Suggested by @CadenceV2 and @Chaos Prime this is thread is for 40k chars vs other 40k chars to save clogging up the forum with random threads. If any Mod feels this should be in Off-Topic or anywhere else for that matter feel free to move it.
Due to their not being a lot of issues of this rather than break it down into different categories like I usually do (Durability, strength etc..) I will show the feats with the issue number as their aren't really enough feats to categorize yet.
Name: Peter Stanchek
Class: Omega Level Harbinger
Powers: Various Psionic and Telepathic based abilities many of which are undiscovered
Shows his telepathy by being able to hear the thoughts of ever person he walks by and makes a cashier give him all the money in a till then forget him:
Makes Kris fall in love with him:
Peter cuts loose and takes out a lot of soldiers using telepathy and telekinesis, deflects bullets without looking, sends a van flying with TK and pulls a helicopter out of the sky:
Shows Peter's powers were strong even as a child. Accidently throwing a kid like a ragdoll, putting both his dad and a doctor into a coma and flight:
Has a brief fight against a Harbinger with electrokinesis:
Beats down a pair of Harbingers with Super-speed and pisonic manipulation. In the training it is revealed that ontop of Telepathy and Telekinesis Peter also has something called "the sting" (an attack that hits a persons mind), thought transference and impact psychokinesis:
Show he can communicate with a persons brain to awaken their abilities or to check if they are living:
Throws Ingrid around with no problem and was able to detect that people had been mind wiped:
Sees through Ingrid's illusions and forces his way into her mind:
Fights Hidden Moon a Harbinger who can negate other Harbingers powers:
His scream damages the buildings around him and demonstrates flight:
Peter attacks the Harbinger Foundation. Pulls part of a building down and demonstrates forcefields:
Harbinger #7 (Pete didn't do much in 6):
Uses his powers to activate another Harbinger and to create a forcefield to protect him from her pyrokinesis:
Creates another forcefield:
More forcefielding against helicopters and flight:
So I thought i'd throw in my two cents on the matter.
So here goes:
The one that seems to crop up a lot is:
"All the women look like supermodels"
True they do I won't try to defend this but this is also the case with male characters. Take a look at characters like Captain America, Gambit, Nightwing and many many others. All of these are on model level of fitness/physique in realistic terms. The point in comic heros is they are supposed to represent the best of us not just mentally but physically as well and the stereotypical view of this is the kind of things you see in comics (supermodel style men and women). Whether this is right or not is not what i'm arguing about i'm just pointing out that women are not the only ones to fall prey this trend. Its just a woman's physique is more pronounced thus a lot more visible and obvious. This tread does happen to both sexes and is not unique to just female characters. The most notable male comparison to this that has happened recently was in Scarlet Spider #1. Everyone's favorite Spider-man clone went swinging round Houston topless for 4 whole pages. I'm not arguing that this sort of thing isn't more common in female characters but i'm just trying to point out it is not unique to them.
Another example of the whole model physique in men is Captain America. He went to the army as a normal guy and they turned him down because he wasn't fit enough so what happened next? He took an experimental procedure to make him uber-fit and give him model style looks in the process. Then it was fine for him to be in the army. What kind of message does that send? Steve obviously wasn't stupid but because he wasn't physically imposing they basically said no and yet we all know that in the real world you don't have to be supermodel level of physique to get into the army you just need to be disciplined, intelligent and reasonably fit but not peak human sort of level.
So yes while women are a victim of this supermodel look so are men this is not unique to women and is seen in both male and female characters and yet in men this is complained about FAR less.
"Female superheroes wear revealing clothing"
This is a point I will completely agree with. Female costumes are often very revealing (especially street level characters for some reason). The biggest culprits are classic Witchblade (that was so revealing it was hilarious), Red Sonja (Witchblade levels of hilarity), Lady Death (lol that's all i'll say) and few others. The ones I just mentioned are blatantly obvious and quite obviously sexist and I have no problem saying that something should be done to make them more practical and less sexual. However I have seen people complain about women in spandex which I will address.
I do not see the need to pull up women in spandex as revealing. Again quite a few male characters wear spandex. Nightwing, Spider-man and Batman for example. It is essentially meant to be a second skin and for some characters like Spider-man who thrive on agility this is essential for him to move around. The same goes for Nightwing. This is the case for a lot of women characters as well and yet it seems to be instantly seen as revealing because it's skin tight. Why can't it be seen for the practical use for which it has been chosen? We don't get all iffy when we seen Nightwing's or Batman's abs through their costume and yet we seem to when we see anything with female characters. That to me tells me that we the readers are putting to much work into objectifying the person in question than the actual portrayal itself. The phrase never judge a book by its cover never rang so true (however this doesn't excuse Witchblade or any of the blatantly sexist ones).
Why this happens:
Now this is just my opinion. Comics are only based on realism to a certain extent. The point in your stereotypical comic heroes is that they are supposed to represent the best of us. There in lies the problem as the comicbook world is dominated by men. You ask me to name 5 female artists or 5 female writers i'll have a lot of trouble. I can name a few such as Kelly Sue Deconnick (she would write an awesome Spider-man imo! As soon as Slott's run is over I want her as the ongoing writer) or Sara Pichelli (who is a fricking awesome artist) but for every 1 female member of the comic industry I can name about 4 male ones (i'm only talking about Marvel here as my knowledge on DC talent is very bad) and due to the number difference it means that men are more likely to get the bigger mainstream titles such as The Avengers etc... Its not that they are better its just law of averages.
I'm not going to sugar coat it men are men and we unfortunately are creatures that are biologically programed to look for certain things so what we see as best is likely very different from a woman's perspective so whats happening is that process is being placed into the comic art industry. Artists have the opportunity to create a character that is supposed to look how they envision he or she should look and 99% of the time with male ones that is always going to be some sort of drop-dead gorgeous model because that is how they have built them up.
If we put a woman in the same position there is no kind of sexual agenda thus they are more likely to build something realistic based on how they think there character should act and look. I'm not trying to defend what the male artists do sometimes i'm just trying to point out how and why it happens. Maybe if you put an all female creative team on a male character the same thing would happen except the other way around? I can't say because I honestly can't think of an all female creative on a male character which speaks volumes for itself really.
