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QRG




I was thinking now that Carol Danvers has relinquished her "Ms Marvel" moniker, perhaps Monica Rambeau ought to pick up the name. Never liked "Photon" or "Pulsar."

I also strongly feel that Monica needs an entirely new power-set in order to be workable in contemporary comics. Monica was created at a time when storytelling devices such as thought balloons and the omniscient narrator were still in fashion, and now they're not. It's easy enough for an artist to convey "Captain America throws his shield" or "Wolverine pops his claws" or "Iron Man fires his repulsors" without accompanied narration, but "Monica shifts her body into neutrinos?" Pretty difficult to get that across to a reader without bringing narration into it.

-QRG




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Reverend Meteor


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



    Quote:
    I was thinking now that Carol Danvers has relinquished her "Ms Marvel" moniker, perhaps Monica Rambeau ought to pick up the name. Never liked "Photon" or "Pulsar."



    Quote:
    I also strongly feel that Monica needs an entirely new power-set in order to be workable in contemporary comics. Monica was created at a time when storytelling devices such as thought balloons and the omniscient narrator were still in fashion, and now they're not. It's easy enough for an artist to convey "Captain America throws his shield" or "Wolverine pops his claws" or "Iron Man fires his repulsors" without accompanied narration, but "Monica shifts her body into neutrinos?" Pretty difficult to get that across to a reader without bringing narration into it.


I always liked that she could do stuff like turn herself into neutrinos.





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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


It never ever made sense for Monica to be linked with the Marvels, imo. She should never use that name. I do love Monica, though, but I think Photon or Pulsar are much more appropriate names.

Same with that Ventura chick.

The only one deserving of the Ms. Marvel name, imo, is Ultra Girl, to whom Carol passed down her costume.




City of Heroes is BACK!
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QRG





    Quote:
    I always liked that she could do stuff like turn herself into neutrinos.


So do I, and it is a relatively unique power-set among superheroes which is nice in some respects, but I also think it's a big reason that Monica doesn't get used terribly often. It's specialist in nature, it doesn't lend itself well to dynamic action sequences, and because Monica can shift into one of several various forms of energy, it always needs to be explained (somehow) precisely which form of energy she's shifting into.

Ordinarily I wouldn't suggest a character trade off unique powers for something a little more generic, but whatever gets Monica into circulation would be welcome.

-QRG





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Quantum


Member Since: Sun Dec 21, 2008
Posts: 2,277


Give her that name and let her keep it.


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Omar Karindu


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


Electricity, light, and heat are easy enough to depict wordlessly with a little artistic talent; x-rays, too, with some creativity (like showing see-through flesh or something). I don't see those as being deal-breakers or requiring captions at all.

Something like neutrinos might take a bit more work -- another character or device sensing them, perhaps, or, yes, a one-off caption simply stating the energy-form's nature placed next to to Monica. Iron Fit and Doctor Strange now get those sorts of things telling the reader the name of the cool kung-fu gimmick or magic spell they're using, so why not Monica?




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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QRG





    Quote:
    Electricity, light, and heat are easy enough to depict wordlessly with a little artistic talent; x-rays, too, with some creativity (like showing see-through flesh or something). I don't see those as being deal-breakers or requiring captions at all.



    Quote:
    Something like neutrinos might take a bit more work -- another character or device sensing them, perhaps, or, yes, a one-off caption simply stating the energy-form's nature placed next to to Monica. Iron Fit and Doctor Strange now get those sorts of things telling the reader the name of the cool kung-fu gimmick or magic spell they're using, so why not Monica?


You tell me. It's been twenty-five years since Roger Stern was the regular writer on Avengers. Since then, the only writer to pick Monica up as a feature character for an ongoing series has been Warren Ellis in a series that lasted only a year. Apart from that, Monica's resume has been twenty-five years of sporadic appearances. Cameos or supporting roles in miniseries. Friggin' Squirrel-Girl has gotten more attention than she has.

There's a decided lack of interest in her among creators for some reason or another.

