hushicho's forum posts

#1 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh good, as if the original Civil War weren't a huge hideous disaster enough that we've only just finished brushing under the rug. Possibly the worst event ever, and they're revisiting it? Great going, Marvel.

Just shows they have no clue what their audience really want.

#2 Edited by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Events are largely superfluous. They're mostly just stunts and tactics to artificially and temporarily boost sales by playing off of OCD collector tendencies. And this is speaking as someone with mild OCD! There's a reason why 'red sky crossover' is understood terminology, and even that came from one of the first such 'events'...showing that even at the start, people weren't exactly sold on them. And that hasn't really changed; I can count on one hand the number of these events and crossovers that have actually been any good at all.

If the writing isn't good enough to carry sales outside of events, then events -- which tend to have the most inane writing of all -- aren't going to be much of a help in the first place. It's a false assumption that events are the big sellers, at least in terms of hooking repeat customers. So often, too, they get rid of characters in events, which always drives away a portion of their potential market. One thing I always say is that every character is someone's favourite. Once you've tossed them out, even temporarily, you've lost those readers. And it's very much a case of once bitten, twice shy; people are typically not as willing to make the same mistake twice in trusting their beloved characters to a writer or even a company that did them wrong.

All the mega-crossovers also tend to change characters for the sake of a story, rather than change a story to suit the characters, which is a huge pet peeve of mine and it's just bad writing besides. So many of them, too, try to put all the characters on the same level, which just isn't believable. To quote an acquaintance of mine from some years back, 'sorry Fantastic Four, I was handling a bank robbery and thought you could handle Annihilus!'

We just don't need these events. The only time in history I thought events were interesting was back when they would do events across the annuals. At least with those, you could grab the annuals if the story interested you and wouldn't have to endure crossover issue after crossover issue hosing all the rest of the story and characters. It was usually mentioned in the monthly series, but it wasn't harped on. Life went on, and we didn't have to have everything veer off-course for months like we tend to now.

What needs to happen is that writing needs to be improved across the board so that people enjoy reading comics again. When we have reached the point of lurid trash like Avengers Arena being promoted as something they hope will be a big seller, that's kind of indicative of a serious problem. Additionally, Marvel and DC both tend to promote art trends in entirely the wrong directions, as they're not what people want to see. And why is someone like Greg Land still working? Because it's all about 'names' and 'events' now, two things that have demolished what little fun was left in comics.

#3 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

We don't need any more straightwashing and bisexual erasure. Yes, it's a thing. And yes, it's a miracle that a character established as bisexual got a TV series. But they said from the get-go that they were going to ignore that major aspect of the character, which alienated plenty of fans who would otherwise have watched, as well as people who might have watched for the representation as a main character in a series. Yeah, it didn't get much use in the comic unfortunately (again back to that bisexual erasure and the inability of people to understand bisexuality, much less write it convingly), but as another user or two said here: sex sells, and people are less and less satisfied with the same old heteronormative stories.

Even that aside, how long did you really expect a show with a hard-drinking, chain-smoking protagonist to last on American TV anyway? Even prime-time it's still tremendously censored. And there's a certain superficial quality to most of these supernatural series that just tend to deal with Pretty Preternatural People regardless; while not all of John's adventures were the most mature and sophisticated, they tended to be things that don't lend themselves particularly well to TV series adaptation, especially with the puerile approach of so many writers.

They had a chance here, they had a prime opportunity, and they blew it before the show even aired. I don't feel bad in the slightest for Constantine, and I say good riddance to bad rubbish unless they start backpedalling really quick. Which they don't do. It's too little, too late anyway.

#4 Edited by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Great! Another worthless forced heel turn for Tony. Like they haven't done that before.

I just got done revisiting the execrable 'The Crossing' arc. Seems like the only things they can think to do with Tony are to revisit 'Demon in a Bottle' and 'The Crossing'. Because heaven forfend we have a heroic and likeable Iron Man.

