Meta/StarFall: Introducing a Legacy Character to a New Universe

Tom Russell joltcity at
Mon Sep 20 08:48:37 PDT 2010

On Sep 20, 6:12 am, Andrew Perron <pwer... at> wrote:
> On Sun, 19 Sep 2010 23:30:27 +0000 (UTC), Phantasm wrote:

> > 2) How would *you* write the two characters?
> I'd dispense with trying to make them strictly representative of the
> American right and left.  Instead, I'd focus on a specific issue that they
> disagreee on.  This, I suspect, will decrease the levels of charicature.

Yes, that's always the difficulty in doing a Hawk-and-Dove type thing;
the creator almost always ends up making one character always wrong
per his political bias.  With Hawk and Dove, for example, Ditko always
made Dove an emasculated wuss, while O'Neil almost always had Green
Lantern having to cede the point to Green Arrow.  It could be done
well, but would require a great deal of delicacy.

If I was to have a story or series about a socially right-wing (as
opposed to fiscally conservative) hero and a socially leftist one, I'd
try to avoid those wedge issues that don't have much room for a middle
ground. I mean, something like abortion-- you have two groups who both
think they're morally right and the other is morally wrong, and
there's really no wiggle room, no reaching across the aisle on
something like that.  I would probably model the right-wing hero after
some of my conservative friends, who support gay rights, don't think
the President is a radical muslim communist Hitler, and are frankly
appalled by the invasion of the far-right into the mainstream
Republican party.  I might disagree with those gents about matters of
foreign policy, tax law, and the role of government-- I might even
feel that their stances are destructive, just as they might feel the
same about mine-- but those disagreements are generally more civil

That doesn't allow for the same level of interpersonal drama as a more
polarized disagreement-- and likely a drier one for those who don't
find it exciting to chart how Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy in some
ways functions as a rejection of his mentor Fritz Kraemer's
"provocative weakness" doctrine-- but it does prevent me from making
the other side a cartoon or buffoon.

As far as a racist hero is concerned: I think it can be done without
making the hero repugnant *if* the hero is aware of it, or made aware
of it, and tries to do better. That kind of struggle could be
interesting to read about, as it emphasizes both the human-ness of a
superhero, and the idea that all of us can, with effort, become better
than we are.


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