Clash of the Comics #30 Harley Quinn vs. Sandman

  
 
 
Origin:   

Springing out of a cartoon series, never the less, Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel started off her story as a kind, smart, and good natured psychiatrist, Harley soon fell head over heels for the witty, charismatic and insane and Batman obsessed, Joker who was her patient. Her falling for him, typical of the phrase 'you can't help who you fall in love with' among other themes surrounding love, and obsession.  

William Baker had an abusive father and his mother was an alcoholic. He grew up without much guidance and took advice from a friend that told him money was everything. Using the alias Flint Marko, Baker gambled and stole money which resulted in him being jailed. When he attempted to escape he became trapped in a nuclear facility and became mutated into Sandman. He escaped and went back to robbing which was easier in part due to his powers but he was routinely thwarted by Spider-man.

SC: I give this to... Sandman much to my own surprise. I like how he came up with his alias, and I like sand/glass sculptures. Harley's is great as well... I like that she was so intelligent and proactive. 

U: Harley’s origin story is really intriguing and even a bit of a mystery about whether the Joker seduced her or whether she acted out of her own means.

Powers:

The power of awesome. Erm, otherwise, no actual powers. Gifted fighter though and she was an acrobatic in her younger days and so is very agile, flexible, and nimble (just like traditional Arlecchino) oh and having a cool Brooklyn accent can be disarming. Oh and she usually carries a weapon of sorts, oh and her Les Yay Poison Ivy hooked her up with an immunity to most poisons and toxins.

Sandman can alter his entire molecular structure and convert it to sand. Thus, he can shape-shift and manipulate his size. He can harden and form a giant mace or hand to pulverize his enemies. His new ability also allows him to form multiple copies of himself.

SC: Sandy Man... has too much raw power. 

U: Although Harley has the giant ridiculous hammer that seems to pop out of thin air, she won’t be a match for a tag team of Sandmen. (But wait maybe she can win if she brings a giant vacuum cleaner instead!)  

Even Spidey is no match for an angry Sandman 

Costume:

Classy and iconic, Harley's red and black Harlequin suit, a Jester's suit, adorned with diamonds. A subversion of sorts, and yet apt given her personality. 

He wears a green striped T-shirt and khaki pants. What’s the point of dressing fancy if you’re going to be drenched with sand all the time?

SC:  I agree with Harley. Its another layer that adds to her characterization and personality. She is a character her dresses as she is, if that makes sense. Plus I am pretty sure Sandman is nude and is like Mystique who just makes her body look like clothes. If that makes sense.  

U: Whereas Sandman doesn’t even have one, Harley’s costume resembles her own divided state – a mix of red and black representing order and chaos.


To the Winner, The spoils.  
Wow, whoever designed this must have thought about this for a while to incorporate such complex themes into the character though what they dress... 

 
Personality:

Eclectic, bubbly, crazy, insane, smart, twisted, cunning, crafty, bright, dark, fun, sexy, cool. All that, bottled up, mixed with coca cola and menthos, shaken, and then poured into a red and black Harlequin suit. A jigsaw puzzle that can never be completed, because all the pieces are just a little bit crazy... surreal, bizarre. I need scissors! 61! La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo! La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo! La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo! 

Sandman is not entirely evil and had a change of heart which lasted for a time. He was a member of the Avengers as well as a tremendous aid to Spider-man and other heroes. He even earned a presidential pardon for his previous mistakes.

SC:  I give this to Harley, she is so silly and sly. Cunning and fun. Twisted and sweet. 

U: This one is a tie as both characters are unsure about their perspective towards life and are constantly changing sides between being good and evil over the years.

Aesthetics:

Essentially the same as her costume. Harley is a role, a look, a persona, that not only hides her iconic blonde hair, but her as equally distorted and warped mind. Of course look close enough and Harley's in part symmetrical (rotational) themed outfit, both balanced and and also an example of imbalance as well, hint at the depth of the character. 

Sandman has faced numerous setbacks over the years not all of them due to Spider-man. Constant use of his powers causes him a great deal of mental stress and he has also been a cancer patient.

SC:  Similar to above. Sandman's hair does him no favors. Harley gets this point for me. 

U: Harley – her costume, personality… everything fits perfectly well with her character!


Enter Sandman 

 
Best Story:

Mad Love, easily. Very fun, and critically acclaimed. You should really own a copy, if you don't already. 

His membership in the first incarnation of the Frightful Four. All the members wore purple and pink because those are quite frightening colors! They were defeated by the Fantastic Four but there have been numerous Frightful Four that have attempted to be the successor to the first.

SC: I'll score for Harley. Loved Mad Love.  

