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Century: Your Alien Hero

In Reply To
Nitz the Bloody

Location: So Cal
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,358
Subj: New Avengers: Steel Cage Challenge
Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:45:46 pm EDT (Viewed 99 times)
Reply Subj: The Cage Problem
Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 02:34:21 am EDT (Viewed 100 times)

Previous Post


    Quote:
    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.


    Quote:
    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.

> > 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;

Can I be aware of this without having to like it?

> for example, Emma's role in the WolverToon and the First Class movie (complete with diamond powers),

In my head, I know that this character Has Happened, and is likely going to be in every adaptation of the X-Men, from movies to cartoons to videogames, from now on. In my heart, I know this is an unacceptable/terrible/unforgiveable thing that must be stopped, and the X-Men will always be some level of Ruined Forever as long as she's there, an open wound that cannot heal until the dagger is removed.

> Fly Angel's appearance in the First Class movie,

Like Darwin, Azazel, and the not-even-named Riptide, Fly Angel did seem to be one of the "why are they picking such obscure characters to be in this movie?" choice, though. Darwin and Fly Angel seem to have been picked less for story reasons than to make the X-Men cast more racially diverse, which makes their roles in the plot somewhat awkward.

> the use of Rover in the WolverToon,

I'm going to admit, I have no clue/memory/idea who Rover is/was. The only Marvel characters named "Rover" I can remember are Hank Pym's robot-flying-car-thing from the 1980s, and Hawkeye's dog-boy from his early-1990s miniseries.

> the use of Weapon Plus in Wolverine Origins (albeit as the most ill-conceived version of Deadpool ever),

Isn't it a lot more "regular Weapon-X" than specifically taking anything from Weapon-Plus in that movie?

And yeah, I still have no clue what the idea of Takartan Deadpool was.

> the U-Men in the X-Men Anime, etc.

I didn't even know that thing was out yet. And it's got the U-Men in it? I thought it was based on the Whedon/Ellis Astonishing X-Men?

> 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.

Yes, a number of characters from that run have continued to appear, and I imagine Fantomex will get his own action figure sooner or later, but in most cases I'm less convinced that the writers using them actually have anything good or worthwhile to do with them, so much as they just want to play around with Cassandra Nova or Fantomex because they loved that era. Which I suppose is like the modern equivalent of "every X-Men writer using characters and locations from the Claremont/Byrne era out of love for it, rather than having good reason to do so."

The best exception I've seen so far, being the Weapon-X book doing the work to fit Sublime and the Weapon-Plus stuff in with the previously-established Weapon-X history, and naturally having a clash between the modern-day incarnations of X and Plus. But for every one thing like that, there's a load of things like Phoenix Warsong/Whedon's recycling of Cassandra Nova/Frost's continued presence in the books, that's just been downright awful.

> > 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.

Any time, dude.

> 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.

I remember reading some of the early issues of that book back in 1994, and Rhodey's been a favourite ever since. And a hero who gunned down the bad guys because it needed to be done, but then felt awful about it, and hoped this would be the last time? I'd never seen anything like it before. Iron Man 2 may not be one of the best Marvel movies, but just seeing War Machine on the big screen was A Big Deal for me.

> Even though his current StealthCamo suit is a tremendous visual letdown.

I'm still so far behind on my reading that I've not even got up to starting the "Iron Man 2.0" series yet (is that name really going to see better than "War Machine"?), but I've not really seen any excitement about the book online, which is sad. I'll support any Rhodey book, but I want it to be a good one.

> 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.

I blame Steve Rogers, doping Team Cage's food to keep them in line, and putting horse-tranquilisers in the Avengers Academy coffee to keep Pym and Speedball from flipping out! It's a conspiracy!

> 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.

I'm only up to #7 of New Avengers so far, but I'm thinking that Victoria Hand is there to add dissent/conflict/friction with the others. But beyond that, yeah. I think I probably enjoy the banter between Cage/Spidey/Logie and the rest more than anyone else here, and could read them sitting there and talking all day and never wonder when the plot's going to arrive, but yeah, you're right. While during the era between Civil War and Siege, they had an excuse for being reactive, there's not so much excuse anymore for sitting there and waiting for trouble to happen, especially if this team's supposed to be different to the other Avengers.


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