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  • #31
    Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
    I don't think most basic story premises are bad (though of course one could argue about any underlying metaphysics or philosophy), but that it's the execution which can fail.
    No, some ideas are just plain bad.

    It doesn't matter if you can point historically to the US government conducting eugenics experiments on African-Americans, as a point of realism. It doesn't belong in comic books, tainting the legend of Captain America by making him a byproduct of an ethically reprehensible program using race as excuse to devalue human worth and justify using them as human guinea pigs in dangerous biological experimentation, because they're considered expendable -- only then will we deem the process safe enough to experiment on a Caucasian. It destroys Steve Rogers' primacy as the first test subject of the Super Soldier Project, and undercuts his personal sacrifice in volunteering for a dangerous experiment.

    Then there's the idea of mixing mutant and synthezoid DNA to conceive children -- never convincingly explained back in the day when it was first introduced, and then wisely written out of continuity in recognition of how bad an idea it actually was. Revisiting that idea with no plausible explanation of how it can be so is just compounding a bad idea with a further bad idea.

    I don't even have the room here to go into the retconned, re-retconned, and re-re-retconned origins of the construction and deconstruction and re-construction of the Vision, his relationship to the original Human Torch, or how that could possibly involve an younger crosstime Kang (from before he became Kang, so he must be from a much earlier variant timeline). Gee, while we're at it why don't we bring back teen Tony Stark from an alt timeline.
    Last edited by pulphero; 11-20-2014, 12:41 AM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
      G'day,

      Is Young Avengers still running?
      The latest series ended fairly recently.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
        I don't think most basic story premises are bad (though of course one could argue about any underlying metaphysics or philosophy), but that it's the execution which can fail.
        I would agree with that-but in the case of entertainment, of course, whether it is a failure or not is largely up to the individual, depending on whether they liked it or not. I don't think Young Avengers was a bad idea, and I don't consider it to have failed as a concept.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by pulphero View Post
          No, some ideas are just plain bad.

          It doesn't matter if you can point historically to the US government conducting eugenics experiments on African-Americans, as a point of realism. It doesn't belong in comic books, tainting the legend of Captain America by making him a byproduct of an ethically reprehensible program using race as excuse to devalue human worth and justify using them as human guinea pigs in dangerous biological experimentation, because they're considered expendable -- only then will we deem the process safe enough to experiment on a Caucasian. It destroys Steve Rogers' primacy as the first test subject of the Super Soldier Project, and undercuts his personal sacrifice in volunteering for a dangerous experiment.
          Why doesn't it belong in comics? Any type of story can belong in comics. They're a very flexible medium. I also don't see how that story in any way devalues Steve Rogers, it doesn't change anything he did. Not that I can really see why Captain America has to be seen as some paragon of virtue, anyway.

          Then there's the idea of mixing mutant and synthezoid DNA to conceive children -- never convincingly explained back in the day when it was first introduced, and then wisely written out of continuity in recognition of how bad an idea it actually was. Revisiting that idea with no plausible explanation of how it can be so is just compounding a bad idea with a further bad idea.
          In your opinion, maybe. I found that limited series very upbeat and positive, and was pleased that Wanda and Vizh got a happy ending (which Byrne subsequently ruined). And "android DNA" was never mentioned. Tommy and Billy, as I recall, were conceived magically, the Vision's contribution being more spiritual than physical.

          I don't even have the room here to go into the retconned, re-retconned, and re-re-retconned origins of the construction and deconstruction and re-construction of the Vision, his relationship to the original Human Torch, or how that could possibly involve an younger crosstime Kang (from before he became Kang, so he must be from a much earlier variant timeline).
          I'm a little confused by this. The younger Kang (Iron Lad) had nothing to do with the Vision's origins. Only the origin of the Young Avengers' Vision, a separate entity.

          Basically, you seem to be taking the attitude that any idea that you personally dislike is objectively bad, which is simply not the case. You also seem to be basing at least some of your gripes on a misunderstanding of stories you haven't read in full, which is why I said I found it difficult to take those opinions seriously. You are making mistaken assumptions and blaming the writers for them.

