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CSBG Archive

Snark Free Corner for 2/18

Welcome to the latest installment of your breath of snark free air!

Enjoy!

SNARK FREE DEBATE

Fictional presidents versus real-life presidents – is either preferable?

Like most issues, it is generally one of those “different strokes for different people” things, in that it works well one way, but it also works well the other way.

Personally, though, I think fictionalized presidents allow for a greater freedom of storytelling, as you can do more with a fictional character as opposed to a real life character, not to mention how the use of a real life President dates the comic book in the future (as awesome as Mark Waid’s use of Bill Clinton was in his Captain America run, it definitely does date the book a bit).

That said, Marvel has always striven for realism in their comics, so I guess it makes sense for them to use the real life president. DC is interesting, in that they usually use fictionalized presidents, but have gone the real life route a number of times, most notably with John F. Kennedy.

More recently, DC had Reagan be the President during the late 80s, at least in projects Keith Giffen was involved with (perhaps Giffen just liked to be realistic). It worked okay, I suppose. Who IS the current DC President, by the way?

As noted in an Urban Legends post awhile back, Marvel was going to let Cap be elected President, but decided against it before it happened.

What do you folks think is better? Using a fictional President or using the real President?

COVER THEME GAME

As always, here is the game. I show three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, locale, creator, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these comics. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond just the covers.

A cool point to the first person to figure it out!

Good luck!

1.

3142_4_20.jpg

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3385_4_20.jpg

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16508_4_007.jpg

SNARK FREE CHALLENGE

Come up with a reasonable explanation for why Lex Luthor would chose Pete Ross as his running mate (do note that Ross’ political background at the time was as a replacement Senator who served for about a month before getting caught up in a blackmail scheme, after which, Ross resigned).

THE COVER GAME

This week’s game is as follows…

Find me a comic cover that features a United States President on it…

Here is an example (which you can’t use!)….

1482_4_0123.jpg

Remember, only one cover per commenter!

Good luck!

WHO IS IT?

Remember, tell me who it is and what number clue gave it away!

1. This character was a member of a team.
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2. This character is currently dead.
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3. There is another living character with the same name as this character.
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4. This character was born in the state of New Troy.
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5. The character was President of the United States.

Who is it?

Well, that’s it for this installment of Snark Free Corner.

Hope you had fun!

58 Comments

Cover challenge: They all feature characters that are Irish?

Sorry, the previous post was for the cover theme.

As for the cover game, does the Lincoln Memorial come to life count? If so, then Captain America #222 is the comic for you.

http://www.milehighcomics.com/cgi-bin/backissue.cgi?action=fullsize&issue=14462577792%20222

It took me until number 4 to realize that you’re talking about the Squadron Supreme version of Kyle “Nighthawk” Richmond…

Someone on each of those covers is a legacy character. Blue Beetle, Mirror Master (and Boomerang, I guess) and Captain Britain are all characters who have taken up the mantle of a previous character by the same name.

Remember, that Mirror Master is just Boomerang using the disguise to secretly pull off jobs while working for the Squad, so I wouldn’t count that as a legacy.

And more generally, I think it’s safe to say that nowadays, “legacy” characters are so prevalent that it really wouldn’t work as a specific theme (now if it was something tricky like, “They were all the third in their legacy line,” or something like that, then now we can talk! :)).

Grandma's Beef Curtains

February 19, 2008 at 4:18 am

Snark Free Challenge: Lex Luthor chose Pete Ross as his running mate because that was the idea the writer had. He wrote it down in script form and sent it to the artist who duly illustrated it. Sometime later, the book was published and sent to comicbook stores all over the world. You purchased a copy and, using your eyes and brain, perused the fictional narrative contained therein. I am surprised you had to ask this question. If something so simple confuses you so greatly, how on earth do you do relatively complex things like drive a car or wipe your arse?

SNARK FREE Corner G.B.F. Clearly you can’t understand that so take a hike douche.

“Different strokes for different people”?

“…and Captain Britain are all characters who have taken up the mantle of a previous character by the same name”

Really?? There was a Captain Britain before Brian Braddock? Who was that?

Grandma's Beef Curtains

February 19, 2008 at 4:44 am

Perhaps, ‘Anonymous’, my message was a post-modern take on the whole concept of ‘Snark-Free’. As a writer, I pride myself on my ability to deconstruct any given idea using a mixture of irony, sarcasm, whimsy and pathos.

When I say “writer”, I do of course mean, “lonely man who spends lots of time on the internet”.

And when I say “lonely man”, I do of course mean “pervert”.

Really?? There was a Captain Britain before Brian Braddock? Who was that?

There was a whole Captain Britain Corps that preceded Brian (and that he was a member of), so I presume that’s what Kane was referring to.

