CV's Roundtable User Discussion 020 - Guy Talk

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another Roundtable User Discussion. Before we get going, I'd like to apologise to everyone involved for the extremely prolonged delay in bringing the latest "RT" to life. No excuses I can offer are adequate, an therefore I throw myself prostrate at your cyber feet begging for forgiveness. Now on to the main event, please enjoy this special one-off "All-Male" Roundtable!

No Caption Provided

Once upon a time, sora_thekey hosted a Roundtable User Discussion called "Girl Talk". Naturally, in the name of equality, the boys of Comic Vine felt that it was their turn for a gender specific discussion. Well, as that Roundtable was hosted by a guy, we thought it would be a fun twist that the "Boy's Talk" Roundtable discussion should be hosted by a girl! So until sora_thekey comes back full time you’re stuck with me, xerox-kitty ;)

Anyway, the boys are back in town! Let me re-introduce Roundtable veterans FadeToBlackBolt, Billy Batson, Trodorne and SC (who despite the uber cute Nemi userpics is a man of the XY chromosome persuasion ;)

Tro: Hey everyone.

BB: Hello, it's BB.

SC: Hi I am SC, and I am so manly that my manliness is confusing and doth occasionally I am thought of as a woman. That's how manly I am. Like a modern day Hercules or something... Beer!

Lazy: Hi I am Lazy; that’s it.

Fade: Howdy; FadeToBlackBolt; Richard Curtis loving, Victorious watching but still very masculine male =P

Welcome back! And lets try a twist on the traditional opening question... What is the best 1 comic that you've read lately?

Santa Larfleeze?
Santa Larfleeze?

Tro: Green Lantern Larfleeze Christmas Special. (cough) been re-reading it in the middle of summer.

BB: Preacher.

SC: Let me think... I am a Squirrel Girl fan.. so I enjoyed her appearance in New Avengers. She was adorable and kickass as usual. Plus Deodato was on art so double points. I always wondered what his Squirrel Girl would look like, and now I know...

Fade: I read Batman/Poison Ivy: Cast Shadows recently, and while it's an older title, it's still a great read. Very emotional story detailing the relationship between Bruce and Pamela, and I really enjoyed it. The final page in particular was beautiful, and showed both characters' very human cores. Highly recommended, for ladies too =]

Lazy: League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1969. Its Moore, its the League, its awesome. I actually got it in the post then went and sat in the sun and read it. Which is amazing for two reason one it was sunny and two there wasn’t any riots happening.

Lots of good reading! :D But back down to business...

Q1: Do you feel that the comic book industry is still focused towards a largely male audience?

Men Here! send More Beer!
Men Here! send More Beer!

Lazy: I would say so let’s face it the DC 52 nearly all men titles, the various movie films and games that have gone out recently all men as well. If anything I would say it’s become more male orientated as a result of the last years plans or so.

BB: Yes, the female audience is still pretty small compared to the male audience.

SC: Yes, I believe that the US Comic Book Industry is still largely focused towards a largely male audience, but I think quite a lot of entertainment generally is, really. Plus I guess it also depends what you mean by focused, but in broad terms most definitely.

Tro: Largely? Yes *drinks beer!*

Fade: Well the US Comic Book Industry, for better or worse, is very much a business, particularly when concerning the Big Two. The point of a business is to make money, and the best way to make money (in a media business) is to cater to your key demographic, and comic books are still largely aimed at the 12-40 Male market. So I'd say, yes it's still geared toward a male audience, but with books like Birds of Prey, Heralds and other such female-focused comics, the distinction is weakening.

Q2: Traditionally, comic book readers have a stereotype of being nerdy, immature, single guys (much like the guys from the Big Bang Theory ;) Do you think this is fair? On the other hand, do you share any of those traits?

Tro: In the instance of the Big Bang Theory, They chose to make a series based on successful guys who can afford to support pop culture habits. While not the case for everyone else. Though in real life I’ve seen hardcore fans who range from Military man to university professor. While I do agree there is much of the stereotype associated with comics, the range of men are broad. In terms of myself I would say I share 2/3's of their traits.

The Big Bang Theory: Enforcing The Nerdy Male Stereotype?
The Big Bang Theory: Enforcing The Nerdy Male Stereotype?

Fade: Ah, the Big Bang Theory, setting we comic book fans back thirty years.

That is the stereotype, but thanks in no small part to comic films starring Adonis-like males ala Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, the idea of comics being a strictly "nerd" activity is slowly disappearing. I mean, sure, the average comic fan isn't going to look like Chris Evans, but the general public are finally starting to realize that these characters are Universal, and that their appeal extends to everyone, not just the introverted social exile stereotype. Basically, I think the stereotype is still there, and is being reinforced by some forms of media (like BBT), but the average person isn't as prone to believing in stereotypes as they used to be.

Regarding myself; I'm a bit of a social misfit, but I'm also tall and pretty intimidating physically. I'm not interested in Science though, philosophy and writing are my shtick.

You don't like Big Bang Theory? I love that they can use geek humor in a hugely popular show; it's heralding the rise of the geek! ;)

Fade: I don't mind it, but it does reinforce negative stereotypes.

Tro: Geek and Nerd Humor is lot of what they do for jokes also includes scientific fact. Which though I agree is the huge selling point for me in terms of watching the show, but then again they do get some things wrong. Like Sheldon saying that the X-Men were named because their leader was Charles Xavier was a total load of crock. They were named the "X-Men" because of their Extra ordinary abilities.

Ah yes, the joke that we real geeks can appreciate for both the cheap shot at Sheldon Cooper’s “C-Men” and because we get to feel superior to the writers because know the real reason behind the “X” in X-Men.

Lazy: I am one of the guys, though as an ex-model I am slightly more presentable from time to time. But yeah I could fit into that show as the English science/comic geek, I have glasses and various comic shirts also. People would watch me right? . I have perma-stubble nowdays to butch myself up a little though.

BB: I don't share any of those traits *whistles*

SC: I think it’s as fair as most stereotypes. The opposite type of comic book fans can be pretty unflattering as well if not unattainably cartoonishly like perfect... for plot purposes. I like the term nerdy, so to me it’s an endearing term. Nerdy guys, nerdy girls, I view as cool, sweet, etc so in that sense I wouldn't call myself nerdy LOL, but I am immature a lot, because you can't be mature by trying to be mature all the time, I am currently single though? Plus is it a trait to need the Soft Kitty Warm Kitty song, sung to me when I am ill... complete with hand gestures? Erm...

*soft kitty warm kitty little ball of fur....*

SC: Gah! *forgets rest of song*

Q3: Perhaps it also has something to do with traditional content of super hero comics? Especially the female characters. Do you think their physique & skimpy fashion are also geared towards a male market?

SC: I think as far as female characters goes, there is as much about how they are portrayed wrapped up in tradition and history as much as any conscious decision to have they appear a certain way to appeal to men, but there is a measurable amount of both. Older comic writers, and artists you know, maybe weren't really trying to do much other than create what they thought was good? People are generally going to have set perspectives they are naturally inclined to see things from that require conscious thought and action to end up with a more objective neutral view. Then people are inspired by those creators and work from their work.

I think yes as well as far as the traditional content of super hero comics as far as prior question.

Fade: Let's be honest, would Power Girl leave the house dressed the way she is? Of course not. Her attire is ridiculous. That said, I'm a 19 year old male, so, if you allow me to remove my social conscience for a moment, her costume is epic. Generally speaking, if a female character is scantily-clad, she'll be more popular, or at least more talked about. Would anyone care if Power Girl was dressed in a Wizard Cloak? Half the threads on CV about her are about her costume or her bust.

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Essentially, the female costumes are clearly marketed towards males, but female readers have their share of eye candy too (I can't tell you how many times my Tumblr dashboard has had Nightwing's posterior reblogged). Comic books are a fantasy/will-fulfillment based medium, so pretty much all characters are buff, beautiful and barely covered.

Tro: Well if the comic market is largely dominated by males then I would say yes, it would be geared towards the male market.

BB: Yesss. And the same thing is with the male characters and the female readers.

But do you like the overly endowed T&A built women? Is it geared towards bringing in the sexually inexperienced male youth which fuels the stereotype of nerdy guys?

BB: Yes and yes.

Tro: Do I like T&A? Yes… Very much so. Do I like it in comics? Not really, I’m more into the more interesting women who have more character I.E: Oracle.

SC: I think there is a lot of reasoning that can explain the overly endowed T&A built women. Some times it can be about shock, sometimes its just a fad and style that gains popularity for being so different, sometimes its sort of like... a package deal, sex, violence guys and swearing X-Treme!!!!!! Sometimes it’s about exaggeration of what are considered defining characteristics or valued characteristics, sometimes its just parallel of what seems to be happening in other mediums.

I think it does whatever the reasoning, contribute to that stereotype of nerdy guys (the more traditional negative nerdy guys) Oh, like uhm… What was that old TV show? The one where the two boys use a computer program to create the perfect female? She's a stereotype as much as the nerds who made (projected) her. Like a modern twist on Frankenstein. Except instead of mad genius you have nerdy comic/computer guy.

Weird Science? I didn’t know they made a TV show out of that…

Lazy: It must be I don’t see a huge quota of comic book readers being lesbians and women who read comics for the fashion. I'm yet to see the Emma Frost or the Rogue look out on the streets (excluding cosplayers) on any normal day. I have looked maybe just doesn’t have the right weather though. As for the massive chests and tiny waists it’s kind of funny because their ability to actually fight and move wouldn’t be so good and it’s kinda of important in their professions.

Can You Compare To Nightwing's Physique?
Can You Compare To Nightwing's Physique?

Q4: Well, that's the ladies, but what about the guys? The traditional physique of most comic book men (heroes & villains) is tall & muscular. Is this something that you can associate with, aspire to, or find out of touch with the target audience?

Fade: Everyone feels self-conscious, and reading about the most perfectly constructed physical specimens imaginable isn't always great for the ego, but you still have to realize that comics are a fantasy medium. No matter who you are, you can't compare yourself to Dick Grayson and expect to come out on top. I feel far worse when someone, anyone really, dismisses acne as being disgusting or something, since that's my biggest problem with myself (along with a few dozen other issues).

Tro: Well when you look at traditional characters, which most people really started reading around the silver age that tall and large was not always the case. Which was why many people flocked to Marvel because Reed Richards had powers and he was in no way strong or looked like he could bench press his own weight. Peter Parker was a nerdy kid who ends up with super powers. The X-Men were mutants who were not tall or looked like they were strong (outside of the Beast of course).

But men would always look at figures of Superman or Captain America because they represented the ideal of what all men would like to be but are not near that level as they are.

Is Thor Too Godly For Guys To Empathise With?
Is Thor Too Godly For Guys To Empathise With?

SC: I think a lot of the traditional physique of male characters is idealized, but it’s not just the physique, it’s a lot of things. The roles, relationships, status, the angles that such males are drawn from even, and so on. I can associate with such portrayals in that I value physical health, because physical health aids mental health and mental health aids physical health... but perhaps where comics can I think, fails its audience, is not celebrating more body types. Physical health comes in many shapes and sizes, beyond buff. Though also traditionally I think comics has that diversity with male portrayals. You have your Batman type builds, Wolverine, short and runty, godlike Thor, skinny Shatterstar, Bane physiques, and on and on. At least better that what is offered with females. Oh and male villains vary as well. You have better age diversity to, which plays a smallish role in how characters look, physically.

Lazy: I think its mostly just bulk in terms of main heroes a lot of heroes aren’t that tall. But I think most men aspire to some level of muscle heftiness just not to the degree of say Wolverine whose arms are nearly as big as his waist in some showings. I’m naturally a lean figure so putting weight on is something most people my build aspire to, but to superhero digress hell no. Call me when the super solider serum hits the market, I am true British hero.

BB: Jonah Hex; the reason: I got/get the same treatment as him for the same reason...well almost.

Q5: And which character is most like you? Who can you identify with & why?

Tro: I wish I could say Peter Parker but he is so much smarter than I am. I have the love of science but no where near the level he has, But I would say I’m more of the line Booster Gold. I try hard to be the hero that everyone else is but I am always looked at as a buffoon or a wannabe who will never be as popular or as well liked as the big names that are out there.

Buff Brains & Body; Can You Identify With Peter Parker?
Buff Brains & Body; Can You Identify With Peter Parker?

Lazy: Hmm probably Spider-Man also. Mostly because he’s a scientist( he’s underrated as such) and a bit geeky/quirky with his humor much like I am. People probably expected Captain Britain there, but I’m not mega bucks rich LOL.

BB: Aspire to but I'm too lazy anyway...

Fade: The character I most identify with? Probably Doctor Doom. I'm scarred, angry, capable of great love and vengeance, and pretty clever. If I was a capable metallurgist, I'd have built a mask for myself long ago, since I hate my face.

SC: Oh wow, hmmm. Not sure I can answer the other question. I would be a bit scared to be honest if such a character existed... I can identify with... does Nemi count? LOL Uhm. Madrox, Hercules... and Galactus... and Rogue... and Mogo. Martian Manhunter...

BB: What about Cyan's (Ex?)-boyfriend?

SC: LOL Billy your too awesome!! Cyan’s Ex Boyfriend was too quiet and too passive. I can be quiet and passive... but I tend to be weird, and loud and have strong opinions, oh and I tend to not dress up as much.

BB: He was weird when he hang with Nemi and Cyan and he didn't dress up much.

Q6: You chose heroes *phew!* But what about the ordinary characters? Does the 'Average Joe' have any appeal to the average reader? Do you have any preferences for 'normal' (non-chest-inflated ;) characters?

