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  1. #2566
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    They're running out of female villains, but Talia is still a bad decision because of the combination of her race, character history, and design. She's the most well known Arabic woman in DC Comics, so the female Arabic fans I know don't take kindly to this. It didn't escape their notice that the other female villains that get redemption, Harley, Ivy, and Selina, are all white.

  2. #2567
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    They're running out of female villains, but Talia is still a bad decision because of the combination of her race, character history, and design. She's the most well known Arabic woman in DC Comics, so the female Arabic fans I know don't take kindly to this. It didn't escape their notice that the other female villains that get redemption, Harley, Ivy, and Selina, are all white.
    I'd rather have her stay a villain. Harley and Ivy aren't anti-heroes and have also stayed villains in my head canon. Selina is morally gray because she steals from the right people, doesn't kill and doesn't enjoy inflicting pain.

  3. #2568
    Astonishing Member Fergus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    I'd rather have her stay a villain. Harley and Ivy aren't anti-heroes and have also stayed villains in my head canon. Selina is morally gray because she steals from the right people, doesn't kill and doesn't enjoy inflicting pain.
    Selina steals from everyone. Enough of that head canon that she steals from the right people.

  4. #2569
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    Selina doesn't kill? Tell that to Black Mask and any of the people she's killed when she was a mob boss during the New 52.

  5. #2570
    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Godlike13's Avatar
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    Selina killing Black Mask wasn’t even morally grey given the story context. It was pretty much survival at that point.
    Last edited by Godlike13; 05-20-2020 at 04:49 AM.

  6. #2571
    Fantastic Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batnbreakfast View Post
    I'd rather have her stay a villain. Harley and Ivy aren't anti-heroes and have also stayed villains in my head canon. […]
    How can you think that a woman, who cheerfully put a person in the belly of a carnivorous plant to be digested, can be a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    Selina killing Black Mask wasn’t even morally grey given the story context. It was survival.
    You are right: when we talk about the actions of a certain character, we should keep in our mind the contest of the story, because there is an huge among a murderer, a manslaughter and an extreme act of self defense.

  7. #2572
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    They're running out of female villains, but Talia is still a bad decision because of the combination of her race, character history, and design. She's the most well known Arabic woman in DC Comics, so the female Arabic fans I know don't take kindly to this. It didn't escape their notice that the other female villains that get redemption, Harley, Ivy, and Selina, are all white.
    Welll, I don't want Harley or Ivy to get redemption any more than I want Talia to. Selina was built as "not that bad" and a non-killer and so forth. Obviously, they've tried to darken her up and make her worse at times (talking about the security guards tossed out the window in early post-COIE, not Black Mask), but I've never liked that. I guess there was some in the 60s, too? Haven't read much of that era, but maybe taking aspects on the tv version (she was much more villainous). Most characters have been written a lot of different, and often conflicting, ways. For me, Selina was a thief, not a killer. And then was redeemed. And should have fricking stayed that way instead of bouncing back and forth.

    Ivy I admittedly take a bit from the B:TAS version, as she stared as a bog-standard ego-driven villain with no plant/environmental cares. But I always think of her as murderous and evil and (as per the show) also willing to exploit/destroy the plants as her tools in her efforts. Acceptable sacrifices, I guess.

    Harley seemed like she could get her life (not license) back in B:TAS, at least at first, but that ship has long since sailed in the comics to me (where her origin has a bit of a different flavor, to say the least), and even in the cartoon, she was enthusiastic in (attempted) murder at times. Very Manson girl, like someone said previously. She was absolutely abused, of course, but she wasn't trapped in the start.

    For me, Talia was evil in the 1970s. The willingness to go along with Robin's kidnapping, framing an innocent man for murder, Batman being forcibly married to her, and her amnesia-drugging that guy - none of those were late additions. She also saved Batman and a kid. I tend to think of her with a "those she likes" and "those she doesn't like" and with very different treatment of the groups. She did have a redemption/freedom story, then moved on. Probably wouldn't have minded that as much if they hadn't brought her back. And she was definitely a terrorist long before Morrison.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 05-20-2020 at 05:37 AM.

  8. #2573
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    For me, Talia was evil in the 1970s. The willingness to go along with Robin's kidnapping, framing an innocent man for murder, Batman being forcibly married to her, and her amnesia-drugging that guy - none of those were late additions. She also saved Batman and a kid. I tend to think of her with a "those she likes" and "those she doesn't like" and with very different treatment of the groups. She did have a redemption/freedom story, then moved on. Probably wouldn't have minded that as much if they hadn't brought her back. And she was definitely a terrorist long before Morrison.
    All that are true and big reasons why I largely prefer Selina to her for Bruce

    I don't mind any of them getting redemption as long as it makes sense and not just driven by marketing and sales. Harley and Ivy are already going there but they went way too fast, at least from where I'm sitting.

