Monday, April 30, 2012

School of Thought, addendum

Two items.  The first is, no sooner that I published the School of Thought article that Cartoon Network aired an episode of Young Justice that changed the landscape of the series entirely.  The series jumped ahead five years!  It was a bold move, and for GMs it gives them the option to run a game during those missing five years.

The second is I omitted a possible alternative to the X-Men games last week in my other post and thinking back on it I felt I should give my reasons.  The property in question is Marvel Comics…

Young Avengers

Brief answer.  I do not like the series and never have.

Long answer?  It comes down to the characters.  Young Avengers is rife with characters I simply do not like for one reason or another.  It comes largely down to their origins.

Patriot:  Eli Bradley is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley the Captain America before Captain America.  There was an African American Captain America, one of many guinea pigs the Super Soldier serum was tested on before Steve Rogers got the dose.  So Captain America’s abilities are based upon atrocities committed upon fellow Americans.  I find this retconning of Captain America’s origin to be horrific and any property that references it in any way, shape or form (including the Captain America comic itself, a comic I have not purchased in years due to one terrible creative decision after another.) is one I cannot endorse.  It was unnecessary and added a darker element to Cap’s origin, especially in light that black people were experimented on so the Aryan looking Super Soldier could be created.

Oh, and what is the initial origin of Eli's powers?  Performance enhancing super drugs.  Sounds borderline racist to me.

Hawkeye:  Meet Kate Bishop, rape victim.  Of all the origins they could have given one of the two females on the team, this is what they decided to go with.  It was a cheap and easy cop out for the writers and editors and I think they could have gone in another direction.  Daughter of a murdered cop, for example.  But rape?  Tasteless.

Wiccan and Speed.  The Scarlet Witch’s two children, reincarnated.  How old is The Scarlet Witch, anyway, if she has teenage sons?  How many years have gone by in the MU?  Kitty Pryde is only, what, nineteen? She was around well before Wanda’s kids were born and Wanda’s kids are older?  Were the kids’ souls sent back in time?  It’s magic, bitches.  We don’t have to explain shit!

Wiccan and Hulkling.  Okay, look, I will admit when it comes to social issues I am pretty much middle of the road.  I have always felt everyone was entitled to the same opportunity to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness I am…provided they do it legally.  So when it comes to homosexuality I don’t have a problem with it.

It does not mean I want to read about two principle characters in a comic and their relationship woes.

Hulkling: And Hulkling's origins are jut as problematic as the Scarlet Witch kids.  If Captain Marvel slept with Hulkling's mother and he is a teenager, then it flies in the face of logic as some Marvel characters like Kitty can be so young yet others so old.  How old is Peter Parker? Going by this logic he should be in his mid-thirties at least if the three Young Avengers are teenagers.  For God's sake, The Fantastic Four's Franklin Richards is still ten years old and he is the oldest kid in the Marvel Universe, publication wise!    Unless Skrulls age faster than humans?  Which means Wiccan is having sex with a ten year old...


So the only character I liked was Stature, and guess which character they killed off in the Children’s Crusade mini series?

So all around I find Young Avengers to be a lousy comic based on the treatment of the characters alone.

The writing is competent, but I think the editors gave writer Allan Heinberg way too much latitude.  He is a Hollywood screen writer without a firm grasp of comics and instead of giving him strong editorial oversight Marvel pretty much let him write whatever he wanted and to hell with any logical fallacies in his stories.

Still, if someone wants to run a Young Avengers game, I suppose that is an option they can pursue.  I consider it just one step above running an X-Men game, hardly an endorsement from me.

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