Lazy: There’s loads of great average Joes. Quatermain from the LOEG & Ash from Evil Dead to name but a few…

Foggy Nelson; The Average Joe?
Foggy Nelson; The Average Joe?

Tro: I think there are lots of Average Joe type of characters that appeal to people like Foggy Nelson, best friend to Matt Murdock. He is a great person who has followed his friend through thick and thin especially in the events of Shadowland.

SC: I think in the last couple of years there has been a big boom in indie comics and smaller books, which tend to focus on more relatable characters... at least initially. I am reading a book called Fly and the main character was really regular. A lot of the non Marvel and DC books I have read have more normal looking and acting characters (and their worlds mirror this for the most part) we have books like Walking Dead as well. Oh at the same time, I have to cite artists like Jamie McKelvie, who can actually make characters look a bit more... normal.

I think readers preferences are more varied these days. So you'll find an audience, just hopefully its not too small (the audience that is... not the pecs ;)

Tro: Very true SC, even darker series like The Boys has Average Joe type characters with no powers and they end up having regular drama like real life itself with the exception of kill bad super-heroes.

SC: Uh yes, The Boys is a good example!

BB: I like them when they are written right and if they appeal to one guy, they will to others.

Fade: My definition of "Average Joe" is someone unextraordinary in unextraordinary situations. Some like Yorick Brown (who I love) doesn't count, to me, as an Average Joe.

Regarding "Average Joe" characters, they don't get a whole lot of screen time, but I honestly can't think of too many "Average Joes” that I like. I like them in other media, just not comics all that much. I prefer the "Average Janes" like Gwen Stacy. I miss Gwen.

I'd forgotten about him, but you're right. He's far from “Average” as there aren't any other guys in his world to compare him to make him either ‘Average’ or ‘Extraordinary’. But then again, perhaps he is the kind of guy that regular readers could identify with? Or at least imagine what they would do in his situation?

Fade: Yorick himself is pretty ordinary, (the Safeword arc highlights that well, IMO) but his situation is so extraordinary that you just can't consider him a normal guy, you know? He's relatable and his situation is good for hypothetical thought, but I still don't find him to be "average". That's just my view though.

Q7: Going back to the idea of stereotypical fans, while working at a comic shop I had to endure guys talking down to me about titles that I was passionate about (trust me, the customer is not always right). Why do you think some guys still struggle to see female readers as equals?

BB: Not sure if I can answer that. I find them equal.

But have you any idea why other guys see girls as freakish glowing brainless unicorns? It's weird to think that guys like that exist, but the really do :(

BB: Sorry but no.

SC: Actually my answers sort of the same as Billy's. I can't really fathom, I want more girls to read comics not less. Its got nothing to do with my reading habits tending to echo those of girls, or that a lot of my favorite characters are female... and I wished were more prominent *cough*

Boys V Girls
Boys V Girls

I think that maybe sometimes its just human nature for people to actually sort of not want to be seen as equal with anyone else. So this applies to how guys view females and how guys view other guys and girls to girls and girls to guys. Very potentially complicated stuff LOL, but as far as the domain of comics, I think guys have a possessive attitude towards comics. Its a guy thing, like football, and you "girls" have your make up and stockings and ballet so you know, you made fun of me, when I was six and wanted to dance, dance, dance, ballet and so this is payback (I mean.. uh my friend wanted to dance ballet) but yes, guys can be competitive with each other, and so this same competitive streak might apply to comics. Except the guys might find it extra painful to be shown up by a girl? The same way a girl might if a guy was especially good at applying mascara? Erm...?

Fade: That's just stupid. If they were speaking down to you because you're a woman, then that's ridiculous and they should be kneed in the face. That just reinforces comic-related gender stereotypes. People like that just suck. As for why some guys see women as objects rather than as equal people, it's probably just an issue of how they were raised. If they were brought up in a household with a submissive mother and overbearing father, then that's likely to come out in them. I'm not justifying it; I think they should be punched in the throat, that's just one explanation for the ignorant behavior.

Lazy: Have you considered the man may just see himself as some kind of comic authority and talks down to everyone?. Personally I don’t split comic fans by gender it doesn’t both me what sex you are if you want to talk comics I am game. Unless it’s a fine women, I am not made of stone.

Oh, it was more than just one guy. It happened quite a lot as well. As if somehow my chest disabled my brain & therefore my ability to read or understand comics. Sad, but true.

Lazy: The irony is I have seen many a man lose their brain functions as a result of a woman’s chest. I myself may have been guilty too.

Tro: Here is how I view the general stereotype of female readers, they are mainly into manga, or if they are into comics then they are usually only into Batman genre or Wonder Woman. And it is something that some men who share the same idea carry. But since working in a comic store, I tend to see more women head to either the manga section or to the Batman section. It’s usually with a boyfriend around that occasionally they will head down looking for the newest issue of the Walking Dead.

Though that is my view, it does not make it correct but it’s what I’ve seen based on observation. And when you hang around with a bunch of guys and the guys are talking about comics when a good 75% of women generally laugh at the idea of a guy reading comics, its hard to take a woman serious about the genre.

Q8: Tro raises an interesting point. Manga is often seen as more for girls, yet it was some guy friends of mine that introduced me to manga. Why do you think there's a gender divide in manga & US comic books?

SC: I think Manga has less of a stigma, plus there is a strong connection between Manga and Anime, and that the way the work is creatively handled. It actually sort of reminds me of Chris Claremont. I have always had the idea back by some reading and research, that his Uncanny run had a very good gender balance as far as fans (as compared to a lot of other comics) I know he had some pretty popular and interesting female characters in his books, but I am also conscious of how long he spent on the book. The themes he wrote about as well plus the consistency with characters and longer drawn out sub plots. Things I associate more with Manga now than comics really. Which is more about new, never seen before, things will never be the same, new creator artist yadda yadda...

Macho Macho Man! I Wanna Be A Macho Man!
Macho Macho Man! I Wanna Be A Macho Man!

BB: Cause manga characters are soo cuuute. And women like cute things while men like manly things. Like Conan the Barbarian, Randy "Macho Man" Savage and beer. Am I right? Eh?

SC: Eeehhh!!! *raises beer brewed by Conan himself*

Tro: I agree with BB the pictures do seem cute and the characters are melodramatic and over the top, which is probably why I don't read manga.

Anime to manga is interesting I think their was more of a surge in the series based on things like Dragonball, DB Z & GT that made people want to read the source material and from their people have been reading other books as much of the other stories have almost the same character arch types that they liked in the previous series.

Fade: That's an interesting one, my sister prefers anime to US comics, while I prefer US comics to manga/anime (except for Evangelion, which is humanity's greatest accomplishment). I'm not really sure what it is, perhaps it's the sheer wealth of manga titles, there's really something for everyone. US Comics don't tend to have a dedicated Shoujo-esque demographic, and they try to be more all-encompassing, which can lead some readers (male and female) to lose interest.

Wonder Woman, for instance, is probably "the" female title in comics, but it still tries to draw male audiences in just as much. I'm not saying that males and females have to read gender-specific comics, it's just easier to get into a medium when some titles are more geared toward your gender.

Zaraki Kenpachi & Yachiru: Bringing Cuteness To Shounen Manga
Zaraki Kenpachi & Yachiru: Bringing Cuteness To Shounen Manga

Lazy: I only own one manga and that’ because it’s Ghostbusters and I love Ghostbusters. Out of the people I know who read mangas though the greater percentage is women with a few Asian mates and one massive Naruto fan I know being the exception. In my case the ‘women read manga mantra’ is true but I gather on a worldwide scale I am probably wrong. One of the main reasons my friend said she reads manga is because she’s tired of the western busty beauty hero model which is so common, where as the manga market seems to have more range in female characters.

Tro: I figured I had manga/anime industry pegged, because I never found any of the characters interesting at all. At the same time there are many unique and interesting stories. While it is the same in comics as well as manga that who ever is writing will try to impose their ideas onto the universe. I figured in the past why there was more female manga/anime supporters was due to the fact that everything coming out of Japan was emotional with throwing their culture splashed on everything else. That and many of the male character designs look more feminine anyways. Manga will never be something I can stomach getting into.

Like Fruits Basket, Strawberries 100%, boys who buy flowers....there is many romantic/humor series in manga and though comfortable with my sexuality it makes me feel like my libido is going to fall off.

It’s about time someone introduced Tro to some Seinen manga, instead of all that girlie Shoujo manga ;)

Q9: So it seems that there are different stereotypes within the comic book reading community. Do you think there's a hierarchy of fans, or of the genres that they like? For instance, would you look down on someone if they bought Archie comics, or if they were into newspaper comic strips?

BB: I would not look down someone if they read Archie or newspaper comic strips. Then I again I read newspaper comic strips...

SC: I think there is a hierarchy. I am just not sure who is where and why. Oh the Archie fans though eh... yeah... my grandfather on my Father’s side invented a saying... if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all... coincidentally he was an Archie fan. Probably, I didn't actually know him. LOL I don't know that indy fans tend to be pretty tight knit community. I think Marvel and DC fans probably don't really care too much for Newspaper comics as far as quality comparisons, then there are the Graphic Novel folk... I like to hope fans are generally pretty open minded though.

You're No Less Of A Man For Liking Kevin Keller
You're No Less Of A Man For Liking Kevin Keller

Lazy: I wouldn’t look down on them, I wouldn’t have much to say to people who liked comics I don’t since there’s no common ground in terms of overlapping material. Let me set the scen:. I’m in a pub with some friends when a friend-of-a-friend sits down and they say they’re into comics also. I would say “so what are you reading?”. They would say something I have never heard of or not interested in. As a man who is used to having to make small talk would still question and talk about it with no interest in finding out about said subject. I would just drink my beer and keep chatting in a nice way. I sound evil now don’t I?

Tro: First off I am reading Archie married life and started reading that Kevin Keller story, a gay man in Riverdale just blew my mind. I would not say there is a hierarchy of comic book readers, but if I had to say there was I could give you a list. But when you are around comics and manga all the time you tend not to look down on anything EXCEPT, when people buy only trade paperbacks or hardcovers of a series they deliberately skipped only because they prefer to have it in a trade. I tend to look down people who do that only cause if you do not support the individual issues you would not have the trades.

Fade: I'll probably be unpopular for this, but I think there is a hierarchy. Archie Comics are different; they're fun, that's all they are. They don't pretend to be high art, and the fans don't think they're literary geniuses.

It's when people claim to appreciate the medium as a literary art form, and support comics that are, frankly, terrible that it annoys me. If you think you subscribe only to intelligent comics, but have never read a Vertigo comic then you're wrong! And you're beneath other readers.

I'm a little bit elitist on this, for instance, I think if you like Siege, you're wrong. Sure, it's a matter of opinion, but your opinion is wrong. The series was terrible, as everything by Bendis is (aside from Ultimate Spider-Man Vol 1 and Daredevil), and acted as a form of geneticist propaganda. If you have a mental illness you should die, was the central message of Siege.

Basically; the Hierarchy is such;

  • Vertigo.
  • Everything else.
  • Most event titles.
  • Random scrawlings by drunk Hobo.
  • Siege

Uh oh! Fade’s back on the Bandis warpath… Quick, change the topic! What about an old favourite of mine… Garfield?

Garfield, One Of The Guys?
Garfield, One Of The Guys?

Tro: Newspaper strips are still awesome. Garfield and I share 1 think in common. We love lasagna and we hate Mondays. Okay we share 2 things in common, we hate Mondays, we love lasagna and we like to lay around. Okay we have 3 things in common....

SC: Oohhh do you like ‘Garfield without Garfield’? LOL Awesome webcomic...

Tro: Have not read it. There are so many webcomics that I follow. Looking for Group, still trying to finish 8-Bit theatre, and a few others I can't remember on the fly.

I always got the impression that he was sneered at by fans. Anyway…

Q10: What about genres of comics that are aimed at other target audiences? Are children's titles (like Fraggle Rock or Power Pack) and comics made for women (such as Pride & Prejudice and Models, Inc.) accessible to male readers?

Fade: I used to watch the OC when I was younger, and I was criticized hugely for that (called "bitch", "faggot", etc..), because it was largely a female-orientated show, but I didn't care, I like it. And I think that's the same for anything. If you like something, it doesn't matter who it was aimed at, or originally created for, embrace it, and screw everyone else.

Tiny Titans & The Archies Aren't Too Cute For Guys To Be Seen Reading
Tiny Titans & The Archies Aren't Too Cute For Guys To Be Seen Reading

Tro: Well I can tell you that right off the bat I am not going to read a series about teenage girls who play tennis in a private high school. Though there are series that are specifically to target people. I can easily get into a series that is catered to kids(ie: Tiny Titans and Super Hero Squad, but anything that is specifically geared towards what would almost be considered Teen Female audience that is where I draw the line. if I were to sit through a genre like that I would have to offset my masculinity by drinking alcohol and eating red meat to the point of total body shut down.

Marvel’s 15 Love is a prime example of teen female genre type of series. While at the same time, I can read a series by Gail Simone where she works with Birds Of Prey, because she takes that genre very seriously but makes the adult female characters real in a sense.

Lazy: I love the Muppets so I wouldn’t look down on that really.

As for Jane Austin comics stuff if somebody tired to get me to read that I would tell them I would rather burn it. In terms of accessibility I would say some people will enjoy it but I am not looking for that kind of reading in books or comics it has zero appeal to me. Mr Darcy etc can bite me, my mum loves period dramas and I have had enough to stomach for a lifetime.

