Stepford Cuckoos: Characterization Limbo?

Posted by Tchokes (85 posts) - - Show Bio

I just realized something that, to me, is inexcusable: why are the Stepford Cuckoos still one-in-the-same clones of one another when they have normal hearts again?
For those of you who don't know the characters very well, here's the briefing:

"Once upon a time they were initially five powerful (albeit young) telepaths that worked in something akin to a mental hive-mind. The more they entwined their minds, the more powerful they became, so at first glance it was a nobrainer they stuck together. Emma Frost, their guardian, tried to make them into five mini-hers, but eventually two of them (Esme and Sophie) broke from the group, persuiting things they desired, and died. The three remaining ones stuck together, but slowly developed personalities, Celeste being the one who desired to live her own life, appart from the group mind, Mindee being the one who tried as hard as she could to keep their group together, and Phoebe being the aggressive power-hungry alpha of the bunch. Along came Phoenix Force, and to make a long story short, the three girls trapped the said entitity inside their hearts, and turned it into diamond, losing their capacity to feel, but keeping the destructive force at bay."
Somewhere along Messiah Complex and Second Coming, however, they lost those fragments. And here comes my question: Why writers keep portraying them as clones with no special traits? They try to get it on with anything that is hot (something I could see Phoebe doing, and even Mindee, if it's a group thing, but never Celeste, who was described as being pretty naive), don't have distinctive looks or even distinctive behaviors. Are writers that unfamiliar with the Cuckoos, or was it a decision to ignore Phoenix: Warsong completely? In that arc (the only one who had the Cuckoos explored as characters, along with Riot at Xavier's and Xorneto's Day in Manhattan) they had distinct personalities, and even though they were sisters, they didn't agree with everything.
I don't know. What grinds my gears is that I get this feeling that the writers just refuse to write them as individuals, being for whatever reason it might be, ranging from 'dude, you can't mess with them! They were the creation of Grant Morrison!' to 'They are cooler if they act like horror movie psychic clones'. For whatever reason, however, I think it's pretty inconsiderate to people who bought Warsong, read it, and specially for those who liked it.
Though I realize that they might lose their 'thing' if they are not hot psychic clones anymore, I just don't see it being right to ignore things that happened, and defined them. It's a violence to the characters, and it is really disturbing me, now that I realize it.
This, of course, was not the first time people would misunderstand the Cuckoos. For many, many times they would be drawn, in a comic, smiling, frowning, or anything the like, when they had no emotions at all. Although I understand they could be faking, I don't see why would they. Being Emma Frost's disciples, I can see them being the 'I don't give a damn about you' kind of person. Writers need to realize it's either hot psychic clones with no emotion, or three hot telepaths that look very much alike and feel very differently. It can't be three hot psychic clones who want to bang the healing dude just because the writer thinks it's cool.
Uncanny X-Men 510

Uncanny X-Men 510  
#1 Posted by Baddamdog (2213 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree completely, they are totally underused and when they are used it's just the same thing over and over again. They were one of the best things to come out of Morrisson's run, and he wrote them so epically. What they need (and the fans need!) is a NEW new X-Men series to focus on the students again, and to have the Cuckoos as part of the cast. Who would of thought whilst reading the New X-Men series that we would hardly ever see Dust or Mercury. The only X students that get any kind of spotlight nowadays is Pixie, X-23 and occasionally Hellion!

#2 Posted by jubilee042 (1345 posts) - - Show Bio

i agree completly

#3 Posted by darth_brendroid (1692 posts) - - Show Bio

I dunno, I think them all grinning exactly the same and looking exactly alike is pretty damn creepy. 
And that brief bit would be enough for me to put down the comic. There's a picture I saw of one of the Stepford's on here; they were playing piano I think. That kind of thing would be more interesting to read about, for me, than mutant yoga classes.

#4 Posted by darth_brendroid (1692 posts) - - Show Bio

Also; how old are they supposed to be? In that picture above, they look as if they're early-mid 20's at least.

#5 Posted by labarith (669 posts) - - Show Bio

The "Young X-men" have been relegated to character development limbo since their mini was cancelled.  The only one who gets any play is Pixie, in part because she's "new Magik", and in part because she's "New Kurt"...

