Sunday, August 01, 2010

I like a Challenge

Alright, so yesterday Tom came up with a really good question in the comments:

Can you provide any examples of characters getting similar treatment and having
it fail?

And the answer is that there are a few, but they are all pretty uncoventional.

Top of the list, for me, is Galactus, and in particular, the Galactus Origin Story, that Galactus was Galen of Taa, and that he was the last survivor of his universe. Don't get me wrong, I get why that story worked - it set up a nice parrallel between Galactus and Norrin Radd, and it does give him a human dimension.

But that's also the biggest problem, because if Galactus has any human dimension, then he's insane for killing the TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS that he has due to his hunger. It's the most twisted form of survivor's guilt possible and it would, if Galactus had anything human in him, make him a mad or evil god, which sort of goes against the established Marvel coda of Galactus being "Beyond Good and Evil". Furthermore, giving him a human dimension diminishes his threat - Galactus should be like a force of a nature that can only barely turned back, not someone you could or should really talk to.

Beyond that, there are a few other examples, but I won't go into as much detail:
  • The Impossible Man - for pretty much the same reasons as Galactus, making him a creature that wants to emulate human behavior doesn't really help him or add anything to most of his stories.
  • The Riddler - While the idea that parental abuse made Edward Nygma so needing to be honest and smarter than everyone else is good in theory, it's not really a dimension that helps explain the character or give him any additional depth.
  • Norman Osborn - Fuck that guy. Just yeah, fuck him.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Excellent examples, Mike, especially The Riddler. I did not know about the whole child abuse thing and it does seem really unnecessary.

Osborn? Bastard should have stayed dead.

And thanks for responding. It always feels good to be acknowledged. :)