U: Mad Love stories were great and written by Dini who created her. Sandman’s, however, loses points for crashing Reed and Sue’s engagement party. 

 
Mad Love For Harley? 

 
Fun Fact:

Harley is a walking fun fact. How is this for Six Degrees of separation though, Harley Quinn is based off of Arleen Sorkin, who was an actress on Days of our Lives, a show which also had a Dr by the name of Dr. Drake Ramoray, who was in fact fictional actor Joey Tribbiani, who knows Monica Geller, played by Courtney Cox, who was in Masters of the Universe, which is about He-Man, who would so own Wolverine in a fight, the same Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman, who also starred in a movie with Christian Bale, who also plays the Dark Knight, Batman who is the hero to... Joker's villain, the same Mistah J that Harley adores... and it only took six steps to uncover this crafty link. Yeah... 

His first defeat by Spider-man was due to a vacuum cleaner.

SC: That's pretty funny about Flint. I'll give him a point here.  

U: Sandman’s epitomizes the goofy stories of comic books and how much they have advanced as a medium since.

Media Appearance:

Harley actually started off as a cartoon character first and comic book character second, so there's that and recently she has made waves in the highly popular Arkham Asylum. Oh and Batman Lego!!!!!!!!! 

He was a villain in Spider-man 3 but his grand act of villainy and spotlight were stolen by the anorexic Venom.

SC: Harley deserves this. I mean she started as a cartoon! 

U: Harley reigns as Queen in this category!

This is much better than a picture of movie Sandman 
 
 
Current Whereabouts:

Harley Quinn is currently in hiding after seeing her upcoming redesign for the new DC Reboot... oh wait.. "Relaunch" eye witness reports that she has been seen palming desks into her face and head violently whilst screaming expletives and "why me" over and over again. Also according to some witnesses Harley has resorted to taping her bodysuit on with Admantium tape. Screaming out lines about taking away her life, but not her freedom or dignity in a Scottish accent.   

He is currently with the Sinister Six and preparing for his act of vengeance against Spider-man for abducting Princess Keemia from his own machinated sand castle into child foster care.

SC: Sandman. Even though he is naked he is still wearing more... okay that's unfair. A few weeks ago this would have been an easy Harley point, but GCS has been on a slide for me.  Still she appears more. I give this a draw.

U: Sandman, currently, because he’s not in hiding, well he is from the law but at least he’s with similar thinking pals and not getting a complete makeover! 

Harley Quinn: 5 + 5

Sandman: 3 + 3

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Xavier and Magneto: A Cause For Concern?

Hi, I am SC, you may remember me from such blogs as I Suspect My Dad Is Mystique, Greg Land: Modern Day Andy Warhol, or Just Some Guy Who Traces From Porn? As well as How To Make Stuff Up and Sound Completely Fake When Doing It.  
   
I tend to rant too, so if you get bored easy, maybe stop reading now and return to page index. lol

Anyway today I wanted to blog about something a bit less series. Discuss something that may cover a broad range of subjects, but hold Xavier and Magneto, the two X-Men characters at its center and as the cohesive bond holding the thread together, and I would also like your opinion if possible on principles, and worthy causes. Specifically the way comics presents a character's causes and generally other principles, motivations, movements, and the more generalized the better. Meaning their methods and goals relating to race, gender, wealth and all that oh so simple topics.  
 
I always personally believed and maintain that one of the primary reasons that the X-Men achieved such popularity and held such poignancy in its stories is because of the Xavier/Magneto dynamic set up in its pages and the philosophies both characters held and instilled into their patrons (or students as Xavier refers to them as alternatively acolytes for Magneto) and to touch on the dynamic, its generally to perceive that we have humans over here on one side, and mutants over here on the other side, or really, we have the majority over here on one side, and over here we have a minority. So again, you think minority you may think a bunch of different things than the next poster might or might not, you might be considered a minority in a few different ways, you may not, and of course no doubt with many of you, you might realize that a word that often walks hand in hand with the word minority is the word discrimination. The extent of this discrimination can vary from the mundane and inconsequential, to the very extreme, and global.  
 
