I agree that Henry Pym has suffered a lot since the character's inception, dealing with the loss of his first wife, Ultron, going through the mental breakdown that led to the creation of Yellowjacket, the rivalry with Egghead (which was a big part of Pym's evolution, @riot_sqrrl), and the second breakdown that led to him hitting his wife. He has dealt with all of this much better than, say, the Scarlet Witch did with all of her trauma. However, @pietromaximoffistheman, I don't understand what you mean about Reed or Peter. When were they ever accused of spousal abuse? A free pass for what? Also, I think you might be escalating things with @riot_sqrrl unnecessarily. His comments are vague generalities, but nothing there to suggest he?/she? hasn't been reading. @guardian_of_gravity, I agree sqrrl's statements were less predicated on logos, but authorial intent aside, shouldn't an editor have caught it before it saw print? Regardless, Marvel let it stand and writers have been running with it for decades. The Ultimate Henry Pym was definitely far more sick in the first Millar Ultimates series in his treatment of Jan, but the Earth-616 version was culpable for his own actions. He shouldn't really be punished for them anymore, by fans, by writers, or even by Janet Van Dyne (recalling Bendis/Cho Mighty Avengers run). I hope Marvel dispenses with all of this convoluted time travel shit and does something revolutionary with Hank Pym that doesn't involve Ultron or the Wasp. Whatever happened to Dr. Nemesis? Bring back that dude.
MisterAnderson's forum posts
@blackdog2009 did specify genre diversity, indicating that he is frustrated with Marvel's lack of storytelling outside of spandex stories, science fiction, and their new take on horror, as opposed to the fantasy stories of bygone days (Dr. Strange). I agree that those stories aren't there, but they are pretty few and far between in DC, as well. Now that you have identified a need, take action to get someone to satisfy it.
I agree, @_maven_. I think both mainstream Marvel and DC are experiencing a drought of genre diversity. If one wants a comic book story outside of horror or science fiction, they need to look to imprints like Vertigo. To encourage the companies to write the stories you want, create demand. Talk writers and editors up (politely) at conventions and start Fb pages to get western or sci-fi or magic/horror characters the push you want. Bring back "because you demanded it."
Are you talking about a lack of genre diversity, like westerns, or racial/ national diversity? I think perhaps you need to research deeper. You'll find that Marvel has a rich history of exploring multiple genres, and while some of those aren't being published as frequently right now, it's because of industry trends not a company thing. Also, Marvel's racial, biracial, and homosexual characters are a lot less disconcerting than they used to be; in the 70s and 80s, African Americans, Asians, and Latinos catered to ridiculous stereotypes, while homosexual characters were just unheard of.
Good is subjective. Here Jimmy decides action against his father's tyranny is better than complacency and perpetuating "Psyclone"'s tyranny over their family. lol And he helps Marianne find her purse. Still weak, but I used this prompt to create an origin story for characters I hope to use in more clear ways in future work. I imagine there are much stronger pieces, but appreciate the opportunity to share.
I was helping Marianne Keller look for her purse in a field the day Eric Clapton came back from the dead. We’d gone to a party the night before about 12 miles from the reservation in the field behind Robbie Gentry’s dad’s farmhouse. It was a huge space, though, and there were over a hundred people there. She’d woken up in the flatbed of my sister’s truck cradling an empty beer bottle to her chest and no clue where her purse was. I woke up in the back seat of my Oldsmobile on top of the flattened skins of used condiments, back issues of Guitar World, and a Beatles t-shirt I didn’t wear around my head banger buddies to Marianne’s persistent knocking on the window. I groggily agreed to help.
At the party, every time she threw her head back to laugh, her hair arched through the air like the spray of foam from a beer can. Across the field, I’d only half-listened to Kelly Morehouse’s terrible mutant jokes when I’d catch sight of Marianne occasionally and smile to myself. Kelly thought that I was grinning because of him and kept going; I probably should have decked him, but violence wasn’t what my family was infamous for. Besides, watching Marianne created a knot in the pit of my stomach that had nothing to do with anger. It’s too bad I wasn’t paying enough attention to see what happened to her purse.
I walked up to the farmhouse to see if the purse had been left in the restroom. Robbie and several others were gathered around the TV in the living room. MTV News was on. My sister noticed me and made her way over to me.
“They think Eric Clapton and some others were killed in a helicopter accident,” she whispered.
