it needed to be cut off. Now I have more money and I don’t have to read the All-New Version Of What Happened Before I Read Comics (Now With More Rape!) I don’t have to be lectured by the writer via his spandex sock-puppet on why things are how they are.

I especially don’t have to suspect I’ve become That Fan we all know, that is an endless font of acidic bile, that we all wonder if they actually love what they are screaming about or if they just like blowing off steam and this is as good an outlet as any. I used to make fun of that fan, but not anymore, because now I understand the trap. You never seriously consider leaving the thing you’ve grown to hate, because you define yourself as a fan of X – but all the things you love about X have departed and you can’t bring yourself to depart with them. So you just go off on the questionable things that are left behind, and little wonder because what else are you going to talk about?

I can still keep up to date by reading the blogs and websites, and see if anything’s interesting. That doesn’t cost me a dime and honestly, I’m to the point where the websites about comics are more entertaining than the comics themselves. That’s pretty telling, I think.

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I’m not being snarky or derisive when I say this, MGK: you should just stop reading them.

You have any idea how much DC output I’ve just stopped reading entirely? I’m not reading frigging Superman comics now; I’m sick and tired of the endless boring-as-sin New Krypton storyline. I haven’t not read Superman in nearly two decades. JSA and the assorted books in that corner, nope. JLA – I said “fuck it” with the start of the Meltzer league and just keep up with it via blogs and the like. Titans I never read in the first place. And so forth.

I just want there to be DC superhero comics I want to read and like to read. I don’t think this is a lot to ask.

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Clone Saga aside, they never tried to ruin Spiderman’s life by ripping his arm off, killing his kid, having him take drugs and getting in the face of every superhero he knows.

So, Marvel never does that, except for the time they did?

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Tim O'Neil said on May 5th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Skemeno – I think that’s precisely the point. They tried it once with their signature character, and it didn’t work to such a MASSIVE degree that it took them nearly a decade and three of the biggest movie blockbusters of all time to recover any momentum and fan goodwill.

The Clone Saga started in Clinton’s first term and the book was still more-or-less in creative triage throughout the first Bush administration. So yeah, it’s the exception that proves the rule in this case, because Marvel learned what not to do the hardest way possible, by doing it and then having to dig themselves out of the very deep trench they had dug.

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Gustopher said on May 5th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I assume someone at DC just hates the idea of archery being a super power (super archery?) and is just trying to make people stop caring about the assorted archers.

I’m way ahead of the curve, though, having never cared about them to begin with.

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Well, Marvel DID have Spidey GROW four extra arms for a while; I’d argue that’s better than chopping one off…

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Superboy Prime’s whole existence is essentially Geoff Johns making fun of “the stereotypical comic reader” by saying that we long for the old days, that we’ll end up in our parents’ basement, etc. And I’ve loved Johns’ run on GL. But the writers at DC seem content to be the prototypical mean girls in high school who pander to you and then ridicule you behind your back a second later.

What they don’t realize is we (and I’m using the royal we here as The Dude would say) just want good stories that affect some change in a character’s life. Which is why my favorite book right now is by far Brubaker’s Captain America. And also why Runaways was awesome.

That is all.

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“I just want there to be DC superhero comics I want to read and like to read. I don’t think this is a lot to ask.”

Hey, I understand. I’m in the same boat! I wish there were comics in DC’s stable I wanted to read too.

But wishing, sadly, does not make it so. Whoever the comics are targeted at, it’s not us any more. I dunno who the hell would want to read “like the Silver Age but with more stabbing” and I’m not sure I want to. There clearly aren’t enough fans like us left to sustain a series and I’m not sure what, if anything, we can really do about it.

Hell, they seem to like it when we get pissed! They wear it like a badge on their arm. “If you’re pissed off it means you care,” and shit like that. How do you even advocate for what you want when the mere act of advocacy makes the problem worse?

I don’t think it’s too much to ask for fun, none-too-serious superhero comics – but clearly, DC does. And they’re the ones who make the comics so what you & I think doesn’t really matter, especially since they’re determined to take what you & I say in completely the wrong way. Faced with that, all we really can do is ask if we should stay or should we go, and to follow through if we decide the latter. It’s an uncool position to be in, but that’s where we are.