The main problem is simply that there isn't enough women in the comic industry thus its like having a double headed coin. There simply isn't enough variety. Women think about things differently to men and see things differently to what we do (much to our dismay most of the time :p) but that is the sort of thing that is essential in an industry that thrives on both male and female characters. Sometimes you need that female input as it gives the characters more depth.
Honestly in my opinion the main problem female characters have to deal with is not how they look or what they wear but how they presented as characters. In real life women are less physically imposing than men. However this isn't real life this is a place where a giant runs around eating planets for "tuh lolz" and yet we still find that women are in general treated as physically inferior. A prime example is that at one point Spider-man was actually denied a female villain because they didn't think she would be threatening enough. That there speaks volumes. How many villains can you think of that are women who have actually gone into a slug-fest with a male hero opponent? I can hardly think of any. With the women as the hero and the man as the villain yes that happens quite a bit. With two women one villain and one hero yes that also happens a lot but the woman as the villain and the man as the hero? Nope that hardly ever happens. Women seem to be given powers that allow them to take the battle without having to get down and dirty (i'm generalizing here). Telepathy is a prime example. Telepathy is almost becoming a stereotypical female power.
The reason they don't seem to get into vast physical confrontations with a male opponent when the woman is the villain seems to be the chivalrous concept that men shouldn't hit women (which I agree with) however if this women is evil, psychotic and downright disturbing beyond all reason I do not see the problem and yet it hardly happens. Women especially as villains in comics are fighting a battle to be equal with their male counterparts but its not mainly because of how they are dressed or how they look its how they are treated in comparison to men.
Every now and then someone comes out who breaks the mold. JMS for example did what had been denied to Spider-man previously gave us not just my favorite female Villain but my favorite overall villain EVER. Shathra. She was everything you need from a good female villain. No female sexual undertone (like villains such as Poison Ivy have), able to match the male hero in physical ability, smart and deadly. Not only did she outsmart Spider-man but hunted him like a dog, emotionally hurt him and even when Spider-man's morals went of and he hit her with everything he had he couldn't scratch her. Heck he dropped a building on her and Shathra didn't budge:
But the best thing about her was that even though she was a woman she physically went toe on toe with the male hero and throughout all of her battles you never felt that Spider-man shouldn't be hitting her because she's a woman because she was physically tough enough to take anything he could dish out and evil enough that the whole "shouldn't hit a woman" didn't come into play. This to me is one of the few occasions i've seen women treated equally to men even though in this case the woman was the villain. As all you saw was how her character played with Spider-man and nothing else.
To conclude while women do seem to suffer from revealing costumes and stereotypical supermodel physiques this overshadows the true problem. The fact that in physical ability women are still treated as inferior even in a made-up universe. Because people are busy obsessing over how the character looks they forget to look at the deeper problem. Don't get me wrong i'm not saying that the costumes shouldn't be dealt with. What i'm saying is that this is not the main problem. We are instantly judging the character on how she looks and not seeing the rest. There's your problem!
Being a Kaine fanboy since his appearance in his classic version I have hard copies of his every appearance so I thought it was time to break out the scanner. Thanks to Morpheus_ as well as he already had some of the Classic scans so I only had to scan the ones he didn't!
An imperfect clone of Peter Parker who due to his degeneration was significantly superior to Spider-man il almost every aspect.
Easily slaps around Ben Reilly who stated even with both hands he couldn't hold back Kaine's 1:
Pulls down half a building with ease:
Pulls down a big part of the street from in the sewers:
Beats down the Rhino with brute force:
Taking on multiple Spider-man clones and 1-shot killing them with ease:
Takes a direct 10ton punch from Peter head-on and doesn't even feel it. Peter states in surprise that it should have taken his head off:
Takes a bullet with no ill effects. This is also a speed feat. Look how far Kaine is from Shannon and yet he manages to get behind her before the cop fires and before he can finish his own sentence. Thats some wild speed:
Strength feat (tossing car 1 handed) and what is most likely his biggest durability feat. Taking a massive explosion without a scratch:
Briefly blitz's Spider-man showing that he is indeed as fast or faster than him:
Kaine roflstomps Spidercide (Spider-man clone):
Kaine Vs Ben Reilly (beats him pretty easily):
Kaine Vs Peter Parker (again wins quite convincingly even though he was holding back):
Kaine Vs Spidercide, Ben Reilly and Peter Parker (They don't do much better together than they did separately Kaine makes light work of them. Although I will point out that Ben Reilly wasn't actually KO'd in that last scan just faking it):
Kaine Vs Grim Hunter (Spoiler Grim Hunter ends up dead!):
Kaine Vs Doc Ock (Spoiler Doc Ock ends up dead!):
Kaine and Peter Parker Vs the Sinister Seven. Kaine initially takes them all on at once until Peter turns up to help:
Kaine Vs Carnage (Kaine has a brief scuffle with our resident psycho in which Kasady actually admits Kaine hurt him!):
Classic Kaine possessed something called the "Sting Of Kaine" which took the form of Wolverine style claws protruding from his wrists. It is unknown what they're full usagewas.
Classic Kaine's spider-sense was far better than any of the other Spider-men and bordered on complete pre-cog.
Scarlet Spider (Current Kaine):
Good speed and strength showing. Kaine stops the car despite how far away he was and despite how close the car was to hitting the woman.
Dodges a ton of bullets with seeming ease:
Hell of a speed showing here. Bullets are fired and Kaine manages to pin then use an enemy as a meat-shield before the bullets hit. That's some wild-a$$ speed:
Catches an arrow despite having his back turned and no spider-sense and a little bullet dodging. Good reaction feat:
Scarlet Spider uses spiders to look over an entire city for a bomb:
Uses stealth to kill Assassins:
Scarlet Spider Vs Salamander:
Scarlet Spider Vs The Assassin's Guild:
Scarlet Spider Vs The Rangers:
Scarlet Spider Vs Venom:
Scarlet Spider Vs Carnage: Round 1:
Scarlet Spider Vs Carnage: Round 2 (heck of a durability showing from Kaine here):
-There was actually a part in the Venom part where Kaine took another shot at Carnage but it didn't amount to anything. He just sucker punched him and helped Venom kill the other symbiotes no 1v1. Still wanting to go a third round with Carnage shows good durability and stamina.
