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Subj: Please HAMMER don't hurt 'em.
Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:59:46 pm EDT (Viewed 111 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Stop. HAMMER time!
Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 03:11:11 pm EDT (Viewed 126 times)
> See, I don't hate Quentin Quire and the Scottish Run, but I still think this is a very, very bad idea.
I'm hoping that I can bring people around to the notion that even if they liked it as a self-contained run, as part of an ongoing franchise, it's something that wasn't really followable in the sense of keeping the X-Men as an action-based superhero saga of good mutants vs bad mutants vs big purple robots, and it's something that's completely ballsed up the X-Men to such an extent that they still don't know how to fix it (hint to Marvel: Not hiring X-book writers who loved that run and want to use characters from it, Frost included, might be a way to start).
> QQ's not a distinctive enough character, to my mind, to warrant constant reuse.
He was worthless enough the first time around, from his "waaah waaah I'm adopted" motivation, to his being able to take down Xavier and Wolverine because the plot says he can. If we absolutely have to recycle villains from that run, at least make it Sublime-as-Beast.
> How many tediously snotty uber-telepaths do the X-books need. (None. None is the answer.)
Correct! And yet they're drowning in snarky butthole telepaths. And a snarky Nazi scientist who thinks he's Warren Ellis.
> > > But if we're gonna be serious....
> > Well, I'll see how long I can manage it, anyway.
> Not very?
Taking as little of life as I can seriously is a major part of how I survive it, so yeah.
> > > Plenty of people did get upset that Daredevil killed someone; I'm just saying that pretty much no in-character reaction would be "DD killed an Avenger!" And I include a hypothetical PR-rehabbed Norman Osborn on that side of matters.
> > Yeah, I'm probably the first person to make that argument, and even that was done in trolling mock-outrage. The most you'd likely see on the subject is some kind of "look at what he could have been if he'd been kept on his medication", which he apparently hadn't been since after Secret Invasion.
> Even so, I never got the sense any of the other characters liked him much. Even Norman toyed with killing him off at one point, as I recall.
Well, Moonstone must have liked him enough to make babies with him repeatedly. And he had that weird thing going on with Daken where one minute they're stabbing each other, the next Daken's kissing him mid-Siege.
> > > Speaking of whom...I'm not really seeing the point of having Norman apparently partner up with what's left of HYDRA/HAMMER as the December solicits seem to promise. I suppose they're running with the idea that he knows all sorts of classified info from his government work, but it's really unclear how that will connect with the tattoo-cult story they were setting up in the Spider-books.
> > I've only read the first issue of his miniseries so far, so have no idea how that ended, and until the upcoming issues are out, it's hard to say if Norman's going to be operating in some manner of legitimate, sanctioned way, or if he's becoming The Kingpin of Super-Criminal Organisations. But Bendis' interviews on the subject suggest that we're less in for crazy-evil Norman, and more of him trying to be the "I could have fixed the world" Norman.
> The problem now is that the Marvel Universe is a bit more stable than it was during Dark Reign. There's no Atlantean terror threat,
Oh, there's ALWAYS an Atlantean terror threat. Back during Civil War, Tony ran the numbers on how many times Atlantis attacks America, and it was something like "7 times a decade". The threat is real and ever-present, we must all be vigilant.
> Norman himself preempted the Skrull takeover, and Registration probably isn't coming back for all sorts of reasons in and out of story. And he doesn't have a legitimate front anymore (though that may come back; see below). What's he going to do other than fight the Avengers for really silly reasons?
Well, at this point I can only guess, but I'd vote for things starting off as "the two teams butting heads over trying to deal with the same threats, with totally different approaches", escalating up to "Norman tries to force his version of peace and stability on the nation, whether they want it or not. And lots of people do want it."
> Of course, that's also how Bendis always writes Norman: a guy whose craziness torpedoes him almost entirely on its own. The weird thing in bendis's Avengers is that the villains lose, but not because the heroes beat them...or really do much of anything. They just sort of self-destruct most of the time, through going psychotic, internal fighting, and what have you. Well, except when the Sentry was there to just throw them into a large nearby naturally-occurring fusion reactor of some unspecified kind.