SC: I tend to think almost all comics are somewhat designed to be for men, even if it’s purely on a marketing level. Their might be an emphasis on the creative team, or awards of caliber of work, or just you know, an appealing cover or the inclusion of certain characters, plus I think that there are so many guy readers that there will be a sort of assumption some will pick up... anything? Though I do think your examples X-K, would be the best as far as sort of... blurring that gap.

BB: Well, I just checked Models, Inc. on CV and I would not read/buy it...

Q12: In your private lives, do you know any girls who are also comic book readers? If so, do you have similar tastes? Or do you blame your differences on gender?

BB: Never met one.

Tro: If Comic Vine counts as real life then I know quite a few female comic readers. Outside of that I have 2 female friends who read comics but their taste is different from mine as one of them focuses mainly on manga which I don't read, and the other tends to get into series in which movies have come out for certain characters I.E: Iron Man.

SC: I am out of all the people I know in real life, the only big comic fan. So no big comic readers with my female friends, or male friends. I could class them as casual readers though? They hate singles, but like TPB's? Just the way they feel. Plus the way they read, they usually have ends. My female friends tend to like books I like the most. X-Factor, Fables, Secret Six, X-Men: Legacy, Thor by JMS. Elektra is popular. Some of my older Uncanny Essentials. Male friends tend to go for Hulk and Superman TPB's which I only tend to get if my library is selling them, for cheap (I already buy Hulk in singles)

Is The Evil Dead Too Gory For Girls?
Is The Evil Dead Too Gory For Girls?

I blame... my environment and sports, music, videogames... a lot of my friends are sporty and or prefer other mediums of entertainment. Comics just isn't really that big where I am.

Lazy: I know quite a few (mostly from Uni), we have very similar tastes mostly which is good though as with all friends you’re bound to have confrontations as well. I like Hellraiser and Evil Dead comics, and the majority of my female friends say horror comics are lame. I'm not calling women out as wimps but it seems they don’t enjoy the horror as much as us men who are perhaps a little more blood thirsty and tough.

Fade: My cousin reads comics, and my sister occasionally, but aside from that, I don't know of any females who read them (that I haven't met on CV, of course).

It's a real shame that (as comic book fans) we're mostly isolated in our day-to-day lives.

Q11: So what about character types? Are there types of characters that are cool to like, or the opposite… some who are considered ‘unmanly’ and therefore should be avoided?

For instance, do you think Shatterstar lost any male fans when his sexuality was revealed? It's already been mentioned that Wonder Woman is more of a girl's title, therefore is it unmanly to like the character?

BB: What's unmanly about an Amazonian warrior? She's manlier than Peter Parker. OOOH!

SC: "If you're a man, you don't have to worry about your manliness"

All-Singing, All-Dancing; Shatterstar's A Real Man's Man
All-Singing, All-Dancing; Shatterstar's A Real Man's Man

I tend to view above quote as being applicable to comic characters and manliness as well. Then again, I am not so sure what character could be viewed as unmanly? Ultron being a robot? I wouldn't assume unmanly to mean feminine. I do tend to view Marvel Hercules as one of the most definitive male characters in comics and fiction and well LOL

In the same token, I would hope Shatterstar wouldn't have lost any fans, and I don't know... when I read Shatterstar in X-Force I believed there were hints, but anyone I have ever actually argued about Shatterstar always seemed to avoid that argument citing it wasn't about the gay thing but more about what was being done to continuity and a writers original plan... right... LOL but I didn't see the character change that much. More people's subjective interpretations. (which would sort of mean, he probably lost some)

Woah what? Wonder Woman is a girls title? She's a badass pacifist warrior though? Guys want a goody two shoes or a guy clad in black leather over a badass warrior pacifist? =p

Fade: I've always thought that the "badass" characters are supposed to be more manly; like Batman or Wolverine. Batman is my favourite character ever, and there're a billion reasons for that, but I don't much like Logan at all. I dislike the Hulk, and love Bruce Banner.

I can't really think of any "uncool" characters, except for the Sentry, but that was mainly due to how the character was destroyed, and fans who were unfamiliar with his original design, disliking him.

New & Old Perceptions Of Wonder Woman
New & Old Perceptions Of Wonder Woman

Shatterstar may have lots fans once he was outed, but that's purely based on preconceptions already established by the reader. If you dislike homosexuality, or felt that Shatterstar was only a good character when he interacted with a particular female during what the reader perceived as a romantic interaction, then they're bound to dislike his outing. I never read much with the character in it, though, so I'm not the person to ask.

This is interesting. Wonder Woman is a more female-focused title, but I still love the character. That said, and this was the same problem that occurred with Buffy in the later seasons, (usually, but not always) a male villain can't just be evil; they have to be misogynistic. I just get sick of every male being portrayed as wanting to keep women down, so I stop reading the series. I still love seeing Diana in the JLA though.

Does Northstar's Sexuality Alter The Way Readers Perceive Him?
Does Northstar's Sexuality Alter The Way Readers Perceive Him?

Lazy: I have heard people bad mouthing Northstar and saying he would lose to Quicksilver and I quote "because he’s gay" . I laugh at the stupidity of these people, a deep manly bellowing laugh. As true manly men know there is nothing to fear when it comes to homosexuals. The dude was wearing a fast and the furious t-shirt he didn’t like it when I pointed out the movies star was a homosexual also.,. some people are just d*cks. Northstar is actually quite bad ass disliking a character purely because of their sexual orientation isn’t cool and pretty near sighted in my view. As for Wonder Woman she has a lot of male fans and all that just not for me its not a female thing its just not a character I enjoy.

In terms of character that people love because of a trait it will be all the huge jock types for which there are billions or so it seems.

Tro: Northstar if I remember was the first super hero to come out of the closet, but there will always be stereo types against different characters be it racial, or even orientation. Northstar is much faster than Quicksilver anyways, he has the ability to travel up to the speed of light.

Lazy: Yeah he’s both way faster and has other abilities , just thought it was epically stupid that Northstar couldn’t win in that guys opinion because he wasn’t straight.

This is turning into something for the Battles Forum…!

Tro: Eghh! Trying to pick out the ideal man its like asking a heterosexual man to pick out a man who you think is sexy; it’s just so damn hard to do. But what I can do is give you a personal list of who I think are cool men and who are best examples of what I think a man is.

  1. Red Hulk
  2. Dick Grayson
  3. Booster Gold
  4. Blue Beetle
  5. Butcher Baker
  6. He-Man
  7. Steve Rogers

Each of these men are different but each of them represent in what it means to be a man, but commonality is Immaturity and Convictions in which they live by. While there is Superman but he was a character I was never into.

SC: Oh lists, eh Trodorne?

Batman: The Ultimate Man In comic Books?
Batman: The Ultimate Man In comic Books?

Uhm, okay, how is this, for me, its Hercules, Batman, Madrox, Rictor, Ares, Thanos, Hulk, Wolverine, Spider Jerusalem, Sandman (Dream)

So angry, repressed, distraught, violent, confused, childlike, heavy lifting, passionate, loyal, pretentious, hairy, crazed, quiet. Men. (LOL)

Tro: Batman? Bruce Wayne is not a man anymore than just a Chuck Norris-esque character who much like superman can not be defeated in any way shape or form unless it’s about him taking care of his own family... which he can't. Jason Todd anyone?

Q13: So, what would you recommend as your all-time favourite comic to introduce a new reader and help break down the wrong stereotype of nerdy fanboys?

SC: Ahh, that question is so scary. I don't want to drive fans away or perpetuate the stereotype. Let me see, assuming they can pick up a few TPB's at once: Marvel's X-Factor or DC's Secret Six, maybe The Unwritten, or Pride of Baghdad. Sandman traditionally does a good job, John Constantine/Hellblazer. Current ongoing series; I am fond of Journey into Mystery...

BB: Swamp Thing, The Walking Dead, Preacher...

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (And Women) : Breaking Down Geeky Stereotypes
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (And Women) : Breaking Down Geeky Stereotypes

SC: Really given how bad some comics have been, alcohol should encourage people to comics, oh wait... did I get that round the wrong way?? LOL

Lazy: League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen for the elder people since it combines classic literature characters in an interesting way and has a great theme throughout the series of making the team fit the age it’s set in. As for a series, I would say Uncanny X-Force since it has a little big of everything and its been very solid in terms of quality so far as a series. I think both types break the nerdy image since LOEG has the ties to the classics war of the worlds, Jekyll and Hyde etc. X-Force has violence, group conflict, bits of science fiction, story depth and even the odd romance chucked in. They are both more than just heroes doing heroic things, both have slightly darker aspects and depths which add greatly to them as comics.

Tro: If I had to throw something onto a non comic reader, I would start off with something simple that they might have heard of. Walking Dead trade paperback... even if anything I would send people to the $1 issues and be like here read this. If you don't like it then all you spent was $1, but it’s best to know what your friends are into and suggest a series which is parallel to their interests.

Ah, a nifty financial tactic Tro!

Fade: First I'd ask them what they were interested in, but my recommendations will usually be the same;

Hairy, Muscular, Immortal & Beardy; Is Thor The Ultimate Man?
Hairy, Muscular, Immortal & Beardy; Is Thor The Ultimate Man?

Pick one; read it, love it.

Well, you guys clearly don't match up to the nerd guy stereotypes. Now it's time to go out and spread the word that guys who read comic books are educated bachelors! :)

Lazy: I match the nerdy stereotype and I am proud of it! I am a lazy geek, imagine a thin comic book guy from the Simpsons and your most of the way there. I am off to make tea and shave since I need to do something manly.

BB: This was my longest RT... Farewell.

Tro: This is Trodorne saying : SMURFS ARE INSECTS, NOT MAMMALS! And to everyone else have a good week, and read if you can.

Fade: Fare thee well, Comic Vine, hopefully I haven't enraged you too much.

SC: This was a mantastic RT, thanks to my fellow men Billy, Lazy, Fade and Trodorne (and any latecomers..)

Though of course thank you xerox-kitty for bringing an air of class for this RT.

Thank you to readers for reading a long too and I would like to say bye and leave the following quotes:.

"It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple: one must be a woman manly, or a man womanly"
- Virginia Woolf
"To be meek, patient, tactful, modest, honorable, brave, is not to be either manly or womanly; it is to be humane"
- Jane Harrison


"Why define yourself as a man or woman when you can be human."
- Edgar MacTavish

Well, it’s been fun boys. I am now going to get my "I survived an All-Guys RT" T-Shirt now!


CV's Roundtable User Discussion 019 - Spotlight: Captain America

Hello, and welcome to another user Roundtable discussion. This is a concept brought to Comic Vine by the genius mind of sora_thekey, who thought it would be a good idea to stir up conversation. This is the 18 such Roundtable discussion, so it’s fair to say that sora is a genius! And if you wish to catch upon any of the older discussions, then please click here.

No Caption Provided

I'm xerox-kitty (still standing in for sora_the key) and welcome to another of Comic Vine's innovative Roundtable user discussions! Any new-comers, please feel welcome to comment below, whether you agree with us or not. After all, the whole point of this is to drum up discussion ;)

Today I'm joined by experienced Roundtablers; Emperor Gonzo Noir (Emp), SC (SC ;) & RazzaTazz (Razza)! How are you all today?

Emp: I'm Emp Gonzo and when I throw my mighty shield it comes back because of magnetic fields... or something like that ;P

SC: Hi, I am SC and I am good thank you xerox-kitty! I hope everyone else is good too!

Razza: I am good, the heat and humidity sitting over top of most of North America won't get me down.

Wonderful! But now I'm worried about Emp's secret identity!

As per usual, we'll start with what good comics you've read recently?

Emp: Another week of no new comics for me. I have been re-reading James Robinson's Starman series. Why? Because it's damn awesome.

SC: Oh, hmm, I read a bunch of Fear Itself and Flashpoint tie ins. I just literally finished reading the Wonder Woman tie in, I brought Footnotes in Gaza and was going to try and start that tonight. Also caught up on Lil Depressed Boy which is a indie title. Oh, and can't wait to read Avengers Academy and X-Factor!!!!!!! All those were pretty good (or will be good)

Razza: Well I recently finished my big project to read and review every single issue of Wonder Woman going back to the 1940s, and I finished off with some of the best issues at the end of volume 2. Also since then I have been a bit of a free agent, but I latched onto the Stark Resilient story arc (Iron Man) and the For Tomorrow story arc (Superman). Also read a cute issue of Archie and Friends yesterday, where the gang goes to a comic book convention.

SC: That was amazing accomplishment RazzaTazz! Have DC sent you your free T-Shirt yet?

Razza: Free t-shirt? You mean free Wonder Woman costume!

Captain America In The Spotlight
Captain America In The Spotlight

A mighty accomplishment RazzaTazz! You truly are our #1 Wonder Woman expert!

So for this Roundtable we're going to focus on one character. With the movie about to come out we'll be talking about the "First Avenger". You know who, right?

SC: Hank Pym? Or Wasp maybe? She did come up with the name? Iron Man and Thor and Hulk already had movies... so First Avenger? Has to be Pym or Wasp... has to be...

Razza: Yes I recognize it, I think both Emp and I were on that one. The Caped Crusader?

Emp: Captain America: Proving steroids and sweet magical science rays are the answer to all of life's problems since 1941.

First Cap/steroid joke of the day. Woot!

Ha ha! You got it! This is the 2nd Roundtable to spotlight a character, and this time it's Captain America. Sorry Razza but I'm going to pick on you... Who is Captain America?

Razza: Steve Rogers, whose military background is portrayed differently at times, but basically signs up for a secret project which turns him into a super soldier. Then goes the pretty typical plot line of Super Soldier fights Nazi, super soldier gets frozen in ice, and then super soldier gets awoken by Norse god. Oh wait, that's not a very typical plot line.