Scarlet Spider Vs Carlos and Esmerelda Lobo (Kaine is actually winning until he starts holding back):
After his resurrection Kaine deals out some retribution on the Wolves:
This dawned on me as I was sitting here and I was surprised by how badly it rubbed me the wrong way. Spider-man doesn't really have many prominent female villains.
The only one that ever posed a serious threat to him was the Queen. Even the Sinister Six was an all male team (apart from the recent one which had a female Beetle). He has had a few in the past like Stunner, Calypso and Menace but they are only minor threats and only stick around for a very short length of time. They also seem to be either killed off or just fade into obscurity. The rest if the women in his life are either friends, teammates or love interests.
I think its kind of strange that I can think of a LOT of major male Spider-man villains such as Electro, Doctor Octopus (well he's not exactly a villain now), Kraven, Venom, Carnage, Morlun and many more and yet the only female villain I can think of that posed enough of a threat is Shathra and to a lesser extent the Queen and they have both been killed off! Even if we look at his minor villains like Shocker level I still can't think of many. There was a female Scorpion once called Scorpia, Caroline Trainer who was briefly the Doc Ock , Ana Kravinoff (who seems to be Kaine's problem now rather than Spider-man's) and now a female Beetle. These are B listers at very best. The kind Spider-man when not playing around would most likely one-shot.
I'm not saying he needs to have a loads more but its getting tiresome just having members of the opposite sex as friends/love interests. Why can't we have a female villain who could be just as big a threat as Venom, Doc Ock or Kraven? I mean someone who is a top tier threat to the old web-head. Someone who makes you think the same thing as when Brock used to turn up as Venom. Whenever Brock-Venom turned up you knew Pete was gonna have a tough time and most likely get his ass kicked. I have never had that with any of Spider-man's female villains (aside from Shathra who i'll get to in a minute) even the Queen who is probably one the strongest female villains didn't inspire that kind of threat although she had a lot of potential......but I guess not now being dead and all. What it all comes down to is that most of his female villains are simply female copies of other ones and are thus living in the shadows of their male counter-parts. We've had a female Scorpion, Doc Ock, Kraven, Green Goblin, Venom and even a female Carnage. If we get a female Shocker I swear i'll punch someone. Is it too much to ask for an original creation!?
In my opinion they missed out on an opportunity with Shathra. For those of you who didn't read that arc it was discovered that Spider-man was a totem powered individual and Shathra was his opposite being the Spider-Wasp totem. A creature that feeds off spiders. Shathra was everything you need from a villain. She was cunning, brutal and single minded. In her first fight with Spider-man it was clear she was going to demolish him. Pete was then forced to retreat and rethink his options. Then Shathra did something I haven't seen many villains do. She went to the press and said that she was Spider-man's ex-lover and began saying awful things over all the TV stations about it. This of course prompted people like MJ and others who knew Peter was Spider-man to be hurt emotionally and question him.
This action threw Peter into a complete rage and he attacked her mid-interview. The resulting fight nearly demolished the city block. Spider-man was clearly angry enough not to hold back and Shathra took everything he had and kept going. She didn't just take Spider-man on physically but also hounded him personally as she knew his identity, turning his own family and friends on him. Not many villains have caused Spider-man this kind of problem. Not many people have made Spider-man angry enough for Pete to lose his Morals but she managed to do it! On his way to that fight Spider-man was seething with anger and perfectly prepared to rip her limb from limb and he proved that in his following fight. He was so angry he tore into her with everything he had even ignoring bystanders. This is the first time in ASM (that I remember) that a villain has pushed Spider-man to lash out with so much anger that he didn't even care about bystanders. Now that's a serious drop in morals. Shathra was a brilliant villain as she pushed Spider-man to the brink both physically and emotionally. In those 2 appearances she did more damage than most of Spider-man's enemies over a period of years.
Another thing I loved about Shathra was the fact that there was no sort of sexual tension simply because she was female. With villains such as Poison Ivy this is blatantly obvious. Shathra attacked with the kind of brutality and emotional devastation that rivaled Brock-Venom. There was no underlying agenda she just wanted Spider-man dead so she could feed him to her children and she was prepared to do anything to get it. She made an impact on him worthy of people like Doc Ock, Green Goblin etc... and what did Marvel do!? They killed her! 2 appearances and BAM dead. She followed the trend of all Spider-man's female villains brief appearance and faded into nothingness.
Out of complete interest when you comment on this page could you please say if you had or hadn't heard of Shathra or knew about her and what she did before this post? It does not matter if you have or have not i'm just curious.
Spider-man seems to be lacking a top tier female villain and hopefully someone will give one to him and not another friend, teammate or god forbid another love interest.
If you have not read Amazing Spider-man 700 or Avenging Spider-man 15.1 I advise you to stop reading now!
Ok i've heard a lot of complaints about why Superior Spider-man will suck or how its going to destroy Spider-man so i've decided to ignore all the complaints and focus on the positive side of this series!
Nothing is permanent:
This is the main thing that people need to get through their heads! Superior Spider-man is NOT the permanent status quo for Spider-man and as much as Wacker and Slott insist that it is they can't honestly believe it and probably don't. At some point a new writer will come on and we'll get the "Peter Returns" issue. You don't like the new Ock-Spider-man that is completely fine. Its your right as a consumer to decide what you do and do not like and change is normally hated initially anyway. However there is no point moaning about something that isn't permanent or sending death threats of all things to the writers (I mean c'mon death threats? Really!?).
Someone new will always appear to allow for more creative liberty and time. I know Ben Reilly wasn't well liked when he took over being Spider-man (granted different circumstances) but he still has fans to this day (including me). Another big clue that this is not a permanent change is how Slott is portraying Superior Spider-man. From what we've seen he is egotistical, rash, short tempered and condescending. All the makings of a true a$$hole. Do you think Slott doesn't know this? Of course he does and its on purpose. Superior Spider-man is going to be the guy you love to hate. It will make Peter's eventual return even more anticipated and demanded! Whenever a huge change takes place it boosts sales it doesn't matter if its positive or negative. If its positive then it shows how good the story is but we all know its so much easier to piss people off than it is to please them. The only reason It is called Superior Spider-man 1 instead of continuing with Amazing is because Slott wishes to reinforce his statement that this permanent to boost sales nothing more.
