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Post By
Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
In Reply To
Century: Your Alien Hero

Subj: Re: The Problem With Superia
Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 02:45:32 pm EDT (Viewed 78 times)
Reply Subj: Re: The Problem With Superia
Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 08:28:28 pm EDT (Viewed 101 times)

Previous Post

See, the thing about Superia, is how, like a lot of the other villains from Gru's Captain America run, she represented things that were happening in America in the 1980s-1990s, like how the Serpent Society were a trade union, but for (snake-themed) supervillains, who were able to keep their members from having to deal with the prison-shaped consequences of their actions, or Flag-Smasher and ULTIMATUM were anti-nationalists, intent on forcing a one-world-nation, while the Power Broker and Karl Malus represented the steroids scandals that rocked sports and pro-wrestling, Super-Patriot/US Agent wanted to be a new hero for the Reagan-era America, the Scourge was a mysterious and deadly killer causing deaths mostly amongst an underground subculture of men leading secret double-lives, clearly echoing the AIDS panic, the Resistants were the metaphor for angry militant minority groups, Nefarius was the clearly insane person allowed to roam the streets unchecked, the War On Drugs gave us The Slug, getting fat/round/lardy off the profits of his trade, and the Armadillo represented the humanoid-animal threat that brought the nation to it's knees in '82.

And Superia? For all her claims otherwise, she's not a feminist, she doesn't want equality, she's a man-hater claiming to be a feminist, to the point that she actually wants to purge the world of men/guys/dudes and create the future Thundra comes from. And hey, we're on The Internets. Even 20 years on, misandry disguising itself as feminism isn't exactly hard to find online. Thus, the "problem" only comes from taking her stated ethos at face value, rather than seeing her for what she really is. I guess what was missing was to have her face a heroine who actually is what she claims to be, who can call her out on it, and unfortunately the closest the Avengers franchise really has to offer is the fat Ms Marvel?

As for "why would Superia change her ways?" I'm going with "repeatedly losing to men made her seriously re-evaluate her life-choices, goals and methods." That, or "working for HAMMER gave her the opportunity to do Evil Science Stuff legitimately and get paid for it, rather than having to do so underground.

I get that one can make up a No-Prtize reason for her new motives that makes sense. But Bendis does tend to dredge up characters and strip them of the more distinctive parts of their M.O.s so that he can fit them into generic supporting roles. I doubt he really worries about why they've ended up where they are now.

My qustion is less "Why is Superia doing this?" than ""Why use Superia for this when you have other choices?" Why not Nightshade, or Albino, or Sunset Bain, or any of half -a-dozen other obscure female mad scientists who'd work in the same role? Granted, none of these are great characters, so I'm not particularly bothered, but I do get annoyed when we're given absurdities like Doctor Demonicus giving up his dreams of ruling the world with his very own kaiju army because he'd rather join a gang and try to win a fistfight with the likes of Spider-Man.

The thing that keeps me from getting into Bendis's Avengers work is this sort of arbitrariness, this sloppiness with basic plot mechanics. He has really fascinating big themes and general story directions in mind, but but he doesn't care much about the meat-and-potatoes storytelling to the point that he's just not very good at it most of the time. It's especially bad when he tries to write a climactic scene or cap off a long-running arc in dramatic fashion.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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