Thursday, March 6, 2014

Who's the Worst...Change to an Established Character?


Karen: Since we've been reviewing the Secret Empire story from Captain America it got me thinking about the Falcon and what a great character he was -except when writer Steve Englehart suddenly decided to reveal in issue #186 (June 1975) that Sam Wilson had actually been Snap Wilson, a low-life mobster  who had been given a new, upstanding identity by the Red Skull as part of a scheme to make him a 'sleeper agent' to turn against Captain America at the right moment! This change in the Falcon's character seemed so ridiculous that I had a hard time reading the title for some time after that. It just felt contrived and unnecessarily damaging to such an established hero.























 


Karen: Another example (for me) was the way Iron Man/Tony Stark was portrayed during the Civil War event. Sure, Stark is a pragmatist -but he seemed hell-bent on turning on his friends, all to serve the purpose of the story. It just didn't work for me.




Karen: I'm sure you have examples of your own, so let's hear them.


60 comments:

dbutler16 said...

The examples of the Falcon & Iron Man are great ones. I won't mention Hal Jordan. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I'm with ya on that Falcon turn. After his great characterization during the Secret Empire and then Nomad storylines...it felt like a poorly contrived heel turn on championship wrestling.

If I may be allowed one that I actually liked - I liked when Banshee became an X-Man. Hey...won't he be featured in your next Secret Empire review?

Free Plug Tom

Doug said...

I'm gonna say Sheena Easton. From "Morning Train" to "Sugar Walls".

Way to go, Prince!

Doug

OK -- back to the serious topic of the day!

Doug said...

I was not a regular reader at the time, but didn't Susan Richards go through some very different personality changes? Sort of a "slutty Sue" there for awhile, huh?

Doug

Anonymous said...

Kinda obvious but how about the goddamn Batman?

Tom

Anonymous said...

When you're talking about wrecking a character, there are many examples, but making Wolverine essentially unkillable doesn't make much sense from a literary standpoint.
Ditto with the Hulk.
D.C. backed away from that with Superman in the '80's.
Way to stop making the readers give a crap about the characters, guys.

J.A. Morris said...

I didn't like the way they had the Sandman turn back to being a bad guy.

I thought various Marvel writers did a nice job reforming Sandman, he became an ally to Spider-Man & The Thing, he even became a "probationary" member of the Avengers.

Then in the 90s, John Byrne & Howard Mackie took over Spider-Man titles. Sandman made some comment to Spider-Man about faking being a good guy for years, and he was back to being a bad guy. One of many reasons I turned my back on (new superhero) comics in the 90s and have never gotten into them since.

Matt Celis said...

Adding Elektra to DD never worked for me. Supposedly this hugely important relationship that was never mentioned for 15 years and then ninjas, ninjas,ninjas. Worse still, every writer thereafter seemed to feel his job was to out-grime and out-seedy Frank Miller, destroying what was one of my favorite heroes. Even the new DD series suffers from repercussions of that. It's still pretty good aside from overly snarky dialogue. I think Mark Waid is under the impression that he is writing for a Jim Belushi sitcom.

Edo Bosnar said...

I never read those "Snap" Wilson stories, but I definitely don't like the idea.

Anyway, Anon, speaking of Wolverine, I didn't also like it when he stopped being an unstable, borderline psycho with a mysterious past and became the coolest guy ever in the (Marvel) Universe.
Sticking with the X-men, I also didn't like the idea of making Magneto a good guy for a while, nor (especially) the fact that Cyclops eventually became a wife-and-child-abandoning jerk.

Doug said...

Speaking of X-Men and also of ninjas...

Psylocke? A British-to-Asian telepathic ninja.

What's not to like? Uh, the whole idea is what's not to like.

Doug

William said...

How about in being "revealed" that Gwen Stacy was Norman Osborn's (gag) baby mamma.

mr. oyola said...

I liked (and still like) moving Magneto into an ambiguous zone re: villainy - so I don't agree with you on that one, Edo - since to me it that change was about shifting attitudes about the treatment of marginalized people and a debate regarding the best approach to address that treatment in a post Civil Rights era.

However, I am totally with Doug on being horrified about the Psylocke change, which just struck me as a pandering to a fetishizaton of Asian women and an excuse to put her in buttfloss as opposed to the flowy outfit she used to wear.

And yeah, that Green Goblin/Gwen Stacy thing was pretty horrific, too. I also hated that many fans took to calling Gwen "a slut" rather than 1) blame the writers/editors and/or 2) accept that within the narrative as it was written she was a young vulnerable manipulated by an older powerful man.