New Status Quo:
For one second put aside all the hate you feel whats being done. Just pretend its happening in a "What If" and not 616 if it makes it easier. I want you to tell me honestly that you are not in the least bit curious as to what Ock as Spider-man would be like? C'mon not even a little?
Putting Ock as Spider-man and leaving Peter out of the picture doesn't only make for some interesting stories it also gives the writers lots of time to think up new ideas for stories when Peter does make his inevitable come-back.
As Peter is out of the picture for the moment and we are focusing on this new Ock it opens up a hell of a lot of stories. As not only do you have one character with 50 years worth of stories but two combined into one. They both have such a rich past that together you could pull out almost any scenario. You can now repeat any position Spider-man has been placed in and see how his nemesis would react to the same thing. We also get to see how Peter's supporting cast takes to the new Spider-man and how they will figure out who this new Spider-man really is.
Not to mention with Ock's smarts we will get to see some new tech and gadgets. This will also change Ock's view on Peter. Seeing himself through his enemy's will not only change his view of Peter but also himself as he will see himself as Peter saw him. Replaying his own fights in his own head from Peter's side is going to change the way he thinks dramatically. This situation is incredibly unique not many characters yet alone major money maker ones have gone though this kind of change. How can it not be interesting?
When you look at objectively and without emotion how is having a new guy as Spider-man who will have unique stories to expand the Spider-man mythos a bad thing? Not to mention as I said previously it also allows writers to think ahead and have lots of time to think up fresh ideas for Peter.
Well we’ve had a years worth of comics from Scarlet Spider and I thought it was time to put my thoughts on the series into words so here goes.
When I heard the Scarlet Spider was returning like quite a few other people my mind lept straight to Ben Reilly. Before the conclusion of Spider-Island I thought we were going to see Ben back in the webs which neither pleased nor displeased me. When it turned out to be Kaine that was when I became interested. I picked up the first issue a week or so after it came out and had no idea what to expect from the creative team. Yost and Stegman were completely new names to me at that point. As soon as I’d finished the first issue I was convinced Christopher Yost had nailed Kaine’s character. My main fear was that due to his major connection to Spider-man we might not get a unique character and end up with a Back In Black or Grim hunt style Spider-man knock-off, on top of that Kaine has undergone a lot of changes since the clone saga and finding a balance between them was going to be a real challenge but it was a challenge that in my humble opinion Yost passed with flying colors and the supporting cast he introduced were quite refreshing compared to some of the others in other series.
The original creative team included Ryan Stegman who as I said just now was a completely new name to me before this series. His art in Scarlet Spider 1-4 and number 6 was incredible and his exit in issue 6 was bitter-sweet. The art for that issue was phenomenal but knowing that he was leaving the series interiors was upsetting. I had hoped that he might have done another arc before moving on but unfortunately this was not the case. At least we still get to see his awesome pencils on the covers of Scarlet Spider which Ryan has continued to do since his departure.
From issue 6, Stegman was replaced by Khoi Pham and my initial reaction of course was to compare him to Stegman which is a fatal move due to the fact that it was Stegman’s art that really began and defined the character. Personally I do not find Khoi’s art as detailed as Stegman’s (this is just personal preference though) but he has shown that he can draw really well. During Minimum Carnage a few pages lept out at me. As a whole Khoi hasn't done a bad job.
The stories that have been put across by Yost and the various artists he's worked with has been of a high quality in my opinion. We’ve gotten a much deeper glimpse into who and what Kaine is and how he thinks. His past as an assassin was also an interesting thing to develop and gave us an explanation as to what the mark was originally conceived for. All in all I have no real problems with the story ideas or how they have been portrayed and how his past has been expanded upon to fit into this series. I’ve enjoyed seeing Kaine’s past come back to haunt him, be it in the shape of the Assassins Guild or the Kravinoff family. The new supporting cast has actually grown on me a lot. In the beginning I was a little pessimistic about them but as the series wore on and Yost pushed them into their various roles I started to like them more and more and as from Scarlet Spider 12 Aracely is officially my favorite!
Next I suppose I should look at the things that I didn't like so much and although there weren't many and most of them were minor there were a few things I didn't quite get on board with. My first was Kaine’s vast change in moral conduct between Spider-Island and Scarlet Spider. Before hand Kaine was selfish, cold, brutal and all in all not a nice guy. I am aware that Kaine is trying to better himself however going from a murdering psychopath to an anti-hero doesn't happen overnight and I felt that was what occurred here. I know it might seem a macabre thing to say but I had hoped to see Kaine kill someone by now and when Ana Kravinoff showed up I really thought that she was going to be the first to die. Scarlet Spider’s morals are supposed to be questionable and for the most part they are. He doesn't seem to have an qualms brutally harming his enemies however if I divert to the current Venom series we have Flash Thompson who is generally calmer and more collected than Kaine and yet we’ve seen Flash kill numerous times since his ongoing began. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Kaine isn't killing I just think it needs more building up and more of an explanation than what we got in these 13 issues. I was also not a fan of the Minimum Carnage story arc however that can be put down to it being a crossover event and i’m quite happy to overlook it. Another thing I can't make my mind up on is Annabelle. Now don't get me wrong I like her character however look very closely at her and ask yourself this. What other strong-willed, red-head with a thing for Spider-people do you know? It's plain to see where the basis of her character is from and I don't know whether this is a good tribute to the original red-head or whether it detracts from the differences that Yost is trying to build up. Either way thus far I've had a hard time caring about her due to the fact her character hasn't really been expanded on. Lastly was the slight disjointedness in some areas. The main one was between Scarlet Spider #4 and #5. Number 4 ended with Annabelle finding out that Kaine was the Scarlet Spider and yet in issue 5 where I would have thought a big discovery like this may have been addressed it was completely brushed aside and Kaine is suddenly running round Houston looking for a bomb. I honestly double checked I hadn't missed an issue because it threw me off so much.
