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Nitz the Bloody

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Subj: Re: Heroes who look like idiots on Super-Teams?
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 09:04:33 pm EDT (Viewed 203 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Heroes who look like idiots on Super-Teams?
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:20:10 pm EDT (Viewed 344 times)

    That does sound like a rather odd thing for Spider-Man to say considering the amount of times he himself has stretched the law, like, oh I don't know, beating the crap out of a pair of cops because they were hindering his pursuit of the Shocker -

Spider-Man has never been about following the law to the letter; his perception is to help those in need simply because it's the right thing to do, not because anyone approves of it. Hence the fact that while he wasn't legally responsible for his uncle's death, his guilt is strong enough to make him keep being Spidey at the detriment to the rest of his life.

    But this team isn't your traditional Avengers. Of course, on the current New Avengers roster, he just might be the smartest science guy there, but they don't seem to particularly need those talents of his. In terms of power, I consider him to be up there on the current roster, but in terms of experience, despite being an actual superhero longer than most of the others there, the others come off as far more professional in terms of background experience. Bucky was an army brat who rolled w/ Cap back in WWII and was a Russian operative, Wolverine is Wolverine, Mockingbird was a SHIELD agent, Spider-Woman was a Hydra agent, and Ms. Marvel was in the Air Force and CIA. Clint Barton seems to be getting by as the longest serving Avenger there.

Bobbi apparently has some scientist talents, Wolverine has been shown as a tinkerer ( though mostly because with his hundred years of experience, there's little he hasn't done; usually his " scientific genius " is reserved for tooling around with a Harley-Davidson in his down time ), and Bucky might have some enhanced skills from what the Commies programmed into him, but the others aren't really intellectuals. Which makes it frustrating that Peter's the team fool, when this is the kind of context he could really shine in.

    Though I still don't get why one of the world's greatest marksmen is using an identity/gimmick that doesn't utilize his greatest talent(at least as Goliath he had the size-changing powers as a substitute for his bow and arrows), but hey, that's Marvel.

I remember thinking of a Ronin redesign where Clint ditches the melee swords and 'chucks for throwing weapons like shrukien and kunai, which would come much closer to actually justifying his new identity. I also remember taking it further and justifying his ninja role by making him out to be a Naruto-type super-ninja, busting out the Shadow Clones. The former could work, the latter admittedly not.

    On the flipside, when Beast gets relegated to science guy in the X-Men, his characterization can suffer just as much. While a mainstay of the team, he arguably gets better development and character interaction when he's NOT portrayed as the smartest guy in the room. For almost the entire stretch of the Lobdell X-era, he was relegated to the X-Mansion's labs and whitecoats for so long, no one on his own team noticed he was replaced by an evil doppelganger for awhile. Despite the most overt cosmetic changes, he was the least developed and focused on member of the New X-Men cast, w/ his 'I'm gay' plotline effectively dropped after not really going anywhere. It almost seems like the x-books hold on to him as tightly as they do because plot-wise it's convenient to have a scientist n the team, and he's simply the most readily available option. Despite being overlooked for his intelligence while on the Avengers -

I remember hearing that Morrison wanted to do a Hank-centered mini that got dropped, which would explain a lot of Hank's lack of development ( not just the gay stuff, but his work on turning off the Extinction Gene as well, another dropped plot ). And Whedon had Hank do plenty, even giving him a new girlfriend ( albeit one who seems way too kinky for Hank's tastes, feline body or not ). But even when Hank's just relegated to lab duty, he's still vital to the team, whereas he's a replacable goof on the Avengers.

    It did free him up for more character interaction w/ many of the others, like Hellcat, Ms. Marvel, Scarlet Witch, and most notably the aforementioned Wonderman(oddly enough, another overlooked intellectual as an, albeit failed, engineer/entrepreneur) -

Wonder Man was never really portrayed as a bright character, just one who worked hard under his Dad's oppressive thumb and only managed to tread water at best. I can see why Simon went into acting, because there he was liked for just being an amiable doofus; in the science game, he couldn't compete.

    And nothing I've read has suggested that he isn't just as talented a melee fighter on the Avengers as he is on the X-Men.

Next to badass normals like Cap, Hawkeye, and Natasha, he seems kind of awkward and clumsy; he doesn't have their incredible skills, but he doesn't have that significant a degree of super-strength, so it's an uncomfortable middle.

    Plus, on the Defenders, Beast was also one of the more experienced characters, but unlike most of his time in the x-books, he was also portrayed as a viable authority figure there, and on X-Factor, he had to deal with a variety of plotlines, ranging from the transformation of his body, loss of his intelligence, and romantic relationships w/ Vera Cantor and Trish Tilby.

Louise Simonson wrote an excellent Beast, both when he had his full cognitive faculties ( note that Weezie didn't have Hank ham it up with Shakespearean words, instead just having him be smart and cultured by deed ), and when he was operating at a pre-school level. Her husband Walt drew an excellent Hank as well, making him look formidable even without the fur. Others should take note, dammit!

( Incidentally, the plot with Hank's deteriorating brain seems to be similar to what's happening to Tony Stark right now, though Tony's degenerating intellect is a much more complex and sophisticated treatment; Hank just became a doofus, whereas for Tony it's a matter of losing basic cognitive functions )

    The Cannonball and Justice examples are really unfortunate since all it did was hurt the characters, IMO. They weren't complete noobs to the game, otherwise they have had no place on their respective teams, yet because they were so star-struck at making it to the big leagues they came off that way. The Avengers did a much better job w/ another earnest, sincere superhero w/out making him look like a total rookie when Quasar joined, and I still hold that in-universe, nobody would be all that starstruck at joining the X-Men.

Justice might be justified ( Ba-da-bump! ) by his pre-existing idolization of Cap. Sam Guthrie, on the other hand, was never shown to be the n00b with dream of heroism. He joined with Xavier as a means of supporting his family and controlling his power, and he was introduced as one of the older, more responsible kids in the New Mutants. Fortunately, his return to the X-Men after his pathetic 90's time on the team had Sam just as competent as the others.

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