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Man, they sure as hell did fuck up JSA didn’t they? You wouldn’t think such an easy property would be so fuckupable, and certainly not by the guy who was doing pretty good work with Blue Beetle, but there you haveit. I mean, seriously, MILITARY JSA? This was your masterstroke? And Magog is a terrible character and no one can make him good, not Keith Giffen, not Geoff Johns, not whoever your favorite writer is.

Well, Warren Ellis could, but the character would get so fucked up in the process it doesn’t count.

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“So, Marvel never does that, except for the time they did?”

More like this: With Marvel, it’s the exception. With DC, it’s the rule.

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supergp said on May 5th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

And this is why, having started reading comics a decade ago, I read probably 60% Marvel, 30% Vertigo, 5% Dark Horse/Wildstorm, and 5% DC, and only the Elseworlds stuff and things that are too small to connect strongly with the main DC Editorial staff (Blue Beetle, BoP, etc.)

Of course, Jeph Loeb’s rapidly breaking me of reading Ultimate Marvel….

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I think that the main difference between DC and Marvel is that the core DC characters were designed to tell circular stories and the core Marvel characters were designed to tell progressing stories. Barry Allen would usually wind up closing a story at dinner with Iris West, but Marvel would usually close by highlighting the latest heart-break suffered by the protagonist. That is not a question more or less maturity, or realism. You could, in theory, tell very mature stories about The Atom or Hawkman that were extremely faithful to their original conception.

However, the market has not demanded circular stories in a very long time. DC has been forced to re-invent nearly all their properties on the fly as a result. Ray Palmer and Jean Loring married, divorced and she went crazy. Barry and Iris each died and came back. The Titans all stopped being Teens.

The notable exception is Batman. No matter who is in the Robin suit, or what decade it is, there is the Bat-Signal and the Batcave. Bruce Wayne is still not over the death of his parents. Alfred is still the loyal butler and Jim Gordon still has cases that can’t be solved using conventional police methods.

Batman is the last truly DC franchise. It is also the healthiest.

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Warren K said on May 5th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I must admit, what DC is doing to Roy right now pisses me off. I did like him as a character when Lian was alive. Me being a single father, I did kind of connect with him… Of course I don’t run around my city wearing Red Tights, but I did have a time consuming job. I wish I knew what the shit DC was doing this for cuz it makes no damn sense to me.

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See, I get the whole “superheroes are a stupid concept and I would rather be writing anything else” vibe from Mark Millar’s stuff at Marvel too. Which would’ve been fine if he was always off doing his own stuff. But, y’know, Civil War.

It had some interesting ideas as you say, but in the end it’s trying to tell you how stupid it is to allow people with superpowers total autonomy. Which, if viewed from a real-world perspective, is probably true -but again, it’s a little too close to reminding you that superheroes don’t work from a real-world perspective. At least, not for long.

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Ok, I read that column on Blue Beetle and outside of how awesome the ending was, which we more or less agree on, I couldn’t think he was more wrong – and maybe it’s cuz I didn’t read the rest of the columns he wrote, but I get the strong impression that guy did not at all like Blue Beetle.

Also, I figured out the upside to this whole stupid mini – he’s not Red Arrow anymore

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Dan Coyle said on May 5th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I think Abhay’s problem was that he really liked Blue Beetle but was afraid to admit it.

Stuff like the Rise of Arsenal can’t help but make me wonder about the personal lives of the creators involved, and the newly appointed Chief Creative Officer of DC.

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It was plain that the guy couldn’t stand Blue Beetle. And that a lot of his stated reasons were based on flawed logic.

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Brian T. said on May 5th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

So, what’s the deal with Harper’s arm? I read something a while back about how he wouldn’t just get a new one.

If so, there are a ton of reasons why that’s both really stupid and highly impractical for a martial artist guy who throws stuff at people.

Considering that cyborg arms exist in the DCU, all he really has to do is go to STAR Labs and say something like, “Hey there. I used to be a Titan. Remember that time you made new body parts for Cyborg? What would it cost to make me a prosthetic?”

Yeah, it might be a bit too much like the Winter Soldier. But that seems preferable to me than trying to sell us on the idea that he can still fight people with a pretty limiting disability.

