Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 77
  1. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    I've long since come to the conclusion that being a fan of a long running corporate comic character is inherently silly. Saying I'm a "Batman" fan is essentially meaningless. Which Batman? There have been dozens of distinct incarnations of the character over the last 75 years. Being a fan of all of them would almost perforce mean you had multiple personalities.

    I'm not a Man-Thing fan. I am, however, a fan of most of Gerbers writing. If he has to use the plot device of a carrot-nosed swamp monster to tell the tales he wants to tell, so be it.

    I recently saw people whining that Garth Ennis' new take on The Shadow wasn't "true to te real Shadow". Which real Shadow? The one that started out as a narrator and framing sequence for generic stories? The evolved pulp mystery man? The radio Shadow? The quasi-superhero? The Helfer/Baker Shadow?

    If the story is good, I'm fine with it.

    I agree with your last statement, but I do find it a little funny that when I ask people to explain the appeal of Man-Thing, almost every single person essentially answered by saying there is no appeal to the character. Only MWGallagher actually seems to like Man-Thing as a character; everyone else just likes Steve Gerber and apparently puts up with Man-Thing as a necessary evil to get to read those stories. Except, of course, he's not actually necessary except on the meta level that his series exists as a conduit for comic book stories to be published. And that's a bit too meta for me.

    I have to reject the notion that characters don't matter. Good characters do matter. Instead of being passive MacGuffins, some characters actually are story engines - the stories come from exploring the character. One of the reasons there have been so many different takes on Batman is because the character is interesting enough that fans and writers want to keep exploring the character in different ways.

    It's interesting to note that Swamp Thing and Man-Thing came out at about the same time and originally had very similar origins. Yet the differences in Swamp Thing were interesting enough to trigger new ideas by new creators in response. If I had asked people to explain the appeal of Swamp Thing, I suspect there would have been plenty of supporters happy to state why they think Swamp Thing is so great. Yet nobody really seems to be invested in Man-Thing at all. Trying to understand the reasons for this is something I find interesting.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  2. #17
    Ex-Cheeks Reptisaurus!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Iowa City I-AAAAAAAAAAAA!
    Posts
    5,472

    Default

    He's a good visual. He has a cool carrot nose. And he's the ultimate innocent, completely beholden to the whims of fate. Manny's almost the polar opposite of the traditional superhero power fantasy, which means that Man-Thing stories are gonna be completely different than your traditional Marvel fare, despite using many of the same creators.

    Also what MWG said. Especially about liking Gorgo.
    MarkAndrew at Comics Should Be Good
    All my life, my Great Dream has been to grow a triangular head - Roy Thomas

  3. #18
    I am the law. PsychoGoatee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Mega-City One, USA
    Posts
    1,749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    There are plenty of comic book characters like that: moderately popular due to appearance and powers, but unable to carry a solo book for long. Usually those characters end up doing okay in a team book.
    Though that could also be luck of the draw, where some characters didn't happen to have a great writer/artist on the book who really helped give them a successful run. May not be the characters themselves to blame, I think the right writers could make almost any character work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slam_Bradley View Post
    I've long since come to the conclusion that being a fan of a long running corporate comic character is inherently silly. Saying I'm a "Batman" fan is essentially meaningless. Which Batman? There have been dozens of distinct incarnations of the character over the last 75 years. Being a fan of all of them would almost perforce mean you had multiple personalities.
    You can be a fan of something without liking everything involved in it. A fan of say Metallica might like less than half of their albums (me for example). I think it's okay to say you're a Batman fan and like the idea of Batman, even if you only really love a few Batman runs etc. But I do get what you mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by MissSepy View Post
    This, a million times this. I'm a story fan first, if the story is good then I'll give it a chance if not then why bother? For the sake of a "favourite" character? Why waste precious money?
    I agree on only reading books that you enjoy, so naturally the creators are more important. But, I don't think favorite character needs to be in quotes, characters can have something to them that you genuinely like, even across multiple creator's runs.


    Let's see, as for a thing I'd like explained... why do people still support line-wide crossovers? Making every Bat title fight an Owl or mess with The Joker for a couple months did not help the other titles artistically, and the main Bat book didn't need the help. And AvX for example made Uncanny X-Men a supplemental tie-in. But I know why they do it, those crossover issues typically see a sales bump. I'd love it if people voted with their wallets for each book to actually work without making entire issues throwaway tie-ins to another storyline.
    DROKK IT!!

  4. #19
    Veteran Member Babylon23's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,470

    Default

    I'll take a shot at Cloak and Dagger, since I'm a fan. Other than the very cool visual appeal of the character, what I liked was the dependence the two had on one another. They basically couldn't survive without feeding off one another, creating an interesting and often difficult symbiotic relationship. There's a certain trajedy to the characters, given their rather harrowing origin and the metaphor of drug addiction that their symbiosis represents.

    Also, they were teenage characters that didn't follow the basic Spider-Man teen hero model that had become so prevalent at the time and continues to be the model today. That was certainly refreshing at the time.

  5. #20
    Ex-Cheeks Reptisaurus!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Iowa City I-AAAAAAAAAAAA!
    Posts
    5,472

    Default

    I got one.

