One of the purposes of the X-Men over the years has been to show they’re a diverse group. Mutants can come from anywhere, and they don’t always have to be good or noble. For every Russian farmboy, German circus performer, or African goddess, there was some mutant who came from the wrong side of the tracks and was trying to make the world a better place anyway, the only way the person knew how.
Creating a credible kid sidekick isn’t an easy task. The basic concept is always to give the younger readers a character they can personally identify with. The problems there are legion. For starters, readers want to be Batman, not Robin. Furthermore, the sidekick has to have the correct amount of competence. Too much and the character can outshine the hero and readers don’t like that. Not enough and the sidekick will need too much constant rescuing. And then there’s the issue of older writers trying to write “hip” dialogue for a character much younger than themselves, as was the disastrous case of Snapper Carr when he first arrived on the scene as the Justice League’s sidekick.
Good sidekicks and younger characters can be done. But for every successful Robin, there’s probably three or four (at least) Danny Chases.
Everything was going along just fine until disco came along. I’m probably not the first person to write that sentence. For our purposes I refer to the fact that even with 3 monthly books and various guest appearances, the wall-crawlers adventures had been pretty straight forward to put in order. But then came a couple of issues where Peter went to the disco (and then teamed up with the cast of Saturday Night Live) where everything just went all to hell.
Much, much more on this after the break as I try to put this update to rest, not because I’m happy with it…but to save my sanity. I can’t imagine what this is going to be like when I get to the 90’s…
As usual, spoilers follow from here on out if you’ve missed out on the last 50 years of Spider-Man and are just getting started.
Over the years, DC’s Teen Titans group has been one of those perennial books that’s always around. At one time, The New Teen Titans, as written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez, was one of it not the hottest comic around, rivaling The Uncanny X-Men for popularity. The classic line-up that included Nightwing, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, Changeling, Wonder Girl, and some others was all the rage. Other Titans came and went, such as Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, Red Star, Pantha, and Wildebeest, but the core group was what the fan remembered.
Then, after the Zero Hour storyline, a new line-up appeared. Gone were most of the classic Titans, possibly due to no longer technically being “teens”. In its place was a line-up that at least looked interesting. There was former Speedy Roy Harper, now going by Arsenal. Donna Troy went by her real name and was, at the time, a member of the spacefaring police force, the Darkstars. Former Team Titans from a collapsed future timeline Mirage and Terra were there. So was the at-the-time only Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, as were two teen heroes from the period, Impulse and Damage.
Noooooooooooo!!! Marvel set to retire 33 titles after Secret Wars is over. What is this wacky world we live in? What crimes against humanity have we incurred to suffer through this kind of news? What lies have they fed us to bring us to this point? Stick a fork in me, because I’m done, I just can’t handle it. Can you? See what titles they are talking about ending, and come have a big cry with me afterwards.
Back in 1998, Joe Madureira was one of the biggest names in the comic industry. Coming off a hugely successful run on Uncanny X-Men, that included the Age of Apocalypse story arc, Madureira did what all comic creators have done since McFarlane, Lee, et al formed Image…he left and created his own book. And it looked awesome: