Comics Creators

A thread on storytelling...


To be honest, Martian Manhunter is more commonly taken out by using his own powers. The fire thing is a distant second to that.


Martian Manhunter only has this ridiculously easy ability to be taken out because he’s a third tier character. The same would be true of Superman. If he was third tier, Kryptonite would be taking him out every few years, instead of weakly threatening him to prove he’s actually sort of vulnerable.


I don’t think we did, it’s a been a subject for much debate and jokes for decades.

Did you see Rogue One yet?


If you’re plotting a Superman story and you think his main vulnerability is “kryptonite”, you’re probably not suited to writing a Superman story. Want to give him a challenge? Don’t throw a lump of kryptonite at him, put a load of people in danger.

Superman’s main vulnerability is he has to save everybody.


One thing I wish comics did more of is switch villains. It seems Dr Doom for example is exclusive for the FF, Electro for Spider Man, and so on. I feel more good stories can be told if things are varied. Look what happened when Kingpin switched from Spidey to DD, and Mysterio was a DD villain too.

On another note, Electro should be a far bigger threat and Iron Fist could be a bigger hero. So many avenues of exploration so much potential never realized.


Do you remember the Acts Of Vengeance event that Marvel ran in the late 80s/early 90s? That was all about switching the villains around and creating interesting new pairings with other heroes.


I remember and I can also remember the X-men taking on non mutant villains like Arcade. They should do more with Arcade he could be Marvel’s answer to the Joker.

On another note, some heroes seem to take on villains who are their evil counterpart like Siderman and Venom, Hulk Abomination etc. although there are exceptions like Supes Luther and Bats Joker…


I guess Superman still has Zod and Bizarro as evil doubles.

Does Batman have any big names in his rogues’ gallery who are set up as a dark reflection of Batman? I’m sure there must be examples as it’s such a common superhero trope, but I can’t think of anyone major at the moment, barring alternate-universe versions like Owlman or the characters in Metal.


You really don’t need one after that. Although people have tried with Hush, Prometheus, and even the Joker (by emphasizing this single minded natures and impact on Gotham).

Bizarro is less an evil double and just an imperfect duplicate.


Yeah, Hush and Prometheus are good examples.


Bane. Bane is absolutely a dark reflection of Batman. That was the original point, but one that was lost sight of in subsequent years, when creators who had nothing to do with “Knightfall” were handling him.

@davidm, that’s absolutely true. But it also made for the lamest line in Superman II. Christopher Reeve might have been an ideal Man of Steel, but he sounded terrible trying to convince Zod to leave bystanders alone. “The people!” It would’ve played better if he’d just remained silent and done everything he could to protect them. It would be interesting to see most Superman fights revolve around him spending more time doing that than fighting the bad guy. But that doesn’t really happen.


Needed more of this


Yes, good one. I remember reading the original Bane stories a while back - I hadn’t realised he was originally set up in that way, rather than the more mindless brute he later became (in some versions).


It’s funny. In a lot of ways, the later Bane seems to have been inspired by the much-loathed Batman & Robin version. Except, it couldn’t have been that loathed, if it had such an outsized impact on the character. It ruined him for a generation of readers! I suspect there are a lot of people who just won’t admit that they liked that movie. Not so much for the reasons I liked it (the Mr. Freeze arc, even if there was a lot of comedy in it, and how it tied in with Alfred; people say the arc was borrowed from a Batman: The Animated Series episode, but it was the only time in the four movies from that era that a villain was given an unabashed sympathetic arc).


Heart of Ice? I only watched that one recently (on Kevin Smith’s recommendation) but quite enjoyed it. That’s the first story that ever introduced Nora, isn’t it?




Yeah. Some that I really liked were The Mandarin showing up in Uncanny X-Men and Magneto vs Red Skull in Captain America.


Fun! Where’s that from?


DC’s American Alien limited series


I give priority to the storytelling of any movie or book because it is the soul as it were.

I can think of the original Jurassic Park where the special effects made up for the weaknesses of the story and plot. Also some of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns where his character made up it too. Roger Rabbit special effects made up for a tepid screenplay.

In comics it is hard to say but I would have to go with Kingdom Come the artwork by Alex Ross and overall format made up for a so so story.

Aside from that handful, I have to say that good storytelling matters and it is hard to make up for it.