I prefer the Marvel style of using the real President. Yes, it dates the book, but it’s a nice touch of the realism that Marvel has always had as its goal. Going through the Silver Age issues (thank you, GIT Corp), it’s amazing the respect they treated the President with. With JFK, they didn’t show his face, but just implied (strongly) who he was. Then there’s the issues where the only people who know who the Hulk is are Bruce Banner, Rick Jones…and LBJ. Why just Johnson? Because he was the only person Rick Jones thought was honorable enough to trust. Try pulling off that storyline in the last 15 years or so.

For the cover challenge does Savage Dragon 119 count?

For the cover theme game, all had powers based upon their hands? Catalyst used chemicals out of his hands, Black Tom projected blasts out of his hands (at one point) and Boomerang threw his…well you get the idea.

another possibility would be all feature members of teams which worked for hire. Catalyst was in Captains of Industry (who worked for the Sunderland Corp), Captain Boomerang was in Suicide Squad back when they were a work-for-hire group, and Black Tom worked for Black Air (a private-sector company who plagued Excalibur).

I was gonna mention Savage Dragon 119 too but I got beaten to the punch I see.

Ah well… Savage Dragon 120 features Dubya and Kerry!

As for using a fictional or actual president, I’d say right now stick with a fictional one. If people are already pissed that Tony Stark acts like a supervillain just imagine how Dubya would look! I just wish he could turn out to be Skrull…

I much prefer Marvel’s realist approach…

That said, for the cover challenge…

Any issue of Prez. ;)

For the cover challenge, here’s an obscure one:

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=238916&zoom=4

For those who don’t know, Treasure Chest was a weekly? biweekly? comic book distributed to Catholic children in their CCD (Sunday school) classes or at church. This was the issue that followed Kennedy’s assassination.

Real vs. Fictional Presidents:
If they’re going to use the President, I’d rather they not show his face. Why? Timelines. Putting real presidents in places the stories in an indentifiable time, thus making it impossible to have an undefined timeline. Both publishers deny any semblance of real-time in the books, so putting real people in defines the time the story happened in.

That being said, I really don’t care. Whenever they try to make idiotic statments like “The 45 years of stories all started 10 years ago”, I tune them out. My suspension of disbelief for comics includes time.

More recently, DC had Reagan be the President during the late 80s, at least in projects Keith Giffen was involved with (perhaps Giffen just liked to be realistic). It worked okay, I suppose. Who IS the current DC President, by the way?

I think he’s just some dude. I’m not sure DC even named him.

Also, President Clinton appeared numerous times in 90s DC Comics, particularly in the Superman titles.

Come up with a reasonable explanation for why Lex Luthor would chose Pete Ross as his running mate (do note that Ross’ political background at the time was as a replacement Senator who served for about a month before getting caught up in a blackmail scheme, after which, Ross resigned)

You know how Luthor loves a challenge! ;) I suspect he and Ross met at some point and Luthor saw certain qualities in Pete that he liked.

Grandma's Beef Curtains

February 19, 2008 at 8:18 am

Brian Mac: “Why just Johnson? Because he was the only person Rick Jones thought honorable enough to trust. Try pulling off that storyline in the last 15 years or so.”

Clearly you didn’t see Marvel’s ‘Power Pack Presidential Special’ from last year. The Pack revealed their secret identities to an incredulous George W. Bush who had them shipped to Guantanamo Bay and waterboarded half to death.

And what about the ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ annual from 1999 in which Lara meets Bill Clinton. That Adam Hughes front cover of Bill sticking a cigar up Lara’s hairy muff was just GORGEOUS, and the tagline ‘Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em!!’ always cracks me up whenever I see it.

I’m of the opinion that using real presidents in stories such as these gives them a ‘real world’ edge that stories such as DC’s ‘JLA Versus President Phillips’ just don’t have.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t dig this one up for the cover game:
http://www.hellblazer.com/media/ReagansRaiders.01.jpg

For the cover theme game:
All three covers feature someone who uses an object to produce a concussion blast.

Blue Beetle has his BB gun.
Captain Boomerbutt has his exploding boomerangs.
Black Tom uses his shillelagh. (He’s the only one with a real power, but he has to use wood (heh) to focus it).

The idea that Reagan was the President in the late 80’s isn’t a recent one for DC. President Reagan is a fairly important part of Booster Gold’s origin (Booster’s first act of super heroism was stopping an assassination attempt on Reagan’s life and Reagan effectively gives Booster his super hero name.)

Cover theme: Given the presidential theme of today’s SFC, is it that all of the covers feature a character who shares a name with a president whose head is on Mount Rushmore: Ted (Kord/Roosevelt); George (Harkness/Washington) and Tom (Black Tom Cassidy/Jefferson)?

