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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126
Subj: Re: Because they aren't
Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 01:41:50 pm EDT (Viewed 154 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Because they aren't
Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:17:21 am EDT (Viewed 157 times)

    Didn't read Priest's BP run, but from the way I saw it described, I'd say the Black Panther can be a bit of a manipulative bastard. ;\-\) As for Storm, beneath her calm exterior she has a bit of a temper, which she has to keep under control for obvious reasons (and which most of the time she does rein in). I'd also say she is at heart a pretty introverted person who sometimes appears happiest when she is alone (communing with nature) and this hampers her in many of her interpersonal relationships. When she became leader of the X-Men she generally became very good at establishing a rapport with her teammates, but it did come naturally to her, but she rose to a challenge posed by her role.

The problem is that neither one really has a unique personality. What's the difference between the personality of Storm, Jean Grey, Sue Storm, etc? Even the aspect of a strong female leader is nothing new.

My point was for these characters to reach a level of popularity, the writer/Marvel has to work on developing their personalities. Make sure that every time a reader sees them, they can grasp their personality, and think that it's interesting. Of all the popular comic characters, I'm sure you know about each of their personalities. Cap is different from Stark, Spider-Man is different from Wolverine, etc.

    I wouldn't know about that. Seems hard to believe that readers would not be able to relate to Conan since there really is no one else in the series to whom they could relate to instead. And you could argue that few other heroes, including some very successful ones (e.g. Superman, Batman, and Wolverine) are as easy to relate to as Spider-Man.

Relateability isn't a requirement to like a character, but it helps. Especially in serialized fiction.

    "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" are primarily based in locations at least as "exotic" as Wakanda, they successful enough for you? Of course most of the characters in those stories are white - so is the "exotic" locale (Wakanda) of Black Panther really a bigger obstacle for success with non-black readers than the fact that most members of the cast are black? In the context of Marvel, I did not get the impression that series centering on the more American black heroes at Marvel or DC were notably more successful with the audience than the Black Panther in solo titles.

Star Wars and Star Trek are also movies, where the it's not a big of a factor. Serialized stories, where the reader has to spend alot more time with the characters and location, is different.

Which is a bigger obstacle, being set in an exotic location or with a primary black cast? is a tough question, and would be hard to really quantify. Obviously both would be huge problems to overcome. We've never seen a comic with a mainly racial minority cast sell well, but we haven't seen a comic set in an exotic location well well either. I could see reasons for either one.

    Also, quite a bit of e.g. the X-Men stories is set in "exotic" locations like the Savage Land and the Shi'ar empire (not to mention that "mutant homeland" locations like Genosha etc. are also to a large extent as disconnected from the real world as Themyscira).

Stories set there, but not the actual titles. Sooner or later, the X-Men return back to their school and back to the "real world". Same for the FF. They might go to the Negative Zone for an issue or two, but eventually they go back to NYC.

One exemption might be the cosmic stories, but they don't sell well either. Books like Green Lantern are based on Earth, and even Nova seems to be continuously coming back to Earth for some reason or another. I'm sure that's the reason why the Silver Surfer series was set on Earth in the 60s, cause Lee and co. knew cosmic titles wouldn't sell that great.

And again, no one factor is going to kill a book. For character enjoyment, a character doesn't have to be relateable, but it helps. A title doesn't have to be set in a normal location, but it helps. A title doesn't have to be mostly white, but it seems to help.

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