And the less said about Civil War, the better. Everyone's pretty much forgotten about that tired X-Men plot or brushed it under the rug. It was embarrassingly terrible enough to end a game series and fill humiliating comic blogs' queues for years. It would've been a better choice to change a story to fit the characters...not alter characters to suit a story that had been told at least a dozen times by then.

But really? Daredevil's going to tangle with Iron Man? Yeah, I can see that turning out really well. The dude whose power is 'not actually being blind' is going to throw down with Iron Man. Good luck with that.

#5 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

The Hobbit is a better-written and more cohesive story, the characters are more likable and more defined. To judge a story by its number and scope of battles is frankly puerile, and it's led to plenty of authors attempting to give a story 'legitimacy' by just tossing in conflict that doesn't really add anything.

Both stories overstay their welcome and end up having fairly unfulfilling endings (or, in the case of Return of the King, several serial unfulfilling endings); the Jackson films of the Hobbit have at least thus far played up some of the more minor aspects of the book, and some of those are really interesting played up, like Dol Guldur and the Necromancer. The Rankin-Bass work similarly did a good, if brief, adaptation keeping in the sense of music and adventure and not harping so much on blah blah warfare.

Lord of the Rings has been built up for decades by fans. I liked the story when I was a child, but as I grew older I realised that what I liked the most was what it stimulated in my imagination, rather than being very good itself. It started off strongly but couldn't keep it up. The Hobbit is, on the other hand, a pretty solid and consistent story with pretty solid and consistent characters. There are fewer in the cast of characters, but they are much less two-dimensional, one-note characters than the majority of the cast of Lord of the Rings.

My vote goes for The Hobbit on this one, even if I'm a little late in weighing in here. As someone who has read the books and seen almost every adaptation of each story, there's simply no comparison when it comes to telling a coherent and enjoyable story.

#6 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Frankly the whole thing is just tasteless. I lived through the first stunt killing off Jason, my favourite Robin, whom they FUBARed with the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot (after they said, just like this 'new 52' time, that Batman would remain the same), and the less said about that, the better. It's just pretentious, nothing more, and it proves that they have no new ideas. When they reached the first and most utter bankruptcy of creativity, they pulled a publicity stunt they knew would lead to Jason being killed off in one of the most revolting antics I have ever seen. It didn't work then, it doesn't work now: they were trying to isolate Batman, to concentrate on him as a character, but by that time they'd started the deterioration of his formerly stern-but-reasonable personality, a tormented man trying to do right, into the near-sociopath he is today. They failed to understand that it's his family, the supporting characters and other heroes around him, that make him more interesting. Batman was never a particularly nuanced character, but he was instead the figure that young readers hoped one day to grow into, whereas Robin was the character they either wished to befriend or saw a reflection of themselves in reality. They are a symbiotic gestalt, and dividing them doesn't work.

Hasn't anyone noticed that trying to have one without the other doesn't really work very well? Evidently no-one working for DC, least of all Grant Morrison, who perhaps should try writing without being on drugs, for once. Certainly, he's had a number of promising concepts, but his ability to actually realise those concepts is something I have never once seen exhibited in anything I've read of his. Like the rest of the crop of creative staff Marvel and DC both try to promote as if they were true celebrities, they have too many people drinking the kool-aid and ripping the flesh of anyone who dares criticise. Stunts like this don't exhibit integrity in any way whatsoever. They're nothing but tasteless stunts meant to milk money out of tragedy because they can't think of a creative or constructive way to bolster readership.

Killing off a character is one of the worst creative moves ever, especially in a story with unlimited scope. You are guaranteed to be killing off a character that is someone's favourite, and as such you are going to lose readers. They'll be reminded of the absence, it'll eat at them, and eventually -- even those Stockholm Syndrome-like drones that have dozens of titles in their pull list and never once read them -- they decide to stop. I did the same thing, back in the day. Marvel and DC apparently believe that the publicity will bring in new readers, but most are not retained. It's an extremely foolish decision, whether creatively or in terms of business, and they wonder why comic readership has hit all-time lows when they themselves don't respect their characters (and, through them, the readers).