Those things aside Scarlet Spider has been a brilliant read since its first issue back in March. It isn't just my favorite new ongoing but also my overall favorite series this year. I got much more of a kick out of reading this than I did Slott's Spider-man and Snyder's Batman. I also hope that the same caliber of story is kept for the next arc when it begins next year. I was worried that as Yost is now writing Avenging Spider-man (which is now on my pull-list because of him) he would be leaving Scarlet Spider but thankfully he isn't and is going to be on it through 2013. To top it off Reilly Brown the man responsible for bringing us the awesome pencils in Scarlet Spider #12 is staying on as one of the on-going artists for the series!
I am hoping to see the following things from Scarlet Spider in the new year:
An explanation about Kaine's powers and resurrection.
A wider look into his motivations about being the Scarlet Spider.
Some character development for Annabelle.
Well i'll leave it there! Have a great Christmas everyone!
Well I had some free time today so I took that time to re-read Slott's run on Spider-man to try and grasp who the new Spider-man could be. I have literally gone through every male candidate that I can think of. This is not a speculation thread as such but simply going through every character it could be and eliminating them 1 by 1 as they don't fit. This should allow us to end up with a rough idea of who it might be.
What we know about Superior:
Smarter, stronger and faster than Peter
Doesn't like children
Has less morals
We've seen this character before/has serious Spider-man pedigree
This has been building up since 600 and over Slott's run
Carlie knows whoever he is (whether she knows who's under the mask is another story but she knows him out of costume).
Has experience using his powers
Why it could be him:
Phil is Peter's polar opposite. He's selfish, egotistical and a complete a$$hole. However he does bare some similarities to Pete. He has a Uncle Ben he loves and wants to please and he takes videos and photos of himself in the Hobgoblin costume to make money (much like Spider-man use too). Phil is basically Negative-Peter there is no better way to describe him. Of course for those of us who remember Phil was once a good guy but he had a slight mental break down and took a trip to loony town which gives us the psycho we have today. Slott has made it his mission to make Phil quite a big part of Spider man as of late playing a big part in Spider man's life in and out of the suit so he does have the build up. Although he doesn't have Spider-powers he did have access to the Spider-tech that Osborn was designing including claws for wallcrawling. We have had no indication that Phil hates kids but I don't think he would particularly like them given his attitude. Ontop of that Carlie knows Phil out of the suit! Phil does tick a fair few boxes (126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52) Will Phil see the error of his ways and become Spider-man?
Why it can't be him:
Well first off Phil is not smarter than Peter. In fact he's as thick as plank in comparison to Pete. So already that makes him an unlikely candidate. Not to mention anyone who read the end of Danger Zone will know that Kingsley has hired Urich to be the new Hobgoblin officially so I don't see him taking up 2 identities. Although Phil was a hero now he is completely psychotic. I honestly don't see him changing his ways that quickly. Thus I think we can rule out Urich as Spider-man.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Norman Osborn has been designing Spider-technology (most notably claws that allow you to climb walls) ontop of that Norman is smarter than Peter. Perhaps not scientifically smarter but this is the man who took over SHIELD and brought the Avengers to their knees (twice). He has even demonstrated speed and strength to match Spider-man (after the gathering of 5 Peter was taken aback by how strong he was when not holding back). Norman Osborn is smart enough, strong enough and fast enough to be Spider-man. We also know he's not really a child person (look what happened with Harry), not to mention he has SERIOUS Spider-man pedigree. Norman ticks a lot of the boxes! (184.108.40.206.5.6.9)
Why it can't be him:
There is only 1 real reason Norman is unlikely to be Spider-man. He has not played a big part in Spider-man as of late. He got a mention in Big Time and in a few other arcs but thats about it.
Conclusion: Norman could be Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Harry is Peter's best friend and a good guy at heart however we saw a slightly darker side of him when Vin threatened him. He has the perfect mix of Morals to be Superior as he's not a flat out killer but he doesn't take crap either. Harry like his dad has SERIOUS (it needs to be in capitals) Spider-man pedigree. He also has experience with powers and being a hero. He became American Son during Dark Reign and beat the hell out of his dad. due to his days as the Green Goblin he has access to all his dad's tech including the Spider-tech. He ticks a few boxes (220.127.116.11.9)
Why it can't be him:
First Harry likes kids he even has one. He is not smarter than Peter. Peter had to help him through school. Harry isn't anywhere near Peter in intelligence. Apart from a very recent one in Danger Zone he hadn't had any real connection before hand.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Well why couldn't it? There are so many things that could happen over the next couple of issue to explain these new morals and abilities. There's no point in me going in depth here as this isn't theory thread and i'm pretty sure you can all guess for yourself why it could still be Parker.
Why it can't be him:
Have heard numerous accounts that it isn't Peter under the mask. However these could just be red herrings or a play on words.
Conclusion: Peter could be Spider-man
Why it could be him:
As anyone who read ASM 698 will know Doc Ock is currently in Peter Parkers body. This could be permanent or maybe Peter's and Ocks minds meld into one. Either way Ock is smarter than Peter, he would be just as strong, would have less morals, he has serious Spider-man pedigree, his story has been building up since issue 600 and he has experience with superpowers.
Why it can't be him:
Doc Ock is in Pete's body thus has his ability to climb walls. So why would he need claws? Slott has said that it all gets pieced together in issue 699 which means if Pete-Ock is Superior he's played his cards very early which is something I don't think he'd do.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man. (yes he ticks a lot of boxes but the few he doesn't are very damning)
Why it could be him:
I know this seems quite random but think about it. Kingsley's stroy began in 649 when Phil Urich killed his brother so he has been padded out for a while. He spent the remainder of the time in Mexico pretending to be someone called Devil-Spider. He does have serious Spider-man pedigree and he has a lot of experience using his super-powers. He has access to the Goblin lab's thus access to the Spider-tech. Another thing we know is he's recently gone into business becoming other super-villains. Would he consider becoming Spider-man?
