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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Creating characters to make headlines vs characters that actually stick around.

    Does anyone else fear that a lot of these diverse characters that have been created in the last decade or so are going to go the way of Marrow and Adam X in a few years? I feel many of them aren't putting enough equity into the kind of stuff that actually makes for a long-lasting character. Most of them seem like derivative spin-offs of more popular characters, or they lack a rogue's gallery or much of a supporting cast of their own. They seem like the kind of characters that will wind up on some b or c list team 20 years from now and readers will say "hey remember that character." Is it that hard to actually build up the world around a superhero nowadays? What makes characters like Spiderman so popular is the fact that you have an interesting character surrounded by an interesting world. Some of these characters have the first part down pat, but most of them seem lacking in the second part.

    Sometimes I feel Marvel is creating these characters to catch momentary headlines, then has no idea what to do with them after that.

  2. #2

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    A lot of them have failed but are not being allowed to fail and get relaunched again and again. And they fail because the people creating them are creating them purely to be diverse and are largely hacks with no talent. Though when it comes to the cheap headline grabbing, a new character is always better than an old character becoming a mantle, which is better than retconning an old character. It's creating a token versus the tokenization of an already established character. But this is all we get nowadays. The comic companies forgetting that their primary purpose is to entertain.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    At least Marvel is creating new characters, derivative or not, and allowing creators a chance (maybe not enough, debatable I suppose) to make them memorable.
    Especially as it relates to expanding the diversity of active heroes whatever that looks like for any given character.

    Over at DC they are just taking existing characters and dong a "SURPRISE", that character you've always known for decades is not who you knew after all.
    "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" - Optimus Prime

  4. #4
    Cosmic Curmudgeon JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Does anyone else fear that a lot of these diverse characters that have been created in the last decade or so are going to go the way of Marrow and Adam X in a few years? I feel many of them aren't putting enough equity into the kind of stuff that actually makes for a long-lasting character. Most of them seem like derivative spin-offs of more popular characters, or they lack a rogue's gallery or much of a supporting cast of their own. They seem like the kind of characters that will wind up on some b or c list team 20 years from now and readers will say "hey remember that character."
    Simple answer: Yes.

    But it's not just the diverse characters. If you are familiar with the history of comics, then you already know that several characters that are headliners today and appearing across other platforms, whether it's movie, video games or whatever, were at peril at one time or another of cancellation. Marvel could have let many of them fall to the wayside, but instead they propped them up, repackaged them and waited for them to catch fire.

    The original X-men are probably the most well-known example. That book was dead. Reprints for years. It took adding an internationally diverse cast and pinpoint character development to revitalize that book.

    Will any of the recently created characters get that same kind of attention? Doubtful. Moreover, will the audience take to them with the same enthusiasm for a novel, fresh, world changing perspective as they did the Uncanny X-men? Probably not.

    So yes, some of these new creations are going to bite the dust and it will feel like Marvel was simply catering to a trend. But the answer to making a few of these diverse characters an overwhelming hit is in Marvel's DNA. There's also a blueprint on file, in case they've forgotten.

  5. #5
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Let's look at some examples... they wanted a Muslim teen girl hero, so they created Kamala Khan, and gave her the recently vacated Ms. Marvel mantle. They used the Infinity event, in which terrigen mist was released into the atmosphere as her origin. She was successful enough to become an Avenger in the comics and a cartoon, and then got her own team. Too successful in fact - the Inhumans related origin is now a problem and the MCU adaptation changed it. There WAS actually headlines about her that got the facts wrong - she's not Marvel's first Muslim superhero, just the first to have a solo book.

    Bendis decides to kill off Peter Parker. Cue the headlines decrying it, even though it was an alternate universe. But the resulting replacement character, Miles Morales, has been successful enough to have his own video game and movies and was ported to the main universe when the Ultimate line was axed.

    Ooh look, we have this exciting new black hero who isn't a legacy character! That character was Mosaic... who promptly vanished after Inhumans vs X-Men, as the Inhumans push ended due to the failure of the Inhumans TV show and the takeover by Disney of 20th Century Fox, meaning they no longer needed to bury the mutants.
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  6. #6
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    The true Grim Reaper of comics is never the hooded skeleton lady but the lawyer or limbo

  7. #7
    Mighty Member Kaijudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    At least Marvel is creating new characters, derivative or not, and allowing creators a chance (maybe not enough, debatable I suppose) to make them memorable.
    Especially as it relates to expanding the diversity of active heroes whatever that looks like for any given character.

    Over at DC they are just taking existing characters and dong a "SURPRISE", that character you've always known for decades is not who you knew after all.
    DC definitely isn't alone in that kind of thing. Look at Iceman...a shitty joke in a Chuck Austen X-Men comic a decade-plus ago and now it's his defining quality, thanks to Bendis's oh so gentle touch.

    My big problem isn't the want/desire/need for diversity, it's that there are so many characters in Marvel's history that are diverse that they could bring back, rather than creating more characters that nobody will do anything with after the creator of those characters have moved on from whatever books they're on. Granted, I'm positive there are a number of groups that don't have adequate representation in Marvel's history and that does require new characters, but there are so many others that do. And I legit believe that bringing back older characters and using them in new and modern ways would be much more impactful than creating brand new characters that feel more like checking boxes than being created organically for whatever stories they're in.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicalComics View Post
    The comic companies forgetting that their primary purpose is to entertain.
    Actually they understand that.

    What they do NOT understand is the constant and toxic pushback to any character of color especially those who tend to be black. As we are seeing with Percy Jackson and Dr Who.

    It's one thing to not like a book or show after WATCHING or READING it-it's another to go scorch Earth the moment they are introduced.

