Friday, December 09, 2005

It's What We Do

There's a bit of discussion on the old Kung Fu Monkey about the Blue Beetle, a character that John Rogers and Keith Giffen and Cully Hamner are re-inventing /introducing/imagining for DC Comics.

Now someone calling themself "Ted Kord's Ghost" is complaining about why they killed the character of the Blue Beetle off (The Ted Kord version, not the previous Dan Garrett version), and are now re-launching him. John makes the arguement that he and Keith didn't kill off Ted Kord, but you know what?

I wouldn't blame him if he had.

It's what we do.

As writers it's our job to make things absolutely tough for our characters. Impossible even. It's our job to give them weaknesses that no normal person could ever overcome. It's our job to give them so much baggage that it would take an entire cadre of SkyCaps to load it all up onto the plane.

It's our job to fuck them up any way we can, not for the sake of fuckin' 'em up, but for the sake of the story.

You remember story, right?

So, "Ted Kord's Ghost," get over it. Spank your inner moppet. Load up a couple of hankies. Talk to a thera-pissed. Pour over those old Charltons that are now as brown as the tea I'm drinking, and wank off to the good old days. Whatever.

This is our job, and in order for us to do it well, (imaginary) characters such as the likable Mr. Kord have to eat a bullet every now and then.
They have to break up with their girlfriends.
They have to argue and do stupid, weak things.
They have to drink.
They have to put themselves in situations where there is no possible hope of survival.

It's all so they can remind us why they're called heroes in the first place. Because heroes overcome all the crap that kill lesser men, or if they don't overcome it, they sure as hell stand up to it.


John Donald Carlucci said...

I was trying to say that, but you did it much better sir.

Maybe Ted Kord's Ghost is Mark Waid.


Ted Kord's Ghost said...

I am aware that the basis of drama is adversity. Take away the adversity that the character faces and you have is...well, too boring for words. To keep a level of suspense and, well, drama you have to increase the odds each time or it becomes repetitive and dull.

So do whatever you want to Ted Kord Cripple him, maim him, brainwash him into becoming a neocon and fight crime with a flogger and dressed in pink liquid latex for all I care. I am just upset that his story is over. There is no more adversity, no more drama for ted kord (except what is in my posts.)

Ted Kord (when done right) was one of the few lighter, fun characters of the DCU. Too many of the other DCU characters have become too dark and depressing in the writer's attempt to get more realistic. Blue Beetle was all about fun. It would help if the new series at least tried to maintain that tone, but Giffen himself said this series is going to be as serious as a heart attack and full of disturbing things. That pretty much describes every comic book of the DCU. Whatever happened to variety?

Throw those impossible odds at Ted to keep up the suspense and then have the audience cheer when he overcomes those odds. But don't kill off a light hearted character, replace him with something that is the complete opposite and then expect the fans to be happy about it.

Bill Cunningham said...

Ted Kord's Ghost --

"But don't kill off a light hearted character, replace him with something that is the complete opposite and then expect the fans to be happy about it."

Make that read "...the fan to be happy about it."

You haven't even read the first issue yet. Let's see what Rogers, Giffen and Hamner do first before we review their work, okay? Rogers has already given us a clue or two - let's see how they pay those off first, before we condemn the work.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Make that read "...the fan to be happy about it."

Sorry, but I know I am not the only one who feels this way.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Oh, and I am not saying I speak for anybody besides me. But I have seen a lot of posts on different boards with similiar opinions, so I am not alone.

James Moran said...

As a side note: Bill, good use of the word "wank".

Ted Kord's Ghost: How about we wait and see what the comic is like before starting the online petition, eh?