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Saturday, August 03, 2013 

Someone who says he once irrationally disliked Hercules may not have gotten past that problem

One of the contributors to Comics Alliance wrote about comic writers/characters he initially disliked and later changed opinions on. He first says he wasn't into Jack Kirby or even Stan Lee years before, apparently considering their ideas too childish - something I vehemently disagree with - and towards the end, he brings up a little something he may still have yet to grow past:
As for characters that I’ve come around on, the one that comes to mind is Marvel’s Hercules. I had a completely irrational hatred of the character for years and I have no idea why, which is especially weird since I usually really like it when classical mythology is dropped into a superhero story. I don’t think I’d ever quite forgiven him for getting soused and then getting run over by a truck in “Under Siege” — the Avengers story, not the Steven Segal film. And of course, the thing that turned me around on him was Incredible Hercules, a book that I absolutely loved. It’s thrilling, funny, adventurous, smart, heartfelt… It’s pretty much everything I want in a superhero comic.

A book by, among others, Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry, Khary Randolph… and Greg Pak.
Really? He changed his mind about Herc? Coming from the very same man who said he dislikes Terry Long from the New Teen Titans for reasons not his own fault, that sure inspires a lot of confidence he knows what he's talking about, my my. To date, I can't tell if he recognizes that Marv Wolfman and George Perez are the guys he has to criticize if he has such a problem with Terry's characterization. If not, I guess he has no idea why, nor why he even bothered to read a single Titans tale either if Terry is, in his mind, the worst thing that could happen.

I'm also at a loss to understand what he means by not forgiving Herc for getting drenched and banged by a truck. Never mind that Herc was long characterized as a guy who did have flaws and was deliberately written to be a likable klutz at times (something Thor could be too whenever the writers wanted to go for comedy relief), if the Comics Alliance writer has a problem with the hero not being portrayed as a competent fighter, he's gotta lay the blame at the feet of the writers assigned (at the time, Roger Stern and Steve Englehart), blame them for failing his expectations, and not heap the blame on Herc for something that wasn't his fault. (Odd that he doesn't explicitly mention the writers whose work on Herc let him down, yet does mention those whose work he does like, including Van Lente and Pak. Does he lack the courage to criticize those whose work disappoints him?) This is an argument I hope I never tire of making if I really want to try and change what I find a juvenile, illogical approach to criticism.

Sometimes, I get the feeling some people like these can't decide if they want an ultra-perfect superhero in every way, or one who's got flaws. The writer of that item must be one of them. And when will they ever spot the elephants in the room?

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Yeesh. How you can not like Jack Kirby and Stan Lee? I got into X-Men in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and I still prefer the older material to the modern BS. I actually think the pre-Claremont era X-Men comics are decent, and certainly not as bad as nimrods like the CA writer seems to think they are.

Then again, this is the same guy who thinks the Silver Age is "racist" and might've been trolling anonymously here when you wrote about his article where he bashed Terry long.

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