Then again, I find it hard to resolve Norman Osborne as he is written now (and clearly how he was meant to be when hooking up with Gwen) with the constantly sweaty and anxious dude from back in the day who could barely hold it together and wouldn't have been able to seduce . . . well, anyone!

I don't mind Wolverine mellowing some (can't work in a team for years w/o learning to compromise), but would prefer 1) his past to remain mysterious and 2) for there to be some limit to his healing factor.

Garett said...

Superman! I like how he started out as a spunky, rough-and-tumble guy with the power to leap over buildings in the earliest Joe Shuster version. I've never liked the Curt Swan version, as he seems slow and bland. Of course Christopher Reeve was the best of the new version of Superman, as he showed a decent spirit as well as passion.

Karen said...

Osvaldo, I agree with all your points. Well-said!

When I saw Wolverine surviving a nuclear explosion, I knew it was time for me to go.

Pat Henry said...

Hated the turn the Thing took after Secret Wars, from self-effacing tough guy to maudlin self-pitying. More than anything, it simply revealed that this character—once among the most popular, even over-exposed, in the MU—was kind of dull, with powers not that interesting.

Once something like that is out in the open, there's no clawing it back.

Doug said...

Speaking of the Thing, I didn't like the evolution of his skin after issue #300, nor did I care for Sharon Ventura becoming She-Thing or whatever. I should say that I had no attachment to her character whatsoever -- I just didn't like her as a derivative character.

Doug

Karen said...

I think the Thing is another character that some writers don't know what to do with. Once he was past feeling sorry for himself and wanting to go back to being human, certain writers couldn't figure out what to do with him. But Ben Grimm has more layers to him than that. he's really one of the most morally upright characters in the Marvel U -or was; I don't know how they're writing him now. One of the few things I thought they got right in Civil War was his refusal to fight. The super-hero community was family to him, and the whole thing was ridiculous. Why would he beat on his friends?

Hoosier X said...

How about in being "revealed" that Gwen Stacy was Norman Osborn's (gag) baby mamma.

This is the first thing that popped into my mind.

One of the main reasons I don't read very many Marvels any more is that I fear that Norman Osborne may appear and remind me of this ridiculous storyline.

Matt Celis said...

Psylocke is the culmination of Claremont's simultaneous ninja/Asian fetish and Anglophilia. And awful in every way.

Pat Henry said...

Peter Parker’s characterization in Civil War was pretty inane and despicable. If there is ONE character in all of comic-dom who understands all too well the perils of letting one’s secret identity out in the open, it is Parker. And if there is one character who can endure being considered a hunted outlaw with bad press, it is Spider-man.

He would no more unmask than Superman would let a busload of children drown in order to protect his secret identity ...oh.

Doug said...

I think fundamental to today's discussion is the fact that writers today do not start with a base for any characters. There is no discussion of "OK, so at the core who is X?" Instead, it seems that some of these changes are made solely to make a buck with no concern whatsoever for history. And I'm not even complaining about the modern industry ignoring my demographic, as I'm not in the new comics market anyway. I'm saying this simply as a matter of all creators having the obligation to view themselves as custodians of at least some basic elements of these fictional characters.

Hence, writers/screenwriters who want to place Tarzan in an "urban jungle". Not necessary. Tell a good jungle story. That's all you have to do.

Doug

dbutler16 said...

Doug, are you thinking of Sue's Malice personality? Another lovely John Byrne creation. He more or less did the same thing to Wanda.

david_b said...

Sam's character turn was pretty blatant, and another big reason I stopped reading Marvel, along with the Robbins art. It's like they were gasping at straws, and similar to the first Clone story with Gwen. The latter was due to reader outrage.., Sam's change..?

Stupidity, raw stupidity.

Another bad change was Wally West when he got his Flash title. What once was a good, suburban (albeit, perhaps tired) ultra-conservative viewpoint in the NTT title, unexplicably changed to a jerk who slept around and really didn't have many redeeming qualities. Was it due to his depression after Barry died in Crisis..? Dunno, but all I do know what despite him being my favorite Titan, I didn't stay with his solo title for very long. It was ca-ca.

Speaking of characters, I know there's been MUCH written about the Kori/Starfire personality change, none of it good.

I'd also chime in with Ironman, but I didn't bother to read any of the issues post-personality change. Why bother..?