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          • #35
            G'day,

            I have some sympathy with Pulphero's views on Captain America. He is a legendary character of supreme American virtue. The Americans like him that way. The story may not diminish his actions but it does diminish the legend.

            ta

            Ralph

            Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
            Why doesn't it belong in comics? Any type of story can belong in comics. They're a very flexible medium. I also don't see how that story in any way devalues Steve Rogers, it doesn't change anything he did. Not that I can really see why Captain America has to be seen as some paragon of virtue, anyway. In your opinion, maybe. I found that limited series very upbeat and positive, and was pleased that Wanda and Vizh got a happy ending (which Byrne subsequently ruined). And "android DNA" was never mentioned. Tommy and Billy, as I recall, were conceived magically, the Vision's contribution being more spiritual than physical. I'm a little confused by this. The younger Kang (Iron Lad) had nothing to do with the Vision's origins. Only the origin of the Young Avengers' Vision, a separate entity.

            Basically, you seem to be taking the attitude that any idea that you personally dislike is objectively bad, which is simply not the case. You also seem to be basing at least some of your gripes on a misunderstanding of stories you haven't read in full, which is why I said I found it difficult to take those opinions seriously. You are making mistaken assumptions and blaming the writers for them.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
              G'day,

              I have some sympathy with Pulphero's views on Captain America. He is a legendary character of supreme American virtue. The Americans like him that way. The story may not diminish his actions but it does diminish the legend.

              ta

              Ralph
              The whole "American dream" thing has always seemed like romanticised nonsense, to me. I consider Cap a pretty good character when he's written interestingly (though he's a character who can easily become dull, because he's just too perfect a lot of the time) but not "legendary". And I enjoyed The Truth: Red, White & Black.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                The whole "American dream" thing has always seemed like romanticised nonsense, to me. I consider Cap a pretty good character when he's written interestingly (though he's a character who can easily become dull, because he's just too perfect a lot of the time) but not "legendary". And I enjoyed The Truth: Red, White & Black.
                But then again, if they did something like this to, say, Captain Britain, do you think you might have more sympathy for pulphero's view? (Not saying I agree or disagree with him, but just curious if maybe it's perspective involved with all of this. Look at how you view the New 52.)

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
                  But then again, if they did something like this to, say, Captain Britain, do you think you might have more sympathy for pulphero's view? (Not saying I agree or disagree with him, but just curious if maybe it's perspective involved with all of this. Look at how you view the New 52.)
                  Not really. Captain Britain is my favourite superhero, but a big part of the reason why I like him is because he's a hero despite being a flawed character. He's arrogant, hot tempered, frequently overconfident, a bit of a snob, somewhat insecure and often doesn't see the other person's point of view, but he always tries to do the right thing. In other words, he's a realistic character and realistic as a British character. I don't think of him as a legend, and if he was the kind of ultra-perfect, universally adored boy scout that Captain America is often depicted as, I wouldn't much like him. We don't tend to like our heroes to be too good.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                    No, some ideas are just plain bad.
                    I guess we'll just have to disagree here. Apart from something sincerely advocating, say, the philosophy of Nietzsche or something like that.

                    It doesn't matter if you can point historically to the US government conducting eugenics experiments on African-Americans, as a point of realism. It doesn't belong in comic books, tainting the legend of Captain America by making him a byproduct of an ethically reprehensible program using race as excuse to devalue human worth and justify using them as human guinea pigs in dangerous biological experimentation, because they're considered expendable -- only then will we deem the process safe enough to experiment on a Caucasian. It destroys Steve Rogers' primacy as the first test subject of the Super Soldier Project, and undercuts his personal sacrifice in volunteering for a dangerous experiment.
                    I think any story can belong in comic books.

                    I don't think this version of the story undercuts Steve's own personal sacrifice, as he didn't know anything about the previous eugenics stuff.

