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Worst. Hero. Ever.


Weldun
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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

Alas, Cable was not cool. Cable sucked donkey. Cable was the harbinger of an era of great suck in comics.

 

However, Cable was also the product of an artist who only made pretensions to being a writer after he was given the store by Marvel execs who were so gooey-pantied over his (briefer than he'd have you believe) honeymoon period with the indiscriminate fandom. Cable was created with the express intent of looking cool and nothing else. So, he wound up looking preposterous, like a walking self-caricture. That's not far to fall from a character created with such low ambitions to begin with.

 

No, no... I think that title more truly belongs to a pseudo-progenitor of Cable - Forge. Shaman-mutant-billionaire-special forces-inventor? Why does a man with a cyborg limb - that he designed - need a walking stick? Does not instill confidence in his designs if you ask me.

 

Forge is far worse than Cable for having further to fall. As I've referred to him before, he was the embodiment of Claremont's wretched excess, a character who was intended, one supposes, to not only provide romantic drama for Storm but also to have angst over being a mutant (gasp!) who invents a mutant NEUTRALIZER (GASP!) that gets USED ON HIS GIRLFRIEND (gasp gasp gasp!). Oh the angst! He was emo before emo was coo... well, before emo existed, anyway.

 

Except that he never came across as "complex" so much as "incredibly dense," not to mention horribly contrived. Any dramatic weight he might have had was siphoned away by the sheer obtrusiveness of his ad-hoc-ed origin story, that acquired new twists and turns whenever Claremont needed some more expository work done in whatever story he was writing at the moment. And of course his story arc with Storm fizzled out in the typical Claremontian non-denoument.

 

Chris was undeniably well versed in the forms and structures of comics writing - he turned out some gripping stories. And during his partnership with Byrne, he became ambitious, looking to make his characters complex and to tell more nuanced, layered stories. And the man is extremely creative. But he's undisciplined. He can't see beyond the scene he's writing at the moment, so his story arcs - especially once he separated from Byrne, who's a jerk but a better writer (although less creative, ironically) - are uneven and tend to peter out in an unsatisfying "pffft" without anything being resolved.

 

This affected all of his writing, but Forge is one of the most egregious examples. I'd like to give him credit for trying, with Forge, but I have to recognize that Cable more or less fulfilled his purpose for existing - to get gulliable fanboys with no subtlety to buy comics. Forge failed roundly in every way. Even Buscema's fantastic pencils couldn't save the character - he looked like a seventies porn star, with the 'stache and everything.

 

Wow. Forge. Sheesh.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

I'd nominate the Authority right about the time Mark Millar stated writing them, but then that would be admitting I read those issues :D

 

What do we mean by 'worst' here anyway? Are we talking character concepts (man with a talking alien boomarang) or ideals (what motivates them and makes them heroic)?

 

If it's the latter I'd say Tony Stark / Iron Man is a pretty good contender.

 

Also, I should add a character that I actually like:

The Hulk when he's the rampaging monster. Bruce Banner is the hero, the Hulk is the villain. To call the Hulk a hero is a bit much when he's on that type of jag.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

What do we mean by 'worst' here anyway? Are we talking character concepts (man with a talking alien boomarang) or ideals (what motivates them and makes them heroic)?

 

If it's the latter I'd say Tony Stark / Iron Man is a pretty good contender.

 

Also, I should add a character that I actually like:

The Hulk when he's the rampaging monster. Bruce Banner is the hero, the Hulk is the villain. To call the Hulk a hero is a bit much when he's on that type of jag.

 

 

Ooooooooo...

 

Good point!

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

The Hulk is the worst hero ever, no matter who's writing him.

 

{Whoops, this turned into rather the anti-Hulk rant. Read on if you wish, but you have been warned.}

 

It was a dreadfully-executed character concept from the outset! In the comics, the Hulk's twin natures are A) a musclebound mentally-defective monstrosity with rage issues who generally reduces everything in sight to rubble, and B) a self-excusing and ineffectual genius who manifestly cannot deal with the real world and everyday life. And the problem is that neither nature is particularly interesting, sympathetic or appealing. Nor are they likely to get much better-developed while most issues of the comic Player:simply mark time for as many pages as it takes to get to the utterly predictable "payoff" -- Dr. Bruce Banner gets upset and transforms into the hulk! Eeeee!

 

{Dull, dull, dull! Someone please launch that jolly green gonad into deep space and make him some other race's problem.}

 

The Jekyll and Hyde alternation of personalities and powers could have been the basis for a fascinating character if more effort had been made from the outset to personalize the two warring selves. Instead..."Hulk smash!" alternates with, "Betty dear, please don't say that. I'm sure this time I'll be able to modulate the gamma-ray energies correctly and free myself forever from the raging beast that inhabits my soul! The eighty-first time's the charm...."