Matt, kudos on the DD mention, both Electra and Matt were terribly written. Not that Matt had a lot of depth to begin with, but I'd take his pre-Miller character ANY DAY.

I hated the disintegration of the Swordsman, but at least Englehart made some good dramatic use of Swordy before his untimely demise.

Matt Celis said...

That's a recurring Byne motif. Women are "empowered" by going mad, and men have to calm them down.

just as Claremont eventually turns all women into Modesty Blaise martial artist-pickpockets.

Matt Celis said...

I wouldn't say Wally West was "ultraconservative," but Wolfman-perez had portrayed him as a traditional midwestern conservative, which was a nice contrast to every other super hero being a bleeding heart liberal...although Cyborg was probably fairly conservative too...but the jarring change in the new Flash comic was awful and without explanation. Bad writing all around on that. I wanted to like it but the personality was so off-model they might as well have made a whole new character.


Wait..Flip Wilson was the Falcon? That sounds awesome.

Anonymous said...

Where to start? There are too many to even narrow it down to a manageable list. Henry Pym, wife beater. Bucky Barnes turning up as a Soviet assassin. Adam Strange, interplanetary breeding stud. Hal Jordan as the villain Parallax. (And then, when his replacement as Green Lantern proved unpopular, they revised the revision and brought Hal back as GL.) With all the reboots, retcons, and relaunches, it's impossible to maintain interest in a series, since everything in it will be wiped out in a few months.

And it has become mandatory for characters to have deep psychological "issues." Tony Stark's alcoholism. Bruce Banner's father abused Bruce and his mother. Barry Allen's father murdered (or was framed for murdering?) his mother. It's as if the writers are so neurotic themselves that they can't conceive of a person who is rational and legally sane.

And don't let me get started on the "G-D-ed Batman."

Anonymous said...

Wiping out Pete and MJ's marriage still kinda bugs me. And bringing Harry (and Norman for that matter) back from the dead; their deaths were iconic and fit perfectly into the overall Spidey story, so bringing them back kinda ruins some of the mythos for me.

I also agree with J.A. Morris about Sandman--I preferred him as a good guy, especially since it was done organically; we got to see him turn good gradually, but then they just arbitrarily turned him bad again in the blink of an eye...no build-up, no nothing. Same goes for Molten Man.

Mike W.

Doug said...

I would second the Molten Man motion, and third the Sandman motion!

And "done organically" is very important, agreed!

Doug

Karen said...

I wish I could find the quote now, as I'm not sure who said it -I think it was Tony Isabella, although I am sure many may have said it before or since: essentially, when a writer takes over a comic, particularly one with a long history, he has a great toybox to play with, but it's not his job to see if he can break the toys. Rather , it's his job to see if he can play with them in new ways.

Unfortunately, it seems like the focus most of the time is on the sensationalistic, with the idea of generating a quick profit. I don't know that there's much concern about maintaining readership. In general, I think comics will become more self-contained, less concerned with continuity -at least anything that goes past a couple of years - and focus on keeping the characters malleable so they can work with the movie versions.Certainly their primary function now is to promote and provide fodder for the films, TV shows, and other products.

Anonymous said...

Matt said: "Wait..Flip Wilson was the Falcon? That sounds awesome."

LOL! The devil made him do it.

Tom

Anonymous said...

I second Doug's comment on change solely to make a buck. I remember when both Moon Knight and the Punisher had supernatural elements added to their story lines. Moon Knight was re-shaped to be THE FIST OF KONSHU and the Punisher became the Spirit Of Vengeance (didn't his guns become plasma or hellfire or some such nonsense). Frank had the glowing eyes and a symbol in the middle of his forehead. (And you know what they say about guys with a symbol in the middle of this forehead... when they're good they're good but when they're bad they're horrid.) And with Spector, he was just a guy with a suit. Then the bite of the werewolf gave him amped strength depending on the moon phase and then this whole mysticism angle. It was just bad.

And the whole Iron Man Crossing storyline. The real Iron Man is compromised but his suit is programmed to him, so the Marvel heroes had to find an alternate pre-compromised Tony Stark so the suits would still respond. Enter 19 year old Tony from another dimension??? (Hey it's not !!!!)

And reaching back to our posts about worst limited series, Kitty Pryde as a ninja??? Did that go anywhere???

And I'll throw out Vision. Deconstructed reconstructed now just what?


The Prowler (still full from Pancake Tuesday and starting to come around on the Lego Movie).

Edo Bosnar said...

