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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
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oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Dumb 3rd Grade Topic Prompt: Favorite Superhero

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13 Dec 2013 17:38 #167785 by Gary Sax
Interesting point, dragonstout. I've always like Batman, as you said. But my affection toward the Martian Manhunter is more recent.

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13 Dec 2013 17:40 #167786 by Michael Barnes
I wouldn't say Batman is the ultimate hero. His motivation is revenge. Not the best for a hero IMO.

That's not exactly true. It's not "revenge", it's a desire to prevent tragedies caused by crime. Even in Batman Begins, you can see that he backs off quite explictly from a revenge motivation.

Grant Morrison's take is interesting in a lot of ways, one of which is how Batman's overcoming of tragedy to become a hero and an inspiration to others is one his defining characteristics and motivations. There's a really quite touching part where Bruce tells Alfred something like "the secret I've always kept is that I was never really alone in this"- he's always been surrounded by strong people that he's inspired to greatness- Gordon, Alfred, any of the Robins, the whole Bat-Family, Aquaman...it's not ever really about getting revenge. I think in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a post-Frank Miller tendency to cast Batman as a more psychologically dangerous vigilante/anti-hero rather than an outright hero, which wasn't necessarily a mistake but it reduced the impact of Batman as a _superhero_. I think Morrison reaclaimed a lot of that after completely breaking down and obliterating the character.

Batman is very subject to multiple interpretations, as is Superman. I think this is one of things that really sets these characters apart to the point where, as mentioned, they're almost symbols more than characters. Spider-Man, Flash, Wonder Woman, Wolverine et. al.- they're pretty face value, and when writers DO try to write different interpretations, it usually winds up pretty bad (witness attempts to make Spider-Man dark).

On Captain America, I hate to admit that a Mark Millar story helped changed my perception of the character, but there was a bit in the Ultimates that stuck with me. After he's brought out of the ice, he sees that everything and everybody that

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13 Dec 2013 17:41 #167787 by Michael Barnes
Martian Manhunter is cool, but he's forever the "green Superman" character, mostly known for his fear of fire...check out Cooke's New Frontier, his Martian Manhunter is really interesting.

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13 Dec 2013 17:49 #167788 by Gary Sax
Your previous post got cut off and I'm curious what you had to say. I've never really "gotten" the attraction of captain america. I don't read tons of comics, though.

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13 Dec 2013 18:15 #167789 by Michael Barnes
Oops-

On Captain America, I hate to admit that a Mark Millar story helped changed my perception of the character, but there was a bit in the Ultimates that stuck with me. After he's brought out of the ice, he sees that everything and everybody that he loved is dead. The world is _different_. The villains aren't the Nazis, and there's not a heroic, noble war to fight. He looks over at the flag and realizes that it's the only constant bridging the gap between the accident and his recovery. All he literally has left to cling to is his country. That moment made the patriotism make sense, and it also drove home the idealism of the character.

I like that Cap is very much about doing the right thing. I like that he understands that he has the power to be a positive force in the world. He's not so much a jingoistic, "Yay, America" figure as he is the embodiement of what America SHOULD be- a leader, a champion, an inspiration. It's very meaningful, I think, that his weapon is a shield- really a defensive tool.

Brubaker's Cap is such an interesting figure. In some ways, he's like Craig's interpretation of Bond- ruthless, tenacious, and fiercely dedicated to what he does. But he's a highly moral figure and he's moral without ambiguity. Yet it's different than with Superman, because Cap is 100% human.

I think the films have done fairly well with depicting what I like best about Cap. Like that scene in New York where the cops are like "who the hell are you, get behind the line" and he immediately gives them direction...and they follow. He's a master strategist, and he's someone that has a strong sense of authority. Who wouldn't listen to him? I also like that they've not lost sight of him as the gawky kid just trying to fight for his country's values.

I like the idealism, the optimism inherent in a character that demonstrates that we can be better than we are. I really like in the Death of Captain America arc how his death resonates with other heroes because he's such an inspiration to them.
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13 Dec 2013 19:01 #167792 by dragonstout

Michael Barnes wrote: Captain America's not so much a jingoistic, "Yay, America" figure

I think it's interesting that, at least before the movie, if you asked someone unfamiliar with the actual comics about Captain America, there has *always* been an assumption that he's jingoistic, pro-war, conservative, and Superman-style-uncomplicated...despite the fact that he's nearly *always*, since his revival in the 1960s, been written as a liberal (maybe not in the Ultimates), and has always had a very tortured relationship with his country at the forefront: that conflict between the ideal of the country and reality of the country. And tortured by his experiences in war, particularly with Bucky.