Mmm... Norse Gods. Uh, I mean, great! Do you guys like Cap? What are your thoughts on him?

Defensive To Offensive; The Indestructible Shield
Defensive To Offensive; The Indestructible Shield

Emp: I like Cap well enough. I could probably tell someone uninformed about him quite abit.

Razza: I generally like the genius Marvel scientific genius characters more and tend to not like the government stories and characters as much, but of the few issues of Avengers and CA that I have picked up, I have always liked the character, though maybe not enough to read all the time.

SC: I am impartial to Captain America. Well, I mean, I like him, I think he provides a nice balance to a lot of Marvel's other characters, but there are a lot more characters I like more than him. I am also not fond of aspects of any character that seems to hold a certain exclusivity as far as defining character traits go... with Cap, that's sort of his ability to inspire and lead and be righteous. I mean, that's great, but I think quite a few characters should be allowed to have those traits in high concentration as well. I dislike that most of Marvel's heroes were sitting around on their hands, with Green Goblin in charge that they had to wait until Steve woke up from his death to take charge. Back to appreciating the character? His is nice, tries hard and tries hard to do the right thing, by his friends, and country. Admirable traits!

I see myself as sort of in the middle but more to the pro side of the character. So... like... but not love.

He's not a personal favourite, but I've admired his character many times.

Gumption Powered Hero
Gumption Powered Hero

Let’s talk about his powers. Unlike Superman, Cap can't fly or shoot lasers from his eyes, yet he is still a "super" hero. What is it that makes him so Super?

Razza: Hmm, well I think it is so much more of the man behind the costume than anything else. Of course he is enhanced in so many ways, but it is his very human willpower and ideals which set him apart from others.

Emp: Good old American gumption and a can do/never give up attitude. That and super strength, speed, durability, accuracy, stamina etc, etc. Oh and an "indestructible" shield.

SC: He is like Hulk Hogan, combined with Bruce Lee, combined with Michael Jordan, combined with GI Joe. All amazing real life people. Like a Frankenstein with the American flag wrapped around him. Now, like all those people I mentioned, individually pretty much pushed the limits of what the human body could do (well... kinda) Captain America is super because he is like all of those people (speed, strength, durability, fight skill, toughness, leaping... ability) all packed into one blond dude! Also super inspiring powers and... leadering capabilities...

SC: Oh yes, the shield, that's probably important to mention as well. Its pretty nifty.

So he’s a man above all others! But every man has his weaknesses, and back in the 60's every Marvel hero had a weakness (Thor couldn't be away from Mjolnir for too long, Iron Man had the world's fanciest pacemaker, etc). What weaknesses does the Sentinel of Liberty have?

Emp: He was a man out of time. He couldn't really relate to the world of today. Of course with current versions of Cap, it's far more extreme but still.

But he's been in the present day for approximately 50 years worth of publishing. Doesn't he have any more recent issues that hound him?

Super Muscles, But Not Bulletproof
Super Muscles, But Not Bulletproof

Emp: Nope. That's all I can recall. I think at one point the super soldier serum was failing him.

Razza: I would say he is particularly susceptible to being assassinated. He is essentially just a man, sort of like Batman.

SC: I think Cap's weakness... is that sometimes, he cares too much! He is too inspirational and uhm... okay no, I think possibly his weakness is to find ways to test the character, from a personality point of view. I mean, there is the man out of time aspect, but he is also wearing a flag on his chest, and that sort of by its nature brings in politics and the government and patriotism and symbolism and morality and... of course, there is also the fact he's not particularly a huge physical powerhouse, so I am not sure he needs as big a crux as the other two characters.

Emp: That's so true, SC. He's got that ideal of "Being Captain America" to live up to.

Razza: I’m not so sure if the wearing of the flag on his costume and shield is such a burden, it never seemed to bother golden and silver age Wonder Woman.

SC: Computers! Myspace and Facebook. That's his real weakness. Cap can't even use a Mac. For Odin's sake, someone please teach him to use Twitter!

Color TV freaks him out as well I would guess.

I doubt he could see his own movie. Would be too real so to speak. It’s a good thing it’s not in 3-D... those are big weaknesses I forget to mention...

So his powers never let him down, but as a man his mind, heart and moral-compass are what really keep him going. What do you think of the Super Soldier Serum? Was it a handy way of turning a weedy little guy with a heart of gold into a National hero, or with the current anti-drugs awareness, is it out-dated? And... Would you go through the Super Soldier process?

No Caption Provided

Emp: It was a simple way to make a man mountain out of a mouse. It can be misconstrued as "steroids are good" of course. It may not have aged that well but I wouldn't go so far as to call it outdated. I'm might go though the super soldier process as long as I wasn't drawn by Rob Liefeld.

Razza: I do think it is outdated, but more in the campy Frankenstein monster type of science way as opposed to be seen to be promoting steroid use. I do think it was an easy concept at the time because it is sort of an easy solution to a character origin, but still at the time people still believed that it was perfectly ok to just ingest whatever it is that you found in a laboratory petri dish. This is after all how LSD was discovered.

As for using the process on myself? I see myself more as a Black Widow type, so I probably wouldn't go for it.

SC: As for the Super Soldier Serum? I tend to chalk it up to the era that produced Captain America. Less PC times you see. I mean, back then Tobacco was good for your gums and made you live longer! LOL, okay, well just yeah. It was say a bit more grounded than say aliens and fish men, but still essentially distinguished Cap as unique to the character's around him. Plus the idea that you have a character that's all heart and pure of heart but just lacking physically, suddenly not lacking so much physically anymore... serums just would have, I think been viewed with more innocence and less cynicism.

I think, yes, I would probably go though... well it depends? I can be a better person and do better things with it, in my current life. I can't imagine getting it for nothing though, so I'd probably decline, or be cautious... I'd definitely be okay without it as well. Better candidates than me as well for sure. I’d rather see EMP, X-K, or Razzy with it! (if y'all wanted it)

Razza: It is an interesting question, how steroid use is good in heroes (CA and Hourman for instance) but bad in villains (Bane)

Good point! So ultimately it's WHO takes the serum that determines whether they become a hero or a villain :)

Emp: Back then? Nicotine still makes you live **coughs** *Doubles over and hacks up something black* ahem, live longer.

SC is breaking into the world of Black Market Super Soldier Serum dealing! No wonder Cap over-dosed & ended up with large lady lumps! ;)

Well, you guys mentioned MySpace so we'll talk about his Allies. Who have been his closest friends?

Stark Naked
Stark Naked

Razza: Tony Stark, SHIELD and the Carter women

Carter women? Not woman?

Razza: Didn’t he have both Peggy and Sharon at his side?

Ah, I didn't realise that Peggy was a Carter as well as Sharon :)

Razza: Is the aunt of Sharon I think

Emp: Oh Nick Fury, of course! I mean c'mon they're war buddies.

I Wish I Knew How To Quit You!
I Wish I Knew How To Quit You!

SC: Captain America rode a horse with a naked Tony Stark, I'd say that makes them pretty close? At least as far as I like to think I am close with all the naked men I ride on horses with? Or is that just an SC thing?

Bucky, Sharon Carter, Rick Jones, Falcon, Iron Man (off and on Bromance; See Civil War) and Thor seem like the type that would shout him a beer and send him a Birthday card? Am I forgetting anyone... Dum Dum Dugan? Diamondback... maybe... Nick Fury?

Stark naked Stark?? I had NO idea they went Brokeback Marvel! I guess that explains why their differences during Civil War were so personal ;)

Brokeback Avengers
Brokeback Avengers

SC: Oops, now I just feel horrible, and like a liar, Iron Man runs away from a dragon naked on a horse and rides a horse naked, then is saved by Steve who helps him find his armor, and then they ride a horse together... not as saucy as I made it seem originally... I think... or maybe not as weird as I made it sound... or both.. lol

Still sounds kinky when you describe it! ;)

Steve & Bucky; Captains Of America
Steve & Bucky; Captains Of America

There's also the other Captain Americas. The most recent was his old WWII buddy, Bucky Barnes! When we talk of Captain America we always think of Steve Rogers, but what do you think about the other Caps?

Razza: This is another area in which CA is similar to Batman. There have been others, and some have served the role admirably, but to make an analogy, no matter how well Daniel Craig acts as James Bond (or how attractive he looks), James Bond will always be Sean Connery first. Steve Rogers is CA (just like Batman is Bruce)

U.S.Agent Taking Down Villains Single-Handed
U.S.Agent Taking Down Villains Single-Handed

Emp: I thought Bucky Cap was great. Shame about him being offed like that. I've usually been a fan of the U.S. Agent though, like him more now as the warden of the Raft though.

SC: Oh, I am a huge U.S.Agent fan (John Walker) also a huge Bucky fan as well *looks around wondering what we can say here* Oh, andAmerican Dream seems pretty cool as well! I would guess Hayden is a fan? (American Dream is like future Cap) I am a fan of Isaiah Bradley and his story as well. Is it okay if I prefer most of these characters a bit more than Steve? It’s not that I prefer flawed characters, it’s that writers are much better at conveying flawed characters, at least to me. Only really good writers can write a good Steve Rogers!

Emp: Oh man! I'm ashamed I forgot mention Isaiah Bradley! Or his son Josiah X. Would Patriot count as a Cap or a Bucky?

Rikki Barnes too, I liked her, she had moxie.

It's agreed then, all Captain Americas are good but none as great as Steve Rogers.

Now we'll move on to his enemies. Everyone knows Red Skull is Captain America's Nemesis. Yet it wasn't Red Skull who managed to do the unthinkable; kill Captain America! So how effective is the Red Skull? And what about Cap's other enemies?

Batroc Defeats Captain America With The Power Of Moustache!
Batroc Defeats Captain America With The Power Of Moustache!

SC: I like Batroc, but Red Skull, and MODOK, and Arnim Zola, I never really liked in any real sense... they seemed kinda... nyeh. Oh, love Zemo though! For me, Cap is one of those characters that I am okay with reading him taking on just tons of generic bad guys. As opposed to having an opposing villain. Black and white character equals black and white villains. I mean, you can add a bit of depth to a Magneto or Doom, but Hitler? Nah, he's the bad guy, knock em in the jaw, and then ten goons run in and Cap deals to them. Then again, I am not a huge Cap fan, so maybe the appeal of some of his traditional foes is lost on me.

Emp: Two of my favorite villains Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Baron Helmut Zemo.

Red Skull is one of Cap's more effective foes, he did sorta kill him for 4-5 real world time (like a year in Marvel Time).

Strucker has the honor of being one of his longest surviving foes and Helmut has the honor being the guy behind the siege at Avengers Mansion where all of Cap's wartime memorabilia got trashed, Oh and Jarvis was hospitalized but that's not important.

Of course who could forget his true nemesis, his greatest antagonist the man who very name sends cap in fits (of laughter) Batroc Ze Leaper!

Baron Helmut Zemo Doesn't Need A Red Skull With His Purple Mask
Baron Helmut Zemo Doesn't Need A Red Skull With His Purple Mask

Razza: CA has it easy in a sense, because of his ties to the Second World War he has access to some of history's greatest villains for his antagonists. Red Skull is a pretty mean villain, almost a personification of evil intelligence. The other Captain America villains don't really stand out to me, probably because he is as well known for his time with the Avengers as in his own comic.

Razza touched on the next question; is Cap a better hero as the leader of a team (whether it be the Avengers or Invaders) or is he just as good as a solo hero?

Emp: He's good both ways. Of course he's more effective as a leader of men (and women).

Razza: I think leadership is a hard to define concept. A lot of people assume that leadership takes the form of just yelling at people at getting them to do what they want for you. I think in terms of Captain America though, he has a natural leadership wherein he wouldn't order you to do something, instead you would be scrambling trying to keep up with him charging ahead. That is to say I think Captain America as he is portrayed may be the best leader in all of comic books. So I personally like him more as the leader of a team as opposed to doing stuff on his own.

SC: I read him usually in a team context, and because I like some of his team mates more than him, I usually enjoy those stories more... but not because of Cap. For that reason I could suggest I find him a better solo character. At least to me potentially so. Unless we are just talking Steve Rogers. I have enjoyed his stint in Secret Avengers where he is not Cap. Oh and actually scratch that, I enjoy him in Invaders... better team dynamic I feel. Chemistry! Avengers is tricky, so many different rosters, I am rethinking my answer lol Hmmmn.

Age Of X: Lethal Justice
Age Of X: Lethal Justice

There's a lot of respect for Captain America, from his team-mates and readers alike. But what about the other realities? Do you have any favourite alternate versions of Captain America? Ultimate, Zombieverse, Earth X, 1602, Age of Apocalypse, etc...

SC: Age of X Captain America... lol ;)

The All-American Dream
The All-American Dream

Razza: I guess I don't really know many of them, the only one I read (which is sort of alternate reality) is the previously mentioned American Dream. I do like her though, and it is always interesting to see a male hero reinvented as a female one.

SC: What did you think of the merged Captain America and Superman character RazzaTazz? Maybe he might count too? Wouldn't it be horrible if that character ended up with the Amalgamated Wonder Woman and Storm character... *smile*

Viva Girl Power! ;)

Ultimate Cap, Seeing Red
Ultimate Cap, Seeing Red

Razza: Oh yes the Amalgam stuff, that was all right, but as you pointed out so much of Amalgam was kind of disappointing.