    Bleeding Cool rumored that DC Comics actually wanted Ivy to return as a villain after her resurrection in Heroes in Crisis but it was Tom King who decided she remains good. On the other hand, her good or likable side also getting support from DC animations.

    She's getting popular nowadays thanks to her Nature vs Capitalism stance that coincides with Climate Change debate, and her relationship with Harley, so half of DC jumps on that opportunity.

  9. #2574
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Because one typically leads to another in the hands of poor writers. it's why the trope Draco in Leather Pants is a thing.

    Talia is an actual person with motivations, they just aren't pleasant ones because her upbringing was very twisted. For me, a lot of the criticisms of her lacking depth read as "I don't like her motivations and what she is doing" not that she doesn't have them. I've also seen her criticized as being a "shrieking harpy" in that run, when she never once loses her cool and does any shrieking. Like Bruce loses his cool more than she does. So do the male villains, including her father.
    Youíre right about how there is a risk in making a villain sympathetic with it defusing them as a villain... but at the same time, properly managing that balance is the key to the best villains, so itís a matter of execution and presentation... usually defined by how in-tune the creator is with the audience when they try to make that work, and how focused they are on their end goal with the villain. For instance, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren are almost literally the same character... yet because Lucas had better focus and a better understanding of the audience, Anakin is much more sympathetic as a person, while Vader is far more effective and focused as a villain. In Batman, nailing that balance can make Mr. Freeze great, Two-Face great, and even Bane to some extent... but all three, like Talia, can suffer from too sympathetic of a view or too blandly villainous a portrayal.

    I feel the problem with Talia as written by Morrison isnít so much the degree of her evil as much as her displaying of her evil, in the same way where I donít much care for some of Morrisonís other villains.

    There are some bad guys who can be operatically over-the-top in their evil, and itís totally okay for them to either verge on or just straight revel in being gleefully evil. Joker? Yup. Riddler? Yup. The Big Bad Harv part of Two-Face? Yup.

    But villains that are supposed to serve as unnervingly understandable villains or seductive attractive villains donít do well when portrayed in such ostentatiously evil way. Taliaís potential is as someone the audience could see Bruce being drawn towards, suffering heartbreak from, and Damian having extremely complicated feelings towards. Having her be a archetypal cackling villainess doesnít undo her entire functionality for the story... but it does limit her functionality and total impact.

    You want to be able to creep the audience out by having them understand *why* Batman would sleep with Talia beyond the fact sheís hot, why he still believes Harvey Dent is worth saving when he falls off a roof, and why he sometimes approaches Bane with a strange kind of understanding. When their just villainous divas, they kind of become interchangeable.
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  10. #2575
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    Youíre right about how there is a risk in making a villain sympathetic with it defusing them as a villain... but at the same time, properly managing that balance is the key to the best villains, so itís a matter of execution and presentation... usually defined by how in-tune the creator is with the audience when they try to make that work, and how focused they are on their end goal with the villain. For instance, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren are almost literally the same character... yet because Lucas had better focus and a better understanding of the audience, Anakin is much more sympathetic as a person, while Vader is far more effective and focused as a villain. In Batman, nailing that balance can make Mr. Freeze great, Two-Face great, and even Bane to some extent... but all three, like Talia, can suffer from too sympathetic of a view or too blandly villainous a portrayal.

    I feel the problem with Talia as written by Morrison isnít so much the degree of her evil as much as her displaying of her evil, in the same way where I donít much care for some of Morrisonís other villains.

    There are some bad guys who can be operatically over-the-top in their evil, and itís totally okay for them to either verge on or just straight revel in being gleefully evil. Joker? Yup. Riddler? Yup. The Big Bad Harv part of Two-Face? Yup.

    But villains that are supposed to serve as unnervingly understandable villains or seductive attractive villains donít do well when portrayed in such ostentatiously evil way. Taliaís potential is as someone the audience could see Bruce being drawn towards, suffering heartbreak from, and Damian having extremely complicated feelings towards. Having her be a archetypal cackling villainess doesnít undo her entire functionality for the story... but it does limit her functionality and total impact.

    You want to be able to creep the audience out by having them understand *why* Batman would sleep with Talia beyond the fact sheís hot, why he still believes Harvey Dent is worth saving when he falls off a roof, and why he sometimes approaches Bane with a strange kind of understanding. When their just villainous divas, they kind of become interchangeable.
    Morrison tends to write a lot of his villains as having complexity in the archetypes or evil they symbolically represent rather than having them be too humanized. This tends to work better with his own creations. I used to intensely dislike Dr. Hurt and Professor Pyg because I thought villains had to be represented as more than just cackling evils, but now I really like them. It also works well for someone like the Joker, more so in the "Batman & Robin" segments, though interestingly I think Grant writes a layered and human Lex Luthor out of all the big name DC villains he's tackled.