Osvaldo, as far as Magneto is concerned, I'm not sure what we're disagreeing over, as I have no problem with him occupying an ambiguous zone. In fact, I liked that Claremont first introduced the idea of him being Wanda and Pietro's father and then retconning his backstory to make him a Holocaust survivor. Both aspects added layers to his personality and made him more interesting - as a villain/adversary and maybe sometimes ally to the X-men. In this vein, I liked the way he was portrayed in "God Loves, Man Kills." What I thought was stupid was when he morphed into a complete good guy and became the headmaster of Xavier's school. That was an idea that just never worked for me, and apparently not for anyone else, either, as he returned to being an out-and-out bad guy eventually.

Edo Bosnar said...

By the way, the "slutty" Sue Richards mentioned by Doug can't be foisted on Byrne, as I think he's referring to that time in the early 1990s when her costume became this pornstar monstrosity complete with a boob-window shaped like the number 4. We have Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan to thank for that. These issues were
recently discussed at the Comics Should be Good blog - complete with scanned pages featuring Sue's lovely outfit.

Doug said...

That's it, Edo! Thanks. And I recall a cover where she had that outfit you describe, and a gun that would have made Rob Liefeld proud.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

Moon Knight always kinda-sorta had a supernatural element with his strength inceasing in moonlight and his possible-but-not-stated-as-fact resurrection as part of his origin...was there something more they added later? I've only read the early stuff.

Punisher + supernatural = really?!?! of all the "realistic" characters, Punisher, though I only ever liked him as a Spider-Man guest star, seems like the LEAST likely candidate for that! my word, when did this happen?

The more I hear, the more I'm glad I quit the Marvel & DC "universes" circa '88! Egad...Norman Osborne alive and diddling an also-alive Gwen Stacey? WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA AND WHERE IS THE STAN FIGURE NEEDED TO PUT THE KIBOSH ON THIS SORT OF UGLY STUFF?

Andersonh1 said...

Try just about any DC character in the New 52. If I had to pick one, I'd go with Captain Marvel. Billy Batson used to be a good kid with a good attitude, and that earned him his superpowers. Now he's a little punk with a bad attitude, just one of numerous unlikeable characters with nothing special about him.

If I had to pick a group, just look at what's been done to the Justice Society/Golden Age characters. They're unrecognizable these days.

dbutler16 said...

Ah, my mistake. Wrong nutso Sue.

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, click on the link in my comment above; that cover you mentioned is right on top of the post.

Doug said...

Ah, my fault Edo. I read your comment from the email alert Karen and I receive and did not notice the hyperlink.

Now having clicked on that link, it sure is right there. And those page scans are just full of all sorts of '90s excess, aren't they? Sex, bomber jackets, huge guns, Image-style art -- you name it!

And speaking of those scans, one of the changes worth commenting about is the recent (at least the past 20 years or so) depiction of the Thing as Hulk-sized. In most comics from the '90s forward Ben was drawn as anywhere from 7-10 feet tall with arms and legs that were just enormous. Traditionally he was always drawn as bulky, but for the most part within his Handbook-noted height of 6' (give or take just a few inches). Was he no longer marketable as the Thing if drawn the way Jack and those who followed had drawn him?

Doug

Anonymous said...

First and waaaay foremost, I attributed Karen's comment to Doug. I apologize. In my defense, Doug's tie is throwing me off. Why does he look like a young Dan Rather?

Second, the character Malice was introduced by Byrne in issue 281. Sue was controlled by Psycho-Man. Or was it Hate Monger? Does it matter? The character of Malice was worked in and out by other writers but always as a separate persona. Then Defalco had Sue embrace that side of her and she came up with that costume. I think it was also an attempt to get some notice from Reed.

You can also tell from the scans that the colorists had no idea what was skin and what was costume.

Matt, what I was trying to convey about Moon Knight was he was just a highly skilled man in a costume ie Daredevil Hawkeye okay I'll say it Bat-Man. Then they introduced is Super-Strength by alluding to a werewolf bite in his battle with Jack Russell. The fuller the moon, the fuller the man. Then they went hard right turn with his Fist of Konshu persona. I never thought it was needed.

And Doug, remember when the Avengers all wore jackets? Was that the 90's?

The Prowler (wondering if we can really say diddling).

Anonymous said...

DC has plenty of characters (Deadman, Spectre, Etrigan, Swamp Thing, Phantom Stranger, I...Vampire) who are well suited to a grimdark style. There was no need to ruin Billy Batson and Captain Marvel.

mr. oyola said...