Emp: I like Ultimate Cap quite a bit, he's a bit more morose about the man out of time thing (all his friends are either dead or old) and he's a bit of a jerk too(Not a fan of the french or non-English speaking folks). Though he has bad-assery in spades(fighting super strong aliens Nazis, impaling his evil son on the nose of a fighter jet.).

SC: Oh, Ultimate Cap, reminded me of Nextwave Cap, because I remember Nextwave was a bit fuzzy at some point continuity wise... Nextwave Cap was awesome...

1602... What's The Rest Of Your Phone Number?
1602... What's The Rest Of Your Phone Number?

Personally, I loved 1602's Rohjaz. Long blond hair, protected young Virginia Dare, he loved his country to the very end and the long blonde hair...

Emp: Blond hair, tan skin, shirtless. I know why you like so much, XK. lol

Don't forget the muscles & sense of loyalty... but it's the muscles & hair that really do it for me ;)

So what do you think makes regular Captain America so iconic?

Razza: I think really having the name to tie into and the fact that so many comic readers are American is pretty convenient. Still there is more to the character than just his costume. I think is a sense Captain America sort of represents a link to a time gone by, when people still square danced and when apple pies really were made every Sunday night. He is sort of like a representation of the world we think our grandparents lived in, even if it is not always entirely accurate. With that connection comes a different set of norms and morals which are sometimes seen as traditional. I think this all appeals to people in a certain way.

Pow! Right In The Kisser!
Pow! Right In The Kisser!

As a non-American I can say at times the American-ness of the character can be overdone. I have read my history and I paid attention in political studies classes. The America which he represents never really did exist, but it is still be fun to read.

SC: I think its a combo of things. RazzaTazz once did a wonderful blog all about Captains once, and how they are so frequent in comics, where other titles are not, I think that itself, combined with America, 'Captain America, his name', his look, his importance to comics as a medium and Marvel as well? The fact he punched Hitler, the fact he was in World War Two, his story of being rediscovered in a block of ice? Its really creates this strong and unique character, plus in a world full of super powered beings, given the right stories moments and writers? The guys who are the basic humans, just at the top? The olympic level type characters who have to rely on courage and heart and a bit of luck (or a indestructible shield) they can stick out by a fair degree, I mean, and it all adds up for a very potent combo.

Oh yes and the wholesomeness of the character. I agree with Razza as far as traditional values. Key part of the character (that can be fun when subverted and played around a bit too lol).

Nomad: Man Without A Fitting Shirt
Nomad: Man Without A Fitting Shirt

Razza: Its all right I write a lot of Wonder (Woman) blogs so I can understand the confusion, thanks for the plug though!

Emp: I think it might have to do with his never say die attitude and his dedication. He stands by his ideals even if it means not being Captain America to do it.

Like during his Nomad period Or at his moral outrage at property damage during Civil War.

Also the whole socking Hitler in the damn face might have something to do with his staying power.

Razza: Nomad looks like he belongs on a dance reality tv show.

SC: So You Think You Can Dance: Superheroes Edition?

Razza: Oh cool idea for fan fic!

It seems that it's his ideals that he represents that make him not just a hero, but an iconic hero.

Has anyone changed their opinion of Cap?

Emp: Nope, still like him, not a favorite but I'm sure he's a nice guy.

I don’t want to write an essay here, have to think about how to condense it

I always have had respect for the character, but I think as a Canadian he offers some interesting comparisons to the real world. The character can be brash and headstrong at times in terms of ideals, but inherently a lot of what he does keeps us safe.

American With International Appeal
American With International Appeal

SC: I used to be a lot more critical of Captain America. Certain characters in comics, I feel aren't written to be inspirational or moral, but instead the characters around them, are written to be idiotic, or flawed, in order to create the perception of the former character being a certain way. Superman, Captain America, and even in recent times, Cyclops, just.. yeah... the righteous and infallible, even when they are wrong, they are actually right type characters. So I was very critical. My view softened after I read a few key stories and now, I like to view Cap as a character carrying that perception as a huge weight on his shoulders, and see the nicer and less judgmental Cap is to other characters, the more I like him, and I have been reading more of that cap in stories and so... so yeah. I like him a lot more. I am sure the movie will help as well.

It's good news for Captain America that most of us non-Americans still find him accessible as a character!

Thanks for helping point the spotlight at the Star Spangled Avenger. But it's time to get out of uniform & back into our civvies.

First Vengeance
First Vengeance

Time to say 'goodbye' :)

Razza: Goodbye everyone, and I am only wondering when the eyes in the sky (the mods) will do a character spotlight on a female comic book character (I have one in mind)

Emp: I'm Emp Gonzo and I look forward to reading SC's Brokeback Mountain inspired Cap/Iron Man slash fic. If only for the lulz.

SC: Thank you for hosting xerox-kitty, and thank you my highly esteemed fellow RT people EMP and Razza! Thank you random people reading this!

Bye! Have fun seeing Cap on the big screen!

And I'm Captain xerox-kitty! Thanks for following us through this journey to discover truth, justice & the art of wearing primary colours in battle!


Flash Saves Little Boy In Real Life

This is a couple of weeks old by now.  It's been ReTweeted into my Twitter feed, and the story is so sweet that I just had to share it with everyone.   
A little boy was separated from his father at a comic con (before SDCC 2011).  Reacting as all little kids do in this situation, he freaked out & burst into tears.  The little lost soul chilled out & calmed down upon seeing his favourite superhero, The Flash!  It seems that he ran up to the DC speedster (and beautiful Justice League colleague Wonder Woman) because he recognised the hero.  
Any jaded 'grown ups' will just see a couple of geeks in costumes.  Personally, I see two really nice cosplayers living up to their chosen roles by helping a little boy.  But in the eyes of this little boy he was saved by real super heroes.  You don't get much sweeter than that!  Kudos to the anonymous Flash & Wonder Woman!    
I can't help but wonder what the guys from the Big Bang Theory would have done if it was them.  Dr Sheldon Cooper-Flash, to the rescue?

Real Life Super Heroes
Real Life Super Heroes

CV Roundtable User Discussion 018 - Continuity

Hello, I'm xerox-kitty (standing in for sora_the key) and welcome to another of Comic Vine's innovative Roundtable user discussions! Any new-comers, please feel welcome to comment below, whether you agree with us or not. After all, the whole point of this is to drum up discussion ;)

No Caption Provided

Today I'm joined by experienced Roundtablers Billy Batson (BB), danhimself (Dan) & Trodorne (Tro) and newcomer FadeToBlackBolt (Fade). How are you all today?

Dan: Hey everybody! I'm danhimself and I'm exhausted.

Tro: Hello again Humans! Trodorne is back for you future domination...Presentation.

BB: Hilo. I'm Billy Batson, Billy, Batson, BB, The Charmless Man or whatever you like to call me and

I'm joining this Moroccan People’s Revolutionary Bowls Club or the RT for short.

Fade: Hey, everyone, FadeToBlackBolt here; Batman nut and comic book cynic.

Okay, here’s the classic first question to every RT: What good comics have you read recently?

Dan: I really enjoyed Red Robin this week and Schism #1 was pretty good as well.

Inhumanly Good Comics
Inhumanly Good Comics

Fade: I have to offer a shout out for FF #5, and speaking as a Black Bolt fan (shocker right? From my name it's a huge surprise) it was a great issue. Black Bolt felt like the absolute powerhouse that he was in the Eisner winning Inhumans Vol 2 by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee. For the record though, the Future Foundation don't appear. Which means no Valeria, wooo!

BB: John Constantine: Reasons To Be Cheerful, The Joker by Azzarello, Tank Girl and maybe something else.

Tro: Out of the 20+ comics been read in the past 2 weeks that is hard to narrow down, but if I had to pick.

Superman: Red Son
Superman: Red Son

BB: oh yeah also Superman: Red Son.

Fade: I also finished Hellblazer: Original Sins quite recently, and that was fantastic. Certainly not for everyone, but let me just say that there is a reason Hellblazer has been going strongly since its inception.

It's also traditional to fire questions at the newbie. So, FadeToBlackBolt... What is Continuity?

Fade: Continuity, in my opinion, is what makes comic books such a unique literary art form. Whereas in a novel or film, you have a finite time to tell a story, the narrative of an average comic has no clear end in sight. So how do comic companies keep track of all the old stories whilst not mentally killing the reader? They bundle everything together under a blanket called Continuity, and anything outside of that blanket isn't important to the key story.

Of course, then you have smart-alecs who write stories that include multiple continuities, further confounding the reader. In a nutshell, Continuity is that fancy term given to a chain of events that occur within a single Universe thus creating a history for said Universe. That is, until someone decides to mess around with it and create a Giant Yellow Fear Bug. Then we're left with a cluster-bomb of no longer relevant characters, actions and events.

Seems clear that there's a lot of meaning behind one word. So is Continuity important to you?

Tro: I find it is very important. To me it gives a sense that this character is my own because I was there when he went through this moment in their comic book life. At the same time it’s good to have that past for future stories like a person who was sent to prison by Spider-Man was actually innocent but was caught at the scene, would want to seek vengeance against the Wall Crawler.

Parallel To Parallax
Parallel To Parallax

Continuity helps readers relate to the character.

Dan: To me it's one of the most important things about comic book story telling. I love stories where there are little hints dropped in here and there, then the writer gathers up those hints at the end to make the story complete. Some good writers can even take things from other writers' arcs that were originally meaningless and turn them into something much bigger.

BB: I agree with the rest of the guys. Keeping up with continuity is good, however if the character hasn't been interesting and the publisher still wants to spend money on that character, they might as well mess the continuity and start over.

Fade: For me, the importance in preserving Continuity is directly related to how well a story is written. To address my earlier example, I think Green Lantern: Rebirth is a terrible comic book, as it was largely used to turn a character who had experienced genuine growth into a ‘Gary Stu’. But the changing of Parallax into a Fear Entity didn't bug me (pun victory), it was the fact Hal's slate was wiped clean entirely, as such, the disruption of Continuity here greatly displeased me.

Torn Over Cyclops?
Torn Over Cyclops?

However, in a comic like Astonishing X-Men: Torn where Cyclops' inability to control his optic blasts is a result of psychological problems rather than a hit to the head, the arc was so well told that I honestly didn't care that my favourite Marvel character's Continuity was altered to accommodate the story.

So basically, the amount Continuity matters to me is dependent on how it is used (or abused).

There are some titles that thrive on "established Continuity". What do you think about titles that are set "out of Continuity" like What If...?, X-Men: Forever or Exiles? Are these any more or less accessible to new readers?

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Kingdom Come

Fade: I like titles that are out of continuity, like Kingdom Come or the Dark Knight Returns, but I hate series like What If? purely because they're sometimes better than the series proper, and then I just wind up mad :P

As for new readers, they're standalone stories, so they're much easier for the casual reader to pick up and enjoy. There's a reason Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth has sold so many copies; it's an iconic Batman story that stands completely on its own.

BB: What if stories? I think they're great for new readers (and for old ones) to stumble upon and explore different and new characters.

Exiles In Exile
Exiles In Exile

What If...? was one of the first comics I ever bought. It was a rare issue, because it had a happy ending ;)

Tro: What If...? series was my favorite for out of continuity series. but if anything I don't read a series out of continuity more just read stories like Superman: Red Son where its separate worlds from the existing one. Cause I don't want to spend money on a new series of the same character in the same world with just another version of storytelling about him.

Dan: What If...? had some great books but for me they always ended up the same. Most of the characters ended up dead and everyone was in worse shape than the way the story originally happened. Now Exiles I loved. It was so cool seeing my favorite characters with new origins and powers. Exiles was like one big on-going What If...? series. It was awesome as long as Claremont wasn't writing it.

Tro: That’s because much of the What If...? issues were mainly used to justify the story lines the writers did at the time.

What about when a writer makes a mistake that goes against established Continuity? Do you try to compensate for the changes by creating a logic of your own? Or is it too jarring to accept?

For instance, when Robbie Baldwin was transformed from Speedball into Penance, there were huge changes in his character. As Penance he started self-harming & was emotionally disturbed, but changed into a devious schemer who’d carefully plotted his revenge against Nitro, and later became a drooling pawn at the hands of Norman Osborn. I found it difficult to deal with those kinds of inconsistent changes.

Beastly Behaviour
Beastly Behaviour

Dan: If it's just a minor mistake then I'll chalk it up to the "nobody is perfect" rule. But if it's something big then it'll upset me. Like when Felicia Henderson gave Beast Boy powers he never had before and gave no explanation on these powers. One issue Beast Boy can only turn into regular animals and the next he's turning into dragons and phoenixes then he's back to his normal power set once Henderson left the book. An editor should have caught that and said something to her like "maybe you should do some research".

Fade: That's an interesting point, and again, I'm going to be swayed by how good a story is. If a writer makes a genuine error, and it's of no real consequence (a name mistake, rearranging events, etc...), then I don't really mind.

Sentry Under Siege
Sentry Under Siege

HOWEVER, when a writer deliberately ignores a character's history just to make their own terrible story seem more interesting, especially at the expense of that character's core design, then I am mad. Siege is the worst comic book ever written and one of the key reasons for that is that it completely ignored the Sentry's prior characterisation. It was consistent with his portrayal in Dark Avengers, but that too was out of character. He was greatly weakened, his relationship with the Void was changed without explanation, and the message of the character was erased in order to give the Marvel Universe a scapegoat for all the terrible things that have happened since Civil War.

So that's my take on writers and their mistakes; little errors are fine, desecration of character and history are not.

Tro: Too me I thought him becoming Penance because of the damage he thought he did made sense, it was an evolution of the character that at some point would have to come. But in the end he overcame his problem and his brooding eventually. Robbie dealt with his failure much like quite a few of us have but took it to literal terms. We beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. And when he learned to forgive himself (mostly) he came back as Speedball.