Also… There are magic, nine different flavors of power ring, Wonder Woman’s Purple Ray and all sorts of other fantastic stuff that could deal with Harper’s most inconvenient problem pretty easily. So, it’s just another dorky thing that helps reinforce how problematic it is when you decide to have “realistic” consequences for a change in a DC comic.

If frickin’ Wildcat lost an arm, he would get a healing factor long enough to grow a new one or something goofy like that. Just because Geoff Johns and other writers like seeing a 90-year old guy in a stupid cat costume punch people and drink beer.

So, the occasional bouts of realism (for me anyway), just rub in the fact that DC “creators” play favorites.

If it’s a character they like, he or she can get beaten half to death and have limbs broken and barely survive an explosion and be back in fighting shape with just a few cuts and bruises a couple of issues later. If it’s somebody they don’t like or consider expendable, suddenly the injuries are treated more like real injuries.

Or in Arsenal’s case, they mistakenly believe that maiming him is more “dramatic.”

If DC was consistent at all, most of their non-powered heroes would either be dead or in traction in a private hospital set up by Batman after he got beaten half to death by some OMACs back during Infinite Crisis. But the way they bend their own rules in favor of characters who are popular, or who the writers and editors just like for some reason, is really annoying.

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Marvel did have that weird moment in Civil War when you got some journalist wannabe questioning Captain America about whether he was on MySpace or not and how that meant his side was wrong. That certainly seemed to be the writers telling the fans they were all wrong.

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Fuck Hawkman? Am I gonna get whanged in the head from behind if I revamp my outfit for another go-round

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Andrew said on May 5th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I couldn’t read those comics Ellis does/did for Avatar. They were pretty much dudes just blowing shit up 24/7 and there was so much blood and shit getting ripped apart that I could not follow what was going on.

“I assume someone at DC just hates the idea of archery being a super power (super archery?) and is just trying to make people stop caring about the assorted archers.”

Frankly, it galls me to no end that fucking Batman can hang with the JLA – when have the archers, who are just guys who shoot arrows (silly arrows!) at people and are several scales of magnitude less hardcore than Batman hanging around with the JLA or JSA, it gets my blood pressure up.

Makes me feel really bad for Aquaman. He can talk to fish. There are some fucking nightmare fuel fish in the water.

But the guy whose power is to shoot a bow doesn’t get a fraction of the shit Aquaman does.

So fuck archers. If there is a concious effort at DC to discredit archers, I tip my hat to them.

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Allegretto said on May 5th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I just ignore this kind of shit. It never sticks for long anyway.

From DC, I read REBELS, Secret Six, Batgirl, The Batwoman stuff from Detective Comics and Batman & Robin.
I want to pick up Streets of Gotham, since a friend recommended it. Maybe i will. I read a couple of issues of Red Robin as well and although it was too angsty for my taste, it wasn’t too abysmal tbh.
The rest are pretty readable. REBELS i find particularly fun. Batgirl too, though its nothing astonishing.

Still, the biggest plus all those have, is that they’re not only detached from the usual bullcrap but also from all the Geoff Johns and Identity Crisis that got spilled all over my DC. To different degrees on the latter.

I don’t know if you have given them a try MGK, but maybe you should. So should some of the other guys who were hoping for some readable DC stuff. Who knows, maybe you’ll like them.

Other than that, yes, DC has been publishing mostly shit for a long while now.

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Sofa King said on May 6th, 2010 at 12:36 am

Also Gotham Central is quite good.

Hell, I want Roy to tell Aquaman he “was a bad parent.” Roy will get punched so hard Ollie’s beard will fall off.

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@CandidGamera The point is that Spiderman wasn’t built to be happy from day #1, it’s right there in his origin. After their one big mistake with the Clone Saga, Marvel learned not to shit in the money pot and did everything they could to get him back to a better place. They possibly overcompensated, but it’s a darn-sight more than I expect DC to do.

I’m not sure if there’s any current Marvel character that’s been fucked over as comprehensively as Roy Harper, The Dibneys, the Jason Rusch version of Firestorm, or any of the post-’86 characters that Geoff Johns used to slaughter wholesale for cheap heat.

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Civil War was the kind of terrible that made you go Holy Christ I cannot believe they made something that terrible. Cry for Justice / Rise of Arsenal are the kind of terrible that make you want to throw up, then take a long, painful shit, then throw up again.

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@ Brian T…Roy does have a cybernetic replacement built by Cyborg.