The more people die as a result of Batman's inability to kill, the less he can be sympathised with as a hero. It would be one thing if many of his foes weren't proven serial killers, and especially when someone close to him is killed. He becomes not only unrealistic, but utterly unsympathetic; the Joker, for example, should have been dead a hundred times, but they don't dare. He's too valuable. So it's the rest of us that get the middle finger. Past a point, who cares what Batman goes through? It's not like he's going to actually do anything pro-active to stop it, is he? So what's the point? It's a concession of the superhero genre that, in cases like this, is an uncomfortably obvious elephant in the room.

I have my own concept of this world of superheroes, and it's a rare occasion I actually like something enough to accept it into that concept. Growing up reading comics taught me that there's a lot you have to toss out in order to enjoy things, but that's also part of the fun of reading, deciding what to make your own sort of personal story, your relationship with these characters. Since there's a revolving-door policy for creative teams on superhero stories, it's easy to toss out a team's work wholesale if it's not up to par...and with Marvel and DC since the 80s, there's been a lot of that. This? This is trash. What Morrison's done is trash, and it's a betrayal of Damian and all the readers as well. DC promised that this 'new 52' would be fresh and new and better, but I've yet to see it.

You can't make something better when you put it right back in the hands of the people that rendered it worthless in the first place.

I can only hope that maybe, just maybe, they'll realise their mistake and backpedal. Because as it stands, there's not a single thing that keeps me coming back to any of the Batman titles. A fanboyish approach to the writing, mediocre art more times than not, needlessly protracted stories...the comics I grew up with weren't all perfect, far from it. But they were overwhelmingly superior to the drek belched out especially in the past 15 years to try and wring a few bucks out of the customers still buying from the difficult condition known as nostalgia.

#7 Edited by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Using House of M as a 'look what happens if mutants get rights' argument is about like using Rob Liefeld's art for a course on accurate human anatomy.

Mutants are entitled to human rights, because a human mutant is still human. Mutants are mutated humans. If they were another species, they would be called something else. A mutant is so called because it has mutated but is still a member of the species. The whole reason why ignorant anti-mutant idiots in comics are characters people hate is because they're wrong and they're stupid; they are judging by external appearances, rather than by the quality of one's character, and furthermore they're not using any accurate scientific thought to differentiate between perceived species. They're just hating on something that's different, because they don't understand it and thus are afraid of it. They do it in the real world just as in the comics, it's nothing new.

As comic geeks (at least some of the people here) we really should recognise that is why X-Men was, in better-written days, an appealing comic: we ourselves were often judged by external appearances, or by petty differences from the glorified 'norm', and many of us were happier not being like everyone else, even if we had fewer friends or less social life. Being identifiably the 'uncool kids' or the outcasts, the people who are fantastic but aren't usually given a chance, has been the raison d'être of the X-titles since their inception. Anyone in any sort of minority or ostracised group could identify with their situation, which gave them an appeal that kept readers holding on for even little victories.

So this really isn't a question. Mutants are human, otherwise they would be called something else entirely. On every level, it's ludicrous to debate. And frankly, as some others have pointed out, in the Marvel Universe even anti-mutant hysteria is rather nonsensical when you have exactly the same sort of superhuman powers shown by world celebrities like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

#8 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty much all of the stupid controversies are just exploitation of 'controversial' groups and tend to cheapen that group's struggles for equality because Marvel or DC want to get free publicity due to someone thinking it's 'shocking'. If they didn't think it would sell a few more comics for a little while, we'd never even have 'out' characters, and that is really telling.

