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I’d Bring Alex Wilder Back

I think the guy is just too fascinating of a character to have him permanently be stuck in that white void dimension he currently is in.

Either as a redeemed villain or as a super-villain in training, he’s such a great character that I’d bring him back.

17 Comments

Wait, so he’s not dead? I dropped the book never to pick up another issue the moment he died. I had no interest in the other characters without him as the focal point.

Iunno, I thought his last appearance offered some pretty good closure to his whole role in the series. Bringing him back would have take alot of good writing to convince me it’s a good idea and not just another “bring back character x” plot.

I’d let a writer do it, but not until they get a writer who’s going to be on the book for a good run of 24 or what not. That deserves to be a big, good, long story.

Random Stranger

March 16, 2009 at 6:26 am

T, he’s dead. The “void dimension” that Cronin mentions is purgatory (Alex refers to it as hell but given who he greets there I think it’s a place for those seeking forgiveness and redemption). You really should read to the end of Vaughn’s run; he takes the characters to some interesting places.

And for that reason I wouldn’t want him brought back. I’ll agree that a supervillain in training or an up-and-comer is a character concept that there’s room for especially since the Hood is apparently no longer filling that role.

My only fear is that if they bring him back, he’ll be redeemed and rejoin the team. And while that might be an interesting story in the short term, I think he works better as a villian.

if they did decide to bring Alex back. it would just prove death as a resolving door though it would make the team learn to deal with rebuild trust with someone who did them wrong . would not surprise me if it does happen for after all no idea including bringing back dead characters goes unused

T, he’s dead. The “void dimension” that Cronin mentions is purgatory (Alex refers to it as hell but given who he greets there I think it’s a place for those seeking forgiveness and redemption). You really should read to the end of Vaughn’s run; he takes the characters to some interesting places.

I don’t know, reading Alex-s death just brought back memories to me of growing up watching movies where the black guy was expendable and almost always died. Here we had a book where the black guy was the most interesting and likeable person in the book, who looked poised to be a great protaganist, without being a stereotypical “chip on his shoulder” angry black man (Triathlon), a jive talking stereotype (Luke Cage 70s), a Timberland wearing Mike Tyson type (Luke Cage late 80s), a gold-tooth, ski hat wearing hip-hop slang using stereotype (Luke Cage early ’00s), a derivative of an existing white character (Jim Rhodes Iron Man, John Stewart Green Lantern), or a regal African king used for simplistic pro-black cheerleading (Hudlin’s Black Panther). He had SO much potential, just a regular well-to-do assimilated black kid whose parents raised him in the suburbs among mostly white kids. He felt very real and was probably the most easy to relate to black character I had seen in a while.

So the black kid dies, not just any black kid but the best new black character I think I had ever read from the big 2 companies (excepting Milestone line), and what’s left. The really annoying and immature kids that I only was interested in because I wanted to see Alex mold them. Without him they just became really annoying to me.

It’s OK to not like that he died because you liked the character and didn’t like the rest of the cast, but bringing race into it seems pretty tacky.

Why is it tacky? I think T made some very good points. It’s not like there’s an abundance of good black characters, or ever of good non-white characters in general.

who the hell is Alex Wilder?

” So the black kid dies, not just any black kid but the best new black character I think I had ever read from the big 2 companies (excepting Milestone line), and what’s left. The really annoying and immature kids that I only was interested in because I wanted to see Alex mold them. Without him they just became really annoying to me. ”

In terms of minority representations, I don’t see how Alex’s death falls into the category of ” token gets arbitrarily whacked “. Alex was the leader of the group on the outside, and the criminal mastermind on the inside. He was playing the other kids the whole time, and when he died, it was not the death of a token sidekick, but of a major character and arch-villain whose influence would not be forgotten ( even in the second volume of the series, the kids are still haunted by how much Alex screwed with them, particularly his ex-girlfriend Nico ).

I’m usually not one to talk about ” transcending race ” in discussions of media representation, because 99 times out of 100 using ” colorblind ” arguments are just dodging the issue ( see: Stephen Colbert’s schtick, where his character refers to his inability to see race in the overblown sense of a congenital defect ). But I think that when a character gets enough depth, judging them as just a representation of their real-world group isn’t enough. I was pissed that Vaughan and Alphona dispatched Alex too, but that was because he was a great character. And yet, much of the reason why he was a great character is because he had the epic, martyr-like departure.