Why it can't be him:
Although we have seen him a few times Roderick hasn't had a huge impact on Spider-man until recently I think it would be to out of nowhere for him to become Spider-man. Not to mention he has recently started up a super-villain business would he have time to be Spider-man? He also has no motivation to do good at all.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be one:
This is of course an immense cop-out in my opinion but Superior could be a new Spider-man clone. the Jackal has been brought back by Slott and his influence has been felt. We know that not all Spider-clones have Peters Morals or Powers *cough*Kaine*cough* a clone could potentially tick all the boxes.
Why it can't be:
Slott has said what is being done with Superior hasn't been done before and we already had a clone as Spider-man. Plus as I said this would be a big cop-out. While Kaine would be a logical choice for Spider-man (and to be quite frank the chance of Kaine not becoming Spider-man one day are very low) he currently has his own pretty successful ongoing series so to take him out of that would be silly.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
Curt has recently revealed that he's stuck in the Lizard body but is back to being himself. If he managed to cure himself of the lizard physicality he has the stats and abilities required to be Spider-man. As a gifted geneticist it wouldn't be a push to say he's smarter than Peter. Due to the recent death of his son (by his own hands) Curt may feel a bit dodgy around children. The death of his son Billy has freed his character from emotional ties and commitments allowing a writer to build from that. Coincidence? Superior's eye lenses could be a result of enhanced vision and the claws are self-explanatory.
Why it can't be:
Connors has only been in one major arc since Slott's run began and even then it was to co-inside with the Amazing Spider-man movie which feature him as the antagonist. So his story hasn't really been built up. Like a few of the others he seems to randomly thrown in to be Superior.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
I am only including him here because people keep asking me why I haven't included him so here i'll explain why
Why it could be him:
Aside from Kaine, Miguel is the only other person with Spider-man heritage. He is most likely smarter than Peter due to his professional capacity. He also has claws to climb walls and enhanced vision (in his comics he had to wear glasses to protect his sensitive eyes. Could that be the reason for the weird lenses?) Miguel has a hell of a lot of experience using his powers and his morals are more laxed than Peter's leading to a more violent approach to his enemies. Although Miguel is currently stuck in the 2099 timeline the X-men have recently time-skipped could this be what happens here?
Why it can't be him:
If there was a line in the sand representing how far removed a character was removed from the current storylines Miguel wouldn't be able to see the line he'd be out in tropical tundra regions of sand. He has no prior connection to Slott's storyline. Even more damning is the fact that Superior has artificial webshooters and Miguel has biological ones. Its not that I don't want him to be Spider-man in fact I made a post detailing why he deserves to be Superior (check it out here if you're interested http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/strider92/why-miguel-deserves-to-be-the-superior-spider-man/87-85932/) but given the circumstances its very very unlikely it will be him.
Conclusion: Not Spider-man
Why it could be him:
There is a reason I saved him for last and its because i'm about to attempt to mindscrew you! It mind screwed me when I came to this conclusion. Smythe ticks EVERY box! Everything we know about Superior fits with him! Everything! We saw in Big Time that Smythe is smarter, stronger and faster than Spider-man, he doesn't seem like a kid person given his attitude, he has retractable talons that he uses to climb walls (in Big Time we see him scaling a wall using claws), he has less morals, he has SERIOUS Spider-man pedigree (he used to build robots with the sole purpose of hunting Spider-man. He knows how the web-head acts and moves), Smythe has given himself Spider-powers if you reread the Big Time arc he gives all his creatures a Spider-sense which Superior has no been confirmed to have not only that he has a huge Spider icon on his new suit!!!!! Smythe has played a huge part in both Slott's major arcs (Big Time and Spider-Island) his story has been built up by Slott quite a bit, Carlie knows Smythe due to the whole Spider-Island and Big Time mess. He of course has experience using powers infact he can go one better! He has experience using Spider-powers! Alistair is also not a complete villain. He helped out during Spider-Island to cure the virus and his motivations are not purely evil so turning over a new leaf could be possible. One last thing is that Mr. Smythe is currently being held on the Raft along with other villains but guess what happens in ASM 699-700 thats right a break-out! Is Alistair getting out with the rest?
Why it can't be him:
There is honestly no reason why it can't be him. He has more experience using Spider-powers than anyone else around and even has a spider-sense. Heck he even has Superior's weird goggles that he can use for scanning and his claws!! Smythe also wants vengeance on Doc Ock for ruining his plans with the Spider-Slayers(during the Big Time arc) if he finds out Ock is in Spider-man's body.....things may go badly. I cannot find single thing that prevents him from being the new Spider-man.
Edit: as @kingjoeg keenly observed both Smythe and Superior have the same feet:
Is this more clues that Smythe is Superior? Another thing that I noticed from that image of Superior Spider-man is that he has artificial web-shooters (take a close look at his hand) thus that truly does eliminate Miguel as he has organic webbing.
Edit: This might be hint too. He says he can build a better spider and he has Superior's Spider on his back:
Well lets face it unless Tasky appears in Avengers as an enemy (unlikely given the caliber of enemy they are going for there) or in Deadpool as an enemy (would be likely if Deadpool wasn't stuck in production limbo) he isn't going to have a big screen appearance which is a shame really because as both a hero and a villain he could turn out a very good film if given the chance. So here's how I would do it:
Now I like Taskmaster's original costume. I think the skull-mask, cape etc.... are all awesome....In the comic world!!! When it comes to costumes some of them just don't work on the big screen. They look poorly put together or sometimes downright weird. For example I found Captain America's suit in the Avengers a bit stupid really.
So as much as i'd like to see the original Taskmaster suit I have a feeling that it would be one of those suits that just wouldn't work on screen. However that isn't Tasky's only suit we have the one that was given to us by UDON which was brilliant and has that modern techy feel about it. Another reason I would favor UDON's suit here is because of the gadgets Taskmaster had with it. The image inducer for example is something a top tier assassin should have to slip around unnoticed or the weapons generator that allowed him to copy other people's fighting equipment (Spider-man's webs, Wolverine's claws, Cap's shield etc...). Whether they copy UDON's design exactly (unlikely as movies always like to do their own thing) or not it should definitely be the basis for his suit.
