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Flint




Just something that really bothers me. For most of us old school Avengers fans she is very popular. She is highly respected. Great sense of morals. great look. I understand after Roger Stern stopped writing her that some writers had a hard time writing her due to her being so powerful. also like Storm, she represents being a strong black woman. Diversity isn't bad. I think people who started reading Avengers when Wolverine joined would of really liked her as a hero (though I'd be scared with what Bendis would do to her if she did, so maybe it's not such a bad thing). She kinda just shows up in the background here and there but the last few times she had any major screen time, she was portrayed as kinda vapid and slutty (Marvel Divas) or B####Y and unconfident (Nextwave....though it has been debatable as to whether or not that is in continuity). Those portrayals are NOT what Monica is about.

What are your thoughts?


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TJ Burns





Which is why very few Marvel writers since Stern have been able to use her... they just aren't good enough to figure out how someone with her power levels wouldn't beat anything a villain threw at her.

This is unfortunate. Stern's Captain Marvel (If Marvel wants me to stop calling her that, bring back Mar-Vell to stay and we'll talk.) is one of the best female Avengers, and it's a genuine shame that we got her brainwashed by HATE in Nextwave and her characterization hasn't come back yet. I miss her.


TJB


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Tom





    Quote:

    Which is why very few Marvel writers since Stern have been able to use her... they just aren't good enough to figure out how someone with her power levels wouldn't beat anything a villain threw at her.



    Quote:
    This is unfortunate. Stern's Captain Marvel (If Marvel wants me to stop calling her that, bring back Mar-Vell to stay and we'll talk.) is one of the best female Avengers, and it's a genuine shame that we got her brainwashed by HATE in Nextwave and her characterization hasn't come back yet. I miss her.



I'm not sure I agree. Quasar, for example, has a pretty impressive power set but people continue to use him. But I think your theory works in another direction. I think her character arc and the fact that she developed into a competent, female leader is what held her back.

Comic writers tend to shy away from female leaders because the traditional "Captain America Screaming Orders" role doesn't work well with a female(even in the real world female leaders tend to be less rigid and more willing to set a direction without giving specific orders on how to get there). So it's much harder to right for them (especially since most comic writers are male)

This is true of a lot of female characters. The (female) Wasp for example was established as a pretty competent leader yet the only one to really use her in that capacity after Stern was Busiek. On the FF side Hickman is the first person to ever really put Invisible Woman into a leadership position even though her character clearly suggests it (She's intelligent, assertive, etc...)

Plus you have characters who seems like natural leaders who never get put in the role. Why hasn't She-Hulk ever led a team?

Bottom line, once a female gets to the point where her character shows real leadership skills that character usually gets relegated to the dust bin.



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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689



    Quote:
    Just something that really bothers me. For most of us old school Avengers fans she is very popular. She is highly respected. Great sense of morals. great look. I understand after Roger Stern stopped writing her that some writers had a hard time writing her due to her being so powerful. also like Storm, she represents being a strong black woman. Diversity isn't bad. I think people who started reading Avengers when Wolverine joined would of really liked her as a hero (though I'd be scared with what Bendis would do to her if she did, so maybe it's not such a bad thing). She kinda just shows up in the background here and there but the last few times she had any major screen time, she was portrayed as kinda vapid and slutty (Marvel Divas) or B####Y and unconfident (Nextwave....though it has been debatable as to whether or not that is in continuity). Those portrayals are NOT what Monica is about.



I agree she isn't vapid or slutty.

I always found her to be bland. She was always very competent, respectful, smart, a hard worker, didn't cause any drama, an excellent team player. All great and noble qualities for a black female character to embody but I feel like the only thing that was ever developed about her was her positive attributes. I think her character was a very good attempt to make a competent black character that is in no way a stereotype and that should be applauded. But to me they never made her interesting. She never had any less than savory personality traits. No rough edges. No idiosyncrasies or peccadilloes to speak of that I can recall.






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Methuselah




I was searching for something completely different (the character Charcoal from Thunderbolts) and I came across the story about Stern and Marvel getting into it over the treatment of the Captain Marvel character.
http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2005/08/11/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-11/

Hopefully the link works - it's the 3rd story in the link.


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Reverend Meteor








    Quote:
    Hopefully the link works - it's the 3rd story in the link.


As someone who doesn't enjoy Monica I still agree with Stern's point.

Making Monica's leadership inferior to Cap's was the wrong play. She was a good leader. And its a bit insulting that other characters are dumbed down to make Cap look like a good leader.

I think they should have found a way to make her both competent and interesting. I don't like the character because I don't find her interesting...but I never found her to be incompetent. She was highly competent.


