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Old 2006-06-24, 04:15 AM   #21
Denyer
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Originally posted by Sir Auros
isn't Ultimates kind of cheating on that since it's outside of the traditional Marvel Universe?
The Ultimate titles are entirely mainstream, and hyped a great deal -- though it's perhaps more relevant to talk about DC, who've literally sidelined entire universes; their previous eras of work still exist in a sense, and it used to be popular to cross characters over between the Earths. Marvel prefer events such as AoA or House of M in which they get carte blanche to meddle with whatever they feel like at the time without having to explain inconsistencies.

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Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I prefer most older characters when they're being taken away from the original ideals...
I find having them as background characters in an ensemble works well; Supes is very much a living legend to younger capes, which comes across in Kingdom Come and especially in a team book such as JLA. It's also the strength of Superman/Batman -- the two are given inner monologues in which they describe each other. Having characters voice the respect they have for others is often much more effective than trying to win respect for those other characters directly from the reader.

Dinah Lance (Black Canary II) describing having the JLA as adoptive family and Ted Grant (Wildcat) in particular... actually makes the latter seem interesting. Stick him in a book on his own and it just wouldn't work.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 04:49 AM   #22
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Originally posted by Denyer
The Ultimate titles are entirely mainstream, and hyped a great deal -- though it's perhaps more relevant to talk about DC, who've literally sidelined entire universes; their previous eras of work still exist in a sense, and it used to be popular to cross characters over between the Earths. Marvel prefer events such as AoA or House of M in which they get carte blanche to meddle with whatever they feel like at the time without having to explain inconsistencies.
But the Ultimates aren't existing in the same universe as the New Avengers was the point I was making. They still have a universe out there for the people who won't accept changes. I know about the multiple DC universes, but I feel like the changes you're talking about are more cosmetic than fundamental. Let me also clear up my point since it was deliberately vague through being tongue-in-cheek earlier, "never" is too strong a word to use, but there are certain things about characters and their worlds that will never change in mainstream comics. All bets are off in anything that isn't expected to bring in a big, fat monthly wad.

Going from my experience with Batman and Detective Comics (the only mainstream series I read regularly and have been reading since 98 or 99), comics jerk you around and tease with changes that seem so radical at the time, and then everything goes back to normal. Yeah, there was a devastating earthquake in Gotham when I started reading, but you wouldn't know it happened now. Yes, Batman and Catwoman got together, but of course that ended when Loeb was done with Hush. Jason Todd died...but now he's back.* Two-face was cured (how many times is this now?), and now he's back.

It's just a never-ending stream of bull**** that's hard to take seriously. I enjoy the Batbooks, but I wouldn't consider them high comic art. They're entirely commercial products like some of the sequel franchises you see in videogames today. Still entertain the hell out of me.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 05:46 AM   #23
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Originally posted by Sir Auros
If we're nitpicking the origins of peoples' opinions on comic book heroes, then I guess I'll point out that admiring the character based on the movie = forming an opinion without reading the character's comics. Also, it seems like a cop-out to say one has to read the right stories to give the character a fair shot.

Nope.

When I was 10 I read a Spider-Man comic that had Moon Knight and a couple other heroes in it. At the time the story seemed interesting but Moon Knight really didn't seem like a remarkable character. That didn't exactly make me go out and find other comics with Moon Knight in it. When I was in high school I read CEREBUS: HIGH SOCIETY and enjoyed it, but didn't understand why Dave Sim decided to choose Moon Knight out of all characters to parody, since I still thought the character wasn't really noteworthy.

Wasn't until five years ago when I got around to reading the original 1980's MOON KNIGHT run that I found out how interesting the character can be. So there's validity in reading the "right" stories (or rather, finding stories that would get you interested) to get interested in the character.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 02:47 PM   #24
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Originally posted by Sir Auros
there are certain things about characters and their worlds that will never change in mainstream comics
Depends whether you're talking long- or short- term. There'll always be the option of reversing or ignoring major change by branching off at a particular point, that's simply the nature of a fictional universe. With magic and high-level tech in the mix, it can even be made plausible within the context of the fiction itself.

If you're looking for series in which status quos can and do change, I'd suggest checking out stuff such as Invincible and StormWatch. That's not to say that in DC or Marvel changes can't stick; Oracle isn't returning to the streets as Batgirl anytime soon. They're just fewer and further between, with marketing more important than telling a good story.