You haven't even scratched the surface of the other transgender characters that exist (and existed long before these) in comics, not to mention gay and lesbian characters that were out and far predated Marvel and DC's attempts to be 'trendy' and 'timely' and of course sell more comics by exploiting a group. Northstar getting married? Cheap. It was only done because Marvel wanted to effectively end the character's use and hadn't been able to kill him off despite several attempts. Today, marriage of any kind is dull and tends to spell the essential nadir of a character. In the 80s it was a big thing, today it's ho-hum because nobody cares...unless it's gay marriage. That's still novel enough and enough of a discussion issue that they knew they could get the free publicity. And at the same time, since it's marriage they can write off the character and mate -- who cares about them now?

Even Archie's Kevin Keller character is, at his root, nothing but an overtly gay Jughead whose stories are a parade of embarrassing gay stereotypes and hot topics, without any real novelty or wit added to them. And Archie, though hailed for being 'progressive', just jump on whatever bandwagon happens to be hot at the moment, then eventually it's forgotten. Look at the (for a while genuinely amusing) Cheryl Blossom.Good luck finding her anywhere now.

The big companies have more or less inured people to sensationalistically killing off characters, and they're tired of it. So now they have to move to other things they haven't beaten like a dead horse.

Essentially what needs to be considered here is, if one of the big companies like Marvel, DC, or Archie are doing anything, it's probably just to pull the spotlight onto themselves. It isn't for any humanitarian reason, nor artistic; it's just them trying to exploit a group of people and make a buck doing it, and if they can fool some gullible (if often well-meaning) people desperate for recognition and validation from others, all the better. That's how they've managed to justify plenty of execrable stories, characters, and members of their not-so-creative teams.

Smaller press and independent comics don't tend to do that. And frankly the US is just about the only major comic publishing country in the world where GLBTQ characters are that much of an exploitable issue. Because it's the big companies like Marvel and DC that keep sequential art dragging behind thanks to their own example. They haven't learned anything. And thanks to their visibility, it's easy for them to influence others' perceptions of sequential art and comics as a whole, as a puerile, childish, and opportunistic medium.

And that, to me, is a shame. Honestly, it's a tragedy.

Don't be fooled by these companies. They're out to make a buck, they're not out to champion any real causes or further any social progress. They're out to exploit causes and ride on the coattails of any progress.

#9 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

Killing off characters in general is usually a bad idea, especially if the story has unlimited scope like most Western superhero-genre comics. Inevitably a character is going to appeal to a writer that takes the reins of a series, and that character will inevitably return; it would be much easier and less cheapening if the character were simply incapacitated or seriously injured than a huge event made out of killing them off, which is additionally very tacky.

When any character is killed off, you lose readers because that character is always someone's favourite. Every character is someone's favourite, somewhere.

Frankly, I think that it's just weak writing using tactics like apparent character death in order to make some sort of sensationalised appeal to readers. It takes far more talent and skill to write a compelling story without using stunts guaranteed to have an emotional response...and one thing they never seem to consider is that the emotional response cultivated is not always a positive one. In fact, it almost never is.

#10 Posted by hushicho (47 posts) - - Show Bio

The 'Crisis on New Genesis' story was one of the best of the Justice League title's history, in my opinion. However, I think it would require too much to be changed in order to make it a viable stand-alone film. I don't think that necessarily makes it impossible that they would do it, but if they do, it will not turn out well. It's not a story that was meant to stand alone in and of itself, because it was one of the exciting regular JLA-JSA crossovers...very much something made to appeal to the fans. To take it out of context and pare it down to only a handful of JLA members would rob it of significant thrill and largely of meaning.

It would also be necessary for the story to involve the New Gods, at least to some extent, and that also would seem to make it even more unlikely; with a 2-2.5-hour limit for most films of this type, that would just complicate the story more than a casual audience is ready to attempt to understand. And if they don't, it will just make the story seem flimsy and incoherent, or rely too much on what will seem to a casual audience to be endless deus ex machina.

It's an interesting possibility, and I'm really glad this story was brought up because I hope it will encourage people to read it who never have before, but as far as it being a great basis for the upcoming film, I can't agree. I hope not, at least, because I think it would not adapt well, especially with the requisite changes that would need to be in the story.