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If you are familiar with the comic book community, you may have noticed that people tend to get angry about changes within the respective comic universes that they invest their time in. Sure, every industry has its haters, but it seems that though certain concepts have been met with backlash when introduced into the superhero story through all of comic history, it seems that it happens more so nowadays. Well, let's delve into comic history then, or at least what I know about comic history to try and figure out what the whole deal is. In this release, we will (I guess I will) discuss examples of significant comic book changes and the effect that it has had on the comic-reading community.
Have you heard of the character Jim Hammond? Not many people have because he is not really shown much within the comics nowadays, but he was the Original Human Torch. Y'know? The guy that can cover his body in flames, member of the Fantastic Four? Well Jim Hammond isn't that guy. He isn't Johnny Storm, brother to Invisible Woman, Sue Storm. Historically speaking, The Fantastic Four was Marvel's A-Team of A-List Characters. Fantastic Four was wildly popular, the characters deeply loved by fans, but this begs the question, why was nobody angry that Jim Hammond had been replaced by Johnny Storm? Some might say that Johnny Storm might just be the better character, but there are other examples where the plan to replace a character has gone awry.
The "Iron Man" has a heart made of just that (not literally). No not, Tony Stark. I'm talking about Riri Williams. A young African-American teenager replaced Tony Stark as the titular character of his own series. Riri, in my opinion, is a pretty interesting character. Yet, the introduction of her character lead to huge backlash, but fans also leaped in to defend her introduction.
Well really, apart from the unfortunate racism and sexism in the comic community, what this really boils down to is that these new characters that show up in mainstream comics nowadays are not the characters many fans have spent years investing their time in and getting attached to. There are people that grew up with Barry Allen's Sidekick, Wally West, being the Flash after Wally died. However, after the New 52 Re-launch by DC comics in 2011, Wally just disappeared. And above all that, Barry Allen was the Flash again. All of the Wally fans were furious because they spent time and money reading Wally's Flash run, and just like that, all of that time and money meant nothing. So really it would be no surprise that some fans would be upset with the fact that Tony Stark is not Iron Man in the comics. Even more he was killed off in the Civil War II event, which in itself was already a bad story according to a bunch of fans, one of which is Rob from ComicsExplained on YouTube. So to summarize, some random person that is not Tony Stark is Iron Man, and also Tony Stark was given a lackluster death within a lackluster story.
There are a plethora of view points in relation to making major changes in comics (some of which I will be going into in future posts, and some that I will not). Additionally, I there are also many arguments supporting diversity in comics, some of which I will critique, and of course... some that I may not.
In the next few posts, I will be continuing my discussion on Marvel's Champions, going into the classic The Dark Knight Returns Story, and talking about what I think of Amadeus Cho (The Totally Awesome Hulk), Spider-Man (Both Miles Morales and Peter Parker), and talking about the various X-men teams that are running around in comics nowadays.
Check out my other posts on my profile if you like the content I am putting out!