Public Perception: They’re A Menace!

Like they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Actually, scratch that, I’d say having your country put a price on your head as they announce their attention to draw and quarter you would be very bad publicity indeed.

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Good news! Your approval ratings are in!

Bad news! The government hates you!

Good news! The people don’t!

Bad news! That just means they’re indifferent!

Good news! It’ll make for a pretty fun story!

Bad news! Three other characters think you’re a bad guy and are now hunting you down!

For what it’s worth, J. Jonah Jameson will always think you’re a menace. Even if you’re from DC. Especially if you’re from DC.

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Everyman For Himself

Where other heroes treat things as a matter of course, they are the ones who’ll laugh off their insecurities and point out just how insane it is that there is an actual place called Gorilla City.

A hero. A shining paragon of might, intellect, charisma, and willpower. The great champion who will rise to the challenge, armed with a mighty advantage to turn the tide. The ones who ride off to defy fate and forge their own destiny, riding upon the tide of their allies.

And then there’s the other guy. Ladies and gentlemen of the net, meet the Everyman. As the name describes, they are like every man or woman.

They are not chosen by fate. They are not fiery, warping reality with their sheer passion. They are not brilliant, staying 500 steps ahead of the opposition. They are not divinely awe-inspiring in personality or looks, eliciting worship and adoration. No superpowers, no super training. Just enough to get by in the world.

But when stories can vastly vary what makes up ‘normal’, what marks an Everyman when one universe’s Average Josephine is another’s demigod?

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Iron Man: Does Whatever An Iron Can

Iron Man, Iron Man, does whatever an iron can. Straightens clothes, gets real hot, smashes you up the butt. Hey there! Here comes the Iron Man!

Well, it’s another of those things I’m looking to stock up in here: character crash courses! And this week, we’re talking about…what do you mean he’s already super popular, more than ever? As if I’d let that stop me!

A cool exec with a heart of steel. And, most importantly, severely crippling physical and psychological issues, and THE suit of high tech battle armour. To some of you, he’s Robert Downey Jr.. To others, he’s Iron Hitler, the asshole with the keys to the toybox.

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Nuanced characterisation was a casualty in other Civil War titles.

But really: Who is Iron Man? Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Was he turned to steel in the great magnetic field?

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Agendas, Assemble! Also, Black Panther and the Falcon.

Set aside the fact that a Spider-Falcon sounds TERRIFYING and let’s talk about when comics dip into REAL real life!

Agendas. Messages. Themes. From the days of the Golden Age’s Hitler-punching propaganda to the we’ll-hate-mutants-but-not-cosmic-radiation-freaks racism allegories, reality has always had a place in comics. And in today’s age of “This Is The Internet So Any Moron Can Put Their Opinion Online” we also have no shortage of people trying to explain the meanings and intentions of these stories (plus why you are objectively bad if you disagree with them).

However, I’m not here to tell you whether you should lean to the Left, the Right, or the Red. My priority has been and always will be one simple thing: Does it make for a good story?

Well, get your animal suits out of the closet (don’t ask, I know you have them, you bronies, don’t deny it) and let’s take some recent examples from the men themselves: Black Panther and the Falcon!

Continue reading “Agendas, Assemble! Also, Black Panther and the Falcon.”