-QRG






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Omar Karindu


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


Much of that seems to be that she's a bit too much of a "flawless" character for most writers. She has a very expansive powerset, she's a trained law officer and former Avenger who therefore lacks the "rookie" hook, and she never developed an interesting non-costumed life to generate drama.

On the other side of things, no one's really found an alternate powerset for her that wasn't rather generic (super-strength, energy blasts). She's a difficult character to use in the Marvel Universe, where the flaws and oddities of the heroes most often drive the stories. What are Monica's flaws and oddities, other than the comically insane personality Ellis gave her in a humor-based series?




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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Marshall Bravestar




If a character is underused, it is not the fault of the character. Writers act like a character is broken, when in fact they are just failing to do their job.

More ethnic characters are needed definitely. Soon we'll have a majority Hispanic nation with majority white super heroes. That's would be most lame.


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Michael





    Quote:
    Much of that seems to be that she's a bit too much of a "flawless" character for most writers. She has a very expansive powerset, she's a trained law officer and former Avenger who therefore lacks the "rookie" hook, and she never developed an interesting non-costumed life to generate drama.



    Quote:
    On the other side of things, no one's really found an alternate powerset for her that wasn't rather generic (super-strength, energy blasts). She's a difficult character to use in the Marvel Universe, where the flaws and oddities of the heroes most often drive the stories. What are Monica's flaws and oddities, other than the comically insane personality Ellis gave her in a humor-based series?

Omar, how does Jean Grey fit into your theory? She was fairly prominent in between Inferno and Morrison's run and I can't think of many flaws she had in that period. The only major one was her temper and I can count on one hand the number of times that it caused problems.
Michael




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Cascadyan




Not too keen on Monica called Ms Marvel - thats just too confusing and anachronistic... but that is my personal preference... my resolve is strengthened by that fact that BINARY is available and a seeming better fit - given Monicas light-based powers are very simlar to Carols BINARY powers that tapped into a 'White-hole'

but I like the thrust of your notion... giving Monica one of Carols former names...


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QRG





    Quote:
    If a character is underused, it is not the fault of the character. Writers act like a character is broken, when in fact they are just failing to do their job.


In fairness, a writer can't be expected to like and/or see potential in every character. You like who you like, and in truth, some characters are just plain terrible. Poorly-conceived from top to bottom. I've never subscribed to the philosophy "There are no bad characters, only bad writers." No, sometimes there actually are bad characters.

On the other hand, I certainly don't believe Monica falls into that category, but she's been nonetheless ignored by writers for the most part over the past twenty-five years. For whatever reason. I can't say I agree with her being "too flawless." I generally find that characters like that seem to be lightning rods for writers to do their "tear a character down in order to build them back up again" shtick.


-QRG





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Comicguy1




Aside from maybe Sersi, she was THE most powerful female Avenger. Maybe a cameo or minor role would be cool.


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Reverend Meteor


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



    Quote:
    Much of that seems to be that she's a bit too much of a "flawless" character for most writers. She has a very expansive powerset, she's a trained law officer and former Avenger who therefore lacks the "rookie" hook, and she never developed an interesting non-costumed life to generate drama.


The flawless thing has always been my problem with her. I think Stern went to a great deal to create a highly competent, fairly powerful, emotionally stable, respectful team player who was in no way a negative racial stereotype. And for that he should he be commended. But on the other hand he made her all these things but to me he never made her interesting. She seems to have a lack of interesting quirks, idiosyncrasies, peccadilloes or whatever you want to call it.

She's too perfect. Even Cap as perfect as he is can come off as naive or haughty. But she doesn't even do that. She's so beyond perfect that she's perfect and well adjusted \:\)



    Quote:
    On the other side of things, no one's really found an alternate powerset for her that wasn't rather generic (super-strength, energy blasts). She's a difficult character to use in the Marvel Universe, where the flaws and oddities of the heroes most often drive the stories. What are Monica's flaws and oddities, other than the comically insane personality Ellis gave her in a humor-based series?







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Reverend Meteor


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


Let's just up her one and go with Trinary.

