kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Default)
Kingston C. Rockwell ([personal profile] kingrockwell) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2009-05-12 01:47 am

Why you don't mess with Sue Richards

A little late for Mother's Day...

I don't remember the context, really, since it's been around sixteen years since I've read the story, but this exchange has never been far from my thoughts any time I've seen Sue since.

The mini-series had something to do with Doom being a dick and making like a good guy to the X-Men so they'd help defend him against the FF for...something. This is right at the end, after everything's settled, everyone's making their amends. All of them are a little tense to see Doom and Sue are chatting, expecting it to reopen the wound and start the big fight over again.

Sorry for the crooked scans. I read this story when I was a kid (it was probably at least five years old after it came out, because I'm not much older than it) and this part always stuck out with me because it's the first time I ever encountered a strong female character in comics. It kind of ingrained idea that Reed might be the smartest, Ben might be the strongest, and Johnny might be the funnest, but Sue is most certainly the most powerful of the Fantastic Four. She is no one to be trifled with, and definitely someone whose family you don't put in jeopardy. This blew my seven-year-old mind.

She-Hulk and Thing ???

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
What issue number is this ??
I thought that She-Hulk replaced Ben in FF....

Man, I've gotta lotta TPBs to read if I'm ever gonna catch up with "continuity"...

Too bad I usually only read self-contained stories like ELSEWORLDS.
I hate continuity.......

Re: She-Hulk and Thing ???

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
She-Hulk did replace him on the team, whehn he stayed behind on the Beyonders World after Secret Wars, but after he came back to Earth IIRC she offered to stand down to let him back in, but he was happy enough having solo adventures for a while, so she stayed on, and he IS a friend of the family.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Sue was a MILF before the term was even coined.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
I remember in 1234 how she threatened Doom to explode a bunch of force field bubbles in his head if he ever bothered her family again.

Thing is, Sue is actually a kind of telekinetic. She's only less dangerous than Jean Grey in that (a) she can't read your mind as well, (b) the Phoenix Force ain't there, and (c) she's fiercely level-headed, which is the real point. I'm sure they've tried "Dark Sue" but I bet it looked stupid. Sue can handle a lot and is very restrained given what she could do. But threaten her family? You die.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sure they've tried "Dark Sue" but I bet it looked stupid.


Ahahahahaha. Eheheh. Eh.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Well, I thought it was pretty awesome when I first read it.

Granted, I was 14 at the time...

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 03:33 am (UTC)(link)
Looked stupid, but had some pretty kick ass manifestations of her power used in incredibly effective ways.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 09:55 am (UTC)(link)
Featuring Johnny being turned on by his sister!

"What, that amorphous blob over there?"

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
You have to ask?

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
Nope, Byrne on both writing and art.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Huh. I thought this Malice and this one ( were one and the same, but I guess I was wrong.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 08:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, that negates the respect I had left for him based on his earlier FF issues. Drat.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 04:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Claremont wrote the miniseries where the strong portrayal of Sue posted above happened, Byrne did the Malice issues.

Just goes to show that Claremont was the best there was in his day.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 05:26 am (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry, but when I say this I'm not trying to make any kind of statement, but I've never found that "She's independent, strong and doesn't need a man to back them up" spirit to be a very boring and cliche one. Not to say that great characters don't work great under that, but they have to be more. I love Black Canary, but it took me a long time before I did because I just came across stories that portrayed that "I'm not taking crap from nobody!" annoying attitude.

Now I'm not a huge Marvel reader, but the reason I really like Sue is not because she's the most powerful or not to be trifled with (though that is cool, if overused), it's because she tends to make the most sense, glue the team together and generally be the opposite of the whiny Alba movie version. Just like in these scans the part I love is her ending monologue. Couldn't care less about her power bluff (or not-bluff as it is), but that she is a person more than many that understands what really matters.

But yeah, just my opinion.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry, meant to say I DID find the "independent yadda yadda" to be boring.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 04:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh no, I'm not attacking your opinion, sorry if it felt that way. I was just expressing how I like this scene for showing more than "A woman? Powerful!?" sort of thing.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 05:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I know what you mean- especially when it's used as a Band-Aid, like writing "She is so powerful and independent!" in another character's thought bubble will totally make up for the woman in question being the only female-type on the team and/or not wearing any pants. Sure, she's never headed even one big-budget movie*, but we just told you how powerful she was! Isn't that enough? Why aren't you happy with that?

Not that I think Sue comes across that way in the scans, though- that is a reasonably badass move, telling Doom cheerfully how you would win so hard you can't be bothered to fight him 'cause you have better things to do like maybe clean your tile grout, and then sauntering off without looking at him, because he's obviously no threat at all.

*Odds are. Especially considering that the Halle Berry Catwoman wasn't actually about Selina Kyle.

(Anonymous) 2009-05-12 07:30 am (UTC)(link)
I bet Doom coped with his defeat by eating that whole turkey by himself.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 03:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Even Doom thinks Sue is the most powerful of the Fantastic Four. When his ghost possessed her during Mark Waid's story "Authoritative Action", he said "I always said Susan is the most powerful out of the four of you." Force-field violence ensues.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 07:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Doom totally looks like the Jerkjock in That Teen Movie who just got dumped by Plucky Blonde Heroine in panel 3.


[identity profile] 2009-05-12 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
If memory serves, an old diary of Reed's had turned up which seemed to prove Reed had cold-bloodedly and with full foreknowledge put the team in the way of the cosmic storm that gave them their powers as an experiment, and had only been pretending they were all innocent victims.