Cover game: Action Comics #309

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=18207&zoom=4

Now you may not get this at first, but if you’ve read the issue you would know that the “mystery masquerader” on the cover is none other than John F Kennedy.

Wow, I really hope Rob’s right about the Cover Theme, because that’s all kinds of awesome.

Remember when Steve Rogers, as the Captain, fought Ronald Reagan who was transforming into a snake?

[img]http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/captain-america/344-19.jpg[/img]

Wasn’t it implied in either Millenium or one of the many related crossovers that Nancy Reagan was a Manhunter?

Reagan was also President during The Dark Knight Returns.

dale

Grandma's Beef Curtains

February 19, 2008 at 10:14 am

Nancy Reagan was a ‘manhunter’ alright.

Just not in the way you’re thinking. Ohhh yeeeah.

Cover Theme- Captains?- Captain Boomerang, Captain Britain, and Catalyst was a member of the Captains of Industry.

Hey, can we get this Grandma’s Beef Curtains guy banned already? His comments are incredibly obnoxious and inappropriate for this page.

I think using real-life presidents is stupid. The book DOES NOT become more realistic because the name of the guy escaping (or helping) the giant monsters invading the Oval Office is George Bush. That’s like saying that Independence Day would be more realistic if it was Bill Clinton the one leading the world against the alien invasion…

It also limits stories terribly; you can’t have Bush, Clinton, McCain or Obama be a Skrull, collaborating with HYDRA or being murdered, to mention a few examples, and makes the books look unnecessarily dated.

Put me down in the “fictional presidents are better: column, mainly because, as it’s been said, it helps preserve the notion of the sliding timeline.

The criticism that use of real presidents “dates” the work kind of rests on the assumption that all superhero stories must be timeless and universal, and I’m not sure if I buy that. Reagan’s appearances in Giffen’s JLI and Ostrander’s Suicide Squad certainly cements those books in the 80s, but I don’t see how that’s a flaw. Part of the charm of those books is that they only really work in the context of the Cold War/Reagan Era.

Hey, can we get this Grandma’s Beef Curtains guy banned already? His comments are incredibly obnoxious and inappropriate for this page.

Would you like some cheese?

Apodaca – cute, I get it. I’m whining. But really, (he says, in his most reasonable, non-whiny voice), don’t you think the Snark-Free Corner can be actually free of snarky, offensive, insulting comments?

Yeah, but those other Captain Britains didn’t come before Brian. The corps are all simultaneous differing iterations of the same basic idea on parallel earths. Others have taken over the mantle of Earth 616’s Captain from Brian for brief periods, but he was the first and true Captain of 616 (and for once I’m really specifically mean Earth 616– this is how it got its name, after all.)

RE: 35.DanLarkin

You get no arguement from me on your points. Fixing the story into a specific era isn’t necessarily a BAD thing in some cases. I’m only saying that using real presidents actively contradicts the publisher’s B.S. about their timelines and ties the story to a time period.

Cover theme: Given the presidential theme of today’s SFC, is it that all of the covers feature a character who shares a name with a president whose head is on Mount Rushmore: Ted (Kord/Roosevelt); George (Harkness/Washington) and Tom (Black Tom Cassidy/Jefferson)?

Correct!

I can always count on you, Rob, to be on my wavelength! :)

Pete Ross was picked….

Beacause he was Superman’s childhood pal and a minor sheild against super-smear campaigns?

The closest thing to an explanation I can remember seeing was a flashback in a Superman Secret Files issue (maybe from 2004). It revealed that (and I’m going from my memory here) that Lex helped Pete Ross’s hospitalized father while they were growing up in Smallville, and Pete became the VP as a favor to Lex. I assume Lex appointed him in the first place to get back at Superman though.

Have a good day.
John Cage

Isn’t picking Pete Ross as a running mate something Luthor would do only because his ego wouldn’t let him beleive he could lose no matter who his running mate is and because he know it would piss off Superman?

don’t you think the Snark-Free Corner can be actually free of snarky, offensive, insulting comments

I think that’s fair, and I try to keep from being too snarky in the comments for this column. But, I think it’s quite an overreaction to call for his being banned from the entire blog, and I don’t really see why his comments bother you so much. Yes, they’re crude, but there wasn’t anything in there that seemed offensive or insulting, to me. I guess I just don’t get why you seem to have taken personal offense to the post. Perhaps you can elaborate on what about the post bothered you personally?

Also, isn’t it easy enough to just scroll past certain comments?

Ronald Reagan WAS the President in the late 1980’s. He was President from January 20, 1981, through January 20, 1989. Maybe you meant “Nixon” was president in the late 1980’s (as depicted in Watchmen). Or were you refering to the Reagan that was President in the “future” world of Dark Knight Returns, which was published in the mid-1980’s?