Taking the Big Two to be a distinct and separate mainstream (which isn't exactly true, but it'll do for quick and strained metaphor) -- most of the stuff in which you get stories that retain meaning isn't part of that pissflow... I do enjoy some of the material, but it's like beer; a few more pints will wash the previous ones away.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 03:22 PM   #25
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I think the problem with Marvel, certainly, is they've got to somehow balance trying to bring in new readers while maintaining the fans who have been buying their comics for years, which has been pretty much illustrated by X-Men over the past few years - they do have a go at some big changes (Morrison's run, for example, has probably been entirely retconned by Cockmont by now), but they're usually undone a bit down the line. They key is to find the books where it is good and different, and try not to think of the **** that was poured on the characters at other points. This is why at the moment I'm leaning a bit towards largely self-contained titles (Miracleman, Global Frequency, V for Vendetta, Watchmen) which tend to either be written by the same person, or by people on the same wavelength (e.g. Moore/Gaiman). It's not easy, though, and it is expensive to keep buying books on recommendations only to find they're not that impressive.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 03:38 PM   #26
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On the subject of Ellis -- Desolation Jones and the recent Lazarus Churchyard collection are worth looking at, the latter with a bit of a 2000AD style... trade of the former will be out later this year.

I think it's generally a good idea to treat scans as a public library and be in a position to make informed purchases. It helps the dross and once-reads from company back-catalogues float to the top less, since merely having been collected in paperback is no longer any indication of quality.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 04:34 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Denyer
Oracle isn't returning to the streets as Batgirl anytime soon.
Yeah, but we've had two Batgirl characters since. At least, I think it's two, and this lesbian chick is replacing Cassandra Cain.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 06:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
Yeah, but we've had two Batgirl characters since. At least, I think it's two, and this lesbian chick is replacing Cassandra Cain.
I think the lesbian one is Batwoman a different character than Batgirl.
 



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Old 2006-06-24, 07:52 PM   #29
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Originally posted by Sir Auros
Finally, at the time that I was reading the TDK stories, it was soon after Lex Luthor had been elected president, and there was a Batman or DC arc (really small one or else a single issue) involving Batman being pissy with Superman for blindly kowtowing to Luthor's authority as president. IIRC, that's also where Batman got that kryptonite ring.
Not quite.

Superman never blindly followed Luthor just because he was president. He simply allowed for the fact that he was democratically elected and therefore had the mandate of the people, and thus behaved as he would with any other president.
 
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Old 2006-06-24, 11:21 PM   #30
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Originally posted by Sir Auros
Yeah, but we've had two Batgirl characters since.
One. A homicidal Asian assassin who began the series mute and lasted a short while before quitting, in fairly marked contrast to a police commissioner's daughter.

Batwoman is Kathy Kane, who apparently had a brief fling with Renee Montoya (Wikipedia's quite good for details, although often written by the inept: "her personality was changed to make her a lesbian. Her sexual orientation was never revealed in the animated series" -- then how could it have been changed, moron?)
 
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Old 2006-06-25, 08:20 PM   #31
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I really doubt they could've made her a lesbain on Batman: TAS.
 



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Old 2006-06-25, 08:50 PM   #32
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You didn't write that Wikipedia entry, did you? Because you're making the same assumption that all characters are straight until you see them snogging someone of the same sex.
 
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Old 2006-06-25, 10:24 PM   #33
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I forgot to comment earlier but Batman was given the Kryptonite ring by Superman himself. As a contigency should Superman ever go rogue and need to be stopped. Batman was the only one he trusted with such a weapon. I actually have that story around here somewhere...

Superman and Batman can never make any major long term changes as they're too recognizable. They're too marketable.
Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Auros
it seems like a cop-out to say one has to read the right stories to give the character a fair shot.
I think it's unfair to say something like "I think Superman is a tool" or anything which completely dismisses the character as unreadable until you've read the best there is to read about him.

For instance I don't particularly care much for the Punisher stories I've read, not that I wouldn't give a really good story about the character a chance I just haven't read anything good with him in it yet.

Another example is Aquaman. I'd only read a few JLI stories that had the character in them at first and seen him in Superfriends. I wasn't really interested. A friend of mine recommended I read a few issues and loaned the first couple issues of the series written by Peter David to me and I was intrigued enough to go read the Atlantis Chronicles mini-series, which I was totally blown away by. I then bought all the issues of the Aquaman title I could find and he's now one of my very favorite characters.
 
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Old 2006-06-25, 10:33 PM   #34
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Originally posted by Denyer
One. A homicidal Asian assassin who began the series mute and lasted a short while before quitting, in fairly marked contrast to a police commissioner's daughter.

Batwoman is Kathy Kane, who apparently had a brief fling with Renee Montoya (Wikipedia's quite good for details, although often written by the inept: "her personality was changed to make her a lesbian. Her sexual orientation was never revealed in the animated series" -- then how could it have been changed, moron?)
Originally Kathy Kane, Batwoman was a lover of Bats, Bruce Wayne so I suspose it's has been changed.