Eric Clapton wasn’t metal, but Cream and some of his older solo stuff was hard enough to creep into my cassette collection. My friends and I all looked up to him as a guitar legend, and this was a tragedy on par with the deaths of Randy Rhodes and Cliff Burton. I listened as the veejay explained how the helicopter had been leaving a concert in Wisconsin that Clapton had played with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray. They hadn’t confirmed who was dead, but there had been no survivors.
I shook my head at the senselessness and went on into the restroom. No purse. I stretched for the first time since Marianne had woken me, scenting the air with my tongue. Back home, my dad and his friends wouldn’t mourn the death of a rich flatscan. Dad would have smacked any mutant teenager upside the head for such sentimentality. The sound of applause drew me back to the living room.
“Jimmy, It’s okay! Eric Clapton isn’t dead. Stevie Ray Vaughan switched seats with him,” my sister told me as I rejoined her. Everyone seemed so relieved and happy, but I couldn’t speak.
This was just as bad.
I need you.
The words entered my head unbidden, not really in his low baritone. There was no mistaking who had summoned me, though, or why. My sister was worrying her lip, and had shifted her weight to her left foot; Dad was calling us both home. Something was up. If either of us resisted, we’d have a headache to last us through the week that no amount of ibuprofen could alleviate.
“Robbie, thanks for having us. Lisa n’ I gotta run.”
Robbie nodded and waved us out with one hand, the other taking the bowl some kid I didn’t recognize offered him. Me and Lisa and Dad had gone out west on a Saturday night after Dad had come home with his lip split, one of his cheeks an ugly yellow and purple. His helmet was dented, the lenses shattered. I didn’t want to think about what that meant Lisa had to do for the Tinkerer to get it fixed. He collapsed into his recliner.
“That damned Captain America…” Dad had managed. “I tried to break him, but his will… too strong…”
I pushed myself up from my seat and grabbed Dad a beer out of the fridge. I tried to remember the titles of all the John Cougar songs I could instead of thinking about what a loser my father was. He took the beer and smiled, “Thanks, kiddo. Alright, you two get packed. We gotta jet before the Avengers come down on us.”
And so we ran. The contingency—which occurred almost like clockwork every six months—was that my sister would open a portal that the three of us and a shopping cart full of necessities would escape through. We’d squat for a few weeks until the heat died down and then we’d return to New York, usually discretely robbing a few savings & loans and convenience stores en route. But this time, Dad had surprised us.
“We’re going back to the reservation.”
God must have hated us, having made us Apache and mutants besides. We’d left the reservation six years earlier and hadn’t looked back after my own mutant abilities surfaced and froze a kid to death from the inside out. His lungs full of ice, his face was a mask of horror. Dad was thrilled that I’d finally come into my own. No one could prove anything, but we hightailed it out all the same. Surprisingly, things had been good since we returned.
At least until Dad’s summons.
Dad was in his costume as he pulled up. He looked ridiculous. His belly had rounded into a paunch from inactivity, and it strained against the seams of his uniform. Behind him, the shopping cart was packed.
“I have a job offer back in New York,” he announced, smiling proudly. “The Bar with No Name wants to hire me as a regular bouncer, do mind scans on incoming patrons. That thing in Ohio has ‘em freaked out.”
The flattened skins of used condiments, back issues of Guitar World, and the Beatles t-shirt I didn’t wear around my head banger buddies were about to become artifacts of my past. I glanced at Lisa, and her cheeks were wet.
“I don’t want to go back.”
“Too bad, baby girl,” Dad smirked. “We’re family, and family sticks together.”
This had been the logic he had used on her to convince her to stay with the Tinkerer to pay for services rendered. This was what he screamed at me as he beat the shit out of me for thinking about freezing the blood in his veins solid after Lisa arrived home the next day.
“You two can’t make it on your own without me. SHIELD probably knows all about what Jimmy did to that Proudstar kid… probably wanna lobotomize him or stick him in the Vault with all the other freaks. And you, Lisa… what would you do without your old man looking out for—“
He didn’t complete the sentence. Couldn’t. I loved my father very much. No one else would shed a tear for “Psyclone, Master of the Mind Storm.” I always hated the name. Sounded like an idiot white man’s stupid alias. I touched him and he froze. Lisa and I were finally free.
Maybe that was just as bad. Maybe not.