No, no no, Prowler - you got it wrong. Osborne was diddlng Gwen back in the day before the whole bridge thing while she was in France or wherever - it is part of the reason why he killed her or something, b/c she was about to tell Peter about the twin babies she gave birth two in Europe who would grow up super fast to have Goblin powers.

It's really simple. :P

david_b said...

'diddling Gwen back in the day before the whole bridge thing'..?

Sorry, I'm hittin' the shower, folks.

I feel dirty.

Anonymous said...

The Amazing Spider-Man used to have a lotta charm and humor in it, as a balance to the tragic stuff.
Now it's just dead-serious, horribly violent, not funny and no fun at all.
I hate the Spider-Ock thing.

Ray Tomczak said...

And what about the time back in the nineties when DC changed Superman's powers and costume and made him blue? I wouldn't blame you if you've forgotten that or consciously blocked it out of your mind. Thank goodness it was only a temporary change seemingly meant mainly to attract media attention and was never intended to be permanent.

david_b said...

Folks will violently disagree with me on this, but Anonymous's mention of fun and charm in ASM..?

For me, it vanished soon after John Romita Sr. left.

Doug, wow, whaaat a new mug shot. Certainly a sassy, polished look.

("..typed by the guy who counts Mickey Dolenz, Frank Zappa, a Yellow Submarine Paul, a buxom Batgirl and crying Vision among his many avatar changes...")

Matt Celis said...

C'mon, everybody knows Electric Superman was almost as awesome as Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I've never liked the period when Hulk had Bruce Banner's personality - I've always felt the Green Goliath was best used as a tragic character, with Banner realizing he had a dark destructive side waiting to explode at the slightest provocation; his repeated attempts to 'cure' this Jekyll/Hyde disease just added to the poignancy and sadness of this character. The intelligent Hulk never appealed to me.

Some readers might disagree with me, but I also never was a fan of Storm's mohawk-haired punk era. Wolvie is just too overexposed. Bringing back Gwen as a clone and Peter Parker as a clone named Ben Reilly (the convoluted Scarlet Spider saga)was just too much for me. Really? Were writers so devoid of good storylines they had to invent some clones?

The sexing up of poor Sue Storm and Psylocke are examples of really bad judgement. Whoever came up with these changes deserves a Mjolnir-sized thump on the head.

Wonder Woman's change from super powered Amazon to human karate spy still has me scratching my head to this day.


- Mike 'only major changes are underwear and socks' from Trinidad & Tobago.

mr. oyola said...

I love(d) Storm's mohawk.

That didn't change her character, she just changed her look - and changed it back and the changed it again.

Doug said...

David -- I thought I'd class this place up a bit! A young Dan Rather, Prowler? I was always a Tom Brokaw guy, personally. Actually boys and girls, that pic is me cheesing about being honored for 20 years of service at my school. However, since next school year will be #25 there, you can tell it's a bit dated! Certainly before full-time glasses!

True confession time, and call me stupid: I know we've talked about the Norman/Gwen tryst around here before. I've never read those stories, nor do I intend to do so. But it wasn't until today, with the bridge comment and the killing her before Peter knew comment, etc. that I FINALLY PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. Holy crap, what an epiphany. As I said, I knew it, but for whatever reason it didn't click with me until earlier this afternoon. Wow...

Doug

Humanbelly said...

This so sad-- the only avatar my Eisenhower-Era laptop seems to be downloading today is MattC's. (I mean-- luv ya, Matt, but I'm totally missing out on that particular tangent!)

WOW-- what an active topic, eh?But honestly, I feel like almost anything post-Crossing (or at the very least, during-and-post Civil War) for Marvel should be considered low-hanging fruit and therefor out of bounds, y'know? Because for far too many years now, free rein has been given to writers to take established characters in "shocking, bold new directions", razza-razza-razza.

Gwen's character-rape, however, is still the absolute winner of the trophy in my book. But there are just so many-- a number of which have been pointed out here. A particular one that APALLED me was, I think, a brief flashback in New Avengers (maybe?) where Hawkeye talks about the first day in Cap's Kooky Quartet-- and as part of his opening spiel, while the team is standing at attention, Cap floors Hawkeye with a brutal and rather sadistic sucker punch to the gut, and goes on about how he'll make people forget Clint ever used a bow, etc. The words "Cap" and "sucker punch" should never, ever have a reason to exist in the same sentence. It was such a brief little moment-- but it made me sick to my stomach.