#6 Posted by Tchokes (85 posts) - - Show Bio
@Baddamdog: Hellion, and that's being very, very generous! And yes, I would very much love a new New X-Men book. People at Marvel need to bet on their fresh blood, instead of miswritting old convoluted characters (I am looking at you Betsy!).
#7 Posted by Squares (8397 posts) - - Show Bio

They lost the Phoenix fragments, but their hearts are still diamond. It has not been stated otherwise, therefore the rational thing to do is assume that it hasn't changed.

#8 Posted by Tchokes (85 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Thing is, even if their hearts were still diamond, it doesn't make much sense. If they struggled so much with the idea of being forced to live without their feelings in Phoenix: Warsong, why wouldn't they change them back?

#9 Posted by Squares (8397 posts) - - Show Bio

@Tchokes: ...they didn't struggle with it. And it's implied it can't be reversed.

#10 Posted by Tchokes (85 posts) - - Show Bio

@Squares: Celeste did in the very least. It was obviously not a happy decision she made.

#11 Posted by Squares (8397 posts) - - Show Bio

@Tchokes:Yeah, true. But it's implied it's irreversible, and I don't think they'd want to change back anyways.

#12 Posted by Solarflare32 (393 posts) - - Show Bio

Matt factions portrayal of the cuckoos was ridiculously inconsistant with them varying in age and personality from issue to issue

#13 Posted by nyx (114 posts) - - Show Bio

Those two pictures are from Greg Land. I find his work sleezy at best. He just reuses the same image for the Cuckoos (*cough* and all his other work *cough*) over and over again out of pure laziness. And he traces! So you can't take too much to heart in terms of artwork with his name involved. Further more, you have to see the sex appeal of three identical mini-Emmas who travel in a flock dressed in school girl uniforms (*eye roll*). In Nation X, they talked about boys, more like typical teenaged girls (not sure what was up with them using telekinesis--check it out, they were levitating cubes and spheres!!!) In X-Men: The End, the Cuckoos, aka the 'Spikes,' were portrayed as individuals. What Marvel wants is more Emma Frosts and to portray them otherwise means time and effort and possibly developing unique characters that readers may or may not like. As it is, they're already secondary characters (which is a shame).

#14 Posted by frochez (184 posts) - - Show Bio

It looks like the girls may finally be getting a bit of characterisation. In the last couple of issues of Generation Hope, there was some clear friction between the girls, and it looked like one of the three (I think it was Phoebe?) was beginning to break free of her sisters, gaining a higher level of independance. In fact, it even looked like she was starting to develop some feelings for Teon, which could be... well, interesting, to say the least...

#15 Posted by Mr Marvel82 (123 posts) - - Show Bio

@frochez said:

It looks like the girls may finally be getting a bit of characterisation. In the last couple of issues of Generation Hope, there was some clear friction between the girls, and it looked like one of the three (I think it was Phoebe?) was beginning to break free of her sisters, gaining a higher level of independance. In fact, it even looked like she was starting to develop some feelings for Teon, which could be... well, interesting, to say the least...

I feel like Mindee and Celeste accused her of being influence (psychicly?) by Hope. Has this been touched on recently? I read an issue with the Cuckoos and Frenzy doing some work in Africa. But they seemed to be the 3in1 again. Same thoughts, same personality.

I wish they'd get some more character development.

#16 Posted by Madame_Mist (1325 posts) - - Show Bio

They're basically the Guardians of the Cerebra. I would like a consistent attitude with them.

#17 Posted by COBRAMORPH (1720 posts) - - Show Bio

I would assume that if they wanted to eventually show the sisters becoming more individual, they first have to be portrayed as acting the same, so that people actually notice the change in their chacters. Besides, in story logic-wise, when ever a Cuckoo does go indivudual, that sister has gone evil & died. So maybe they are actually afraid to try?

Also, remember, just because a fan wants to see something, doesnt mean that fan is right. You are not an expert. The worst thingto happen in Dragon Ball Z was when they gave into the FAN-DEMAND that Goku be brought back as the main character during the Buu saga. THAT was the moment the franchise dumped the shark & I said, you know what, F this show. I blame the fans, they ruined the series.

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