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Times Are A'changin'

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tokenBG1009
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Times Are A'changin'

Post by tokenBG1009 » 23 Feb 2020, 12:14

What are some incidents/events/character actions from the past that would be viewed dramatically differently in today's culture? I put this down here because there are plenty of situations in DC and Marvel where this would be relevant.

DC Example:
I was thinking about this when I saw people mentioning the relationship between Harley Quinn and Joker. An extremely violent and abusive relationship that was often played up for laughs isn't really treated in quite the same way anymore. Would we have legions of teenagers talking about how they want a love like Harley and Joker if it hadn't been so romanticized from Harley's introduction to the present?

Granted, there are a number of people who have probably ALWAYS viewed the relationship as exactly what it is, but these days Harley seems to have very much come into her own and isn't quite so wrapped around Joker's finger anymore.

Marvel Example:
Would Hank Pym be as vilified as he is for the infamous slap with how we view mental illness? At the time it wasn't really something spoken about, but it's very clear Hank was not in his right mind and needed help instead of being turned into a walking punch line for domestic abuse.

Are there any other situations in comics that were written in the Golden/Silver/Bronze/90s Onwards days that were treated a specific way at the time, but would be seen drastically differently if they were written in a modern book? No one needs to have two examples or any at all, I just wanted to show that this is something I feel both publishers, and probably smaller ones, have to look at.
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Lavettye
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by Lavettye » 23 Feb 2020, 13:33

I remember a scene from X-Men (1st series) #28 that was also featured in the No-Prize Book. Beast is making some repairs and Jean telekinetically lifts him the tool he needs. She says "Here are your pliers", and Beast answers. "Thanks Jean, you're a credit to your gender." I don't think you'd find such a line in today's comics.

Now why was this in the No-Prize-Book ? The panel contains an art error. The tool that Jean lifts towards Hank clearly is a screwdriver, which makes Beast's comment bitterly ironic.
Last edited by Lavettye on 19 Mar 2020, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Monolith
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by Monolith » 23 Feb 2020, 15:13

People still romanticize Romeo & Juliet, so yeah, I imagine there would always be some idiots who saw Harley & Joker as "goals".
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by Spectral Knight » 24 Feb 2020, 09:20

Prof X's infatuation with Jean...in today's culture, this would be a serious no-go that a primary carer of a student teen living in his private residence has a thing for his student.

comicsfan666
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by comicsfan666 » 24 Feb 2020, 09:26

Spectral Knight wrote:
24 Feb 2020, 09:20
Prof X's infatuation with Jean...in today's culture, this would be a serious no-go that a primary carer of a student teen living in his private residence has a thing for his student.
Wasn't this just a throw-away panel that was never referenced again until Waid dug it up for Onslaught?

Hardly a big deal unless people are looking for something to get outraged about. I mean, it was just some internal thoughts, nothing he ever acted on.

I'd be far more concerned about the casual use of mind-wipes by Professor X in the Silver Age, like making Beast whole village forget about him.

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Lavettye
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by Lavettye » 24 Feb 2020, 09:56

It was in X-Men (1st series) #3. Initially I was going to bring it up too, but then decided against it for the exact reasons you mention. It's just a thought, but he realized it was inappropriate and never acted upon it.... though it does give his many private session with Jean and the secrecy regarding Changeling a bit of a weird undertone.

However, I just looked up that panel again and have to say it does belong in this list after all. Jean says "Don't worry, sir! Remember how well you've trained us!" and Xavier thinks " 'Don't worry!' as though I could help worrying About the one I love! But I can never tell her! I have no right! Not while I'm the leader of the X-Men and confined to this wheelchair!"

So indeed, he didn't act upon it and he realized it was wrong…. but for the wrong reasons. The mentioning of the wheelchair shows that he was already thinking about the physical aspects of being intimate. But that he brings up his inability to "perform" as a reason not to pursue a relationship with Jean, but NOT the main issue of her being a student in his care (leadership of the X-Men isn't quite the same) is what makes this scene totally inappropriate.
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by Spectral Knight » 24 Feb 2020, 09:58

I guess it was the slight weirdness of him knowing her since she was a child, and he was her 'father figure' as well as teacher - it felt very odd to me for him to be having such thoughts, and yet he still kept her under his roof, under his sole tutelage, and often keeping things between themselves and the rest of the team (the whole Z'Nox thing) - which makes me question whether or not that favouritsm was potentially steered by his dodgy thoughts.

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das_boot
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by das_boot » 19 Mar 2020, 20:57

I mean, there’s a lot...

I certainly don’t think that early Wonder Woman comics would stand up to modern feminist critique— in fact, I really don’t think many female heroes from the 50s/60s would stand up to that.

I think the difficulty with the Hank/Janet situation is that even through the lens of mental health and what we know now comparative to then, Hank would be seen as an abuser, especially considering the modernisation of that story, in Ultimates, made him out to be a serial abuser with Janet perpetuating the cycle of abuse by not reporting it/leaving him, and worse, HER FRIENDS admitting that they knew about it and allowed it to continue. Certainly in light of #metoo, there’s no way that this story would fly now.
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by Spectral Knight » 20 Mar 2020, 10:01

The Hank / Jan thing is really complex. Domestic abuse remains a horrific issue, but equally, there's no question that Hank was seriously out of whack from a mental health issue. I mean, look at the Yellowjacket situation, he probably should have had serious help at the point of demonstrable DID. There's a whole catalogue of issues that probably should have led to a measured intervention, as he'd been cracking up for some time. I think it's a quite a bit different from the Ultimate Pym who was more of a clear-cut abuser.

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tokenBG1009
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Re: Times Are A'changin'

Post by tokenBG1009 » 20 Mar 2020, 11:47

That's what made me think about it. Hank in the Ultimates was created to be that character because of how he's viewed in 616. If he was suffering a mental breakdown NOW and hit her I think it would still be scandalous, but it wouldn't have tainted his character so much. People would be more "Oh God, this terrible. We need to get him help" instead of "Oh God, he's a wife beater! DESTROY HIS REPUTATION!"

Note, it doesn't make what he did OKAY! It just re-contextualizes it for a modern viewing. I think the audience would be flipped at that point. Instead of readers hammering how he's a wife beater and the minority pointing out how he was clearly having a mental breakdown it would be the majority pointing out the issue and the minority giving no quarter for hitting Janet.
"Sometimes I do feel like I'm a failure. Like there's no hope for me. But even so, I'm not gonna give up. Ever!" -Izuku Midoriya

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