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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126
Subj: Re: Because they aren't
Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 03:11:39 pm EDT (Viewed 163 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Because they aren't
Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 02:58:10 pm EDT (Viewed 198 times)

    What makes Black Panther hard to relate to IMO is rather similar to what makes Wonder Woman hard to relate to for a lot of readers - he is a bit too perfect because he is treated as an icon for an entire race or continent (just as Wonder Woman is treated as an icon for an entire gender).

Yes, because these types of characters don't really possess fully formed/three dimensional personalities. It goes for Storm as well. Who really wants to hear the internal monologue of any of these characters? Name one negative trait any of these characters posses?

    Storm is also somewhat idealized as a character, though not to the same extent and she has some quirks and weaknesses. BTW, she never really struck me as particularly motherly except in her relationship to Kitty during the 1980s.

Then how would you describe her personality? I've heard her for years, and I can't really say what it's like.


      Stories with royalty isn't really that exciting anymore, nor unique. There are various kingly superheroes. It restricts the storylines somewhat, but doesn't replace them with any good storylines. No one wants to read about King Aquaman, and JMS was wise to drop the King Thor Ruler or Asgard thing pretty early.


        Being based in a small African county isn't a selling point as well. Readers have problems relating to characters from exotic locations.

    I disagree. People can relate to characters from exotic locations (e.g. Conan, Xena, Tarzan), and playing up the part of Black Panther as a king with intrigue and big political decisions was IIRC one of the big selling points during Priest's run. The problem is probably more that Wakanda really is disconnected from the real world; I've compared BP to WW above, I think you also can see Wakanda as an analog to Paradise Island/Themyscira, a utopian alternative fictional society (what a sub-Saharan African nation might have become had there been a part of sub-Saharan Africa spared from colonialism, imperialism etc. and if they also had a unique natural resource that had given them economic muscle).

And those examples aren't really successful, and they aren't being carried by the reader's ability to relate to them. No one reads Conan because they feel they can relate to him, but they for Spider-Man.

Even Priest has talked about how in order for sales to increase, he had to try and get him out of Wakanda. And for most of his run, he wasn't there during his run. What's the most popular series set primarily in an "exotic" location? Even Green Lantern is based on mostly on Earth now.

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