Ladies and Gentlemen, usually on What Were They Thinking, we look at the stupidest, most ill-advised things that have ever taken place in the history of the comic book industry. But today, we are gathered here for a funeral. We are here to mourn the loss of Scott Summers, also known as the hero Cyclops, long serving leader of the X-Men, who has been so cruelly taken from us. I mean, he's not dead, well as far as I'm aware, but he might as well be. There is such a thing as "character assassination", which is the malicious and unjustified harming of a persons good reputation, and of all characters in comics history, no-one has been through a more rigorous and thorough one than Scott Summers. And the culprit? That'd be Marvel.
So, how did they do it, and what was their motive. Well in the great tradition of murder mysteries, I'm going to gather all the suspects in a room and explain to you whodunit.
The X-Men have been going for 53 years at this point. During the over half a century in existence, they grew from a 5 mutant team led by a bald guy in a wheelchair to a huge multinational force containing some of the most recognisable and most iconic characters in the history of comics. Their 1991 main book renumbering X-Men #1 became the best selling individual issue of all time, selling well over 8.1 million copies, and the team have been involved in some of Marvels greatest ever storylines (The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days Of Future Past to name a few). But for all their high points, there's a lot of things about Marvels marvellous mansion of immutable mutants that they'd like you to forget.
The right casting choice can elevate a movie to the next level. Even a bad film can be salvaged by an outstanding performance by one of the cast. And whilst though it is somewhat of a new genre in terms of the history of cinema, the comic book movie genre is a good example of this. Finding the right actor to portray a long established and beloved character is a difficult task, so when it happens, it can be magical. So this week we're going to decide who the best casting choice in the history of comic book movies was. We are looking at any actor to portray a character who originated in a comic book. The film does not have to be a Superhero movie, any film adapted from a comic book property will count.
As per usual, I've given you 10 to start and you can add your own. Please remember that when you add your own entry add them withthe actors name and the name of the character they portrayed, along with the movie/ movie series in which they are acting.
So, DC. They've been very kind to me over the last few weeks, giving me plenty to talk about on this series, where we take a look at all of the stupidest, most misguided things in the history of the comic book industry, thanks to their New 52 relaunch. And this week is no different. I promise I'll go back to slagging off Marvel next week, hell I might even have a go at Image if I can find something of theirs that's worth the time. But DC have done a lot wrong over the last half a decade and they're an easy target. Don't worry, they're big boys, they can take it. Anyway, this week, sexism, because that's always fun.
So, this poll was an interesting one. There were a lot of good inclusions, some questionable ones (whoever was trying to get all the DC superheroines on the list, you get a sarcastic round of applause for being so amusing) and some very unexpected results.
Considering that Marvel doesn't have a lot of solo superheroines in the same sort of league as those DC has (with most of the entries on the list being most famous for their work in various teams) you would expect the vote to be somewhat close, right? Well...
Honourable Mentions: Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), Emma Frost, Elektra
So last week on What Were They Thinking (the series were we take a look at the stupidest most ill-advised events in comic book history), we talked a lot about DC comics. And we're going to again this week, because whilst doing my research for last weeks post, I came across the utter gem that was the "Harley Quinn Art Contest". Enjoy.
It's surprising how short of characters this poll was. Less than 20 characters to represent the 193 countries that aren't America. But I guess that's what happens when the largest publishers are all based in a single country and, as you would expect, focus primarily on characters from that country. However, we have got a list and there are some very notable names on it. So without further ado, let's get on to the list shall we.
Honourable Mentions: Captain Britain, Red Skull & Colossus
So, usually here on What Were They Thinking (the series where we take a look at the stupidest and most ill-advised things to happen in comics history) we tend to look at storylines, what actually happens on the page. We might blame the people behind the scenes for their terribleness, but we've never actually called out the guys behind the scenes for being terrible. But today, we're going to be taking a look at Detective Comics Comics Inc. (yes, that it actually the full name of DC Comics) and the... lets just say interesting time they've had in recent years.
When a comic series reaches a milestone with doubles zeros at the end, it's time for a celebration. They'll go big on a storyline, push the boat out. For example, when The Amazing Spider-Man hit its 200th issue, Marvel had him confront the man who killed his Uncle Ben, a big storyline right, one that makes thematic sense for a big occasion. Likewise, when The Uncanny X-Men hit the same milestone, Magneto was put on trial for terrorism. The teams greatest enemy could have finally been dealt justice, huge. And what did the Avengers do to celebrate their 200th issue? It must have been something incredible right? Well, let me give you a hint. You are currently reading What Were They Thinking, the series where we take a look at the stupidest, most ill-advised things in the history of the comic book industry. How do you think it turned out?
What is "Greatness"? Well, when talking about Popular Culture, you have to judge it on the impact the subject in question has had on our collective mind-set. When you look at the Greatest Musical Artists of All Time, you are more than likely going to see Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Michael Jackson on the list. Likewise with films, you're going to see Casablanca, Gone With The Wind and The Godfather. Whether you like them or not, they have made a huge impression. But then you also have the subjective side to the argument, the placement. Who actually is better, Elvis or The Beatles? Yes, you could answer that by looking at stuff like sales, but you can't quantify a persons reaction to the music. And that is the key factor.
So how to select the greatest alien race in fiction? Do you, a) set out a strict list of criteria that must be met in order to qualify something that is invariably subjective? Or do you b) just let people go with their instincts? Well, we went with the later and now we have our list. Close runners up include, The Flood from the Halo franchise, the Saiyans from the Dragonball franchise, the Kryptonians of DC and the Martians from War Of The Worlds.