I think that the DC president is named Horne. I tried looking him up on Wikipiedia, but he didn’t have an entry. I think he took over right after Luthor. I would like to get some backstory on him, since he has shown up in a few comics.
I like the fictious presidents. It lets writers comment on politics without actually condoning or blaming actual figures. Luthor as president had so much potential, just as Stark as Secretary of Defense.

On the real vs. fake President question, I generally prefer real. When I’m reading superhero comics, I like to imagine I’m reading about a world more or less like my own, only with the addition of superheroes. Having a fake President in there is SUCH a break from reality as I know it that it takes me right out of the story.

I don’t mind it when they just refer to a “Mr. President” & play it coy with his identity, though. I kind of miss that, actually. It seems so Silver Age-y.

And the President in the DC Universe is E.G. Marshall in a bad toupee.

Oh wait, that was in Superman II. My bad.

Craig, ignore Apodicka. He’s 22. He’ll pull his head out of his ass one of these days…

I like the flexibility of real and in-universe presidents. Real president worked well in 10 Nights of KGBeast, but fake president worked very well the President Luthor arc. I’m not sure where I stand on W showing up in Ultimates.

Pete Ross was picked because Lex pulled a Dan Quayle. He wanted a good looking cipher who would not over shadow him and was good enough to rub some family values wholesomeness off on him (especially since Lex was unmarried).

If you really want to get cute, consider the electoral math: Luthor is essentially a big city North Eastern guy, a businessman, a self made millionaire, a technocrat, and a pro-humanity kind of guy. This gets him the urban yuppie vote, the white collar liberal vote, and the conservative business vote. Ross gets him the rural vote and values voters, plus is photogenic and has that cute wife and baby and he’s from the Midwest so he can poach the south (in theory).

Luthor would have been smarter to pick either Frank Rock or Amanda Waller to be his VP.

VP Pete Ross = Superpunch.

Remember those?

#46 Capper said

Ronald Reagan WAS the President in the late 1980’s. He was President from January 20, 1981, through January 20, 1989….Or were you refering to the Reagan that was President in the “future” world of Dark Knight Returns, which was published in the mid-1980’s?

#24 Thok said

The idea that Reagan was the President in the late 80’s isn’t a recent one for DC.

Capper, Thok’s comment (which I think you’re responding to) was in reference to Reagan being the president in the ’80s DCU instead of there being a fictional president at that time. Thok was in turn responding to Brian’s

More recently, DC had Reagan be the President during the late 80s….

All that being blockquoted, I prefer fictional presidents. Real presidents spoil my suspension of disbelief.

Grandma's Beef Curtains

February 20, 2008 at 6:43 am

I’m not sure what it is I’ve done to offend you, Craig. I have studiously avoided the use of harsh profanity in order to avoid upsetting other posters who might not share my views on freedom of speech. I have not directed any insulting or offensive comments specifically in your direction. I really can’t see what it is you don’t like about me. The only thing I can think of is that you are a somewhat overzealous Republican, desperate to defend the virtue of one Mrs Nancy Regean. If that’s the case, then the best of luck to you. Hope Nancy appreciates the effort.

Far more offensive, in my opinion, was joshschr’s reference to Apodaca as ‘Apodicka’ and his -so far unproven- assertion that Apodaca has his head up his ass.

Joshschr, such snarky behaviour is not welcome here in Snark-Free Corner. With your potty-mouth and casual disregard for your fellow poster’s feelings, you are one of those people who ruin things for the rest of us, who come here to share our thoughts and opinions on topics such as ‘Are Fictional Presidents Better Than Real Ones’. Frankly, I’ve had quite enough of people like you spoiling our fun. Why don’t you just fuck off?

All right, guys. Let’s take it down a notch. Apodaca, what got me upset was the crudity of G.B.C.’s comments, and that they went on several times. I could ignore one comment, but it seemed like he was really trying to make a point, and I just didn’t think it was appropriate here (especially the cigar thing). Joshschr, thanks for the support, but I didn’t take Apodaca’s comments personally or get that upset by them. G.B.C. – I’m definitely not a Republican, zealous or otherwise – like I said above, what got under my skin was the crude comments. Again, I just didn’t think it was appropriate here. ‘Nuff said, as far as I’m concerned – let’s all just move along.

I’m getting called immature by someone who changes people’s names into grade-school insults?

The irony on this guy!

GBC – I have to say I also found the cigar comment offensive. Perhaps that kind of comment can made less explicitly to get your point across.

Let’s try to keep the corner not only snark free but friendly to all genders.

Grandma's Beef Curtains

February 21, 2008 at 4:16 am

*SOBS* I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU ALL!! I’m never posting on this blog again! *Leaves in tears*

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