    The Mandarin. Just seems like a generic Marvel evil mastermind fixed to a dated Fu-Manchu template.
    MarkAndrew at Comics Should Be Good
    All my life, my Great Dream has been to grow a triangular head - Roy Thomas

  6. #21
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Posts
    5,698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reptisaurus! View Post
    I got one.

    The Mandarin. Just seems like a generic Marvel evil mastermind fixed to a dated Fu-Manchu template.
    What's not to like?

    I think the appeal today is Mandarin's staying power. He's also well served by his generic nature as a mustache twirling bad guy slash evil scientist : he stocks so closely to the archetype that new readers understand immediately what he's about. Compare Mandy's simple motives to, say, Mister Sinister's convoluted origin and purpose... simplicity suddenly sounds pretty appealing!

    He's also got the rings. Them things seemed pretty cool when I was a kid. (Much more than the mystical hocus-pocus Mandarin got involved in later on).
    People in white coats (science cartoons, updated daily) | Art Blog

  7. #22
    20% Cooler Than You Richard Bishop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Trafford, PA
    Posts
    954

    Default

    I have two on my list, but I'll start with the one that seems less understandable: Alpha Flight.

    Other than being from Canada, which might appeal to a certain demographic, what makes them interesting? How are they anything other than a second-rate X-Men knock-off?
    "I don't hate everybody. I think I'm better than everybody. It's completely different."

    Currently Hunting:
    Marvel Two-in-One #1, and Werewolf by Night #32 (at a reasonable price)

  8. #23
    Old Fogey Ebon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,430

    Default

    I always liked Cloak and Dagger, for several reasons.
    Interesting costumes and the symbiotic nature of their powers. The light-and-dark duality of their powers, as well.
    Dagger's ability to cure someone's drug addiction.
    Cloak's weird vibe that his power was somehow consuming him. Maybe you were talking to Cloak, and sometimes maybe you were talking to Cloak's power.
    They were not team players, not really. They had their own lonely mission and they stuck to that; their crimefighting was incidental to their helping kids out of the horrors of drug addiction. They only have each other to depend on.
    Superhero prose fiction: Corrupts Absolutely?, Heroics, more suggestions at Superheronovels.com

  9. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebon View Post
    I always liked Cloak and Dagger, for several reasons.
    Interesting costumes and the symbiotic nature of their powers. The light-and-dark duality of their powers, as well.
    Dagger's ability to cure someone's drug addiction.
    Cloak's weird vibe that his power was somehow consuming him. Maybe you were talking to Cloak, and sometimes maybe you were talking to Cloak's power.
    They were not team players, not really. They had their own lonely mission and they stuck to that; their crimefighting was incidental to their helping kids out of the horrors of drug addiction. They only have each other to depend on.

    It's interesting, because some of the reasons you cite for liking them are the same reasons I think they fall flat for me.

    Their focus on drugs is a nice, specific niche, but for me it also limits them. It doesn't feel to me like the characters have evolved, as they are still dealing with this same thing three decades later. Plus, there are only so many stories you can tell about drugs before they start blending together. The whole drug angle also feels dated to me; they feel very much like a product of the 80's, Nancy Reagan, War on Drugs era. They just don't feel modern to me.

    I also fell like their symbiotic/parasitic relationship, while an interesting twist, is also a bit limiting. Specifically, it feels like their relationship makes Cloak more developed and nuanced, because he is the one that needs her - she's just the catalyst, all the effects play out in Cloak's personality. As a result, she just feels underdeveloped and one-note to me: She's the light Cloak needs. But who is she in her own right?

    Granted, I haven't read a ton of Cloak and Dagger solo stuff, but I have read some as well as some of their guest appearances. And for all those reasons, they just don't work for me despite their cool visual design. As I think about it, they are kind of like the opposite of Man-Thing: he's a blank cypher, but their character design is so specifically defined that they haven't been able to break out of it.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  10. #25
    Senior Member Brannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    It's basically the same problem I have with the Hulk, only worse. And I never thought I would run into a character worse than the Hulk in this regard, but there he is.
    So have you actually ever read any Hulk comics, or are you basing this off the TV show? ;)
    "I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler."--Jack "King" Kirby

  11. #26
    Senior Member mrc1214's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,090

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brannon View Post
    So have you actually ever read any Hulk comics, or are you basing this off the TV show? ;)
    I'd like to know the same? How is the Hulk like Man-thing in that he's just a vessel for storytelling? Pick up any of the PAD scripted issues and I'd have to say that's not the case at all.

  12. #27
    Senior Member Brannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrc1214 View Post
    I'd like to know the same? How is the Hulk like Man-thing in that he's just a vessel for storytelling? Pick up any of the PAD scripted issues and I'd have to say that's not the case at all.
    I'd say that Roger Stern's run, and certainly PAD's, says that's not the case at all! (He is my favorite Marvel character, after all). Even though the classic "Hulk Smash!" Hulk is the most popular version, I still think the story and characterization potential for that particular incarnation was rarely tapped. It's rare that you can have a character that's both amusing and tragic. I think the Hulk's uniqueness (He's not a scientist that looks like a model with a yuppy girlfriend) is off-putting to many.