And in the case of Norman Osborn, the man knows how to manipulate people. And in that context I try to make sense to an extent only if it follows characteristics of that character. But when it is totally way off base (One More Day), then that is when I get upset.

Cold & Vindictive; One Inconsistent Incarnation of Penance
Cold & Vindictive; One Inconsistent Incarnation of Penance

Dan: Or you could let it slide depending on the character. Like if a character has history of mental illness then when they say or do something that's slightly out of character it could always be attributed to the mental illness. With XK's Robbie Baldwin example above I could brush that off and just say the guy was going through a hard time and his mind was having difficulty dealing with it so there were some moments of character breakdown.

BB: If the writer messes up but the story is still good, I don't mind.

Fade: And with regard to Robbie Baldwin, as a depressed guy who has self-mutilated, I LOVED the sombre and broody Penance, and was disappointed to see him go back to his more jovial Speedball personality (and yes, I know he still cuts).

Norman Osborn manipulating him was just garbage, as is pretty much everything to do with Norman Osborn since the night Gwen Stacy died.

I like the way that Christos Gage hasn't completely reverted back to the happy, joking Speedball & that he's accepted Penance as part of Baldwin's character now. But at the time, Penance really was a pretty inconsistent character.

Okay, Trodorne mentioned One More Day. With someone like Spider-Man there's so much Continuity that it can be hard to follow. Over the last 50 years he’s featured in 3 or 4 regular solo on-going titles, and now appearing regularly in other team books (ie FF & New Avengers), it can be hard to keep track of events. How do you keep up with events? Is it difficult to keep a continuous chronology with popular characters such as Spidey & Batman? Is there such a thing as "too much Continuity"?


What’s this “Wikipedia” you speak of? ;)

The Fantastic Avenging Uncanny Spider-Man
The Fantastic Avenging Uncanny Spider-Man

Fade: When I got into reading comics religiously, I was just jumping into Infinite Crisis. Let me tell you, learning about the Multiverse and Crisis On Infinite Earths (COIE) is not something that comes easily! I think I spent probably 90+ hours just reading through every character's biography on Wikipedia and CV. I didn't buy COIE until I knew everything that had happened before and after, which is only possible because I don't care about spoilers.

In a nutshell, I think if you're willing to do the work then keeping track of a character/title's history isn't that hard. But it is time-consuming. And when you do come across something/someone you aren't familiar with, just Google it. Honestly, people seem to have forgotten the concept of Googling. The amount of "Where Should I Start" Threads on CV attest to that.

And the Ultimate Universe is another way to go if you simply cannot be bothered with 616. Though obviously you should stop at Ultimatum, since everything from then on is completely terrible.

Dan: There might be but I don't think we've seen an example of it yet. While it may seem like characters such as Spider-man and Wolverine appear in a lot of monthly books what a lot of us forget is that these monthly issue may only be telling the story of an hour or two out of the character's day. Stuff going on in FF may not be happening at the same time as things happening in Amazing Spider-Man or New Avengers or Avengers or Fear Itself: Spider-Man. The example I like to use is that Blackest Night was an 8 issue series and we had to wait 9 months to completely read it but the events of Blackest Night only took place during one night in the DC Universe.

BB: Of course. Characters like Deadpool and Wolverine appear in many books which makes them hard to follow. Even the fans hate overdosing on appearances. Enough is enough...certain characters. Unless it's someone like Batman, it's never too much :p

Madam Web Struggles To Keep Up With Spider-Man's MANY Adventures
Madam Web Struggles To Keep Up With Spider-Man's MANY Adventures

Tro: When it comes to things like Spider-Man I tend to ONLY stay with his main title of Amazing Spider-Man. For something like that it’s not so much the continuity of what they did; it’s the essence of the character that is being played out in Continuity. It does seem like a lot, but we also have to look back at comics back 50 years ago. Comics themselves were very episodic in nature and you could go through a story in 1 or 2 issues. Now, a single story in just one comic title lasts like 4 or 6 issues in plus continuity of previous stories being tacked on. And much of the continuity is barely re-used or brought up in any context unless it was a choice of the writer. So in the end the writer is the one who can make all the difference.

Back onto the idea of too much continuity I have to agree, that is what Comic Vine is for, or even the internet. We are given much more resources about comics now than we did back in the 80's or 70's so we don't need to changes like we saw in One More Day that we need to overhaul everything for the sake of a single story.

Personally, I found it flabbergasting that the New Mutants referred back to the Inferno as being only 4 years ago, when the X-Men cross-over took place way back in 1988. Marvel has their amazing 'sliding time rule' to cope with time problems caused by publishing, DC have previously used Crisis on Infinite Earths to consolidate dozens of Continuities into one.

Clearly each publisher has their own way of dealing with Continuity problems. Do you think that excessive Continuity can put off new readers?

Which Conflict Was It Again, Tony?
Which Conflict Was It Again, Tony?

BB: I would say yes but only if the continuity is too long and the character has become too complex/hard to follow for the new reader.

Dan: Yeah it definitely can, especially if you're a ‘completist’ like me. If I hear that a book is good and it's at issue 20 then I have to start at issue 1. Now if there's another volume before the current then I'll need to read that volume before I can start the current. It gets expensive for new readers to get caught up.

You kind of have to applaud DC for their courage when it comes to their reboots. Marvel simply does very light retcons continuously from Tony Stark starting in Korea or Vietnam or Afghanistan. But DC does these huge relaunch events like COIE or Infinite Crisis or the current Flashpoint. I think while DC's method is a little more risky if it fails but it definitely gives new readers a definite starting point where they don't have to read tons of back issues to get caught up.

Tro: I think not. I would bet 90% of new readers don't care about continuity in the first place. I would imagine if they followed a series long enough then they would care about it. When I started off in Amazing Spider-Man back in the late 80's / early 90's I did not care about continuity cause I liked the series as I read it. Only after years of the comic that I wanted to read all those back issues and find out what I’d missed.

Big Bad Daredevil
Big Bad Daredevil

Comics have been a niche, we can't bend over backwards to get new readers. People read because of quality, and it shows there is quality and history for characters when they follow their characteristics or gain new ones. Prime example, in the marvel mini event Shadowland we were given a chance to have Daredevil become a new villain because he crossed the line between good and evil. But they went with the Parallax route in order to bring him back and make him a new and improved character much like Hal Jordan.

Fade: Excessive continuity can certainly be daunting with new readers, but with the introduction of the trade paperback it's not that much of an issue. For example, if you were interested in Grant Morrison's Batman then you need to collect roughly 10 trades, rather than dozens of back issues.

And even then, new readers have so many Continuity-lite options. They have Astonishing X-Men, Batman Confidential, the Ultimate Universe and Earth One. The only problem with these is the little amount of material (Ultimate Universe being the obvious exception).

Really it comes down to what you want out of a comic; do you want a saga dating back decades that's infused with the social and cultural aspects of the time? Or do you want a standalone story that just reflects a character's core design and story as developed by a small group of writers?

Okay, so Continuity can be pretty heavy. When there are problems with Continuity it can lead to another situation... Retroactive Continuity. Also known as The Retcon!

Trodorne since I've already picked on FadeToBlackBolt, tell us what a Retcon is!

Crisis: The Multiverse's Hang-Over Cure
Crisis: The Multiverse's Hang-Over Cure

Tro: Retcon would mean changed continuity in a series. This can vary from changes in past issues, in a series history, or the re-introduction of a character.

DC is famous with their "retcons" being the ssss. Where a big earth shattering event changes the DC universe and fixes some of the past errors and modernizes the character for future writers and stories to work around.

So how do you guys feel about the Retcon? Is it a useful tool for writers, or a bad thing that should only be talked about in hushed tones?

BB: Useful tool. Just like I said if the character/characters has/have been dull and too boring to read, the reboot could be the answer. Jason Todd for example wasn't popular before the reboot but now he's one of DC's popular characters.

Tro: Why I would give up my relationship with my wife to talk about "Retcons".

We're not about to retcon Trodorne's marriage in a deal with Mephisto!

Robin Reborn: Jason Todd Resurrected As Red Hood
Robin Reborn: Jason Todd Resurrected As Red Hood

Dan: I think it depends on how it's used. Just think how hard it is for these writers to come up with an original story that doesn't change or take elements from someone else’s past story. Some of these characters have been around for 70+ years and have appeared in thousands of issues. We need these retcons from time to time. Green Lantern was a B-list character before Geoff Johns came along and started on the series and while he's had to tweak some things to make others work, I don't really mind since it's made Green Lantern into one of DC's A-list and produced some of my favorite stories of the last 5 years.

BB: Oh yes about GL. Just shows that reboots are good.

Tro: To me Retcons can help and do add to the universe. Prime example (no pun intended) after Infinite Crisis when Superboy Prime shattered reality allowing Jason Todd came back as the Red Hood. Jason was an angry kid and turning him into a young Punisher-like character was a great thing to have hanging over Bruce's head. So in a way it does and in others it doesn't.

So what comes to mind when we mention Retcons? Is it a particular character? Or a certain storyline?


I think I have one that comes to the top of my mind.

BB: Infinite Crisis and Jason Todd.

One More Day; Jumping The Shark?
One More Day; Jumping The Shark?

Dan: One More Day was a horribly executed story but at the same time it was completely necessary story. Spider-Man had become stale and Straczynski had backed him into a corner. He tried to add all of these mythological elements to Spider-Man's 100% scientific origin, added new powers and unmasked him. He "jumped the shark" to bring back old new readers and find new readers. None of them worked. So they had to do something drastic to get Petey out of that corner. Like I said the story was horrible and they could have chosen a much better method of reversing Straczyski's run, but the story was necessary to keep the character alive.

Tro: *foams at the mouth and twitches all over in sheer anger*

What Dan said.....

BB: Scratch that. Misread. One More Day comes to mind :)

Fade: OMD gave us current Amazing Spidey, which is Marvel's best series. While Flash Rebirth gave us Flashpoint, and GL: Rebirth gave us GL: V4. All of which were terrible, Flash: Rebirth being an affront to the human race.

Will Anyone Miss The Franken-Castle?
Will Anyone Miss The Franken-Castle?

Personally, I always think of Jean Grey as Dark Phoenix. Resurrection has got to be a major retcon that has come to be accepted in comic books. But when I think of 'Franken-Castle' or Gambit as Death the Horseman of Apocalypse I’m glad they didn’t remain like that forever.

It's fairly obvious that you can think of lots of BAD Retcons... but can you come up with any examples of a GOOD Retcon?

Fade: Good Retcons:

  • Clark and Lex being friends in their youth
  • The first Sentry series
  • Everything Grant Morrison has ever retconned
  • Punisher acting as an agent of Heaven stuff being forgotten. Geez that sucked.
  • Everything in Birthright
  • Catwoman NOT being a prostitute
  • Damian Wayne being alive and Son of the Demon being in Continuity
  • Hal as Spectre bringing Oliver Queen back to life
  • Returning the Multiverse
  • Final Crisis ignoring Countdown to Final Crisis
Good Kitty! Catwoman's History Was Retconned Out Of Prostitution
Good Kitty! Catwoman's History Was Retconned Out Of Prostitution

BB: Don't really care if she was a prostitute or not.

Dan: FadeToBlackBolt will disagree but that's ok. I'm going with Green Lantern volume 4. I've read all of the previous Green Lantern series before this and none of the compare to the quality of volume 4.


  • Jason Todd coming back as the Red Hood
  • Pulling the Smallville thing and having Lex and clark friends when they were kids.
  • Bring back Oliver Queen
  • Making Sinestro a bad ass rather than a campy villain.

Fade: Danhimself is dead to me =P

Oh! I know I've said that everything Morrison's done is great, but I want to give a shout out to Secondary Mutations; awesome retcon.

You generally like a lot more DC Retcons than Marvel! Okay, so we're drawing to a close. But before we go, if you were in charge what character or event in comic book history would you Retcon?


Since Joe was so hell bent on getting rid of Mary Jane as his wife. I would have killed her after or during Civil War and find out she was a Skrull, bring her back at the end of Secret Invasion and have her become distant like Mockingbird was with Hawkeye. THERE YOU GO JOE! It was that simple.

Back For Good; Should MJ Have Been Replaced Like Mockingbird Was?
Back For Good; Should MJ Have Been Replaced Like Mockingbird Was?

BB: If I was in charge with Swamp Thing, I would do as DC and retcon him. The series in the past decade didn't do any good to him (though I haven't read that series :p ) So I see that the retconing (is that even a word?) is the right solution.

Dan: I don't know if would retcon anything because right now off the top of my head the only stories that I can think of that I really didn't like were OMD and Ultimatum...but I can't really think of anything better other than maybe Pete and MJ just flat out getting a divorce.

Fade: I'd retcon everything that's happened in the Avengers franchise since Civil War (with the exception of Dan Slott's Mighty Avengers), kill Hope and erase the mess that is Utopia from existence. Repower about 100,000 random mutants, including "new" ones.

Age Valeria to about 15, and Franklin to around 19. I hate a three-year old being smarter than Reed, and a six year old being able to stomp Galactus >_<

Retcon the Hell out of Siege, and have an enraged Thor murder Norman Osborn. Make the death scene go for roughly ten pages, because I really hate Norman Osborn.

As for the Sentry; everything that's happening in my ongoing fan-fic (shameless plug time); Sentry: From the Ashes =D

Okay, it's time to Retcon ourselves out of this Roundtable!

Fade: Thanks for reading my inane rantings, Comicvine! And thank you for the invite, X-K. FadeToBlackBolt bids you all farewell.