                    Then there's the idea of mixing mutant and synthezoid DNA to conceive children -- never convincingly explained back in the day when it was first introduced, and then wisely written out of continuity in recognition of how bad an idea it actually was. Revisiting that idea with no plausible explanation of how it can be so is just compounding a bad idea with a further bad idea.
                    Oh, I actually thought that getting rid of the kids was horrible--and it was suggested that Wanda's powers or even some real magic had been responsible. I'm glad the kids are back and I think they're awesome characters.

                    I don't even have the room here to go into the retconned, re-retconned, and re-re-retconned origins of the construction and deconstruction and re-construction of the Vision, his relationship to the original Human Torch, or how that could possibly involve an younger crosstime Kang (from before he became Kang, so he must be from a much earlier variant timeline). Gee, while we're at it why don't we bring back teen Tony Stark from an alt timeline.
                    I'm not quite sure what the current backstory of the Vision is, but I'm happy to have him and the original android Human Torch together and active.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      G'day,

                      Not to Americans. Dreams don't have to make sense.

                      ta

                      Ralph

                      Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                      The whole "American dream" thing has always seemed like romanticised nonsense, to me. I consider Cap a pretty good character when he's written interestingly (though he's a character who can easily become dull, because he's just too perfect a lot of the time) but not "legendary". And I enjoyed The Truth: Red, White & Black.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                        G'day,

                        Not to Americans. Dreams don't have to make sense.
                        But they're also generally pretty meaningless.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                          But they're also generally pretty meaningless.
                          Depends on the dream.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                            But they're also generally pretty meaningless.
                            Just because the ideal is an unreachable goal, doesn't mean it isn't worth striving for. Our reach should always exceed our grasp. That's true whether the principles are inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Superman, or Captain America.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                              Why doesn't it belong in comics? Any type of story can belong in comics. They're a very flexible medium. I also don't see how that story in any way devalues Steve Rogers, it doesn't change anything he did.
                              It's not that the idea doesn't belong in comics per se, it's that it doesn't belong in Marvel 616-universe comics as part of the retconned history of Captain America. It doesn't change Steve Rogers' beliefs, motives, or actions, but it does impact what those things are in service to, compromising the Super Soldier Project as an initiative in opposition to the ideology of Nazism.

                              Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                              Not that I can really see why Captain America has to be seen as some paragon of virtue, anyway.
                              That's what makes him the hero he is, not his enhanced physiology or his strategic and tactical skills and experience. It's the ideals he represents. This makes him an inspirational figure, in the way that Superman is (when he's written correctly), in the DC universe. You're English, so I don't expect you to understand what Captain America means, to some Americans. Characters created in the Golden Age of comics (at least those that had any staying power, that tapped into the culture zeitgeist) tend to be more iconic and idealistic than realistic. Golden Age Marvel was split from the beginning though, and ultimately the company followed the roots of Sub-Mariner and Human Torch, heroes as freakish outsiders as opposed to paragons of virtue like Captain America. Golden Age characters such as Doc Savage, Flash Gordon, and Superman are all quintessentially American in character and represent similar philosophical ideals to those that Captain America embodies. As opposed to what seems to me a typical British POV of what is quintessential American, Judge Dredd (don't get me wrong, it's a great character, just not one I'd pick to represent my beliefs or to emulate). If you want a British character who seems (to me) to represent a similar philosophy, the closest one I can think of (or at least that I'm aware of would be Dan Dare. I'll admit that I'm not entirely clear on what sort of philosophical ideals such nationalistic characters as Captain Britain and Guardian/Vindicator (of Alpha Flight) represent, although I'll note that may largely be a function of the fact that they don't have an ongoing presence in solo titles that would best serve to showcase those aspects of their character outside of a group setting. And perhaps, being created by Americans, those aren't fair comparisons... with the caveat that Alan Moore and Alan Davis certain modified Captain Britain in ways that I would assume more accurately reflect the philosophical beliefs of Englishmen -- or maybe that's a wrong assumption, that's up to you to decide.

