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Century: Your Alien Hero

In Reply To
Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
Subj: Re: The Problem With Superia
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 at 08:26:49 pm EDT (Viewed 115 times)
Reply Subj: Re: The Problem With Superia
Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 02:45:32 pm EDT (Viewed 86 times)

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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.

> I get that one can make up a No-Prtize reason for her new motives that makes sense.

Let's be honest, it's been a necessary skill to develop to make sense of some character-motivations for many years before any of us ever heard of Bendis.

> 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.

I think both the fans and the haters agree that he does seem to pick his villain groups, and the Revengers lineup, by flipping through Marvel Handbooks.

> 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?

Because they wanted someone who'd be able to take more than one punch from the New Avengers? Also because nobody even remembered the Albino? Why'd you remind me of that Hawkeye one-shot?

> 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.

Hadn't he already given up that dream in favour of ruling his own island, then selling out to a demon he found there?

But for the majority of the Hood's gang, you had a small army of supervillains, most of whom were recent prison escapees, having banded together for strength in numbers. We can easily explain away the supergeniuses like Demonicus or the Wizard being there for some "we have to all do something to deal with all these superheroes before we can have the time and safety to go to work on our own schemes", what with it being the Initiative era and all back then.

This kind of thing can be more problematic if a character is going to be playing a larger role, but when they're just going to be part of a crowd of villains, it's going to derail the story if they have to stop and explain why each and every one of them is there. A decade ago, they'd absolutely have done that, possibly with extended flashbacks, and the combined mass of exposition infodump would have collapsed and crushed us all. Why people like the Wizard and the Living Laser were so damn ineffectual is really more of a problem than "why are these guys there?", at least to me.

> 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.

Honestly, there's been some degree of arbitrary "this is happening because the plot says it has to happen" in Avengers since well before I'd ever heard of the book, and probably in most other comics, too. Bendis doesn't tend to care about taking the time to explain the motivations for why minor characters he's picked at random are there doing what they're doing (and for the characters in more major roles, even if it's not explained in small words, it's usually easy enough to look at the character's history and see how and why they've ended up doing what they're doing.), and yes, the conclusions of his long-term storylines have been hit-and-miss, but on the other hand, at least they're never power-of-love endings.

He's the first Avengers writer in years to have genuinely interesting long-term plots and themes for the books, his stories are internally-coherent, and neither boring, nor "painfully predictable based on any degree of knowledge of which characters he likes/loves/prefers best", problems that have plagued the book for years before.


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