BB: Bye and remember: "Don't go over the edge..."


Tro: This is Trodorne signing off, remember to treat each other with dignity and res.....SQUIRREL!

I would have been sora_thekey, but I was Retconned into xerox-kitty! But for the sake of Continuity I’ll be back again for the next Roundtable. Thanks for all your input & I’ll see you again soon!


CV Roundtable User Discussion 017 - Comic Book Solicits: Sept 11

Welcome to Comic Vine's "Roundtable User Discussion"! What is a Roundtable User Discussion? A group of CV users, like yourself, virtually met up to talk comic books and comic-related topics. That conversation has been posted here for you guys to see, read and enjoy. After you read our conversation be sure to comment below where you can submit your own opinions after reading ours. This is our seventeenth discussion so be sure to go back and read our past conversations (Here).

No Caption Provided

Hello and welcome to another Roundtable discussion. As you've noticed, I'm not sora_thekey! The gorgeous Geo has abandoned us (temporarily) to go to Cons & venture out into the Real World! So I'm his jealous stand-in for the time being.

We love to share our conversations with everyone on Comic Vine, so please feel free to post comments. Even if you don't agree, we want to encourage discussion :D

So for today's Roundtable I'm joined by RT veterans The Dark Huntress (DH), Emperor Gonzo Noir (Emp), and newcomer Pizawle (Piz)! Please say 'hi'!

Emp: I'm the ever popular Emp Gonzo. I have silver feet and golden fingers.

DH: I'm DH and I find myself slightly jealous of Emp's silver feet and golden fingers...

Piz: This is Pizawle on his first RT. Excite!

Welcome to your first official RT, Piz! Today's discussion is about the September solicitations; the snippets of info & sexy covers that the publishers release a few months before the issues are released to drum up interest. Except this time we'll exclude the DC solicits, as they were covered in a previous Roundtable discussion (for the launch of the new 52 titles).

But before we get started... What good comics have you been reading, lately?

No Caption Provided

Emp: I unfortunately haven't read anything new in the last few weeks. But I did re-read the awesome Space Ghost mini that Joe Kelly did awhile back. Man oh man I wish this had gotten an ongoing series.

DH: I went on a little excursion to the comic shop the other day and got a nice bunch of comics, new issues as well as one dollar back issues. Picked up the first issue of Nemesis, New Ultimates and Ultimate Avengers, which I read last night. Picked up Fear Itself #1, X-Men Legacy #251, Prelude to Schism 3 and 4, Uncanny X-Men 539 and the Wonder Woman and Lois Lane tie-ins to Flashpoint. I plan on reading those this afternoon.

Piz: Recently read The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel. Really raw storytelling. I dug it, though it may be too much for some. Was especially fascinated by how Ames handles dialogue, having characters say exactly what they mean instead of what they are saying. Basically, they speak in emotion.

Plus, all the weekly joints. Shout out to Witch Doctor, the first title from Kirkman's new imprint, Skybound. Really liked that this past week.

Wow, you put me to shame with my usual heavy doses of X-Genes! Although, I've been devouring my way through The Unwritten & my Post Man broke his back carrying a tonne of War of Kings to my front door.

So on with the show! Lets start with Image!


The Bad

Exploding Cyber Breasts Courtesy Of Bomb Queen VII: Queen's World #2
Exploding Cyber Breasts Courtesy Of Bomb Queen VII: Queen's World #2

First off, let’s focus on the worst of the batch. What don’t you like the look of?

Emp: The bad? Bomb Queen. That is all.

You don't like exploding cyber breasts? ;)

Emp: I grew out of that fetish in junior high. lol. ;)

DH: Dammit, Emp. Stole my answer.

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Emp: It's okay, we can both hate Bomb Queen together! Haters United.

Piz: Don't want to be THAT guy but The Big Lie seems in bad taste to me.

And Top Cow's shipping schedules have always been awful so them soliciting a bimonthly, at best, Artifacts #13, when there are four more issues before then in two months, is laughable. But not AS laughable as 'Magdalena, Back Monthly', when it never was and they will not stick to it. Especially with Marz, writing two other books come September.

But don't get me wrong! When they DO release, Top Cow is top dog. (Sorry)

The Big Lie seems like strange material for a comic book... and an odd way to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. I guess we'll have to wait & see if it's a really a diamond in the rough.

The Meh

So now we’ll turn to the middle of the road titles. What looks distinctively mediocre to you?

DH: The Spawn stuff looks meh to me. I was never a huge fan, so it just doesn't really hold my interest. Same goes for the Teen Wolf book O_o

Emp: I'm going to say the new Avengelyne series.

Happy Birthday Sara Pezzini! Witchblade #150
Happy Birthday Sara Pezzini! Witchblade #150

The artist Owen Gieni has really caught my eye, but it is still being written By Rob Liefeld who wrote the original Avengelene so that kinda turns me off.

Piz: The meh for me is the two new on-goings, Near Death and PIGS. Just seem like two generic stories, compared to what Image usually puts out. Though Ben McCool might be enough for me to check PIGS out.

Ah shame, I'm really excited about PIGS (Although I wonder why McCool's titles are always written in CAPSLOCK ;)

danhimself will shoot me, but Walking Dead leaves me feeling a bit 'meh'. I'm sure it's very good... but I just can't get into zombies. Post-apocalyptic living dead are just less sparkly than vampires to me.

In September Witchblade turns 150, and there are a couple of new titles being launched. It looks like an enticing month for Image...

The Good

So what's caught your eye? Which titles interest you?

Regular As Fibre For Breakfast - Morning Glories #13
Regular As Fibre For Breakfast - Morning Glories #13

Emp: I'm interested in Moriarty vol.1, I recall hearing good things about it. I really like the idea that in a world without Sherlock Holmes that Moriarty is the hero. It's like if Superman never showed up and Lex Luthor was out stopping crime.

Piz: I’m glad Morning Glories is returning to normal storytelling. The character issues have been a momentum killer.

Sad to see The Witch Doctor will already be ending. Hopefully, it gets upped to an ongoing.

DH: I'm not overly familiar with Image at all, but I have been planning on getting into Invincible, Witchblade and Darkness through trades and I do occasionally pick up a single issue in store every now and then.

I'll warn you now, DH. Jackie Estacado will question your loyalties to Beardy Thor ;) I haven't read Witchblade or Darkness in years. The first few years were absolutely amazing, but I lost track since then. But the art has always been stunning! I'm amazed that Witchblade has reached a landmark issue already, where does the time go? Top Cow certainly seem to steal the show.

DH: :O Blasphemy XK! Although I will admit I've always had a thing for the bad boys ;) I'm definitely a huge fan of both Choi and Sejic, so I'm kind of surprised at myself for not having really gotten into it earlier.

Personally, I'm keen on PIGS. The cover art looks striking, Nate Cosby is so funny on Twitter and Ben McCool is just plain F-ed up (read CHOKER for proof) so I can't wait to see what they can come up with together!

Let's move on to the two publishers who seem hellbent on scooping as many TV & movie properties; Dark Horse & IDW.

Dark Horse & IDW

The Bad

What looks like four-colour toilet paper to you?

Nearly 20 Years After The First Movie - Classic Jurassic Park, Vol. 3: Amazon Adventure
Nearly 20 Years After The First Movie - Classic Jurassic Park, Vol. 3: Amazon Adventure

DH: The Godzilla stuff. Not a fan at all.

Piz: ALMOST (key word) all of it. Soul-crushing to see such blatant IP exploitation in such a creative medium.

Emp: Out of Dark Horse? Nothing really. Some mehs I'll get to but nothing I can that's straight up awful.

IDW is mostly the same for me too. I guess I'll go out on a limb and say the Jurassic Park stuff looks like crap.

It's dispiriting to see so many merchandising properties. But some of them still look like they can be fun.

But since you mention it, Emp... which are the 'Meh'?

Piz: Actually, Dark Horse is nowhere near as bad as IDW, but damn that is A LOT of Star Wars. Maybe it is quality, I cannot speak to that. But still. Star Trek ongoing, I'll say meh. Could be wonderful but will it... highly doubt it.

Emp: For Dark Horse the meh is all the Star wars stuff and the Guild one shot. Granted I am a fan of the show but it's not really one of those series I was clamouring for a comic about. Brimstone on the other hand.... For IDW, I'm looking at almost all the licensed stuff. Key word on almost .

Funny Faces in True Blood: The French Quarter #2
Funny Faces in True Blood: The French Quarter #2

DH: The True Blood stuff. I'm an enormous fan of the television show, but there's something about the comics (admittedly, I've only read one issue) that doesn't really appeal to me. I'm not sure if it's the art, the story or what, but it's not something I'm going to be buying.

Piz: I'll endorse DH's True Blood message.

Perhaps they should hire Greg Land for True Blood, so then the characters face will look like the actors. Instead, they look strangely flat right now.

Emp: XK , if I want to see porn faces on True Blood actors, I'll go find creepy fan art on DeviantArt thank you very much. ;)

Or everyone would look like a naked Anna Paquin ;) Well, I know I'm not the target audience, but I don't get why there's a Suicide Girls comic. So what if there’s a bunch of wannabe porn stars with tattoos? I'm sure it is well produced, but... 'meh'.

The Good

Piz: An Original HC By Mignola & Corben? HELL YES!
Piz: An Original HC By Mignola & Corben? HELL YES!

Anywho, lets pay some attention to...

Piz: PICK OF THE MONTH - Hellboy: House of the Living Dead

DH: <---Whedonite.

Dollhouse: Epitaphs and Angel and Faith.

I never realised you were such a big Whedon fan! But no Buffy on your list?

Whedonite Eye-Candy - Angel And Faith #2
Whedonite Eye-Candy - Angel And Faith #2

DH: Hugeeeeeeeeee Whedon fan. He is my god. I never really got into Buffy. I heard a lot of not so great things about Season 8 and to be honest, I always enjoyed Angel more than B:TVS. I may go in and pick up the first Season 8 trade and depending on if I like it buy more, but as of now, I'm not actually reading the series.

Emp: The Angel comic is okay, I did enjoy Season 8. I'm not sure why everyone was so pissed at what happened in the end. Whedon pulls that stuff all the time.

Where do I start ? :D

Templesmith Tackles Thor - Wormwood: Bingo Night in Valhalla #2
Templesmith Tackles Thor - Wormwood: Bingo Night in Valhalla #2

At Dark Horse we got an Abe Sapien, another B.P.R.D. mini, more Cal McDonald, Hellboy and Fear Agent.

Over at IDW we got Locke and Key, Cobra, The GI Joe stuff (which has been shockingly good I must say), the first issue of the Ghostbusters with art by Dan Schoening (and if you know who he is then you know it's a big deal) and last but not least Wormwood in Norse god territory!

Piz: Oh, I do want that Locke and Key Special Edition. Personally, that is the best current series in comics.

Yeah, I saw Templesmith's satirical attack on my beloved Thor; when Norse God's let themselves go ;p But how great are those Abe Sapien covers! The Homage Covers page patiently awaits their release!

Emp: I just want to take a second and say that Francovilla's Abe Sapien cover is eyegasmic.

But it's time to turn our attention towards the other of 'The Big Two'. Let's look at Marvel.


The Bad

What do you think looks bad?

Once You've Seen It, You Can't Un-see It - Uncanny X-Men #543
Once You've Seen It, You Can't Un-see It - Uncanny X-Men #543

Emp: Let's start with Uncanny X-Men and add New Avengers Annual.

So so sooooo bad I want to scrape my eyes out... I can't 'unsee' it!!

DH: Hulk. I dislike Hulk, I HATE Red Hulk. I won't read anything centering on either of them.

And the fact that yet again, about half the solicits are tie-ins, whether it's Spider-Island or Fear Itself really turns me off. I like some tie-ins, but I don't want to be over-saturated by them, you know?

I know of one Spider-Island tie-in that might make you change your mind, DH... but that'll wait till later :)

DH: O_o I'm officially intrigued :D

DH Vs Emp: Mixed Opinions Over Hulk Vs Dracula
DH Vs Emp: Mixed Opinions Over Hulk Vs Dracula

UGH. Just saw the Hulk vs Dracula tie-in. That's top of my list of the terribles.

Emp: Are you kidding? Hulk vs Dracula sounds like an awesome idea! :D

Oh course it would be cooler if it were regular Hulk and not possessed Hulk.

DH: Possessed Hulk? You're making my point for me ;p I find Hulk to be gimmicky and I find Dracula (and vampires in general) to be gimmicky...put them together and you've guaranteed that I won't be buying it

Piz: Marvel continues to double-ship books. This is how they are going to lose me. Or lose me quicker.

So many pointless tie-ins and mini-series. Marvel is a bloated beast.

Hawkeye and Spider-Woman together, ugh. Everything about it.

Does Spider-Island seem like one of those epically bad ideas to anyone else? And Slott was doing so well.

*humbly* I was looking forward to Spider-Island :}

Piz: Well, you never know. I'm still going to read because ASM has been great since Big Time but it has a Clone Saga/Magic Totem type feel to it, for me.

The Meh

Is Spider-Island The Latest Of Too Many Cross-Overs?
Is Spider-Island The Latest Of Too Many Cross-Overs?

Okay, so we've taken out the trash but something still doesn't smell right... what's 'meh' to you?

Emp: Meh is Spider-Island for me. All of it . Every single regular issue and tie in . I can't say meh enough for it.

The Monkey King one shot interests me because it's got Juan Doe interiors but that's about it.

Also The Deep and Youth In Revolt tie ins.