But the name overrides all that. And admittedly, in the 1940s he was indeed exactly what you'd imagine. But the country changed, so he changed.

By the way, anyone intrigued by Barnes' description of Morrison's Batman conception: I'm still selling a near complete run of Morrison Batman hardcovers for stupid cheap; I think I got talked down to $99.
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13 Dec 2013 19:58 - 13 Dec 2013 19:58 #167795 by Gary Sax

Michael Barnes wrote: I like that Cap is very much about doing the right thing. I like that he understands that he has the power to be a positive force in the world. He's not so much a jingoistic, "Yay, America" figure as he is the embodiement of what America SHOULD be- a leader, a champion, an inspiration. It's very meaningful, I think, that his weapon is a shield- really a defensive tool.


I have ALWAYS loved this, now that you mention it. It's so very unique for like one of the biggest superheros to have a tool that is fundamentally, symbolically, not a weapon (though it is used as one).
Last edit: 13 Dec 2013 19:58 by Gary Sax.

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13 Dec 2013 21:00 #167796 by Shellhead
Barnes, those are some great points about Cap. He was another favorite of mine when I was young, but I went through too many years of cynicism and lost some of my fondness for the character. I think that the mainstream comicbook version of Cap, especially the way you describe him, is the way that many Americans think of America. Ultimate Captain America is America as seen by many people who don't live in America. Maybe Cap as portrayed by Marvel in recent years comes closer to the reality in between: an idealist who sometimes makes bad choices with the best of intentions.

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13 Dec 2013 21:13 #167797 by Space Ghost
Mainstream favorites are Spider-Man and Captain America.

Less iconic favorites are Moon Knight and The Shadow.
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13 Dec 2013 22:27 #167803 by Stan Leer
I'm with Jeb.

Nightcrawler and Colossus were always my favorite. I was a Marvel guy growing up. I liked inhuman looking characters for some reason. Those two were very appealing.

I never liked Wolverine. Maybe I am just a contrarian in that regard. Superman was always boring to me because of his power.

I was always partial to the Crow though as I moved away from the Marvel/DC comics world. I loved that book. I especially liked the ambiguity of his supernatural status. There is ample set up that he was not supernatural at all and I liked that.

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13 Dec 2013 23:08 #167804 by the_jake_1973
I have always liked Green Arrow and Ghost Rider although I was never a comic reader growing up.

Swashbuckling style always appealed to me and Green Arrow fit the bill. It was only recently that I found out about his liberal bent.

Ghost Rider's retribution vibe was cool, but he was a biker on a flaming cycle. That was all a boy who was growing up around bikers needed in a comic book hero.

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13 Dec 2013 23:35 #167805 by Mr. White

Michael Barnes wrote: Batman is very subject to multiple interpretations, as is Superman. I think this is one of things that really sets these characters apart to the point where, as mentioned, they're almost symbols more than characters. Spider-Man, Flash, Wonder Woman, Wolverine et. al.- they're pretty face value, and when writers DO try to write different interpretations, it usually winds up pretty bad (witness attempts to make Spider-Man dark).


Would that make Spider-man a better character? The fact that he only works one way? With the 'symbol' characters such as batman and co. they can be a vehicle for any type of story. As I've mentioned here in the past, 'Demon In A Bottle' doesn't need Iron Man/Tony Stark, you could tell the same tale substituting in any multitude of characters, Bruce Wayne being one. However, you couldn't really tell that tale with Peter Parker in the lead.

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16 Dec 2013 09:36 - 16 Dec 2013 09:36 #167920 by SuperflyPete

repoman wrote: Spider-man: A similar background to Batman in that he witnesses his uncle/parent die due to the act of a criminal.




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Last edit: 16 Dec 2013 09:36 by SuperflyPete.
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16 Dec 2013 09:46 - 16 Dec 2013 09:48 #167923 by Shellhead
Actually, Parker doesn't see Uncle Ben's death, he hears about it after the fact:

Last edit: 16 Dec 2013 09:48 by Shellhead.

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16 Dec 2013 12:50 #167958 by ChristopherMD
I grew up watching ordinary guy Bruce Banner actively trying to avoid turning into his superhero persona, green Lou Ferrigno. So the Incredible Hulk is definitely one of my favorites.

However, like others here, Batman is probably my top favorite.

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