    For the group that screams use who you have-how many have even TRIED those books??? Iceman, Luke Cage, Falcon, Jean Grey, Black Bolt, America, Nick Fury?

    For the group that screams make new folks instead of legacies-how many have even TRIED those books? Yes we got Mosaic and folks were OFFENDED an screamed at Marvel how dare they.



    Is it that hard to actually build up the world around a superhero nowadays?
    Yes because we are seeing too much pushback for those character just existing.

    Lets take War Machine-he was in Iron Man, took over for Tony twice, got a mini and then got his ongoing.
    Tim Drake pops in Batman, 3-4 years later got a mini and then another and then his ongoing and then Young Justice while still being in Batman other books.

    Now we can't do that without fits of entitlement being thrown.

    Suddenly Batman is unreadable because Duke Thomas is in it.
    Suddenly New X-Men is unreadable because Synch is in it and stealing page time from Rogue.


    I feel many of them aren't putting enough equity into the kind of stuff that actually makes for a long-lasting character.
    That falls on editors and who keeps getting the book gigs.

    If your editors don't care for a character-don't expect them to get much. See Cyborg the past 12 years.

    If your writers do not care-don't expect much-see Black Panther the past 6 years.

    You got writers who could do justice to many but can't get in the doors of Marvel or DC.

    Then when said character gets on tv or movies and LOL wins over fans-guess who starts panicking? See John Stewart.

  9. #9
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    It is not exactly a new phenomenon....Characters have been pushed aside and forgotten about for years. Someone creates them for their story...whether single issue, single arc, or overall story line..then when done no one picks them up and continues their story...or just writes them out because they don't want to use them.

    Look at characters like Vagabond and Demolition Man.

    D-Man was introduced way back in the Thing solo title as part of the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation and after that series folded was picked up during the Captain story line in Captain America but continually crapped on by writers over the years instead of just someone taking the chance at leaning in on him and making him something...these days he is just seen as a joke.

    Vagabond was just sort of a tag along for Nomad and then Cap's Commandos in the Captain story line who got a little more exposure in a U.S. Agent back up story in Cap's book and her own back up after that...then we find out in the first U.S Agent LS that she was recruited by the original Scourge program and was put thru an intensive training program, turns on them and help U.S. Agent take them down leaving her at a point of great potential by now having all that training....then is never used again (except for an entry as a potential recruit during the Initiative era).
    Last edited by Chris0013; 05-12-2022 at 01:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Does anyone else fear that a lot of these diverse characters that have been created in the last decade or so are going to go the way of Marrow and Adam X in a few years? I feel many of them aren't putting enough equity into the kind of stuff that actually makes for a long-lasting character. Most of them seem like derivative spin-offs of more popular characters, or they lack a rogue's gallery or much of a supporting cast of their own. They seem like the kind of characters that will wind up on some b or c list team 20 years from now and readers will say "hey remember that character." Is it that hard to actually build up the world around a superhero nowadays? What makes characters like Spiderman so popular is the fact that you have an interesting character surrounded by an interesting world. Some of these characters have the first part down pat, but most of them seem lacking in the second part.

    Sometimes I feel Marvel is creating these characters to catch momentary headlines, then has no idea what to do with them after that.
    Characters should be created for creation sake. Not to seek headlines. Make them as compelling as you can and that will determine if they stick around or not. I'm much rather "This hero/villain/supporting character. Who also happens to be (fill in ethnicity) and is also (fill in gender identity/sexual orientation)" than the reverse. Which does still happen, sadly.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Let's look at some examples... they wanted a Muslim teen girl hero, so they created Kamala Khan, and gave her the recently vacated Ms. Marvel mantle. They used the Infinity event, in which terrigen mist was released into the atmosphere as her origin. She was successful enough to become an Avenger in the comics and a cartoon, and then got her own team. Too successful in fact - the Inhumans related origin is now a problem and the MCU adaptation changed it. There WAS actually headlines about her that got the facts wrong - she's not Marvel's first Muslim superhero, just the first to have a solo book.

    Bendis decides to kill off Peter Parker. Cue the headlines decrying it, even though it was an alternate universe. But the resulting replacement character, Miles Morales, has been successful enough to have his own video game and movies and was ported to the main universe when the Ultimate line was axed.

    Ooh look, we have this exciting new black hero who isn't a legacy character! That character was Mosaic... who promptly vanished after Inhumans vs X-Men, as the Inhumans push ended due to the failure of the Inhumans TV show and the takeover by Disney of 20th Century Fox, meaning they no longer needed to bury the mutants.
    I think I've read the opposite...they needed someone to take the mantle of Ms Marvel and then Steve Wacker asked Sana Amanat to do a pitch. Incidentally, it's the same way Carol became Ms Marvel as well...Marvel Comics decided they were going to do a comic with the title and the one with Carol is the one they went with.

  12. #12
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    We need to remember that sometimes we get these characters because a creator had great idea and other times it's purely corporate mandate, but this has literally been true since the begining of the industry.

  13. #13
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    To me the big problem is that people have zero reason to get attached to new characters when the old ones still exist.

    It should be telling that most adaptations are just retreads of the same characters over and over again. Why change things up when you know that the old thing will still sell?

  14. #14
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    True, we've had two Spider-Man origin movies and two Fantastic Four origin movies. MCU's Spider-Man wisely skipped the origin, we know it already.
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  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Crimz's Avatar
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    In this genre it's difficult for any new character to have any staying power. The ones that get headlines and some press just get called out more because of the fanfare made for them. It's extremely difficult to endear comic readers to new characters, heck even some old characters find it hard to stay relevant.

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