    With Talia though, I have to focus on what I bolded. Along with the "shrieking harpy" stuff we see ascribed to Morrison's Talia, one-note chacking supervillain Talia seems like a knee jerk reaction than something that is actually there. She does some typical supervillain gloating, but not much OTT cackling and she loses her cool less than Batman, the Joker or Dr. Hurt in the run. Hell, she doesn't even express more than mild frustration when her plan is thwarted. I can see why Damian has complicated feelings for her, she alternates between being controlling and cold and being doting and promising that he's entitled to the world (the same way her father did to her). She has complicated feelings towards him, she casts him out when he rebels and says she will replace him, then stumbles over and sheds a tear when the Heretic kills him before even hearing an order. She's a mess of contradictions but that's a result of being raised by friggin Ra's al Ghul. You can't swap her out with another villain and get the same story.

    I'm not opposed to Bruce's responses to her, but I've never thought their romance was that interesting or believable anyway. I think she loved the idea of him and the freedom he represents/being entitled and believing she deserves a great man for her lover than the man himself. Bruce has a weakness for reforming the sexy bad girls. This is a woman who helped frame Batman for murder so that she and her father could turn Gotham against him and make him want to join up with them. She tells him he should be "honored" that Ra's is manipulating his life like this. I don't have much issue with the "reality ensues" aspect of this woman not being a stable romantic partner or mother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
    Selina steals from everyone. Enough of that head canon that she steals from the right people.
    Broadly speaking with her post-COIE origin, she doesn't really "punch downward" and steal from those less fortunate than her.

    There are of course probably inconsistencies.
    Last edited by SiegePerilous02; 05-20-2020 at 11:09 AM.

  11. #2576
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    There are far too many massacres and murders in Batman comics and not nearly enough thefts and bank robberies.

    I really think Joker being obsessed with Batman and trying to prove is point to others takes away from the character. Joker, I think works best when he's only obsessed with himself and if he's worried about Batman, it's only because Batman is trying to stop his fun or take his spotlight. He shouldn't CARE if you see his point of view or not, nor should he go out of the way to explain it. HE Knows what he's doing is funny and that's enough.

    Penguin works better as a crooks that uses trick umbrellas than any kind of "legitimate" business man that mostly just exists so Batman can crash his club, and beat everyone up for information.

    In Riddler's first appearance, he chose to start leaving riddles because he was TOO good at crime. Him being a helples schmuck that can't help but leave Riddles makes for a horrible character. The guy should be good and the only reason he should leave his clues is because he wants to rub it into people's faces that they can't stop him even if he gives them clues how to do so.

    Ra's Al Ghul never interested me.

    Batman the animated series had a better Mad Hatter than anything the comics has ever done and with all the changes inspired by the cartoon, I have no idea why they never tried to copy that version of the character.

  12. #2577
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    There are far too many massacres and murders in Batman comics and not nearly enough thefts and bank robberies.
    I agree. I started a thread previously on what kind of stakes it takes to interest an audience, but it didn't really go anywhere.

    I really think Joker being obsessed with Batman and trying to prove is point to others takes away from the character. Joker, I think works best when he's only obsessed with himself and if he's worried about Batman, it's only because Batman is trying to stop his fun or take his spotlight. He shouldn't CARE if you see his point of view or not, nor should he go out of the way to explain it. HE Knows what he's doing is funny and that's enough.
    I kinda like the early Joker, where funny really wasn't a huge thing (ego was definitely present, though). And he was absolutely a murderer, but not so over-the-top.

  13. #2578
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    Talia's depiction by Morrison and recent writers in general shows just how pathetic female villains in superhero comics are, especially the ones in the Batman books. They're either femme fatales, women scorned, misandrists, female lackies or some combination of any of the aforementioned four. And while I understand wanting more female villains, it really isn't worth it if they're still stuck in outdated archetypes that frankly only serve to reinforce the belief that superhero comics are stuck in the past. At least with female heroes, there's more diversity.

  14. #2579
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    One of the things I been wondering is the sharing in a since with Babs, Dick, and Bruce. This is why I kind of wonder how much all in the family should there be.

  15. #2580
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Talia's depiction by Morrison and recent writers in general shows just how pathetic female villains in superhero comics are, especially the ones in the Batman books. They're either femme fatales, women scorned, misandrists, female lackies or some combination of any of the aforementioned four
    I don't get the "recent writers" bit - Talia was a femme fatale and even somewhat of a lackey of her father (that's really overstating it, but she was subordinate to him) from day one.

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