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Fred Davis said on May 6th, 2010 at 5:21 am

There are some fucking nightmare fuel fish in the water.

“Behold, foul evil doer! The Sea is vaster and more terrifying than you shall ever be and from the sea I shall call forth a fiend more fiendish even than… ah shit, the rapid depressurisation exploded it, goddamn suicide squid, look could you wait like… an hour or two? I’ll get it to come up slower this time hey don’t just leave!”

I’m not sure if there’s any current Marvel character that’s been fucked over as comprehensively as Roy Harper

Tigra? Tigra got analskrulled.

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@Paul Wilson – Spider-Man does have a sad origin. Tragic, even. SOME superheroes actually manage to /overcome/ tragedy, though. Superman lost a whole planet – he doesn’t lose another whole planet every month.

I realize I’m against the trend, here, but I haven’t been able to read more than a handful of Marvel books since Civil War. That storyline irrevocably damaged my ability to suspend disbelief and enjoy the Marvel Universe as a fictional construct.

DC, on the other hand, does seem to enjoy completely fucking over it’s second and third tier character in vain attempts to bring them to the first tier, but at least the big guns actually have consistent characterization. Mark Millar’s damn-near-autistic Reed Richards portrayal in Civil War compared with.. oh, I don’t know.. Mark Millar’s “Doc Savage” Reed Richards more recently – that’s a characterization gap that would give even Reed Richards whiplash.

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aw, come on how can one not think Roy Harper has an interesting story to tell http://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/media/blogs/rth/harperplant.jpg

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Mister Alex said on May 6th, 2010 at 11:06 am

“Rise of Arsenal”??

More like “Rise of ARSEHOLE”!! Huh? Huh?

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Chris S said on May 6th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I swear, I must be the only comics fan on the internet who thinks archer superheroes are cool as hell.

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PS Anna Mercury was awesome, ya’ll hatin’.

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@CandidGamera yeah his planet died but A) wasn’t his fault B) he doesn’t remember that shit and C) every other week someone new shows up from Krypton anyway, and now there’s like a million of them on their own planet and stuff.

Uncle ben….still dead, still Spiderman’s fault.

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@coren – John Stewart and Xanshi, then. DC Heroes rise above tragedy. Marvel heroes wallow in it.

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Thank you for the post, MGK. Lately, all I’ve been hearing from the Comics Punditry is how easy it is to fix superhero character screw-ups – it’s nice to know somebody isn’t buying into the “one panel fixes everything” conventional wisdom. Any chance of a post expanding on the Hank Pym Forever Unlikability scale?

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Brian T. said on May 6th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

@KD:

“@ Brian T…Roy does have a cybernetic replacement built by Cyborg.”

Thank you, KD.

That makes way more sense than what the writer said in an interview I read. He made it sound like Arsenal would be running around trying to fight with just a stump.

@Chris S.: I think archers are cool. I just prefer the Hawkeye school of “custom arrowheads that actually make sense, such as sonic weapons or explosives” over the Green Arrow school of “all sorts of whimsical stuff that wouldn’t work, such as handcuffs, boxing gloves or antlers.”

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Willie Everstop said on May 6th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

“any current Marvel character that’s been fucked over as comprehensively as Roy Harper”

How about the Scarlet Witch? Or Speedball? A lot of Marvel characters were fucked over in the 90s but we just pretend those stories never happened.

I like archers and Hank Pym. A good archer is an invaluable support unit. Great for breaking stand-offs and hitting a giant robot’s tiny exposed panel.

Hank Pym is powerful and nuts. I think he and Jocasta should adopt Ultron. There was a good Ultron version in early West Coast Avengers, he wanted to be called Mark. They can be one big happy family who starts a crazy team of reprogrammed robotic Avenger villains.

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Since Hank Pym is the standard for character unlikeability, I would request a picture of Hank Pym kicking Rex the mother-fucking Wonderdog

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Brian T. said on May 6th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Frankly, an archer with “trick” arrows should be way more useful than Batman in some situations simply due to having a greater effective range and being able to act like a sniper.

Also, there are firing rates to consider. I’ve seen a variety of stats, but let’s assume that Green Arrow can shoot ten times a minute. There should be times when he plows through henchmen two or three times as fast as Batman without getting as tired.