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    Just something that really bothers me. For most of us old school Avengers fans she is very popular. She is highly respected. Great sense of morals. great look. I understand after Roger Stern stopped writing her that some writers had a hard time writing her due to her being so powerful. also like Storm, she represents being a strong black woman. Diversity isn't bad. I think people who started reading Avengers when Wolverine joined would of really liked her as a hero (though I'd be scared with what Bendis would do to her if she did, so maybe it's not such a bad thing). She kinda just shows up in the background here and there but the last few times she had any major screen time, she was portrayed as kinda vapid and slutty (Marvel Divas) or B####Y and unconfident (Nextwave....though it has been debatable as to whether or not that is in continuity). Those portrayals are NOT what Monica is about.



    Quote:
    What are your thoughts?


The real answer is that no creator cares to use the character. If a creator wanted to use them, they would be able to. This is true not just for c-list characters like Photon, but for any character. Mockingbird is in the title because Bendis wants to use her, the same for Squirrel Girl, Wolverine, Spider-Man etc.

I've never seen any of Marvel's main writers say they wanted to use the character. How many writers or even fans are going to say she's their favorite?

It's not an overt reason against here, writers aren't racist, sexist, unable to write a strong female leader, etc. It's just that they don't want to with her.

There are surely times when Marvel will suggest that a writer use a character, but Marvel isn't going to force Photon on any writer. Her fans are small in number. But also her "fans" complain anytime they use the character. Even here you've complain about her last two stints out in a title (Divas and Nextwave), what encouragement does that give Marvel? Absolutely none.


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Tom






    Quote:
    The real answer is that no creator cares to use the character. If a creator wanted to use them, they would be able to. This is true not just for c-list characters like Photon, but for any character. Mockingbird is in the title because Bendis wants to use her, the same for Squirrel Girl, Wolverine, Spider-Man etc.



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    I've never seen any of Marvel's main writers say they wanted to use the character. How many writers or even fans are going to say she's their favorite?


See that is the issue though. Marvel has largely fallen to cronyism in recent years.

For example, you'll hear people say "we use Bendis because he sells" but then you put Bendis on Moon Knight and guess what...it didn't sell. Fraction's had the benefit of three successful movies and yet Iron Man still languishes at #62 on the chart (below such giants as Red Hood and the Outlaws and Supergirl). The Marvel "architects" are in the place they are because they're part of Marvel's upper management clique.

Which is relevant because a clique is a generally a group that forms because they share the same attitudes, preferences and in many cases strengths. So if that group, for example, doesn't excel at writing female leaders then you'd see very few female leaders

Put it this way, if Stern were writing an Avengers book he'd almost certainly "care to use her". So the reason she's not being used is because of the writers writing the books not the fact that no writer wants to use the character.


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    See that is the issue though. Marvel has largely fallen to cronyism in recent years.


So at least you agree with my logic. Your position seems to be seperate.

But you're wrong. It's not recent years and it's not cronyism. Marvel has always had certain writers that they promote, because they sell and because they are close to editorial. Look at Harras and Lobdell/Mackie in the 90s. Look at DC today with Johns and Lee. I'm sure creators at Marvel in the 60s got work because they were close with editorial.

Nothing has changed, except for your viewpoint and which writers you like. Name a writer you like at Marvel and chances are they are close with other creators at Marvel and editorial there.


    Quote:
    For example, you'll hear people say "we use Bendis because he sells" but then you put Bendis on Moon Knight and guess what...it didn't sell. Fraction's had the benefit of three successful movies and yet Iron Man still languishes at #62 on the chart (below such giants as Red Hood and the Outlaws and Supergirl). The Marvel "architects" are in the place they are because they're part of Marvel's upper management clique.


Again, it's a ridiculous statement to make. Bendis on Moon Knight didn't sell? Well neither did Johns on Booster Gold. Some properties aren't going to be top sellers regardless of the creators sometimes.

Are you really going to say that Bendis, Fraction, Brubaker, Hickman, and Aaron are talentless? I see lots of people who would disagree with that.


    Quote:
    Put it this way, if Stern were writing an Avengers book he'd almost certainly "care to use her". So the reason she's not being used is because of the writers writing the books not the fact that no writer wants to use the character.


But more important than that, Stern isn't writing the book. But that doesn't matter. I could easily say "If Tom were writing the book, he'd use the character". So what?

We all have characters and creators that we like. But if you like a character or creator that's not the most popular, at least understand why and that other people may not like them.



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Tom





    Quote:

      Quote:
      See that is the issue though. Marvel has largely fallen to cronyism in recent years.



    Quote:
    So at least you agree with my logic. Your position seems to be seperate.


Actually I don't. You said the character isn't used because, and I quote, "no creator cares to use the character". My point was there ARE creators who would use the character but they aren't in favor at Marvel and my point was the cronyism means that decision is being made by writers who share many of the same strengths.


    Quote:
    But you're wrong. It's not recent years and it's not cronyism. Marvel has always had certain writers that they promote, because they sell and because they are close to editorial. Look at Harras and Lobdell/Mackie in the 90s.