Cue the "My whole LIFE is a LIE!!!11!1!" melodrama, which ran throughout the mini whilst the FF and Doom competed against the clock and each other to save Kitty Pryde, who was stuck in phase and whose atomic bonds were dissolving. In the end the whole diary thing turned out to be some kind of deep-laid Doom Plot the details of which I don't remember.

Re: Context

[identity profile] 2009-05-13 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
Huh, I saw the secret diary thing in an episode of "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes" (the one by that French animation studio), but I didn't know it was originally a plot from the comics. Neat.

Re: Context

[identity profile] 2009-05-15 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
You know, it's taken me years to find out the deal with that diary.
As a kid I had like the first three out of the four issues. So it was all very "is it real or not?".
And that was not helped by the fact that Reed wouldn't goddamn deny it. He's all "Wait is this true? Maybe it is. Did I forget? Am I horrible? Did I do it? Aurgh angst! I can't tell anyone! The others hate me! Mopey-time. Then again maybe I should play with Franklin which is fun." I found it all very confusing.
Thank you for actually spelling out that it was Dooms doing, that clears it all up for me.

Re: Context

[identity profile] 2009-05-15 08:12 pm (UTC)(link)
You're welcome. Mind you, I don't recall anything about how Doom did it or why (beyond the usual RICHARRRRDDDDSSSS!!!! motivation) or how he got busted on it. But as you can see above, they all lived Happily Ever After, so.

[identity profile] 2009-05-12 11:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I would love this so much more if it weren't for the fact that every single woman Claremont writes is so badass that Chuck Norris would cry for his mommy.

[identity profile] 2009-05-13 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
Chuck Norris has no mommy. Chuck Norris has no daddy either.


[identity profile] 2009-05-15 03:00 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a bad thing why? It's personally one of the reasons I love him so much. These are HEROES, they're supposed to be badass. Why bash Claremont for making his female heroes badass but not other writers for making their make heroes that way? It seems awfully sexist of you, to put it mildly.

[identity profile] 2009-05-15 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
It's not that I dislike strong female characters or strong heroes. In fact, I'm quite fond of them. However, I think Claremont takes it to such an nth degree that it's ridiculous. There's no such thing as a woman in his stories who's anything less than absurdly competent at everything. As an example, I'd use Lindsay McCabe from Spider-Woman and later Wolverine. I'm supposed to believe that this actress can handle guns like a pro, can easily hold her own in a city where there are zero rules, and who doesn't freak out in the slightest at all the intrigue she gets involved in. To me, that's overdoing it. There's no balance--all of his women are uber-competent and instantly able to do anything. I can't say the same for the men he writes.

I just think he needs to dial it down a notch. It's fine for someone like Storm or Kitty or Rahne or others to have such a high level of competency--after all, they've been training for years. However, I balk at someone displaying that level of ability when they're obviously a rank amateur.

[identity profile] 2009-05-15 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
There's no balance--all of his women are uber-competent and instantly able to do anything. I can't say the same for the men he writes.

I'm not sure how you can say that about the guy who pretty much singlehandedly put Wolverine on the map. Not to mention gave us the definitive Nightcrawler and Colossus.

Then again, even if you were right I'd still be fine with it. For fuck's sake, it would still be a drop in the bucket compared to all the "bunch of guys and a token, wilting female or two" teams out there.

Your complaint reminds me of how Heroes for Hire was derided as a "Birds of Prey ripoff", as if the concept of female-majority team was so unique and original there needed to be a quota of one for them. It implies that male heroes are the default normal, and females are exceptions to the rule that must be limited in number to avoid being "overdone".

I'd love to have an X-book that got back to the Claremont formula of a bunch of asskicking hardcore women and like one token guy or two. Led by Storm, with her mohawk and leather back. I'd pay good money for a book like that. And I resent being told that I'm wrong for it.

I also want Heroes for Hire back, and I'd love to see a Valkyrie-led Defenders team that was all about women's issues and feminism and proving that women can kick ass and save lives just like the men. And why not? Women are something like 51% of the population, why are they like 10% of the major superheroes and zero percent of the teams?

[identity profile] 2009-05-15 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Well the idea would be that it's obvious and irrefutable to those who see the truth, but there are still plenty of people out there blind to it who need to be shown the light. Yeah, you know and I know that women superheroes (and women real life people too) are just as capable of great accomplishments as men are, but it's also irrefutable truth that there are many out there that don't believe it. Those people really can't be proven wrong enough times for me. :)

[identity profile] 2009-05-16 02:49 am (UTC)(link)
That "soapboxing" has always been part of Valkyrie's character. Forming a team to combat a perceived (and almost certainly accurate) inequality, making it a point to announce to the world that she's formed a woman's team with something to prove is something she'd so totally do. Stocking it with characters like Thundra, Mankiller, and the like? Also totally something she'd do.

That of course doesn't discredit your viewpoint. And that's something a well-written series would key on as a subplot. Is this really the right approach to take? Does it accomplish it's stated goals? Is it counterproductive? There would almost certainly be a backlash against it in some way shape or form, does that prove them wrong or just give them more reason to fight?

Like the best X-Men stories, there could be a political goal and motivation behind the group that sets a theme to the fighting and adventuring and heroing. And it could address gender issues through the characters.

I think there's room for a feminist superteam in the Marvel Universe. I'd pay to write it. Would you read it?