Reverend Meteor (or is it Ternary...I always forget)




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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


It really doesn't make any sense as a codename for her. It's not descriptive of her powers. There was nothing binary about her "Binary" powers. There's nothing binary about a white hole.


    Quote:
    Reverend Meteor (or is it Ternary...I always forget)

"Ternary" is more common, but "trinary" is also used. And I think "trinary" might be more commonly used for star systems with three stars.




City of Heroes is BACK!
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QRG






    Quote:
    The flawless thing has always been my problem with her. I think Stern went to a great deal to create a highly competent, fairly powerful, emotionally stable, respectful team player who was in no way a negative racial stereotype. And for that he should he be commended. But on the other hand he made her all these things but to me he never made her interesting. She seems to have a lack of interesting quirks, idiosyncrasies, peccadilloes or whatever you want to call it.


I said below that I didn't think her being flawless was the problem, but I wasn't taking her race/gender into consideration at the time.

Look at Storm, for example. She at least appears regularly but she seems to be treated like a sacred cow. Never been killed off before to my knowledge (unusual for X-Men characters) and I think the worst thing that's happened to her was her losing her powers, and Claremont only did that just so he could say "See? Look how tough and cool she is even without her powers." It's usually her teammates who are dragged through the mud while she's always the rock.

I suppose it's possible that since Stern went to such painstaking lengths to make Monica wonderful that nobody else is comfortable doing anything interesting with her for fear it might be perceived as them "wrecking" a perfectly good minority character.

-QRG


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Unstable Molecule


Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,105


It's an interesting point. Marvel has a lot of strong, flawless female characters, such as Monica, Storm and Jean Grey. Jean is dead, Monica is in permanent limbo, and no one since Claremont seems to have any idea what to do with Storm.

On the other hand, we also have the flawless, insanely powerful Susan Richards (regularly featured forever). I can't think of any flaws that she has, except perhaps to be too protective of her children (and therefore she often gets cast in the role of the archetypal mother). Readers love it when Sue cuts loose and gets bad-ass with her powers. Why can't Monica have those moments?




"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." – Albus Dumbledore
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Reverend Meteor


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



    Quote:


      Quote:
      The flawless thing has always been my problem with her. I think Stern went to a great deal to create a highly competent, fairly powerful, emotionally stable, respectful team player who was in no way a negative racial stereotype. And for that he should he be commended. But on the other hand he made her all these things but to me he never made her interesting. She seems to have a lack of interesting quirks, idiosyncrasies, peccadilloes or whatever you want to call it.



    Quote:
    I said below that I didn't think her being flawless was the problem, but I wasn't taking her race/gender into consideration at the time.



    Quote:
    Look at Storm, for example. She at least appears regularly but she seems to be treated like a sacred cow. Never been killed off before to my knowledge (unusual for X-Men characters) and I think the worst thing that's happened to her was her losing her powers, and Claremont only did that just so he could say "See? Look how tough and cool she is even without her powers." It's usually her teammates who are dragged through the mud while she's always the rock.



    Quote:
    I suppose it's possible that since Stern went to such painstaking lengths to make Monica wonderful that nobody else is comfortable doing anything interesting with her for fear it might be perceived as them "wrecking" a perfectly good minority character.


The thing is I think she has a very interesting and unique powerset. She can turn into anything within the electromagnetic spectrum...visible light, infrared light, ultraviolet light, radio waves, x-rays, microwaves, gamma rays etc. That's why I'm not a fan of changing that aspect of her. I love her powers (as a nerd who collects lasers I would love to have her power).

To me it's just that she's bland. I don't find any other fault with her but that one...but that one's kind of a deal breaker. She's not sarcastic or "sassy" (I'm sure black women have come to loath that word). She's not incompetent. She's not obnoxious. She's totally pleasant personality wise. She is a good team player both as a leader and a follower. Her powers are both impressive and unique. I just don't think writers know what to do with her personality. If you gave Monica a problem she would either solve it to the best of her ability without really complaining or she would accept that the problem wasn't one she could really solve and move on from it without much guilt. She strikes me as someone who is hyper competent...she isn't someone who has a complicated train wreck of a life she can't manage like Peter Parker.

