Sunday, February 26, 2012

Liss' Black Panther Failboat

"END" being the operative word.
Seems like Marvel (@Marvel) needed to get their minority characters in full view so they hijacked one of the most revered titles ever and gave it to likes of Liss, who did nothing but write arc after arc of 'Angry White Man'.  With Black Panther 529, we see David Liss' (@David_Liss) reckless joyride come to a close.

I've never seen characters more misused and misunderstood by a writer.  Ever.

People were relentlessly backbiting 'Franken-Castle ', but underneath the story the character's foundation remained the same: A "monster" focused on one thing and one thing only, revenge against whomever he feels has wronged him. In fact, one can argue that the 'Franken-Caslte' ultimately put the Punisher right where he most of the MU viewed him...a freak.

Back to the sorry BP: It started out nicely enough, I was giving it high marks and praising it publicly. Very smooth penciling and layouts gave the book the "new" feel it was going after...but it quickly started to go downhill - all due to David Liss' simple and prohibitive writing combined with an arrant misunderstanding of the characters he was writing about: Fisk talking like a 90 year old Asian man? Did they use the word "Shall" enough? What does Liss have against contractions?  I remember that trick from high school, don't use contractions and your word count goes up, very sophomoric.

On the other side of this coin was the incredible work of Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) and Co. on 'Daredevil ' in what is being considered one of the best new books of 2011-2012.  Off the heels of Shadowland , which divided the DD community (to my bewilderment. Detractors of the "event" were disappointed with the device, or machine, used to explain Daredevil's change in behavior: "possesion"...yet they seem at ease with underused characters like BP being used as did Liss).  Find me a DD fan that doesn't like the new Matt Murdock. Dare ya.

Marvel needed to re-invigorate the fan base and Waid did so, with adroitness, creativity, invention and originality...all the things a writer wants coming coming off his or her pages - well, unless one were speaking with David Liss.  Some writers simply have an agenda and need to push it, regardless of that upon which they trample.

The DD Waid and Co. have may have refashioned but he stayed true to himself, is rediscovered and is renewed.  Bring him back into the regular numbering and let's get back to the titles we love.  The Panther as who he truly is, Fisk as he truly is and this new, dynamic DD.  Comic readers need to realize it isn't what's on the "outside" of a character, or his or her setting; it's whether or not the character is being true to the characters base and foundation.  The Punisher was exactly that in 'Franken-Castle'.

Liss' run is and will remain, an utter failure...only purchased by those that don't want a gaping hole in their DD collections. As a Hollywood slurping Marvel likely refuses to still see, tokenism doesn't sit well, even with their ever adoring, ultra-liberal base. Ask them for the truth of 'Ultimate Spider-Man sales'.  It's dismal.

I stray, the point is characters were used as placeholders to serve Liss' 'Angry White Man' agenda and not a single character (from Fisk to Falcon [reduced to nothing but a "flier"] to Lady Bullseye) was used correctly.  I saw none of their distinguishing characteristics in any of their appearances.  They were blank, faceless "fists".  Liss simply needed a team for the finale, and Affirmative Action came into play.

For one, I'm glad to see this over. It was painful, and I had to choke it up when buying each issue and I feel used.  Yes, no one put a gun to my head to buy it...but when a reader has nearly all 600 issues of a title, they aren't going to leave that above mentioned gaping hole in their run...and Marvel knows this.

So, in closing I hope Marvel filled their quota, I hope Liss got all his white-guilt out of his system (doubt it, it's an endless well for the Left) and we won't see a road once walked by the likes of Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Ed Brubaker and Gerry Conway sullied and littered with the filthy remains of someone like Liss again.

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