Avengers >> View Post
Post By
Nitz the Bloody

In Reply To
Century: Your Alien Hero

Subj: The Cage Problem
Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 02:34:21 am EDT (Viewed 136 times)
Reply Subj: Please HAMMER don't hurt 'em.
Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:59:46 pm EDT (Viewed 142 times)

    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).

I can accept this compromise, though you should also note that several elements of Morrison's run have successfully worked their way into the various alternate-media adaptations; for example, Emma's role in the WolverToon and the First Class movie (complete with diamond powers), Fly Angel's appearance in the First Class movie, the use of Rover in the WolverToon, the use of Weapon Plus in Wolverine Origins (albeit as the most ill-conceived version of Deadpool ever), the U-Men in the X-Men Anime, etc. And also, characters of his who have survived in the comics for better effect, such as Fantomex in Uncanny X-Force. It's not like everything he did was abstract art incongruous with commercial value.

    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.

Thanks about the Rhodey comments, bro. I just read the War Machine Classic trade, having got it on discount, and think he definitely has the legs for a good solo series. Even though his current StealthCamo suit is a tremendous visual letdown.

But Cage's main flaw isn't so much that he's stubborn, but that he's not active. When Cage isn't superheroing, he's just sitting at home eating brunch. In fact, that's what the New Avengers do when trouble hasn't stumbled upon them; they sit at the brunch table and eat. Bendis frequently uses brunch as a setting for the Avengers between missions, but it's especially egregious with the New Avengers. They're a social club for having brunch and making small talk first, and a superhero team second.

And not only do Cage and Jessica Jones apparently live at the mansion and do nothing but eat when there's no villains about, but they've infected the other members of the New Avengers. These are all people who have lives of their own, but in the context of the New Avengers, they either sit in the back of melees making quips, or they eat brunch making quips. Certainly characters like Wolverine, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Daredevil all have their own lives and their own causes. Yet when they come to the New Avengers, they're just part of the club, stuffing donuts down their maws. I bet that most of those donuts are doped to make the characters more docile.

It's not only an overused characterization device in this context, but it makes the characters less interesting. There's no friction at the brunch table, no meetings between strong personalities with conflicting ideals. There's just empty calories.

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