The only reason I can think of to hate on archers is that some DC fans have been trained to be dismissive of anything that doesn’t involve fighting hand-to-hand.

I like Hank Pym too. I never bought into the whole “he’s ruined forever because he abused the Wasp” thing. The guy atoned for that and got “redeemed” at least twice. If it wasn’t for Bendis and Millar, it would be more socially acceptable to like the guy.

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Garnet said on May 6th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Unless you’re living in Darfur or something, DC stories these days are significantly more depressing than day-to-day life. Who’s asking for that?

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Willie Everstop: “How about the Scarlet Witch? Or Speedball? A lot of Marvel characters were fucked over in the 90s but we just pretend those stories never happened.”

I think that might be the difference here. When Marvel messes with characters, the stupidest things get ignored or written off. They’ve already changed Speedball back, for instance. Stuff like the Clone Saga or Onslaught is usually just forgotten about, save charitable attempts to give Rob Liefeld work years after his relevance.

When DC does it, the stupidest things become an integral part of the character and get worked into the fabric of the universe through a convoluted Geoff Johns Continuity Snare.

I guess it’s like this: Marvel writes off whole storylines that don’t work; DC explains the origins of costume choices. Marvel adapts; DC justifies. And I love DC, but in the past decade they’ve turned into the snake that’s eating its own tail. I don’t know how much longer they can go on like this before what they’ve got is completely unreadable.

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@Willie Everstop:

Hank Pym is powerful and nuts. I think he and Jocasta should adopt Ultron.

in the most recent issue of Mighty Avengers, Pym officiated the marriage between Jocasta and Ultron.

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Well, why SHOULDN’T Thanos eat a planet? After all, he’s done everything else. He’s tried to take over the universe three times and failed three times, finally winding up in semi-retirement. He created nihilistic clones of based on various aspects of his personality. He forced the Silver Surfer to recite Hamlet. He tried to tentacle-rape Galactus. He committed perjury against his own half-brother.

I’m sure, given the chance, he’d write his own name in a Death Note just for kicks, despite him already having made continguency plans if such a thing happened to him, Death sending him back just to get rid of him, and the fact that Death Notes only work on humans.

When you think about it, Thanos is one of the most potentially FUN villians to write, simply because everything he does is Silver-Age Batshit Insane. Darkseid has his own personal dictatorship planet and worldwide army? BAH! Thanos has no such need for the noble sacrifices of lesser beings – he’ll personally do the job himself!

It’s these kind of comparisions that remind me of the vocal arguements about which Final Fantasy villain is better – Sephiroth or Kefka. I’m firmly in the Kefka camp, having played FFVI before FFVII (I’m only just playing it after picking it up at a garage sale). It’s also interesting that while people think of Thanos as a rip-off of Darkseid, Sephiroth is basically a rip-off of Kefka. (Some have even posted the arguement that VII was a complete rip-off of VI) If you think about it, Kefka is the most HUMAN of all the Final Fantasy villians. Everything he does (apart from the magic) was something that could be done by human hands.

What we need more of is not nihilistic stories that wouldn’t be out of place in a Kafka setting, but stories where we like the heroes and villians EQUALLY for different reasons, and really WANT to see the heroes kick the villians butts.

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Willie Everstop said on May 7th, 2010 at 1:05 am

“in the most recent issue of Mighty Avengers, Pym officiated the marriage between Jocasta and Ultron.”

Gross. Didn’t Jarvis recently explain to Jocasta that Ultron was actually her father. All robots like Pym because he is the father of modern AI.

Thanos was never really a hands-on kind of guy before the Infinity Gems. He used to have a huge army of intergalactic space pirates but I think Thanos sacrificed them all just to distract his enemies for a second.

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Willie Everstop said on May 7th, 2010 at 1:09 am

Just to sort of get back on topic, is Roy Harper’s lost arm the same arm he was pumping heroin into on that famous cover?

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Allegretto said on May 7th, 2010 at 11:41 am

“Just to sort of get back on topic, is Roy Harper’s lost arm the same arm he was pumping heroin into on that famous cover?”

WOW THAT IS SO POETIC CRY FOR JUSTICE IS MORE AMAZING THAN A CRAB WITH A CIGAR!

I so hope that is true and on purpose.