 

{Oh, and while you're at it, someone just shoot Banner. He's too pathetic to live.}

 

The Hulk's basically a one trick pony as a character.

 

When Banner gets upset -- and he always ends up getting upset, because he has absolutely no coping mechanisms of any sort -- he turns into the Hulk and smashes things. That's it.

 

The Hulk himself (I'll say him-self, even though he never loses the ragged capri shorts and to let us prove that empirically) can barely speak, is largely incapable of reasoning and honestly, hasn't got that much to say in the first place. When he's not destroying something, he's pretty boring -- and after a while, even rampant destruction gets dull.

 

But what can you do with a mindless monster?

 

Well, you can turn him back into his genius scientist self and let him angst about the monster in his soul and how unfair the world is in general and to him in particular...and mark time until the readers are screaming for Banner to get upset and Hulk-out again, anything to stop him talking!

 

There's no reason that the Hulk character has to alternate between a constantly berserking musclebound moron and a cringing genius crybaby. I'd snicker at a player who tried to introduce such a character into game, and wonder why he didn't bother to put just a little bit of effort into developing two personalities that at least nodded at the complexities of human personality.

 

Player: "Well, in his id-driven rage form, he smashes things."

 

Me: "Yes? And...?"

 

Player: "He...uh, he's really mad all the time, and he smashes things."

 

Me: "Okay, he's mad and he smashes things. What else..?"

 

Player: "He can't talk real well, so he says stuff like "Mulch smash!", and "Little man cannot beat Mulch!" And then he smashes stuff. And he gets stronger the madder he gets."

 

Me: "No upper limit on his strength, right?"

 

Player: (nods eagerly)

 

Me: So what happens when he calms down?"

 

Player: "Oh, Mulch never calms down! He's always mad, 'cause that's why Dr. Panner turns into the Mulch, 'cause he gets mad. If the Mulch calms down, he turns back into Dr. Panner."

 

Me: "Right. And Dr. Panner...?

 

Player: "He's this brilliant ultra-genius who wanted to remove all his evil impulses with this radiation device but it just shunted them all into the Mulch and now when Dr. Panner gets really upset he actually changes into the Mulch -- "

 

Me: So Dr. Panner is pure good now and the Mulch is absolute unbalanced evil?

 

Player: "No, Dr. Panner's just this brilliant guy, and the Mulch, he just smashes stuff 'cause he's mad...you know, he's got the primal fury of the id...."

 

Me: (a little heated) "What does the Mulch like to eat? What happens when he gets horny? The id controls all sorts of urges; what other urges does the Mulch have?"

 

Player: "He's just really...you know, mad...."

 

Me: (with great restraint) Go away, you nauseating little worm. You're the reason role-players have such a wretched reputation. Please don't ever reproduce."

 

{The above exchange works equally well if you replace "Player" with "Comicbook Writer," and "Me" with "Comicbook Editor". Oh, and don't forget to replace "role-players" with "the entire comicbook industry".}

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

From what I know of Forge, he always seemed like a Mary Jane and/or munchkin character to me. I guess Cable was Leifeld's Mary Jane character. *shrugs*

 

Angst is one thing that annoys me in comics, though. In moderation it actually doesnt bother me at all. Most superheroes I would expect it, considering their lives. But, for it to come up every issue?! C'mon! I guess it is because of the "angsty" teenagers audience.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

The Hulk is the worst hero ever' date=' no matter [i']who's[/i] writing him.

 

{Whoops, this turned into rather the anti-Hulk rant. Read on if you wish, but you have been warned.}

 

It was a dreadfully-executed character concept from the outset! In the comics, the Hulk's twin natures are A) a musclebound mentally-defective monstrosity with rage issues who generally reduces everything in sight to rubble, and B) a self-excusing and ineffectual genius who manifestly cannot deal with the real world and everyday life. And the problem is that neither nature is particularly interesting, sympathetic or appealing. Nor are they likely to get much better-developed while most issues of the comic Player:simply mark time for as many pages as it takes to get to the utterly predictable "payoff" -- Dr. Bruce Banner gets upset and transforms into the hulk! Eeeee!

 

I'm curious when you last read the comic...

 

{Dull' date=' [i']dull,[/i] dull! Someone please launch that jolly green gonad into deep space and make him some other race's problem.}

 

Done. Decent story arc. Approaching its end. Too bad, actually - leaving him there dealing with matters arising under his new status quo could have been interesting.

 

The Hulk's basically a one trick pony as a character.

 

Yup. He's a Brick.

 

But what can you do with a mindless monster?

 

Hulk's been through more changes in status than most, even those others with 40 year publishing histories.

 

Me: (a little heated) "What does the Mulch like to eat?[/quuote]

 

beans.

 

What happens when he gets horny? The id controls all sorts of urges; what other urges does the Mulch have?"

