Many fans are vocally upset about the recently announced decisions to have Sam Wilson replace Steve Rogers as Captain America and an (as of yet) unknown female wield Mjolnir as the new Thor. Had Marvel come to you with the idea to (let's imagine temporarily) replace these respective Avengers, which characters would you have recommended to take up the mantles? The rules are:
You can't simply say Steve Rogers or Thor himself
The replacement can never have been Captain America or Thor in the past (so no Bucky Barnes)
The replacement must be native to the 616-Marvel Universe (e.g. no Ultimate Captain America or Ultimate Thor)
For Captain America my initial thought was Frank Castle, as he's a highly skilled soldier with a great deal of respect for Captain America and probably the best written among the "dark vigilante gunman" archetype in comics. But as I seem to recall, he did in fact take up the mantle at one point in the past. My next choice would have been Nick Fury Sr., a fellow World War II veteran and another of my personal favorite characters in the Marvel stable, but I'm guessing he'll be dead by the end of Original Sin. His Life Model Decoys might be around still, and if his consciousness we preserved across multiple androids that would be a cool work around, but Captain America has always been singular and unique. I finally settled Cable, another war-tested soldier and man out of time with excellent character design.
I haven't figured Thor out yet, but the version of Hyperion currently serving on the Avengers is my top candidate. He and Thor have a brotherly bond and I'm aware of no sins in the character's history which would preclude him from being worthy. Plus, he's essentially Superman!
Do you feel that the adaptation of comic book characters into other media tends to create a harmful feedback loop which negatively affects the characters in the original comic book medium? Allow me to explain: because comics target more focused demographics and have comparatively low production costs, creators have greater artistic freedom. However, in adapting such characters to film, television, and video games changes are often made to appeal to broader audiences, with studios often courting the absolute lowest common denominator. This then becomes the version of the character most familiar to the general public, and in a vain attempt to increase comic sales, the original version of the character in the comics is altered to reflect the changes made in other media.
Superhero costumes have become increasing visually busy since the advent of the modern superhero films, needlessly adding texture, piping, and other frills. In live action, because costumes are constructed out of real world material, this is a necessary part of translating the character from the printed page to the screen. When the processes is reversed, however, characters lose their strong and iconic silhouettes.
I've been listening to the podcast for a long time now, and can't recall having heard you ever discuss your opinions on any of the titles below; could you please share any thoughts you might have regarding them?
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery
Joe the Barbarian
Edit: A recent "Off My Mind" addressed the issue of the need for more animated comic book shows. You primarily focused on the need for more all-ages programming as an entryway to comic books for younger viewers, but in addition to such I would love to see animated shows that are aimed exclusively at adults. Existing animated series such as Archer, Futurama, and South Park prove that there exists a viable market for mature animated series (all of which were commercially successful apart from any merchandising). Furthermore, series such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which had a huge following among older fans, demonstrate that an adult audience will watch animated series that are action-focused and not merely comedies.