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Ultron’s relationship with Jocasta is even more gross because he used his “mother” the Wasp’s mental patterns to create her personality, and he named her after Oedipus’ mother in order to beat the reader over the head with the Freudstick.

Damn, no wonder Aaron Stark had to attach himself to a Martian war machine to get his will to liveback.

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Since we’re talking about DC telling you that you don’t like comics the right way, I wanted to ask: MGK, any comment on Outsiders 29, which seems to have Dan DiDio literally vilifying a message board poster he dislikes?

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Bahama'at said on May 8th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

In a lot of ways your post echoes a reoccurring conversation my ex-roomate and I have on Wednesday (we take a “civil servant’s lunch break” to grab food, get our new releases and shoot the proverbial poop). He’s always been the Marvel/DC Comic Book guy, I didn’t really get into comics until I lived with him during university and now I tend to get Dark Horse, IDW, and Wildstorm stuff along with my manga. We compare our favourite comic settings – DC’s rape&angst factor vs my “infamous in the 90s for being so 90s” Wildstorm. The key difference between us has been (aside from both of us reading GL titles for our respective Hal/Kyle debates), when I finish my weekly feed I don;t hate myself or the comics I just bought, meanwhile he’s shedding titles like a cat loses hair on your new chair, fed up with the unrelenting grimdarkness of it all. What happened to this world when any random Authority or WildCATS single has less sex and violence porn than a mainstream DC title?

I’d normally say that for all the kvetching about the grimdark, it sells, but in the case of DC that just doesn’t seem to actually work as well as it does for Marvel.

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[…] Also worth your time: MGK ragging on bad comics. But on top of this being about Roy Harper, whom you don’t care about much when you think about […]

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Michael P said on May 9th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Ironically, crap like “Rise of Arsenal” is supposed to make us think superheroes are serious and deep.

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Snorpenbass said on May 9th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

“But you know what? If I pick up a Spider-Man comic, I barely ever have to read a thinly veiled diatribe from some writer about how I’m wrong for not liking Spider-Man the way that they like Spider-Man. I just get a Spider-Man story. “Here,” Marvel says to me, “here’s the Spider-Man story we’re going to write. It might not be quite your thing, we hope it is, but if not… I dunno, I guess DC just resurrected Barry Allen, do you like that? Then read that. We’re gonna write Spider-Man the way we think he should be written, and that’s all we have to say about it.””

…except Marvel is as bad at this as DC. They published an entire What If right after the retconning of Spidey’s marriage whose entire point was “Spidey should never have gotten married in the first place, nyah nyah nyah, stoopid fanboys!”

…which is why I only read The Boys for supers now. At least it’s honest about hating the subject matter it’s about… 😉

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Sunflare2k5 said on May 10th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

They killed Lian?! (checks Wikipedia) …they killed her. :(

I hadn’t seen much of her, but the few times I had she seemed like a happy little kid who got the people around her happy as well. She was a break from the angst and “massive seriousness that we must assume to show comics aren’t for kids… except we draw lots of babes so we’ve only moved the bar up to teenagers.”

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[…] But it was his impassioned salvo against JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL that made me send a comment to one of his posts for the first time, that I think I’d like to discuss here as well. […]

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Makes you wonder why they did all that stuff with Green Arrow mending his wicked ways and getting married to Black Canary if they just intended to…

…oh, hell. They set us up for this, didn’t they? Ollie and Dinah marry, Roy becomes Red Arrow and joins the Justice League, everybody’s happy-happy, and then they drop the anvil. Thanks, DC. I didn’t think there was anyone out there as sadistic as Russell T. Davies, but you guys are stiff competition.

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I think you’re assuming a level of planning that just wasn’t there. One angle on the Arrow family didn’t work, sales on the GA/BC book cratered again, and now they’re trying something else that probably won’t work.

Granted, GA as an outlaw in a weird city/forest hybrid is a great concept, but the path it took there was so malignantly stupid and has engendered to much ill-will that the book is pretty much ruined before it’s started.

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Loreweaver said on June 14th, 2010 at 9:19 am

It makes me sad that there’s so little love for Green Lantern. That segment of DC is still fairly high-quality.
Also whafuck is up with Pete and Gwen being together in Ultimate Spidey, but thank God they canceled Ultimate X-Men.

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“8.2 Pyms”

Heh, that is pretty good.

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