Hey, now, in fairness, having all his plans/schemes/brilliance being "torpedoed by his own craziness" is how Norman has rolled, how everyone has written him, ever since he came back in 1996. That's far from just Bendis. I'm not really sure what other Bendis Avengers villains were taken down by their own self-destruction, either, outside of the Sentry/Void begging Thor to kill him.
In Disassembled, the Scarlet Witch was beaten by Special Guest Star Doctor Strange, in Secret War, Von Bardas was defeated by Quake. The Void was defeated in the first Sentry arc, by Special Guest Star Frost, the Collective/Xorn, by Special Guest Star Quake, plus the Sentry. Veranke, the Hood, Girl Ultron, Doom, all ended up soundly defeated by the Avengers, New or Mighty.
There's clearly more of a problem in the pre-Civil War era of the problem being solved by a guest-star. In Disassembled, it was necessary to the point of the plot for the Avengers to be unable to deal with things themselves, but after that, not so much.
> > So the potential there is for Steve Rogers, who just want the Avengers to be what they always used to be, but now finds himself sitting in the job once held by Fury/Tony/Norman, and forced to walk into a more complicated than he's comfortable with world of moral compromises in the name of the greater good, to now both have internal friction with the leaders of his two Avengers teams, Luke Cage and Tony Stark, both of whom want to reform and modernise the concept of the team, but in totally different ways, Cage's more street-level focused approach, and Tony's belief that Super-human Registration and The Initiative were right, and then there's Norman with his rival Avengers team, fighting to fix the world and keep it safe through the means of Peace Through Tyranny, Take No Prisoners, if only he can keep from flipping out and ruining everything he's built yet again. Throw in the wild-card of Wonder Man and his Revengers trying to abolish the concept of the Avengers by punching them until they disband FOREVER, while the public and government support is divided between the various groups, and you could run the books for a couple of years off this "gang wars" theme.
> You could, but at least two of those factions -- Wonder Man's and Cage's -- don't seem like they're going anywhere very interesting.
Well, ideally, Wonder Man's storyline ends with the Revengers, or at least the ones anyone cares about, like Eddie, Century and D-Man, realising they've been lied to and played for chumps, and walking out, while Wonder Man pursues his chosen path to the bitter, self-destructive end, possibly involving him picking a fight with Team Norman, who find a way to permanently kill that piece of crap.
> I'm not entirely sure why Cage's team has friction with anyone else's...or why it would need to call itself the Avengers, either.
Because nobody wants to be called the Defenders. And Cage's "friction" with the others is entirely a product of his own pride and stubbornness.
> It probably doesn't help that I find Bendis's Cage one of the most boring characters I've ever seen in a starring role. He's not really allowed to have any interesting flaws or shortcomings, at least not in the material I've read; he's rapidly becoming Bendis's equivalent of Claremont's Storm.
I'm going to avoid the race-in-comics debate that's spiralled out of this, out of a general intent of not getting involved in race discussions even if I'd get paid for it (although "What Nitz said about Jim Rhodes, I agree with him."), but Cage isn't flawless, his flaw is he's too stubborn, too proud, and too unwilling to make a compromise with others. Where this gets interesting is in how this may have worked fine for him when it was just him, but when he's dragging a wife and child, or his team, along with him, and expecting them to stand by him even if it means not getting paid to be Avengers, or having to live like fugitives, or whatever.
As for Storm, for all the 1980s-Claremont examples below, things are more of a problem under 2000s-Claremont, where she's super-perfect, wins battles easily despite injuries, supervillains all love her, etc, without any of the flaws she may once have had. (Also, what's with Storm repeatedly "winning" leadership of a group that exists outside normal society, only to immediately go back to the X-Men and abandon them?)
> The bigger problem is the Steve Rogers angle: the current Captain America title seems to be setting up Nick Fury's return to form, since Steve has gone back to his costume and all. I never quite got what Marvel wanted out of having Steve take the job and then, as far as I can tell, never actually do it. We never saw him grapple with moral compromise because he didn't create a new SHIELD or a new HAMMER or whatever. He just sort of hung around the Avengers model, to the point that Secret Avengers has been Just Another Team Book. As long as Marvel won't ever let Steve be wrong or look bad, this whole conflict is going to be pretty thin.