Piz: Schism seems meh to me. Not fond of the direction. Don't think it will be particularly bad. Could even be good. But I just do not care right now.

I agree, I have that same feeling of, 'another cataclysmic mutant event... is it the third of fourth one this year?'

Or Is X-Men Schism The Latest Of Too Many Big Marvel Events?
Or Is X-Men Schism The Latest Of Too Many Big Marvel Events?

Piz: Who can keep count? I am so tired of this endangered species, internal rifts nonsense. That is partially why I am loving Children's Crusade right now.

Emp: One more big meh for Spider-Island.


Juan Doe's Art In Fear Itself: The Monkey King #1
Juan Doe's Art In Fear Itself: The Monkey King #1

DH: New Avengers is meh to me. I don't really like the idea of Daredevil as an Avenger, that was never really his thing. He was always more about helping the underdog and vigilante justice, never so much of a big picture team player kind of guy.

Marvel Universe vs Wolverine looks terrible and full of PIS. There are numerous members of the MU who could effortlessly solo Wolverine.

Wow, DH is turning into a one-girl Battles forum! ;)

Emp: I do agree with you on Marvel Universe vs Wolverine though. It's more than likely going to be a spankfest to Wolverine fanboys, much as the Punisher vs Marvel Universe series was for Punisher fans.

As for Daredevil, well if Spidey can be a team player , then so can he.

Also you need to read more good Hulk stories, DH. :P

So now we’ll turn things around and look at the best of the bunch.

The Good.

Something To Tempt DH - Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #2
Something To Tempt DH - Spider-Island: Cloak & Dagger #2

Seeing as I know how much DH loves Mike Choi, I'll tease her with this. Sadly he's only the cover, but still... it's a Spider-Island tie-in ;)

DH: <33333333333333333 I really like Cloak and Dagger (what I've read of them). I'll pick up that issue for sure :)

Phew! Glad I didn't disappoint you :)

X-Citing Action In Space -X-Men: Legacy #255
X-Citing Action In Space -X-Men: Legacy #255

DH: Legacy! It looks sooooooooooooooo good. Top of my list for stuff to get that month. Not only is it one of the best-written X-books, I'd go so far as to say it's one of the best-written comics in general. I absolutely LOVE Cosmic Marvel and Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar was one of my top five X-Men arcs that I've ever read (possibly top three) so the fact that they're bringing back these characters (Rachel, Polaris, Havok) and doing it with a space story is tops for me.

X-23 looks excellent as always, same goes for X-Factor.

Personally... I’m so excited about X-Men: Legacy I hope Mike Carey doesn't disappoint...

Piz: Casanova is back with a BRAND NEW volume!!!

Avengers Academy! Daredevil! Hulk! Journey Into Mystery! The Mighty Thor! Punisher! Thunderbolts!

The new Ultimate titles look cool with great teams.

Venom v. Anti-Venom should be a blast.

Warren Ellis writing Secret Avengers.

A Gorgeous Cover For Your Consideration - Journey Into Mystery #627
A Gorgeous Cover For Your Consideration - Journey Into Mystery #627

Emp: The Good is the Ultimate line, so far I have nothing to complain about so far, of course nothing has come out so far. :P

The Red Skull series by Greg Pak is surely going to be the comic this year. if it's even half as good as Testament then we are in for a treat.

Thunderbolts is really heating up as of late since the huge breakout at the Raft. (Happens a lot with that place don't it?) also the Vengeance series. That Doc Ock cover is great.

Piz: Ah yes, and Vengeance. Concept and Casey are big pluses!

Emp: Also for your consideration, the cover to Journey into Mystery #627

It'll come as no surprise that I'm personally looking forward to the newest adventure in Oz thanks to Messrs Young & Shanowar.

Wrap Up

Tantalising Pizawle - Casanova: Avaritia #1
Tantalising Pizawle - Casanova: Avaritia #1

Just before we go, I have 2 more questions.

First off, out of all four publishers, which one title would you recommend to everyone else?

DH: X-Men: Legacy, without a doubt.

Piz: The Hellboy: House of the Living Dead HC, without a doubt. No prior knowledge necessary, just let the awesome wash over you.

Emp: Support the Ghostbusters series. I want more of this.

Okay, so here's the last question. We all know that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover... but which is your absolute favourite cover?

Emp: Deal With It (Stripping Doc Ock On The Cover To Vengeance)
Emp: Deal With It (Stripping Doc Ock On The Cover To Vengeance)

DH: I'm torn between the Choi Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger cover, X-Men: Legacy and X-Factor >_<

Piz: The Casanova one. Really dig the JiM, as well.

I'll surprise everyone by not choosing a Marvel... and going for the PIGS cover (with the silhouetted figures of dripping pain in red, white & blue).

xerox-kitty Eagerly Anticipates Political Intrigue PIGS #1
xerox-kitty Eagerly Anticipates Political Intrigue PIGS #1

Thanks for helping make another Roundtable. I hope you drop by again soon!

Piz: I... I'm alive? I'm alive! Thanks fellas, it was a blast.

Emp: I'm Emp Gonzo and I'm going to go watch a Game of Thrones parody starring Robert Englund. Make of that what you will.

DH: I'm DH and I'm off to go read some new comics xD

That's a great idea, DH! I've got to finish my Unwritten trade paperbacks.

So this is xerox-kitty, filling in for sora_thekey, signing off for now. Catch you later!


The Results of xerox-kitty's Transformers Generation 1 Contest

This time, your mission was to catch the secret lives of your toys. Five brave souls accepted the task, and the general public voted for their favourite! It was such a great selection so it was hard to pick one winner, but ultimately only one could win. Therefore...


I pity any plumber who tries anything sneaky around Rorschach! But poor Luigi looks terrified! Your camera angles were great, you really captured the spirit of the characters and there's a cheeky sense of humour that appealed to everyone :)

It's always fun to have contests, but my heart always breaks for everyone else who took part. You did such a great job! I wish I had enough money to buy prizes (and pay for postage) to everyone. If you're wondering, here are the final results:

  1. M.S. Feather
  2. The Poet
  3. AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge
  4. ImperiousRix
  5. Donovan Montgomery

All your entries were marvellous! And every single one of them was so funny! So thank you so much for making this contest a closely-run competition :)

The Winning Entry - Mama Mia by M.S. Feather
The Winning Entry - Mama Mia by M.S. Feather

I apologise for not having a celebratory video for you (but after a long day at work, I don't want to give you nightmares ;) But I wanted you to know that you're the first lady to win one of my contests! You rock! :D


xerox-kitty's Comic Give Away Transformers Generation 1: Voting!

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is out on general release at a cinema near you NOW! But more importantly it's time to vote for your favourite toy story to see who will win my latest Comic Give Away: Transformers Generation 1!!

The Entries

Here are the 5 Contestants in order of entry:

AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge

The Annual EVIL Genius Poker Game
The Annual EVIL Genius Poker Game
  • Dr Evil: "Gentleman, time to reveal our frickin' cards. Four 5's."
  • Goldmember: "Not so fast, smarty pants. Royal Flush."
  • Magneto: "Neither of you has won, you homo-sapiens. Deuces."
  • Dr Evil: "What?"
  • Goldmember: "Wait a minute. Who's the wonner?"
  • Dr Evil: "I forgot what beats what."
  • Magneto: "For an evil genius, your not so bright."
  • Dr Evil: "SILENCE! I will not be tolerated, you frickin' mutant. I wish I had my frickin' sharks with their frickin' laser-beams attached to their frickin' heads with me."
  • Goldmember: "Dr. Evil, can I paint his genital ggooollllldddddd? It's kinda my thing."
  • Dr Evil: "How about no! You crazy dutch bastard!"
  • Magneto: "Next year, I want the both you to understand the rules of the game. You do the same thing every year."

M.S. Feather

Mama Mia!
Mama Mia!

The Poet

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  1. Our main event of the evening is finally here, with our brave grapplers going up against the imposing monolith, the refrigerator. Who will be victorious?
  2. First the stare down. This is a psychological game at this point, folks. The intensity in the plastic, painted-on eyes of our competitors tells the whole story.
  3. Oh, and in a stunning move, the wrestlers make a move on the door! Hogan and Boss Man are double-teaming the behemoth as the rest of the team makes a scramble for the entrance!
  4. This thing has really broken down, folks. The grapplers have made their way to the cheese drawer, but right now it's absolute pandemonium! There's no stopping their cheese lust!
  5. Finally, it looks like Savage has this thing under control. He's signaling his teammates to make a break for the door. If they can escape this frozen prison, they'll have this thing in the bag...
  6. And they've done it! The wrestlers have secured the cheese and this match is over! There's going to be some celebrating in the toy chest tonight!

Donovan Montgomery

  • Batgirl In "I Needs Her Pop"
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  1. Dr M: Wait Batgirl, I have change.
  2. The Guys: We'll get your drink Mam.
  4. Everyone: Hey, the lady was here first!
  5. Everyone: That will teach you to bud in line.
  6. Dr M: Thank you gentlemen, I'll take it from here.
  7. Dr M: Here you are Batgirl
  8. B G: I wanted DIET!!

The Voting

To vote, please list the top three entries in order of preference.


  1. junbobkim
  2. nszerdy
  3. Darkchild

Use the name of the Viner who entered (don't use the name of their story). Number 1 being your favourite entry, number 2 being the second best, and three being the third best. Please feel free to leave additional comments that support the reasons why you voted for them! Positive feedback is always welcome!

The voting deadline is in two days, Wednesday 06 July 2011 at 21:00 (9pm) BST (please check your local Time Zone).


xerox-kitty's Comic Give Away: Transformers Generation 1

This is a little later than I'd intended. A mixture of bad health, negative responses and low morale meant that this was put on a back burner. Hopefully it isn't too late to enjoy the Contest or the movie.

The Martian Manhunter photographs were used with the kind permission of Icarusflies. Please head to her original thread to appreciate her hardwork: COOKIE MASSACRE!!!! Starring Lego Martian Manhunter.

The Rules

  • Only one entry per person. Using multiple accounts is cheating; all subsequent entries will be eliminated.
  • All photographs entered in the Contest must still conform to the Comic Vine rules.
  • There is no minimum or maximum amount of photographs to create your Toy Story comic strip, but avoid Lord of the Ring style tomes.
  • Any toys from can be used.
  • Any presentation format can be used. You can set out the photographs in a post like Icarusflies', you can photoshop it all together like a comic book page, or you can create a video like in my intro (no moving imagery is allowed though).
  • Any Comic Vine members ('Comic Viners') are eligible to enter by posting in a comment below. There are no geographic restrictions (I am in the UK, the three previous winners were in the US).

The Prize

The 2002 Dreamwave Productions series of Transformers: Generation 1. The issues on offer are 1 to 6 inclusive, which is the complete series.

Each issue was available with two variant covers. 50% of covers featured Autobots, while the other 50% starred the Decepticons. Issue 1 had a couple of incentive variants, and there were subsequent Second Printings of issues 1, 2 & 5, but at the time I couldn't be bothered to pay the extra for those. As such, I bought both Autobot & Decepticon variants of issues 1 & 2, while selectively choosing my favourite covers from the rest of the series; #3 Decepticon, #4 Autobot, #5 Decepticon, #6 Autobot. All are First Printings.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8

I will not split the set. All the variants are part of the prize.

I read the story when it was originally purchased. They have been untouched since & remained bagged & boarded ever since. And I'm sorry, but I can not remember whether I read the Autobot or Decepticon variants, but at least 2 issues are unread variants.


Post your entry in a comment to this thread. All entries must be received by Sunday 03 July 2011 by 21:00 (9pm) BST. That's British Summer Time. I'm afraid I don't know what time that is around the world. All I know is that East Coast America is 5 hours behind, while West Coast is 8 hours behind. So please make sure you check the internet for Time Zone conversions.


The Return Of Ultimate X-Men

I'm surprised that there's hasn't been more about this. It was in the solicitations for September 2011

Ultimate Comics X-Men #1

Ultimate Comics X-Men #1
Ultimate Comics X-Men #1
The biggest mutant cover-up has gone public as the true history of the x-gene is revealed. As an identity crisis rocks the mutant world, the mistrust between man and x-man gets deeper. But a bigger question remains: who are the X-Men? Nick Spencer and Paco Medina make their thunderous Ultimate debut in one of the most anticipated series yet!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

The Polybagged Regular Cover By Kaare Andrews - Ultimate Comics X-Men #1
The Polybagged Regular Cover By Kaare Andrews - Ultimate Comics X-Men #1

There's a staggering array of familiar faces who are still alive after the Ultimatum. But it looks like we have Jimmy Hudson inheriting his father's role of Wolverine (I quite like the old skool whiskers painted on the mask). But the variant cover has a mysterious figure clad in a red hooded coat.

What do you think?


Baby Magneto's First Toys

Beware of the Baby!
Beware of the Baby!

This time last year I wrote about the wonderful X-Baby themed name badges as designed by Skottie Young for Heroes Con 2010.

This year, a 3D artist has taken inspiration from one of those drawings and turned it into something a bit more... realistic? Vitão (or Vitorugo, aka Victor Hugo) created this excellent rendition of Magneto as a baby, with a little twist of Pixar.

Baby Erik's First...
Baby Erik's First...

The size of this image doesn't do Vitão's work any justice. There's so much detail! The grain in the wood, the fluffy hairs on the rug, the glistening flecks in his helmet, the freckles on his skin, the tiny white hairs in his lashes & brow. And little Erik ha been stealing toys from the other Marvel boys... just check out the stash of goodies in his toy box!

Please please go check out the full sized image at Vitão's WordPress blog!