 

I thought this was four colour. Read Ultimates for the answer to those questions in another guise. The character in mainstream has been used as a victim of multiple personality disorder, though the accuracy of the portrayal is probably right up there with the Doom Patrol's Crazy Jane.

 

Me: (with great restraint) Go away' date=' you nauseating little worm. You're the reason role-players have such a wretched reputation. Please don't ever reproduce."[/quote']

 

Yes, it can't be their elitist intellectual superior veneer or snide comments to those whose gaming desires or opinions fail to match their own.

 

He must appeal to SOMEONE. He's been published for 40+ years, and become part of modern culture. Pretty much everyone knows who the Hulk is, at least to the level of knowledge demonstrated above. I certainly haven't created anything with that level of staying power.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

From what I know of Forge' date=' he always seemed like a Mary Jane and/or munchkin character to me. I guess Cable was Leifeld's Mary Jane character. *shrugs*[/quote']

 

The writers were high when they came up with the characters? I think the term you were looking for was Mary Sue, but maybe not... :)

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

All depends on your mood.

 

The GLX/GLA are an awful batch of heroes if you aren't in the mood for parody.

 

The Punisher is an awful hero when you aren't in the mood for a deadly vigilante justice.

 

Superman is an awful hero.. well, really depends on his incarnation...

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

He must appeal to SOMEONE. He's been published for 40+ years' date=' and become part of modern culture. Pretty much everyone knows who the Hulk is, at least to the level of knowledge demonstrated above. I certainly haven't created anything with that level of staying power.[/quote']

 

I'm not a fan of the Hulk, and I thought Haven Walkur had some good points in general, but I was also with you on your rebuttals right up until the appeal to popularity. 'cause, man, that's a bad door to open. There's still neo-Nazis around, too - let's not even go there.

 

Bottom line is, even though the Hulk has had some decent story arcs (and if he's currently in space or whereever, I have to wonder how much the current writer is just cribbing from Peter David's extradimensional arc back in the day), a lot of writers didn't know what to do with him - HW's point stands in the main, looking at the history of his comics. I thought the treatment of the character in the Ultimates was really interesting, but there's a lot more than could have been done with him even in "kid friendly" comics.

 

For instance, I think some writers have occasionally shown that the Hulk, although someone who will try to smash anyone who gets in his face, is also someone who will try to smash anyone who arouses his ire - if Hulk saw a "nice" person, for instance, being attacked by a bad guy, the Hulk would be a ball of righteous anger! I don't think anyone ever did enough with that or - importantly - with the converse: maybe Banner doesn't have any fight in him, even when he should. I longed for someone to explore the idea that anger can be a positive emotion, too, and to maybe try showing Banner as a man who lacks the ability to fight even for what he believes in, because all those emotions now reside in his alter ego.

 

I dunno; I never got into the Hulk. He's a tease. The real good stories that can be told with this character involve some kind of "payoff" resolution that would ultimately change his status. And of course they can't do that.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

Captain Marvel is the superhero with the most namesakes. One of his Namesakes is certainly considered one of the worst heroes ever.

 

In the 1960s, there was an Android Captain Marvel whose power was that he could separate his limbs and head by yelling "SPLIT!" Now, I like quirky concepts, but it works when the writer actually does something cool with the quirkyness.

 

Another contender would be Doop from the X-Men universe. Who the heck thought it was a good idea to introduce a mutated peice of $#!t into a world torn by Mutant Hysteria? Admittedly, this is only judging the critter by his looks.

 

If we expanded the "Worst Hero Ever" to include heroes we've made up, I can name a few of mine here. However, that's going to waste some time.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

if he's currently in space or whereever' date=' I have to wonder how much the current writer is just cribbing from Peter David's extradimensional arc back in the day[/quote']

 

Very little, actually.

 

a lot of writers didn't know what to do with him - HW's point stands in the main' date=' looking at the history of his comics.[/quote']

 

I think Hulk's batting average probably beats Superman pretty handily, actually.

 

The payoff/resolution issue is a tough one. There's a lot of characters this could be done with, but then the status quo is gone and we maybe stop publishing them. The closer to this "Hulk in Space" arc reads like that to me. We could explore his new status quo...no, let's pull the rug out from under him and ship him back to Earth in a bad mood.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

To me, all of Marvel's heroes are the worst. Look no further than Civil War where you have the Avengers acting like neo-nazis.

 

And these are the good guys?!!!:eek:

 

Yeah, next they'll start brainwashing villians. ;)

 

My vote goes for Psylocke. I'm not sure how a British telepath becomes an asian ninja but even I can't stretch my suspension of belief that much.

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Re: Worst. Hero. Ever.

 

Yeah, next they'll start brainwashing villians. ;)

 

My vote goes for Psylocke. I'm not sure how a British telepath becomes an asian ninja but even I can't stretch my suspension of belief that much.

 

Only slightly more ludicrous than an Australian Ninja...

 

And, no hate for G'nort? How about Fight-Man?

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