After back to back serious blog topics, I think a little levity is in order. So this time around I have decided to tackle another top 10 type of list; this time the topic will be comic book characters.
I was very reluctant to do this list when I first started my blog because while I was peripherally familiar with many things comic related, I didn’t consider myself deeply involved with them or their universes enough to justify doing one. I still wouldn’t call my knowledge of comics anywhere near substantial, but I have started to expand my horizons over the past several years and have come to like and/or respect several characters enough to compile a list of favorites.
While not all of the characters on this list are big enough draws for me to pick up every book they’re featured in, the key component for all of them is that their presence helps in choosing to buy a comic, or at the very least I’d be willing to collect a pin-up print, figure, statue or original artwork of them if the price is right.
It hadn’t been my intention to wade into the realm of misogyny, sexism or anti-feminist troll attacks that have unfortunately continued to pop up and linger despite the decades that have lapsed since the women’s rights movement was won, but it seems like I can’t check my twitter feed without regularly reading about some misogynistic asshole or some group or convention that has tolerated or flat-out endorsed bigotry or sexual harassment of its female members. While I am appalled that this happens everywhere and with every genre grouping, I find it particular offensive that it seems to happen so often in the geek realm, especially given that the stigma that comes from being a “geek” or “nerd” should make us more inclusive, not the other way around. If there’s one group that should understand the negative impact bullying can have on a person, it’s geek culture, so for any so called “geek” or “nerd” to engage in the bullying or intentional discomfiture of others, especially our own members, is downright reprehensible.
Given that the anonymity of the internet creates a breeding ground for hate and trolls, it seems as though you can’t skip a virtual stone across the internet without it ricocheting off porn and hitting a story or comment thread full of this vile misogyny.
Meet Eric O’Grady, a.k.a. The Irredeemable Ant-Man, the world’s most unlikeable super hero. Most super heroes, while flawed, tend to be brave, noble and selfless fighters for justice and the better good. Eric O’Grady is none of those things. He’s self-centered, perverted, cowardly and only acts with his own self-interest in mind. He’s what you might call a dirt bag.
And I absolutely love him for it.
The Eric O’Grady Ant-Man was created in 2006 by Robert Kirkman (of Walking Dead fame) and was featured in his own 12-issue series, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, with the “irredeemable” moniker naturally being a play off of the commonplace superlatives used, usually in a more positive fashion naturally, to describe Marvel’s superheroes, such as The Incredible Hulk or The Invincible Iron-Man or The Amazing Spider-Man. As expected from the name, he was intentionally created to be a change of pace from the rest of the super heroes. While most heroes’ powers come about organically or as a reward for their efforts, Eric O’Grady stole his.
Since the release of the Avengers movie, much ado has been made about Hawkeye, and not all of it has been flattering. In fairness, the majority of it has been positive and related to what a badass Jeremy Renner has made him, but it’s been those few nagging voices that have compelled me to speak up on his behalf for the way he has been unfairly singled out.
As those who have seen the Avengers movie or read the comics know, Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, is the sharpshooter of the Avengers team, known for his incomparable skills with the bow and arrow and his amazing eyesight. In the film he is portrayed by Jeremy Renner.
For the sake of disclosure, I was not a previous fan of Hawkeye, not because I disliked him or anything, but primarily because I was never an avid reader of comics involving the Avengers, so he just wasn’t really on my radar.
Also because he dressed like this.
I was more of an X-Men guy, particularly anything Gambit-related, or a Deadpool fan. I started taking an interest in Hawkeye when I saw the Thor movie and found myself highly entertained by Jeremy Renner’s cameo.
What with Avengers fever sweeping the nation, I thought that switching my attention to comics might be a good idea for this week’s blog post. Of course, I won’t actually be discussing anything Avengers-related in this post, but it’s the sentiment that counts, right? Instead what I’m going to discuss is the poor handling of the character Deadpool in Rick Remender’s ongoing Uncanny X-Force series.
Anyone who knows me well knows that Deadpool is one of my two favorite comic book characters (Gambit being the other), so naturally I tend to pick up any comic that he is featured in, with some depictions or story-lines being better than others based on the writer’s grasp of the character. Such is the nature of the comic book industry.