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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 2233
Posted: 24 November 2020 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I guess the Tom DeFalco Spider-Girl is about as derivative as you can get, daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson-Parker, pretty close to the same costume as her Dad's, but the character seems extremely popular with actual readers surviving when the other companion character titles kept coming and going. I'm up to #31 of the original series myself! Almost all the characters in that sub-line are derivative in look and abilities of an older established character, Stinger daughter of Ant-Man (II), American Dream inspired by Captain America, son of Juggernaut, twin sister Ladyhawks in the old orange and green Falcon colors, but Spider-Girl was almost a rewritten early Spidey in many ways. From the outside looking in I thought I might really dislike these comics, particularly Spider-Girl, but I found them to be quite engaging and not all a rip-off. I think I prefer the '99 Spider-Woman of Byrne & Sears, especially by the end of t with a great original costume, but it's obvious there was and still is a huge readership for Spider-Girl, including actual girls, so that's great to see!

Diversity is like praying in public; if you are making a stunt and sales point of it, it might be self-defeating, where if you just make inclusive decisions where they fit they are more likely to be heard by a more lasting audience. Ah, crappy metaphor I guess, sorry.

I kind of hate fans saying "nobody remembers" whatever character. There is almost always someone who not only remembers but values highly any character. Throwing someone away like that, "nobody liked Batgirl anyway, a computer-whiz woman in a wheelchair is going to be so much better", is just dumb to me. The day they have a death of Donald Duck special or Popeye is now black (and vegan) things will have hit desperation bottom!
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 12944
Posted: 24 November 2020 at 1:51pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Wasn't Popeye always vegan? Spinach with a side of olive oil.

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John Wickett
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 July 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 82
Posted: 24 November 2020 at 4:45pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Diversity is like praying in public; if you are making a stunt and sales point of it, it might be self-defeating, where if you just make inclusive decisions where they fit they are more likely to be heard by a more lasting audience."  

Great point!

Eric, Luke Fox is the son of Lucius. 

Azrael didn't debut as the replacement Batman.  His origin depicted him as an agent of the Order of Dumas.  He subsequently became part of the Bat family, but his origin is not dependent on Batman.

Conversely, Steel started as one of the four replacement Supermen, which launched him as a character.  However, according to my recollection (correct me if I'm wrong) his only direct connection was that he was inspired by Superman.  Steel was never a sidekick and is not Kryptonian.  He was a Tony Stark like character who created his own suit of armor to defend Metropolis.  So if you took Superman out of the equation, Steel's origin still works fine.

These guys are certainly connected to Superman and Batman, but I would consider them more original than derivative (of Superman and Batman) 


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John Wickett
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Joined: 12 July 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 82
Posted: 24 November 2020 at 5:35pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Eric, if you are missing my point its probably because I was too vague.

In Future State, DC has added to the diversity of their universe by having race and gender diverse characters replace Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, etc.  

This has been described as groundbreaking because it is the first time some of these heroic identities have been represented by minorities.  

My point was that a Luke Fox Batman is just a temporary placeholder, because we know Bruce Wayne will always be the main Batman.  Therefore, it would be more groundbreaking to introduce brand new characters (that are not part of the Superman or Batman franchises) and give them the type of A-List treatments that would enable them to rise to prominence the way that Black Panther has risen at Marvel.

Unfortunately, most new characters we get from DC and Marvel are derivatives of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, etc.  The prevailing thought seems to be that derivative characters sell better than wholly original characters, because they are linked to a tentpole franchise like Batman.  

That may in fact be true.  DC certainly tried to make a push with the Milestone characters, and again by trying to make Cyborg one of their big seven (he replaced J'onn as a founding member of the JLA, got a solo book, etc)  Static seemed to be pretty popular for a while, but none of these characters achieved the lasting popularity of Supergirl, Jm Rhodes, Miles Morales, or other derivative characters.  

I'm just speculating as to why that is.  As a fan base, are we really that unreceptive to new ideas?  Does the price of new comics, or the abundance of other options vying for our entertainment dollars play a role?  Is it that DC and Marvel haven't supported new ideas with top creators and strong marketing?  IMO its a combination of factors, including these and more.  
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Derek Rogers
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Joined: 07 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 504
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

DC certainly tried to make a push with the Milestone characters, and again by trying to make Cyborg one of their big seven (he replaced J'onn as a founding member of the JLA, got a solo book, etc)  

===

I don't get why Cyborg was picked to be a founding member of the JLA. He was pretty firmly established as a Teen Titan.

IMO, Black Lightning seemed to be the logical choice.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122324
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Never think logic when it comes to group books. (Ant Man and the Hulk?).

Give the fans what you think they’ll spent their money on!

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Mario Ribeiro
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Joined: 18 June 2016
Location: Brazil
Posts: 408
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Stan Lee created a Latina Wonder Woman. And a Black Batman.

Edited by Mario Ribeiro on 25 November 2020 at 11:34am
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 122324
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 11:37am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

From the outside looking in I thought I might really dislike these comics, particularly Spider-Girl, but I found them to be quite engaging and not all a rip-off. I think I prefer the '99 Spider-Woman of Byrne & Sears, especially by the end of t with a great original costume, but it's obvious there was and still is a huge readership for Spider-Girl, including actual girls, so that's great to see!

•••

You would not believe the hostility that deluged SPIDER-WOMAN, most of it originating with SPIDER-GIRL fans. Somehow they got it into their heads that SPIDER-WOMAN was in competition with SPIDER-GIRL. Fans boycotted the book. Stores boycotted the book.

And to add insult to injury, when Marvel chopped “low selling” titles, HIDDEN YEARS was cancelled while SPIDER-GIRL, which sold less, wasn’t.

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Brandon Frye
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Joined: 17 November 2004
Posts: 1247
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply


 QUOTE:
Stores boycotted the book.

It surprises me to this day how many comic shop owners would boycott a selling product based on their personal dislike of a writer, artist, character, etc. Some even going to far as to refuse their own customer's requests to order those titles.

Of course, many of them also did their best to torpedo the newsstand market, seeing them as competition rather than an entry way for new customers that would ultimately bring them more business

What's not surprising at all though, is how many of these shop owners who simply could not get out of their own way are no longer in business.  

I don't think I've ever seen another industry that is so good at shooting itself in the foot.

 
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Brian Floyd
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Joined: 07 July 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 7142
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I do like that there's more diversity in comics than I was a kid.

HOWEVER, I don't like it when that diversity comes at the expense of existing characters or involves making changes to characters that have been around a long time.


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John Wickett
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 July 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 82
Posted: 25 November 2020 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I also found Cyborg to be a puzzling choice.  My guess is they chose him over BL or others because the Titans reboot wiped out the Wolfman/Perez Titans; another puzzling choice considering that version of the Titans was DC's most successful, and is the version that most recognizable to the public due to the cartoons, etc.  
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