Back to Magneto and Xavier, we have these two characters who are in a minority group, both who realize that discrimination and prejudice are going to present a bunch of hurdles for them individually and others like them, just like it has for anything thats ever been different. Neither character is passive with their cause, but we are presented with Magneto, who is very aggressive and then we have Xavier, who by comparison is more of a pacifist, and from that extends the X-Men, and as heroes in a fictional universe it works out pretty well for them. Their stance is particularly justified, but Magneto is kept fairly captivating as a villain or an antagonist by way of us realizing that he isn't pure evil and out to steal a princess so that he can hide in his castle, transform her and build her into an über weapon that will kill all life as we know it. He has simply adopted a very aggressive stance and methodology that is usually flawed and hypocritical but has reasoning behind it. Then other characters are introduced that somewhat justify Magneto, third party characters, like the various humans who do try and kill mutants. Magneto's methodologies and ethics having enough reason behind it, so much so to the extent that even in recent times, X-Men have crossed over into the lets just kill them before they kill us, and for trying to kill us, and for killing us, game. Somewhere out there the Punisher just smiled, and then ripped off a guys ear off.  
 
Still, lately I have seen opinions from posters and even comments from actual writers talking about Magneto and Xavier and their relevancy and both Xavier and Magneto have changed and developed as characters of course too. Still I have a belief that their initial interactions, differences and similarities and what each other's defined causes were a potent driving force behind the drama behind so many X-Men stories. Their actual presence was never needed with all of the stories as well. You don't need an extreme example to question a character or even yourself when it comes to contemplating whether you are doing enough for your cause. Are you too passive? Are you lacking in intelligence, or knowledge, or wisdom, in pursuit of carrying and upholding your particular cause or causes? Numbers? Support? The direct opposite of those things can be good, but they can also be bad, Magneto is often characterized as cocky, ego driven, stubborn, and as someone that uses people, gathers support, he is charismatic after all too, but he often abuses his followers (I think he killed Senyaka twice alone) and as the argument goes, he ends up usually directly hurting his cause much more than helping.  
 
Another important subject I wanted to incorporate into this blog, is actually having a cause. Do you have a worthy cause in real life? Do you appreciate when certain causes, and characters with particular generalized and worthy causes factor into your comics, or are you more inclined to appreciate something more neutral? Something I personally find really, really odd sometimes, with people and posters opinions, they seem skeptical or even reject a person based on that person not actually identifying as a direct member of the minority the overall cause my be looking to benefit. I have even seen people deny the possibility that Storm is a gay icon, on the basis that Storm is not gay herself. Strange to me. Most of my favorite female characters are women, I am neither African America or Asian, but I have a high appreciation for racial and ethnic diversity and having visible representations of African America and Asian and etc more characters on panel. You don't have to be gay to like and support gay characters and themes or attribute attractiveness to a male character lol, you don't need to be a female, to prefer Wonder Woman over Superman, find a female characters dress sense lacking doesn't make you a feminist either necessarily. This similar line of thought could continue and apply to a lot of examples so I'll stop. 
 
Back to Xavier and Magneto, actually I always felt that X-Books somewhat lacked non mutant characters. No super powered beings, just lacked more characters like Moira MacTaggert, Gabrielle Haller, Stevie Hunter, etc, I mean, they had a few as I just pointed out, but still. After all most of the pro mutant supporters in real life are humans. lol Oh and of course a few of the characters in the current X-Club are human, I like that, its nice.  
 
I now return to Magneto and Xavier once more. The context this time, is that we have established you don't need to be the thing you fight for, and I know many people on this site, endorse are inspired, and motivated and hold causes in all sorts of real ways and fictional. Our entertainment. Some are mundane or trivial, others a lot more important, these things are up to our discretion. I am curious how others, if others place a similar Magneto/Xavier dynamic with their own causes. Am I being to passive? Am I doing enough? Am I too aggressive, am I hurting my cause? I do this myself, in comics and real life. In comics I am pro female characters and creators, pro diversity, pro creator, pro indie books, pro ethnic and racial diversity and I could go on... but I like to question myself often, in a way I like to think that with comics, its practice for real life, and a similar Magneto/Xavier dynamic with real life issues. Which is why of course I think it was so potent in the first place. Ideally in real life we want answers to bigotry and racism but we probably see anything actually answered as in solved for a while yet. Coincidentally this is one of the reasons i think current X-Books lack a little. Not enough ambiguity, and choice. Its all last option, we have no choice and this and that is necessary yadda yadda... I'll save that for another blog.  
 
Anyway, causes in comics? Do you disagree with my fascination with Xavier and Magneto? We know at times they were modeled after Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, do you think in real life you have the perfect mix of passiveness and aggressiveness with any worthy causes you take up? Do you think comics does a good job of creating accurate and realistic characters who take up causes themselves? Did my post make any sense at all or did it seem like a way to just make fun of Greg Land?  Do you have causes, do you think Magneto and Xavier are overrated? Who do you think could be other characters that could step up to exemplify this conflict of trying to achieve your goals, aggressively, at any cost, or a bit more passively, with certain lines on actions drawn. Appreciate any one who read all the way to the end. ^_^

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