Plus, Runaways was an identity politics-friendly series from the start. In the original gang, we not only had Alex ( African-American ), but also Nico ( Japanese-American ), Karolina ( straight lesbian ), and Gert ( heavy-set, a group that apparently is still okay to mock ). And Alex was replaced by Victor ( Latino ), whose personality is similar to Alex in that he doesn’t behave like anything resembling an inner-city stereotype. Hell, in his early appearances, Victor complains that his classmates think of him as a narc…

see: Stephen Colbert’s schtick, where his character refers to his inability to see race in the overblown sense of a congenital defect

Good response, but as I will never watch Colbert ever as I find him to be an overrated hack to the worst degree, can you explain this shtick a little more. I assume it has to do with sarcasm as that is the only comedic tool in Colbert’s toolbox, but I don’t quite understand what you’re describing.

Sigh. As soon as I saw Nitz mention Colbert in an argument with T I knew the subject at hand (the part worth discussing) would go off the rails.
Nothing’s too important to keep T from jumping at the chance to go on about his antipathy toward Colbert, not even racism.

” Good response, but as I will never watch Colbert ever as I find him to be an overrated hack to the worst degree, can you explain this shtick a little more. I assume it has to do with sarcasm as that is the only comedic tool in Colbert’s toolbox, but I don’t quite understand what you’re describing. ”

Colbert’s persona almost always prefaces discussions of race with talking about how colorblind he is, saying things like ” I only know I’m white because I like Jimmy Buffet ” ( paraphrased ). And then he spouts his intentionally overblown satirical versions of neo-con pundit rants, such as calling Obama a secret Muslim.

I use Colbert as an example because he’s parodying the extremely surface form of ” sensitivity ” that passes for tolerance in too much of the country; his character may not see skin color, but since race is far more a social construct than a physical one, he’s still being a bigot.

What exactly is a “straight lesbian”?

Well. now we know a Runaway is coming back and one is dying, something tells me it’s either Karolina or Victor, then they’ll probably bring Gert back but I would love for it to be Alex, both were really interesting characters to develop and they decided to get rid of them…almost seems like a cop out.

With no intention of stepping on anyone’s toes, I think T raises a good point, but not about his allusions to race. Stereotypes and generalizations will always exist so long as people see differences in each other. If it’s not a dichotomy between white and black, it’s overweight and thin. Or short and tall. or blond vs. brunette. People are drawn to differences as a moth is drawn to flame. I would be lying if i didn’t say there was an element of social empowerment or a sense of self esteem when one group is portrayed as being better than another group. it is a sickness but one that most people (of all races) delve into greedily.

Which brings me back to what is resonant about T’s argument. Everyone wants to see a little bit of themselves in whatever they read. These are things that make comic books and novels and movies etc. so galvanizing. When you can see and relate to a character, when you can connect to a character’s tragedies, his flaws, his victories and his troubles, this is a well written and well developed character; at least in the eyes of the beholder. To say it plainly, the measure of quality or substance is subjective. And I personally believe this is a good thing. Each person finds a special connection to a character for their own personal reasons. Those reasons may be his/ her race. Or they may be the character’s moral drama. It could be any number of things, but nevertheless, there is that spark that ignites interest. So of course, there would be anger when that character is suddenly wiped out.

To add my own two cents to the topic; do I want Alex Wilder to come back? Of course. I liked the guy. Do I want them to bring him back tastefully? Of course. But realistically speaking? There have been enough character resurrections in the history of comic books that, let’s face it, no matter how creative you make it, it’s already been done. And no matter what, someone will always be dissappointed, no matter what decision the creative team makes. So, ruling out the possibility that anything completely original could take place, I stick to the basics: No matter what they decide, I hope they would remain true to the characters and address issues and situations in such a way that they continue to relate and connect to the readers; As long as they continue to deliver that spark that links the characters to the readers with such substance that they can relate to, than no matter what choice they make, I think it will be a good one.

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