As I said before one of the great things about Taskmaster is he walks that grey line between good and evil. Thus you have a lot of room to play with him character wise. One problem is fitting him into the Marvel timeline as we already have the Avengers and other Marvel-verse movies so establishing a timeline is key. There are multiple ways of creating a plot for Taskmaster this is just my idea for it:
The whole movie takes place a few years before the Avengers before movies like Iron Man, Thor etc.... Nick Fury has just become head of SHIELD and of course to prove he is up to the challenge wants to make his mark. HYDRA as we saw in Captain America the first Avenger is actually still operating under the radar in modern times but has evolved beyond a simple R&D department into a fully fledged terrorist organization. Fury decides that HYDRA must be dealt with and sends in his best agent and current SHIELD drill master at the time Tony Masters. His task is to infiltrate HYDRA and feed information back to SHIELD. Before however Masters agrees to undergo a procedure designed to increase his memory, cognitive functions and give him an eidetic memory. This would mean that he would be able to remember anything he saw in HYDRA without the need to steal files and risk discovery.
Months after he is posted in HYDRA things start to go wrong. The expansion of his mind allowed him to retain huge amounts of information however gradually he starts losing the rest of his memories as the vast amounts of information he stored from HYDRA overwrites everything else until one day he wakes up with no memory of SHIELD at all and believe's himself to be a HYDRA agent. So of course doesn't feed Fury anymore information. Fury assumes when Taskmaster stops making contact that he was compromised and killed. Due to his ability to instantly remember anything he see's (including fighting styles) Masters is chosen by the current head of HYDRA, Kraken to train HYDRA agents including his adoptive daughter Viper and is given the UDON style stealth suit and gadgets as a gift for his services. After a while Kraken notices that SHIELD has somehow gained information on HYDRA due to SHIELD agents appearing at key points in HYDRA business transactions and assign's Taskmaster to find out who the leak is and plug it. During his digging Taskmaster comes across a video surveillance tape that had been modified in such a slight way that anyone but him would probably have missed it. He manages to pull up the original surveillance tape and is horrified to see himself breaking into HYDRA security systems and stealing information with the use of a flash drive and hiding it in his quarters (when the video was taken Masters was panicking as he realized he was losing his memory and knew the only sure way of keeping the information was to store it somewhere other than his head. His panic was what caused him to poorly edit the video).
Unfortunately for Taskmaster as he hadn't been expecting to see himself there he'd played the video in the presence of Kraken and other HYDRA members. Of course they quickly turn on him and Taskmaster is forced to fight his way out just before stopping by his quarters and taking the flash drive with him. SHIELD however had been keeping tabs on HYDRA bases mainly due to Fury's guilt at getting Tony killed. As Taskmaster flees the HYDRA base a SHIELD agent's scanner picks up the flash drive as a piece of SHIELD technology. Upon informing Fury that someone just came out of HYDRA with a piece of SHIELD tech he sends a squad of agents after Taskmaster (of course due to the suit Nick doesn't recognize him as Masters). Both HYDRA and SHIELD then proceed to hunt down Taskmaster. HYDRA to kill him for his betrayal and retrieve the information on the flash drive and SHIELD to obtain the piece of tech they know was Master's and most likely has more HYDRA information on it. During the course of the film he gradually begins to remember who he is as he breaks into the flash drive and seeing the information stored there. When Fury realizes that his agents are failing to recover the drive he sends in his two new best operatives to hunt down Taskmaster. Black Widow and Hawkeye.
By now Taskmaster is fed up of people trying to kill him and lures both HYDRA and SHIELD into one area (heck you be clever and make that place somewhere in Budapest to match the quote from the Avengers about Black Widow and Hawkeye having a lot of trouble there). Which breaks out into a fight. The black and white video we see in The Avengers movie of Black Widow and Hawkeye fighting side by side could have been taken during this battle as we don't see who is shooting at them (another good way to tie in the Avengers). During the chaos of the fight Taskmaster tracks down Kraken and kills him knowing that is the only way to get HYDRA to leave him alone.
After the fight only Taskmaster, Black Widow and Hawkeye are left standing and the duo attack Taskmaster not knowing who he is. During the fight Black Widow see's how he predicts their every movement and that he knows exactly how she fights. This leads to a flashback and she realizes who he is as Black Widow was just an initiate before Taskmaster disappeared and he had been the drill master at SHIELD at the time thus Taskmaster had been her trainer after Barton had brought her into SHIELD. Realizing this is why they aren't beating Taskmaster she stops the fight just as more SHIELD agents arrive. Now knowing exactly who he is Taskmaster gives Fury the flash drive but still holding a grudge against Fury for just leaving him for dead says he wants nothing more to with SHIELD. The film ends with Taskmaster becoming a mercenary and Viper now the new head of HYDRA is seen over Kraken's dead body vowing to find Taskmaster and kill him for betraying them.
The part about how Taskmaster gained his powers and about him being a SHIELD agent is only revealed nearer the end of the film so that through the whole thing you are basically in the same boat as Taskmaster. Two agencies are hunting him and you have no idea whats going on until later on where it pieces together. This is of course a very very basic outline and there are so many other ways this could be done.
Director: There's only one person who can direct a film about an amnesiac killer and make it stunning and thats Paul Greengrass the director of The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum. I can see a Marvel/Bourne hybrid looking absolutely awesome. Greengrass knows how to deal with characters exactly like this!
Stunt/Fight Choreographer: Nicholas Powell. He was the fight choreographer for the Bourne Identity and won best fight choreography for it. He has also won multiple other awards in this are for different films. Some of his work includes: Push, War, 28 Days Later and the Last Samurai. My hope is that he would give Taskmaster the brutal efficiency in hand to hand he is known for.
Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye can all be reprised by the actors that were in The Avengers.
Taskmaster: Matt Mullins
I'm a big fan of taking largely unknown actors and giving them a shot. I think Mullins would do a good job as Taskmaster. Reason one is because ontop of being an actor he is a very good martial artist. Another is because of when I saw him in Blood and Bone. The character he played in that (Price) resonated cockyness and suaveness which is exactly how Taskmaster acts in his confrontations. I watched that scene again and I could see him pulling of Taskmasters fighting style and personality brilliantly. For those of you who haven't seen it here is the scene I was referring too:
Kraken: Liam Neeson
Neeson has experience in playing comic book bad-guys in charge of a lot of men *cough*Batman*cough* he also has quite a bit of experience with fighting and action scenes he would play Kraken well in my opinion.