    Quote:
    Nothing has changed, except for your viewpoint and which writers you like. Name a writer you like at Marvel and chances are they are close with other creators at Marvel and editorial there.



On this I just disagree with the time frame. I'd consider the last 15 years or so when cronyism came back to Marvel. Though the truth is the worst cronyism was in the 70s before Shooter came on. He cleaned house and Marvel made major gains through the 80s and 90s.

I mean, Dazzler #1 was Marvel's first direct market only book and it's first issue sold 428,000 copies in 1981 compared to 200,000 for AvX #1.

Because when you reward success and get rid of writers that fail the books get better and sales go up.



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    Again, it's a ridiculous statement to make. Bendis on Moon Knight didn't sell? Well neither did Johns on Booster Gold. Some properties aren't going to be top sellers regardless of the creators sometimes.




    Quote:
    Are you really going to say that Bendis, Fraction, Brubaker, Hickman, and Aaron are talentless? I see lots of people who would disagree with that.


I never said they were talentless. But they have very specific talents and they get burned out. Bendis was inappropriate for Moon Knight but got it because he wanted to do it. And it sucked. Fraction had a great run on Iron Man at first but it's been terrible for the last few years. Yet he isn't pulled from the book even though sales have tanked.

That's the problem.


    Quote:
    But more important than that, Stern isn't writing the book. But that doesn't matter. I could easily say "If Tom were writing the book, he'd use the character". So what?



    Quote:
    We all have characters and creators that we like. But if you like a character or creator that's not the most popular, at least understand why and that other people may not like them.


I based my statement on the fact that Stern has brought the character back every time he's written Avengers.

But the larger point is you're making a market argument for the current Marvel architects. I've shown you they often don't sell well. So your argument is invalid. Bendis, Fraction, et al. aren't always popular yet other writers aren't given the chance to step in.

So to go back to my example. Stern managed to sell more copies of Avengers with Monica Rambeau than Bendis has managed with with Spider-Man and Wolverine. But Stern isn't writing Avengers and Bendis is because of cronyism not because of some inherent popularity.



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mjyoung





    Quote:
    Actually I don't. You said the character isn't used because, and I quote, "no creator cares to use the character". My point was there ARE creators who would use the character but they aren't in favor at Marvel and my point was the cronyism means that decision is being made by writers who share many of the same strengths.


The only creators that matter here are those that are on the Avengers and associated books, or were. So writers like Bendis, Slott, Gage, DnA, Remender, Brubaker, etc. I'm sure there are other people who would like to use the character, but until they are in a position to do so, it doesn't matter.


    Quote:

    On this I just disagree with the time frame. I'd consider the last 15 years or so when cronyism came back to Marvel. Though the truth is the worst cronyism was in the 70s before Shooter came on. He cleaned house and Marvel made major gains through the 80s and 90s.


So you say cronyism exists today, in the 00s and 70s. We can also factor in the 90s and the 60s. So really the only decade where there supposedly wasn't any cronyism was the 80s? I find that hard to beleive. Even Shooter had his favorite creators. Perhaps you've just come to idealize that decade for nostaliga?


    Quote:
    I mean, Dazzler #1 was Marvel's first direct market only book and it's first issue sold 428,000 copies in 1981 compared to 200,000 for AvX #1.



    Quote:
    Because when you reward success and get rid of writers that fail the books get better and sales go up.


What does those two things have to do with anything?


    Quote:
    I never said they were talentless. But they have very specific talents and they get burned out. Bendis was inappropriate for Moon Knight but got it because he wanted to do it. And it sucked. Fraction had a great run on Iron Man at first but it's been terrible for the last few years. Yet he isn't pulled from the book even though sales have tanked.


You said "The Marvel "architects" are in the place they are because they're part of Marvel's upper management clique."

Saying Bendis was wrong for Moon Knight is your opinion, which you don't seem to back up, but has nothing to do with anything here. Marvel gave him the book because he wanted it and because they thought it would be a good idea to have that series.

IronMan was at 35K when Fraction took over in 2008. That's pretty much where the book is now. Wouldn't call that tanking.


    Quote:
    But the larger point is you're making a market argument for the current Marvel architects. I've shown you they often don't sell well. So your argument is invalid. Bendis, Fraction, et al. aren't always popular yet other writers aren't given the chance to step in.


Not sure why anything I have said is invalid. Do you want to have a discusion about sales? If Hickman, Brubaker, Bendis, etc aren't successful and popular writers, who would be?


    Quote:
    So to go back to my example. Stern managed to sell more copies of Avengers with Monica Rambeau than Bendis has managed with with Spider-Man and Wolverine. But Stern isn't writing Avengers and Bendis is because of cronyism not because of some inherent popularity.