    As far as the topic, I've always liked the look and background of Cloak and Dagger, but have as yet never read any of their solo series. I actually think they're more interesting than many more popular "traditional" superheroes, but just never had the right creative team to illustrate it to readers. I have heard that some of the Mantlo stuff is pretty good.

    Man-Thing I like to an extent, but then again I have a fondness for that era of Marvel with all the monster comics. How could that character be anything but a device to tell other peoples stories? He has the the intellect of a guppy and is mute. Perhaps he's a metaphor for the unthinking, uncaring way that nature stands in mute testament to all things good and evil that take place in its presence?
    "I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler."--Jack "King" Kirby

  13. #28
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Twin Cities
    Posts
    17,744

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    What's not to like?

    I think the appeal today is Mandarin's staying power. He's also well served by his generic nature as a mustache twirling bad guy slash evil scientist : he stocks so closely to the archetype that new readers understand immediately what he's about. Compare Mandy's simple motives to, say, Mister Sinister's convoluted origin and purpose... simplicity suddenly sounds pretty appealing!

    He's also got the rings. Them things seemed pretty cool when I was a kid. (Much more than the mystical hocus-pocus Mandarin got involved in later on).
    I agree. It is awkward that Mandarin comes across as such a racial stereotype, but the character gradually progressed from being a standard evil mastermind to being something a little more interesting and complex. Mandarin is a brilliant and amoral scientist with a strict code or honor and a fondness for the trappings of a glorious past era. Okay, it doesn't quite add up, but allows each writer to shift emphasis as needed. And yeah, there are those very cool rings.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  14. #29

    Default

    Oh, yeah, I have read Hulk comics. Lots of them. At least, far more than I would wish on my worst enemy.

    Here's what I mean in comparing Hulk to Man-Thing. Hulk is obviously a more interesting character in that he has the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde dichotomy built into the concept. So that's fine.

    However, there's really only so much you can do with that. And once you've explored it, you have to either change the character or face stagnation. As we know, Stan's mantra by the early 70's was the "illusion of change" rather than actual change. So there wasn't much to do with Hulk.

    And that's when the era of Hulk as a prop for random stories really started. So we get stories that are "the Hulk in space!" or "the Hulk in a microscopic fantasy world!" or "the Hulk changes color!" or "the Hulk is smart now!" or... whatever. Since there was no central concept any longer to explore, a lot of the stories became "people reacting to the Hulk" instead of Hulk reacting to things. It wasn't character driven, it was plot driven, with Hulk as a prop.

    This was especially apparent during the long "Hulk is a mindless idiot phase" of the series, which is where he most resembled Man-Thing. One problem I have with simplisitc, innocent, mindless protagonists is that they cannot be the source of narrative propulsion. More, they can't really have a development arc either, because they don't have the capacity to actually change. Which means nothing of importance can actually happen to them, they can simply be part of other people's stories.

    Now, I know PAD did some interesting stuff with Hulk later on, but he basically did so by once again (or, actually, multiple times) changing the basic concept of the series, altering the Hulk in a way that allowed him to tell more nuanced stories. He essentially created a new character called the Hulk. Sure, as we've discussed, other writers on titles like Batman have their own take on the character, but with some rare exceptions, they are all still recognizably Bruce Wayne and Batman. With the Hulk, though, there's so little substance that creators have to reinvent the wheel every time - like Red Hulk or Planet Hulk or whatever new contrivance someone comes up with next to try and make the Hulk interesting.

    The character is basically: A strong guy that gets mad and hits people. That's just not very interesting to me. And it's barely a step above "a mindless, walking mulch pile" which is Man-Thing's premise.

    Lastly, I'll just say that it's hard to have change with characters who are too dumb to understand what's happening to them. Characters like Iron Man and Batman can change with the times but still be relevant because the people in the costumes - Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark - grow from their experiences. There can be progression. Characters like Hulk and Man-Thing don't have that, so changes to them have to be imposed by outside forces, which makes those changes feel arbitrary. Which usually they are.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  15. #30
    Senior Member Brannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    But that's not a problem for readers who want something different from your Bruce Wayne's and Tony Stark's. I like both, but characters like the Hulk add variety to the standard mix. When you boil it right down, all superheroes are devices for adventure. Batman is a very athletic guy, who broods a lot, who punches mobsters at night. (Batman being my favorite DC character) See, it can be done to even the more ostensibly "sophisticated" heroes. I could, in turn, show how complex the Banner/Hulk dynamic really is with a few clever sentences and some in depth history. I'll spare you.

    The Hulk is interesting because he's not Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. He's tragic, has had multiple persona's (and has, consequently, progressed and changed far more than Wayne or Stark have) and is not simply more of the same. I've always been intrigued by characters that aren't instantly relatable or understandable like Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer. Characters like that move me out of my typical zone of perception and spark my imagination. I think we need childlike monsters as much as we need Peter Parker's.
    "I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler."--Jack "King" Kirby

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •