Thursday, 23 May 2013

Favourite Characters

From the cover of Deadpool #1, cover art by Geoff Darrow

Does your fondness for characters make you blissfully unaware?

When it comes to our stories that we love to read, or watch, be they in a television show, a movie, a book, or our beloved comics we all have our favourite characters. Sometimes people can become so engrossed in those characters that they begin to overlook the shortcomings of say the writing team, because they just want to read about those characters so much. The reason I bring this up is because I jumped on the Marvel NOW! bus and picked up a couple of runs, I have Uncanny X-Men, Deadpool, and Wolverine. My all time favourite characters are (in no particular order) Wolverine, Deadpool, and Nightcrawler. Now if anybody has been reading X-Men and knows about the build up to the Avengers vs X-Men you will know that Nightcrawler isn't around right now, they are kind of hinting at something in the Wolverine and the X-Men run, but that's a different topic for a different day. What I'm saying is I picked up runs that usually have my favourite characters in them.

So I'm reading Uncanny X-Men and I've never liked Cyclops, he bored me, he was too much of a boy scout and I didn't like it - which is a subject that has been brought up in the past, it seems I'm the kind of guy who likes to have an anti-hero as the main character, people like Wolverine, The Punisher, Deadpool etc. So for me to be following this new direction where Cyclops has apparently grown a spine, is quite fun, and boy am I really starting to dig Magik! You see, I have a bad experience of the character Magik because I was a part of an online X-Men based roleplay board, and someone was portraying that character, and doing so in such a horribly boring and confusing way that I just lost interest right off the bat, so to see that character getting some "screen time" as they say and developing is quite enjoyable. So in essence I've picked up a book knowing that my favourite character won't be in it and am thoroughly enjoying it and beginning to like some of their characters more.

With Deadpool, he is my ultimate favourite character, so much so that I will read anything that he is in and I will blissfully ignore the BS ending to the Wolverine movie where it's all but confirmed that the enemy at the end is supposed to be Deadpool - on a side note, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool is perfect casting, I don't care what anybody says! I've read a ton of Deadpool, and a lot of it has been digitally on the Marvel website, but I've also been collecting the Marvel NOW! run too. Personally, I absolutely loved the beginning story arc, it was something so simple, so stupid that wouldn't work in most books, but works perfectly fine with Deadpool. The basic premise is that a bumbling necromancer has brought the dead presidents of the United States of America back to life to help save the country, and as often does with magic things go horribly wrong. In the first issue Captain America shows up to save the day (cue trumpets) but it's a huge PR disaster, so SHIELD bring in somebody who won't exactly hurt their rep by beating on dead presidents - Deadpool! I loved every one of the issues and often found myself quoting each issue on twitter (you can follow me at @SpikeyMike_AP) even to the point where I had a nerdgasm moment when writer Gerry Duggam favouriting some of my tweets.

However, I was really thrown off when the arc ended and the "fill in" issue was put out there from the 70's or something, back when Tony Stark was dealing with being an alcoholic. It got me thinking, do I excuse the poor issue because it's Deadpool? Or do I put my foot down and say "No, I won't stand for this!" The short answer is no.....the real answer is, I decided to give it a couple of issues to see what they did with it because I really didn't like it. It felt like a poor lame joke with a moral at the end, but I'm glad I didn't drop it because Deadpool being written the way he has by such a  great team brought everything full circle, and made what seemed like a throw-a-way issue a core read for the new story arc, they made it make sense, and they made it important. So now I'm blissfully reading Deadpool once again, not worrying about whether the next issue will live up to it's predecessor or what's coming next, but just enjoying the ride.

Yet, with Wolverine I find myself struggling to motivate myself to read it. I collected the previous run, I have quite a large chunk of them, and I've recently got the Wolverine: Origin trade too which was a really good read. However, this Marvel NOW! run is not grabbing my attention at all, it seems like such a disconnected storyline, like Wolverine is separate from the Marvel Universe, despite Nick Fury showing up. It just gives you that weird feeling like someone has come into your house and rearranged your things to a mirror image of what it was before. It's Wolverine, but it seems like such a watered down, kiddie friendly version that it's not Wolverine anymore - not that what I said there makes any sense.....

Due to my experience with Deadpool, and how giving it the chance really paid off, I've decided to give Wolverine till the end of the story arc to pick up, I'm contemplating whether or not to see what the next story arc is like before I drop it, but the only reason I'm doing so is because he's one of my favourite characters. Which brings me back to my point, do we accept sub par writing, just because we want to see more of our favourite characters? Well me personally, I'm going to say no. I've pointed out when I didn't like things in even my most favourite of books, and I'm not going to keep paying for a book that does not interest me, instead I've decided I'm going to start getting the trades for Wolverine Origins instead (especially as Daken and Deadpool are in them) which of course helps.

So yeah, there you have it. How do you feel about your favourite characters? Do you put up with sub par stories and writing just to get that little bit more?

1 comment:

  1. I think your points are valid here. I read The Flash likes its a religious experience each month when I know, if I'm totally honest that the writer is a little bit mad and has only a very basic grasp of what the character is all about.

    I also read the particularly bad Batgirl new 52 Run (the current one) and it was only when i got to "Transsexual" (yeah, you know that line) that i released my fondness for the character had masked my contempt for the story for far too long.