Claremont use to sell alot, but not any more. Previous sales doesn't matter in today's marketplace.

Bendis is a popular writer who typically has very high sales. Even outside of Marvel he's had success with the books he's been involved with (like Powers). Outside of comics he's also had alot of success, being a consultant on Marvel movies and cartoons.

If you put Stern on one Avengers title, and Bendis on another, who do you honestly think will sell more? Let's see how well the Hulk Smash Avengers miniseries sales. Captain America Corps (by Stern) sold from the 22K to 9K range.



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Tom






    Quote:
    So you say cronyism exists today, in the 00s and 70s. We can also factor in the 90s and the 60s. So really the only decade where there supposedly wasn't any cronyism was the 80s? I find that hard to beleive. Even Shooter had his favorite creators. Perhaps you've just come to idealize that decade for nostaliga?


First, I wasn't old enough to read when Shooter was EiC so it isn't nostalgia.

Having said that I have read a lot on the history of Marvel and for most of its history croneyism wasn't a problem. The two times it became a problem were...

1. The revolving EiC days between Stan Lee and Shooter: This was a period where Stan tried to foist the job onto writers who didn't want it. The result was 5 EiCs in 6 years (Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway and Archie Goodwin). During this time a bureaucracy to keep the place going during all the chaos and that led to croneyism.

2. The end of Harras' run through today: Harras legitimately thought his friends could lift sales because he hired all his old X-Men staff and they'd sold in the past. But it didn't work and that set a precedent that Quesada happily followed. Comic sales are still in the toilet over 15 years after the crash of the mid-90s because Quesada's only tool to increase sales are (a) crossovers and (b) sticking Spider-Man and Wolverine in every book.

So other than a brief 6 year period in the 70s the only time croneyism has been a problem is in recent years and it shows in the sales numbers. Again I go back to the numbers I quoted before. The U.S. population has gone up by 35% since 1984 yet Secret Wars sold 750,000 copies per month while AvX can't get over 160,000.

You can't blame marketing. Avengers just became the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time. So people know about comics they just aren't buying them.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      I mean, Dazzler #1 was Marvel's first direct market only book and it's first issue sold 428,000 copies in 1981 compared to 200,000 for AvX #1.

      Quote:

        Quote:
        Because when you reward success and get rid of writers that fail the books get better and sales go up.



    Quote:
    What does those two things have to do with anything?


Because Croneyism is allowing your buddies to do what they want despite market forces (a.k.a. Sales). So sales go down when you have croneyism because you aren't giving the readers what they want.


    Quote:
    You said "The Marvel "architects" are in the place they are because they're part of Marvel's upper management clique."



    Quote:
    Saying Bendis was wrong for Moon Knight is your opinion, which you don't seem to back up, but has nothing to do with anything here. Marvel gave him the book because he wanted it and because they thought it would be a good idea to have that series.


No, I said that based on the sales of the book. I never read Moon Knight (I don't like the character).


    Quote:
    IronMan was at 35K when Fraction took over in 2008. That's pretty much where the book is now. Wouldn't call that tanking.


Unless you look at where Fraction brought it up to. In 2008 Invincible Iron Man #2 sold 69,000 copies. By issue 7 it was still at 50,000. Again, I'm not saying Fraction wasn't good I'm saying he's gotten to stay on the title longer than he should have because he's allowed to decide when he leaves. The editor can't say "Hey Matt, you did great work here but it obviously isn't connecting with the readers anymore so it's time to move on".


    Quote:

      Quote:
      But the larger point is you're making a market argument for the current Marvel architects. I've shown you they often don't sell well. So your argument is invalid. Bendis, Fraction, et al. aren't always popular yet other writers aren't given the chance to step in.



    Quote:
    Not sure why anything I have said is invalid. Do you want to have a discusion about sales? If Hickman, Brubaker, Bendis, etc aren't successful and popular writers, who would be?


I don't know. That's the point. The way a market based process works is you fire people who aren't successful, hire someone else and see how they do. Then repeat that process until you find a winner. A good editor is someone who can pick successful people without having to go through that process. I am not skilled as an editor so I couldn't tell you who would be but there are people who can.



    Quote:
    Bendis is a popular writer who typically has very high sales. Even outside of Marvel he's had success with the books he's been involved with (like Powers). Outside of comics he's also had alot of success, being a consultant on Marvel movies and cartoons.


Bendis has certain talents and when he's given a job that reflects those talents he's successful. I very much enjoy Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man. But his skills aren't appropriate in other books. Is this really so hard a concept to understand?





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creeper




Great question I was reading some older Avengers comic's the day and Monica had such a big part in them and then it was just like she disappeared. I was wondering why Marvel didn't use her more often, and now I understand why.



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Quantum

Just never did.

Member Since: Sun Dec 21, 2008
Posts: 2,270




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