On the one hand Monica is the exact type of person who SHOULD have super powers. On the other hand she has the exact type of personality that is ill suited to being a leading character because she's too perfect.




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Reverend Meteor


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



    Quote:

      Quote:
      If a character is underused, it is not the fault of the character. Writers act like a character is broken, when in fact they are just failing to do their job.



    Quote:
    In fairness, a writer can't be expected to like and/or see potential in every character. You like who you like, and in truth, some characters are just plain terrible. Poorly-conceived from top to bottom. I've never subscribed to the philosophy "There are no bad characters, only bad writers." No, sometimes there actually are bad characters.


I totally agree that some characters really are just bad. But someone always sees the potential in a character that another reader might not. Almost every major character (within reason) has their fans.

Personally I think the Wizard is one of the lamest. He never wins. His costume is hot pink/magenta. He just seems like a generic super genius.

I'm curious which characters you think are just poorly conceived top to bottom.



    Quote:
    On the other hand, I certainly don't believe Monica falls into that category, but she's been nonetheless ignored by writers for the most part over the past twenty-five years. For whatever reason. I can't say I agree with her being "too flawless." I generally find that characters like that seem to be lightning rods for writers to do their "tear a character down in order to build them back up again" shtick.


She's flawless but you also have to be careful how far you tear her down due to the race thing. If you did to Monica some of the things the other Avengers females have gone through it may be fair but it wouldn't LOOK fair to put a minority character through it.

Can you imagine fan reaction if Monica:
1. Was given a supernatural pregnancy and married her quasi rapist/son while the Avengers were oblivious?

2. Was responsible for mutant genocide partly because her children were revealed to be figments of her imagination.

3. Got backhanded by her love interest and then over the years infrequently got back together with him?

4. Devolved into a mindless animal creature

5. Got married, cheated on her husband with an insurance salesman then went back to her now married ex-boyfriend and tried to come in between him and his wife.










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Michael





    Quote:
    It's an interesting point. Marvel has a lot of strong, flawless female characters, such as Monica, Storm and Jean Grey. Jean is dead, Monica is in permanent limbo, and no one since Claremont seems to have any idea what to do with Storm.



    Quote:
    On the other hand, we also have the flawless, insanely powerful Susan Richards (regularly featured forever). I can't think of any flaws that she has, except perhaps to be too protective of her children (and therefore she often gets cast in the role of the archetypal mother). Readers love it when Sue cuts loose and gets bad-ass with her powers. Why can't Monica have those moments?


Storm's flaw was originally her claustrophobia but that was eventually downplayed. Later on, other writers tried playing up her pride as her flaw.
The major problem, though, was that Claremont couldn't seem to acknowledge how serious her flaws were. The infamous story where Storm has Psylocke alter Havok's memories against his will, Betsy does a bad job of it and causes nightmares that result in Alex's powers going out of control and almost killing Lorna, Alex almost kills Dazzler when the X-Men try to recapture him, and everyone acts like Ali's almost getting killed is *Alex's* fault for defending himself, and not Storm's fault is a classic example.
Sue hasn't had many flaws since Byrne left. DeFalco's "Sue goes Malice and walks around half-naked" period is the exception.

Michael


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Michael






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Omar Karindu


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242


You'll notice Jean was written out for years on two separate occasions, and most recently she was replaced entirely as both the X-Men's primary field telepath and as Scott Summers's love interest by Emma Frost,a character whose personal flaws have sometimes extended into outright monstrosities.

During the times she was around, post-1981, writers perennially teased her becming the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix again...flaws and oddities, in other words, were bolted on whenever possible.




- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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emerick-man 

Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Here's a topical page with an inactive Ms. Marvel file in Avengers database that probably applies today. Fun memory of Uncanny 158 with Carol and Mystique...

carol-and-raven




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little konel




...n/t...


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Doc Boomstick




So you are basically saying that her powers and superhero identity need to be changed, but that the character herself is worth keeping? I can think of better characters to spend time on, especially if we are talking about giving her another legacy mantle.


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