Monday, January 17, 2011

Characters That Need To Go

For some reason, a writer or editor can fall in love with a particular character and will do their best to keep them alive by bringing them into any series they can. No matter what they do, the hero just can't carry the momentum necessary for a full-time series and yet that stubborn editor or writer won't let them go, forcing readers to sit through their adventures while waiting for something much better to come along.

Here are some heroes who just can't carry a series and aren't interesting anymore, no matter how you dress them up...

The Black Panther

Ok, how many chances has this guy had? He's had his own series a number of times, and I even heard how it was award-winning and all that, but I honestly never met anyone who was reading it. In my local comic shop, that stack was never touched and eventually the owner stopped ordering the title altogether. We get it: he's a king and he's a bad dude...but he's a lousy superhero.

Truthfully, how many times has he saved the day for the Avengers by taking down some major villain? What makes him so unique that he should stand out above other acrobatic-only heroes like White Tiger, Daredevil, Nighthawk, or even Robin, for crying out loud?

Now he's taking over Hell's Kitchen for Daredevil while Matt's away getting his mind right. What's after that? Maybe they'll give him Captain America's shield while Bucky's in prison, or Spider-Man's web-shooters while Peter's swimming through the mire of his own title. Whatever it is, folks probably won't be interested.


Probably the worst team leader of all time, Cyclops lands here simply because he's the one X-Men who most deserves death and yet never dies. They kill Banshee, Thunderbird, Phoenix (a half dozen times) and yet this guy lives forever.

What leadership has he offered that makes him worthy of leading? If you answered "I don't know", then you're absolutely right!

The writers try every way possible to make him this noble leader, but he seems to always make bad decisions and/or take this tyrant approach. Not only that, but he's lost so many fights over the years it becomes impossible to take his threats seriously. They should give him a noble death and let the character move on.

Wonder Woman

Now this one may tick a few folks off, but let's be honest about it: since Gail Simone left there just hasn't been much steam in this book. DC has treated this character as one of their "Trinity" characters, but she hasn't really been a heavy hitter since the 70's. Batman has dozens of graphic novel collections, while Wonder Woman has only a handful because demand for her character has been so small.

Even her recent "revamp" at the hands of Jim Lee hasn't helped. Her wardrobe now comes straight out of the 90's Justice League looks (think Vibe, Gypsy, Black Canary, etc). But here's the thing: she has this massive potential to be a star but DC has no clue what to do with her. The JLA now has Supergirl, the JSA has Power Girl...I don't even think the Birds of Prey would let her in!

She's been rumored to have a movie in the works and a possible television series, but she just seems to have lost her star potential. Either put her back in the Justice League (possibly as leader), turn her into a super-villain (see how she'd really stand up against Superman), or just kill her off.

Blue Beetle

When Ted Kord died, it didn't take long for DC to immediately pass the mantle to a new character, with new powers and everything. They gave him his own series immediately and expected the best.

Now here we are, years later, and beyond a few guest shots on the "Brave and the Bold" cartoon he's pretty much proven himself unable to hold a title. Ted Kord got more page time last year (in the Booster Gold comic) than Reyes, and Ted's dead!

The interest really isn't there for this character. Again, a noble death for this character (perhaps saving the JLA or ironically at the hands of the newly-revived Maxwell Lord) might help his memory. It worked for Ted Kord!


Bill, the Wildcat said...

Now, I will say that I think Cyclops is an awesome character, and his misuse in the "X-Men" films has irked the devil out of me. That said, I totally agree. Chris Claremont finished the real arc for Cyclops when he married Maddie. Everything ever since then has really been out of character, in my opinion.

Bobby NMRN( Nemron) said...

Cyclops is the man. He is also very much misunderstood. Despite this new age Idea of trying to make X-Men seep as normal as possible they are in my opinion gifted freaks of nature. Despite the fact that he was my first X-Men buddy and my only younger brother Wolverine. Due to the decision to remain true to myself and my friends I have learned that being a great superhero, which is one word to me, means being true to yourself and trusting int the strengths and Intelligence of your team. Taking the good with the bad. That being said I have chosen to stay with Cyclops. If someone one ask me which superhero I would be out of all of them if only for a day. It would be Cyclops. On a political and professional type level. Aside from Cyclops well known optic beam. His next best trait in battle is actually his fighting skill. No Joke. And don't forget his Somersault Kick(It's lethal). Real Life...Real Imagination. When you decide answer honestly.

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