                              Originally posted by tony ingram View Post
                              I'm a little confused by this. The younger Kang (Iron Lad) had nothing to do with the Vision's origins. Only the origin of the Young Avengers' Vision, a separate entity.
                              I'll let Wikipedia explain this better than I can:
                              The second incarnation of the Vision is a fusion of the old Vision's operating systems and the armor of adventurer Iron Lad, a teenage version of Kang the Conqueror who arrives in the present. Through this merger, Iron Lad is able to access plans the Vision had created in the event of the Avengers' defeat. He uses these plans to assemble a new team of "Young Avengers". When Iron Lad is forced to remove his armor to stop Kang the Conqueror from tracking him, the Vision's operating system causes the armor to become a sentient being.

                              When Iron Lad leaves the time period, he leaves the armor behind with the Vision's operating system activated. The exact details of the new Vision's personality and mental make-up varies from writer to writer. Some writers like Brian Michael Bendis (during the "Collective" storyline) and Ed Brubaker (during "Captain America Reborn") write him as if he was the original Vision in a new body, while other writers such as Allan Heinberg and Dan Slott write him as an entirely new character.
                              Vision gets "re-origined" in continuity every time he's deconstructed and reconstructed (that was true of John Byrne's previous deconstruction/reconstruction in WEST COAST AVENGERS, as well). Those things become as much additions to his origin story as any of the various retcons he's had.
                              Last edited by pulphero; 11-21-2014, 02:58 AM.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                                It's not that the idea doesn't belong in comics per se, it's that it doesn't belong in Marvel 616-universe comics as part of the retconned history of Captain America. It doesn't change Steve Rogers' beliefs, motives, or actions, but it does impact what those things are in service to, compromising the Super Soldier Project as an initiative in opposition to the ideology of Nazism.
                                I just don't see this. Steve's reasons for doing what he did remain unchanged. And the Super Soldier project was designed to help win a war, which is something that also remains unchanged. Governments are generally motivated by practicality, not ideology.

                                That's what makes him the hero he is, not his enhanced physiology or his strategic and tactical skills and experience. It's the ideals he represents. This makes him an inspirational figure, in the way that Superman is (when he's written correctly), in the DC universe. You're English, so I don't expect you to understand what Captain America means, to some Americans.
                                That sounds vaguely insulting, to me. I understand what Captain America "means to some Americans", I just think it's a rather naive and childish view of the world.
                                Characters created in the Golden Age of comics (at least those that had any staying power, that tapped into the culture zeitgeist) tend to be more iconic and idealistic than realistic. Golden Age Marvel was split from the beginning though, and ultimately the company followed the roots of Sub-Mariner and Human Torch, heroes as freakish outsiders as opposed to paragons of virtue like Captain America.
                                And who are the most successful heroes these days, the unrealistic paragons of virtue or the more realistic and identifiable characters? Cap's original run lasted a handful of years. By the time he returned in the sixties, he already had more layers added to his character. The modern Marvel Universe, which is without a doubt one of the most popular and successful fictional universes ever created, was built on the idea of characters being real people, not one dimensional icons, and it has lasted because it constantly adds new layers to its mythology.
                                I'll let Wikipedia explain this better than I can:
                                I knew all that. I've read the books. Though I'd dispute the assertion that the younger Vision was ever really regarded as being the original. It was always pretty clear that he was not, to us if not to the characters. This was made blatantly obvious when the original Vizh first returned (briefly) in Chaos War: Dead Avengers, at a time when his younger self was still active.
                                Vision gets "re-origined" in continuity every time he's deconstructed and reconstructed (that was true of John Byrne's previous deconstruction/reconstruction in WEST COAST AVENGERS, as well). Those things become as much additions to his origin story as any of the various retcons he's had.
                                But the whole young Vision thing did not "reorigin" the Vision, because they were two separate characters. It didn't add anything at all to Vizh's origin story, or impact him in any way.

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