You're sadly right there. Marvel set Steve up for a new role in a position where he'd have to live a more complicated/messy/morally-grey life, only the closest he ever got was beating up the Super-Wikileaks Guy. But at least we'll always have that glorious moment.
And I guess the fan reaction to Civil War means we're unlikely to see another storyline where Steve is a) wrong or b) on the losing side anytime soon.
> > But throwing Hydra and the Hand into the HAMMER mix is...weird, and you're right, I'm not sure how that's going to work. Both groups have apparently had their leadership assassinated, but hasn't the Kingpin taken over the Hand since Shadowland? I can't see Fisk working for Norman, and while Hydra haven't really had any ideology beyond world-domination and the abandonment of individuality in the service of Strucker's cult of personality, I guess maybe they could be attaching itself to a new leader capable of bringing about the world they want, but the Hand's apocalyptic demon-worship is totally at odds with the entire HAMMER ethos.
> Gorgon's not with the Hand anymore, is he? Secret Warriors treated him like he was purely a HYDRA type. But h's still a nihilistic demon-worshipping loon, and now Viper/OG Madame Hydra has a weird alien squid-thing keeping her deceased body going, which seems like a poor choice of teammates for The Man Who Stopped the Skrulls.
Of all the things to continue to exist after Secret Warriors ended, Squid Viper would be the last I'd have expected. Stop doing this, Marvel. But Norman wasn't shown to be anti-alien in general, he offered Marvel Boy a place on the Avengers, after all.
And yeah, Gorgon did seem to be entirely a Hydra guy now. Kingpin had Ghost Rider slaughter the Hand Elders and the Snakeroot cult in a Shadowland tie-in, leaving his takeover unopposed after Daredevil's defeat.
> Hell, I can't work out how any of HAMMER is still around, since we saw its assets sold off to Justine Hammer and others at auction over in Iron Man.
Well, we saw some old-school SHIELD Mandroids that had been repainted in HAMMER colours getting sold off. I'm perfectly willing to believe that when Siege went bad for them, plenty of HAMMER agents across the country took whatever gear they could grab and went underground, and now here they are.
> I dropped the Osborn mini after issue 2 on the grounds of boringness, but supposedly it ended with Norman turning himself back in after killing his fellow, ultra-infamous (but brand-new!) fellow escapees and getting his corrupt senator friends to start proclaiming him some kind of vigilante hero. It might get him back to the legit role he needs, but it was about as ridiculous in the execution (heh!) as one could possibly imagine. I think any long-term Norman in the Avengers books is likely to be derailed by the Spider-books eventually, since the Goblin Cult storyline happened almost entirely in those comics and involves a onetime supporting character.
I'd like to think you're wrong. Norman's really outgrown just being a Spider-Man villain, and he's become more interesting than ever when he's NOT being the Green Goblin, and he's in control of himself, but you're waiting, aware that eventually he's going to flip out and the Goblin will come out to play (Siege shows the anticipation can be better than the actual event). Having Norman not remember who Spider-Man really is, has ripped away the personal nature of that feud, and dragging him back there without giving that memory back seems like pointless backsliding.
Also, the Avengers books are higher-profile, bigger-selling books, so they can probably demand, and get, Norman for as long as they want him.
> > > I do think it's bizarrely dumb for DD to join the Avengers as if nothing happened. Look at the last time they let in a red-clad superhero with a tendency to go mental and/or be possessed by powerful demonic entities.....
> > Cripes, yeah. If he's really back, Scott Lang could flip out and become Myrmidon again at any moment, couldn't he?
> I'm much more frightened of the Leader and.or Nightmare reasserting their power over Thaddeus Ross and creating Red Redeemer.
Can you imagine Rulk in the Redeemer suit? Who could stand against that?
Why isn't this happening yet?
> > Wait, I'm just being silly there. Clearly you were really talking about Spider-Man.
> Nah, I'm worried about that crimson-caped Thunder God going berserker and making out with a hallucinatory female version of himself...again.
He did more than make out, he totally had sex with that hallucinatory valkyrie. Out in a Viking longboat, in the middle of outer space, where anyone could be watching, that dirty pervert!
And as much as I hoped other readers would see the Scott Lang Myrmidon thing, look it up online and have their minds exploded, I hope they also learn this Thor stuff really is A Thing That Happened. Blood & Thunder, so good, Marvel recently collected it.
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