What I gnerally don't like is that no DC character will ever be allowed to suplant the top 3 or 7 as most popular or more sigificant in the DCU.

Marvel has at least allowed popular characters or new ones to be siginificant players. Every DCU character must have quoted at leats once "It's SUerman, he's the best in the business" or at least bee shown to be inferior to the trinity.
 

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Old 2006-06-25, 10:55 PM   #35
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Well, Marvel has Spidey, Cap and Wolverine who will always be Marvels big names.
 
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Old 2006-06-25, 11:07 PM   #36
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They don't tend to be revered as much, though; basically, they're as competent as a storyline dictates -- to a bit more of an extreme than DC characters tend to be. If a story calls for Logan to be feeling his age, he'll get his arse kicked until he determines to fight back. Cap's had a long stretch of being against the status quo. PP is a mainstay but the protection extends to not killing off, rather than letting him fairly easily trounce all comers.

DC uphold Batman's "unbeatable in a fair fight by a human, and some meta-humans" and Superman's rep of rarely breaking a sweat. WW I haven't read enough of to judge, although they do like screwing with that character more... for a time, they overwrote her as having being one of the JLA founders... basically because fanboys are more protective of SM and BM.
 
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Old 2006-06-25, 11:15 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
You didn't write that Wikipedia entry, did you? Because you're making the same assumption that all characters are straight until you see them snogging someone of the same sex.

No, I'm making the assumption based on the fact that the American networks like Fox (and the WB) that orginally aired Batman:TAS would never let a cartoon that was promoted as a "kids show" and part of their kids block would never have an openly gay character on it.
 



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Old 2006-06-25, 11:34 PM   #38
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Originally posted by Hound
I think it's unfair to say something like "I think Superman is a tool" or anything which completely dismisses the character as unreadable until you've read the best there is to read about him.

For instance I don't particularly care much for the Punisher stories I've read, not that I wouldn't give a really good story about the character a chance I just haven't read anything good with him in it yet.
It's fair to say, "I think Superman is a tool," when the stories you've read with him have him acting as a tool. It's an opinion formed by what you read. I never said I wouldn't give Superman stories a chance, but that I didn't have a very high opinion of the character based on what I have read.
 
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Old 2006-06-26, 12:07 AM   #39
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Originally posted by Cyberstrike nTo
would never have an openly gay character on it.
Mmm. Whether the character (eg, Obsidian, Montoya, Maggie Sawyer) is portrayed as lip-locked with someone still doesn't mean they've been retconned. A writer doesn't have to script anything to make a character have a particular sexuality, particularly when they pre-exist.
 
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Old 2006-06-26, 12:54 PM   #40
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Originally posted by Denyer
Mmm. Whether the character (eg, Obsidian, Montoya, Maggie Sawyer) is portrayed as lip-locked with someone still doesn't mean they've been retconned. A writer doesn't have to script anything to make a character have a particular sexuality, particularly when they pre-exist.
About to say that... Are we shown any evidence the cartoon version isn't gay? I mean, if she cops off with Robin in TAS, fair play, but just because she isn't walking around going "Oooh, hot chicks, where's me strap-on?" doesn't mean she's heterosexual... I dunno, is Jazz gay? You never see him banging out out over a copy of Hustler **** THERE'S TENNIS ON DON'T PANIC DONT PANIC REMOTE REMOTE **** PHEW ON MY ****ING GOD IT'S ON 2 AS WELL **** **** ITV PHEW do you?

I'd agree Marvel knock their big three around a bit more... Wolverine's nearly been killed (and spend considerable time recuperating) at least twice I can think of (The Reavers, Magneto), and does regularly take absolute kickings. At some points in X-Men, you wonder why the X-Men keep him on (though it's often used as a cheap ploy to big up some new baddy in shorthand - e.g. Maximus Lobo)... Cap rarely wins an unbelievable fight, has been disowned by the government and, in at least one instance, cocked up the Avengers and walked out, feeling his standing with other heroes would never see him booted out... In most recent stories, less emphasis is based on his physical attributes, and more on his tactical skill... Spidey does go through a fair bit, but it tends to be relative - JMS' stuff had him as a small-time/everyman hero, policing New York by-and-large, and turmoil came from the effect Spider-Man has on Parker's private life. With Spider-Man, it's a question of what can you do to him... It's basically down to make him single, kill Aunt May, take his powers or kill him, and they've tried most. Peter generally has an uneasy life anyway, what with Jonah, his threadbare finances and juggling a real job with being a crime-fighter. Throw much more at him and it'd just be a depressing book.
 
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