Viper: Diane Kruger
I think she would do a good job as Viper you'll have to imagine her with her hair dyed green lol. She's a pretty solid all round actress.
This was just my take on what route they should take. What I said earlier basically summed it up a Marvel/Bourne hybrid. A Taskmaster stand alone movie is most likely never ever going to happen even though people have expressed interest in the past: http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/102138-exclusive-joe-carnahan-on-taskmaster-and-preacher I'm just hoping Marvel doesn't fall into the trap only using characters like Iron Man, Thor etc... because there are so many other characters out there that would make great movies an yet they are pushed to one-side in favor of the big guns.
So in a sense while I have used Taskmaster as the example here, this post is mainly about how other lesser known characters if given the chance are just as interesting as the more mainstream ones. However Marvel have been a lot more supple than DC in this area so if any company is going to make a film of one of their lesser known characters I would put my money on them. Not to mention it gives you an opportunity to pad out the universe by including other characters such as Black Widow, Nick Fury etc... and giving more information on how they got where they are today. Anyway this had just been rolling around my head for a bit so I decided to put it out there.
These are just some of the characters I would really want to see in the New 52 in the near future and where they should be.
One of my all time favorite characters. For those of you who don't know who he is shame on you!!! To sum him up briefly, like Zealot Marc Slayton(Backlash) is a kherubim who has the ability to project pisonic constructs in the shape of whips from his wrists, superhuman stats and has the ability to dematerialize himself (basically turning himself into living mist). Slayton was also considered the best hand to hand fighter in Wildstorm out classing Zealot by quite a bit (maybe someone will finally contend the position Batman has been trying to hang onto!). Due to his huge amount of combat experience (he is 3.000 years old and has trained as a ninja, knight, military intelligence operative, USAF Sergeant Rescue Commando, USAF Colonel and special forces operative) he was chosen by Stormwatch to be their drill master and trainer.
The reasons I want to see him (besides him being one of my all time favorite characters) are I liked the dynamic he had with Grifter (who has already appeared in the new 52) and i'd also like to see him and Midnighter finally duke it out as Midnighter was one of the few characters Slayton never got a chance to test himself against. Although we did get to see him beat Zealot.
Where should he appear?
If it ain't broke don't fix it. Put him back in charge of training Stormwatch. This adds another awesome member to an already awesome team. Due to the fact Marc has a very hands on approach to training we would undoubtedly get some good action scenes.
I'm talking about Micheal Lane here not Jean Paul Valley. I always preferred Lane's Azrael to JVP's there was something dark and unhinged about him but at the same time a desire to do good. For those of you who don't know who he is Lane was a police officer who came in contact with the Suit of Sorrows an ancient artifact that gives the wearer the combined strength, speed, experience and knowledge of everyone who has ever worn it (and consider its been around a while thats quite a damn lot) however there is the slight side effect of it attempting to drive you insane by turning you into a religious nutbag in the process. He also wielded a pair of swords that each had a different effect. One magnified the sins you had committed to the point that if you were really evil it would outright kill you. The other made you want to repent your sins and reduced you to a drooling mess depending on the amount.
There are many reasons I want to see him back. He is a very unique character one who is in a constant battle to retain his own sanity so the story potential is very high. Lane was also a sorely under-used character in the DC-verse before so i'm hoping that if he does return we'll see more of him this time.
Where should he appear?
Theres only one logical place for a supernatural based killing machine who hunts and destroys sinners and daemons and thats Justice League Dark. Lane's character makes him a perfect candidate for John and Zee's team.
Back to WS characters. Nemesis like Zealot and Backlash is also a kherubim however her gear is vastly superior to both. Forcefields, grenades that attack your DNA and a sword that can cut up Mr. Majestic like a turkey. She is also an empath which allows her to read peoples emotions and predict attacks much like Cassandra Cain. Nemesis was the former lover of Mr. Majestic who was forced to end his relationship with her due to the councils decision of and arranged relationship with Zealot which of course Nemesis didn't take to kindly to. It was due to this that when she was accused of something she hadn't done Mr. Majestic was all to quick to believe she had committed the crime (yes he is a bit of an a$$). Nemesis was eventually cleared and everyone was happy again until something happened (that I honestly can't remember lol need to reread my WS stuff) that led to her having a fight with Midnighter and Hawksmoor. Which ended with Hawksmoor on the ropes and Nemesis's sword inches from turning Midnighter into less of a man (yep shes that good).
The main reason I want to see her return is that she is a strong female character who is capable of having her own ongoing. Not to mention due to her personality she could be either a hero or villain.
Where should she appear?
As Mr. Majestic has yet to appear (and there are awful rumors that he may not due to Superman) her mythos will obviously have to be changed and this does beg the question as to where she should appear first and the only title I can think of is Stormwatch (won't bother with another picture) as in WS she had feud with a fair few of their members. So bringing her in as a villain (initially) could be the way to go.
The daughter of a Vietnamese woman who was raped and was then as a child sold into slavery. Jade didn't have the best of beginnings. She then proceeded to kill her master and was then adopted by a man named Weng Chan which began her transformation into the psychotic mercenary she became. Jade in the beginning was mainly an enemy of the Teen Titans but she gradually evolved beyond that (partly due to her relationship with Roy Harper) and became the second deadliest assassin in the DC-verse (the first being Lady Shiva).
As you may have noticed from the past two people i've brought up I have a thing for characters with a dark gritty past so this is one of the reasons i'd like to see Cheshire back. Another reason is that she is a solid character with a solid grounding in the previous DC-verse which is something i'd like to see in the new 52-verse aswell.
Where should she appear?
She was originally an enemy of the Teen Titans however she doesn't really have any connection to the current roaster so it would seem random and a little pointless to introduce her there. My choice would to introduce her in Red Hood and the Outlaws she already has a previous connection with Roy Harper from pre-52 and her character does seem to me like it would fit better in Jason Todd's world than the others.