And part of the reason I couldn't stick w/ Civil War (and the Illuminati. . . and ultimately the FF), is because this was no longer Reed Richards, as far as I could tell. This was a soulless, self-deceiving monster who was capable of intering people he knew-- friends-- in something worse than a prison camp or gulag. And salve his conscience by insisting it was for the greater good. My god-- how is a reader supposed to process that? Aren't we supposed to have some sort of sympathy for the major characters we follow? Or empathy?

But really, over the course of 50 years it's almost impossible to not have most of the established characters go through this at one point or another. Loki as a woman? Abomination as a misunderstood, filled-with-regret poetry teacher? Oh my god-- Thunderbolt Ross as the Red Hulk! That one is HUGE on my list! Franklin Richards as little kid-- then teen superhero-- then little kid again-- then an adult for a bit. Val Richards as a baby, then a teenager, then a really little kid. (Absolutely hated the pointless, contrived messing around w/ the Richards kids' ages.) Cat-Beast Hank McCoy.

Ohh, I'm sure I could come up w/ more, if pressed-!

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, Loki as a woman actually has antecedents in Norse mythology. Remember, Loki was a shapeshifter among other things. As I mentioned in the comments to one of those recent "Tales of Asgard" reviews, at one point Loki took the form of a mare, got busy with a stallion, and gave birth to that eight-legged horse that Odin rode.

Humanbelly said...

True, Edo, true.
And to be honest, of the examples I popped out, it was one that I didn't have as much of a problem with (gotta be fair). I mean, one of the guy's monikers IS The Lord of Lies (or is it Deception?), after all. . .

HB

mr. oyola said...

I want to read an 8-page back story recounting Loki giving birth to that 8-legged horse.

Edo Bosnar said...

Osvaldo, I wish that story had been told in one of those "Tales of Asgard" back-ups, drawn by Kirby and scripted by Stan.

Goldenrulecomics said...

A lot of the character changes mentioned in the comments were after I stopped reading comics, and judging from what people are saying I'm glad I stepped away.
The Falcon as a pimp was so bad -- Just so terrible (and with Frank Robbins' art) that I kind of blocked it from my memory. Fortunately, it seemed like almost every writer after that did the same, so the damage may have been contained.

Teresa said...

The DC "Final Crisis" was the final nail in my regular comic buying habits.
The Superboy from a parallel universe wasn't an evil Kal-el in his brief appearance at the end of CoIE. He was actually a good kid.
Fast-forward many years to "Final Crisis" and they bring him back as Superboy-Prime, a murderous psychopath.

Wow...So very terrible. Turning a light hearted version of your flagship character, of the whole genre, into something repulsive.

I felt that way about Marvel's "Civil War" too. I could rant all kinds of nerd rage about Civil War. Both series kinda made me a little ill and I stopped buying comics because of them.

Bruce B. said...

Lots of good ones here. Turning Iron Man into a villain for Civil War was all kinds of wrong. Totally a case of changing a character to serve the story. The Civil War concept wasn't bad, but its execution was awful.

The changes to Spider-Man (both the character and overall title) during the J. Michael Str...Stri...er, JMS era were the worst for me, though. They made Spider-Man unreadable and unlikeable, and I thought that could never happen. But the title/character became so bleak and violent. Even John Romita Jr.'s art couldn't make that run enjoyable.

WhiteDwarfStar said...

Hi. The Bronze Age Babies Twitter account brought me here.

I think turning Magneto from a would-be mutant Hitler to a "mutant Malcolm X" was a very, very bad idea. So was turning him into a Holocaust survivor, which -- considering Marvel's sliding timeline -- has made him very, very, very old, even at the time of his first battle with the X-Men.

Marvel is currently making so many mistakes -- killing James Rhodes, killing Bruce Banner, turning Jane Foster into Thor, etc., that I can't even list them all. All bad ideas, all making it impossible for new readers to get into Marvel comics.

As much as I like the Winter Soldier in the Captain America movies, in the comics, bringing back Bucky was a bad idea.

Turning Phoenix into Dark Phoenix turned out to be a bad idea because it set a bad precedent (DEATH SELLS!! But don't worry we'll bring the character back in a few years...)

Doug said...

Hey, WDS, thanks for the comment (yep, still monitoring!).

I couldn't agree with you more about some of the changes Marvel has made. I just remarked to a Twitter follower of ours that I swore off new comics back around 2005. My excuse was the price point, but that's only part of it. All the shenanigans you cite were certainly contributing factors as well!

Thanks again,

Doug

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