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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Default My friend's enemy is my friend

    Over in the Marvel forum, a really interesting idea was posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by JudicatorPrime View Post
    Probably a topic for another thread, but with all of the hero vs. hero crap, and given that fact that many heroes have life perspectives and philosophies that are shared by some villains, I'm actually shocked that we don't see instances there the enemy (villain) of one hero is another hero's friend. And I'm not just talking about the "noble villains", either.
    First things first: this would be tricky, because it pretty much requires a constant low-grade crossover to be worthwhile.

    My first thought here was Poison Ivy. She has been shown as friend (or ally) with both Barbara Gordon and Swamp Thing, and arguably should go together well with Wonder Woman and Aquaman. At the same time she is clearly an effective antagonist against Bruce Wayne even more than Batman and most other DC heroes. But she is in limbo right now.

    Giganta is another possible example, as an enemy of Wonder Woman but in an on-again off-again relationship with The Atom.

    As formerly bad characters having a tenuous relation to the law and morality, I can see Harley Quinn and Plastic Man having good relations with a lot of villains.

    I can see Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor being extremely impressed with each other, having no problems understanding each other, but at the same time being so competitive that there is no room for any friendship in the normal sense.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  2. #2
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    I honestly don't see Bruce being impressed with Lex. He's probably the antithesis of the kind of businessman Bruce views as the ideal, but I guess he could respect Lex's legitimate work in the fields of science and industry, if not his ethics.

    Green Arrow is so left-leaning that I wonder if he and Poison Ivy would get along even if he also has the issues of excess machismo that I think Ivy detests.

  3. #3

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    The Shade.

    Moustache-Twirling Enemy of The Flash.

    Friend to Starman, and, presumably, Stargirl.

  4. #4
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    dr Polaris and magenta should get along well.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    It's a good idea, and in reality this should be what happens. Not all heroes share the exact same moral or ethical codes, not all villains agree on their motivations either. Just to use the examples here, Ollie and Ivy would probably agree on a whole lot of things, even if Ivy's methods are more ruthless than Ollie would be comfortable with. Still, those two probably have more in common than Ollie and most politically centric heroes.

    But this would destroy the simple binary morality the DCU (and Marvel U) are built on, where good and evil are drawn along clean lines and you're either on one side or the other. The fact that we have anti-heroes and reformed (or semi-reformed) villains is about as far as things can stretch, I think, without the whole thing breaking down.
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    But this would destroy the simple binary morality the DCU (and Marvel U) are built on, where good and evil are drawn along clean lines and you're either on one side or the other. The fact that we have anti-heroes and reformed (or semi-reformed) villains is about as far as things can stretch, I think, without the whole thing breaking down.
    While the superhero universes started out as that type of morality, they haven't really been that way for a long time, and arguably upholding such a binary morality holds the genre back. It is arguably one of the things that Watchmen criticises.

    So while more morally gray characters and complex friendships would go counter to the binary morality, I don't think the DC universe depends on such a dichotomy, much less the Marvel universe with its long tradition of hero-versus-hero fights.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Oh I definitely agree it holds the medium back. Been wanting more complexity in the main universe for ages. These books aren't written for kids and haven't been in decades, so you might as well go all-in with it.

    And there are some books that play with the dynamic, Watchmen first and foremost among them. But while DC and Marvel are slightly more complex now, with the addition of anti-heroes like Punisher and Harley Quinn, 95% of it is still the same. Heroes are heroes, villains are villains. Otherwise Red Hood would be hunted down by the League instead of hanging out in the cave. Sure, the good guys might throw some punches at each other once in a while, but if it isnt a misunderstanding in the first place they always make up in the end.

    I'd say at best the Big 2 toy with the idea of moral complexity for a single storyline or event (Civil War, Infinite Crisis) but always revert to the binary. But I'm open to having my mind changed if you've got a good argument.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I'd say at best the Big 2 toy with the idea of moral complexity for a single storyline or event (Civil War, Infinite Crisis) but always revert to the binary. But I'm open to having my mind changed if you've got a good argument.
    Nah, it's more a factor of where you look, what you focus on, and how much grey you require before the main pattern ceases to be black and white. The different parts of the DC universe don't move in lockstep here.

    Seen in one way, the binary worldview was mandated by the CCA, but that ceased to matter back in the 70s. On the other hand, its effects continued, as entrenched practices and preconceptions. But stories like Brubaker's Catwoman run, or Rucka's The Hiketeia, Ostrander's Suicide Squad run, or Nocenti's Cast Shadows are all explicitly set in tones of moral greys.

    So what I view as the big change is that morally grey stories are allowed to be written within the larger DC framework on a continuing basis. Moral grey isn't and won't likely ever be the dominant paradigm, but at least they aren't smothered anymore.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    You definitely see it more now than you used to. For which I am thankful. I like to envision a day where characters aren't forced to group together just because they both follow vague definitions of "justice." I mean, the modern age take on Batman? Why on earth would anyone trust that guy? He's kind of an ass.

    Back in the 70's heroes started to have distinct personalities and heroes would argue with each other, but we haven't really gotten beyond that point yet; Flash and Batman might have completely different motivations and ethical beliefs but they're still allies because they both fight criminals. I'd like to see what would happen without the "hero/villain" labels.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by theoneandonly View Post
    dr Polaris and magenta should get along well.
    Um. The Good Doctor tried to tear Magenta's brain apart to get out of a limbo where Green Lantern had stranded him, so...probs not.

  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Um. The Good Doctor tried to tear Magenta's brain apart to get out of a limbo where Green Lantern had stranded him, so...probs not.
    It's kind of interesting to think they have such similar gimmicks and personality issues though .

  12. #12

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    I think Momoa Aquaman might try and pump Lobo for information through a drinking contest.

    There was an older BB/Blackfire pairing in fanfic I read once .

    Bizarro was supposed to join Doom Patrol in a pitch Scott Lobdell did.

    I could see Strife from WW getting involved with Hawk and Dove.

    Barry Allen and Man-bat would be good for a laugh.

    A way to give Vixen more dimension is to give her friends in the Suicide Squad besides Bronze Tiger.

    Black Manta might try and "court" Vixen (it's not what you're thinking off.)

    I could see the Shade and Zatanna being cordial with one another.

    I liked Slade's dynamic with Tanya and Wally II and wished they did more with it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Um. The Good Doctor tried to tear Magenta's brain apart to get out of a limbo where Green Lantern had stranded him, so...probs not.
    given her and the doctors issues it won't be much of a barrier to overcome. they could be the besties who will try to kill each other at the drop of a hat or when their interests clash. look at taskmaster and black ant.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    I could see the Shade and Zatanna being cordial with one another.
    That brings to mind the whole of DC's mystical and magical side. There the lines are a lot more blurred in general, and there is a tradition of coming together against outside impersonal threats, at least from what I gather from Tynion's JLD current JLD run and what I've read about it.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  15. #15
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    I'm not really seeing the Ollie/Ivy pairing. Doesn't she hate literally hate every man besides Batman?
    Imagine being proud to have negative traits. I can’t relate.

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