Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reaction to 52 #34 (contains spoilers)

Okay, today there is no blog post. None. Zip. Nil. Nada.

I was going to type one, but I stumbled across a livejournal reaction to what happened with Osiris in #52 which can be paraphrased as "It's what happened with Max Lord all over again."

This naturally caused every logic-comprehending cell in my brain to overload in a simultaneous conbustion that amounted to a supernova in my cerebrum.

I like Osiris. I like him a lot. But dude...NOT THE SAME.

(The following contains spoilers!)


1. Max Lord was a pre-established character. Osiris is a newbie. This is notable because while what happened to Max could debatably be categorized as "character assassination", we haven't had enough time to really get to know what kind of character Osiris IS.

2. Max Lord was portrayed as conscience-less and immoral before getting the old snapola. Osiris is a kid who went a little too far defending his sister.

3. Max Lord, while occasionally morally ambiguous, has shown enough of a difference in personality to make the change...startling, to say the least. Osiris has, thus far, been portrayed as an exciteable teenager very attached to his sister and not used to his powers.

4. Max Lord wasn't portrayed as redeemable. Osiris, very clearly, seems to be. It was, for all intents and purposes, an accident.

5. Max Lord was the mastermind of his own downfall. While 52 clearly indicates someone else orchestrating events. Thus Osiris is more of a victim than anything else.

6. Max Lord's evil revelation occurred at the end of Countdown. We've still got a good 16 issues to go for 52. That's more than enough time to make reparations. (He's still gotta be a Titan after all.)

Honestly, I think what happened in 52 should have very interesting consequences and could very well be ultimately a GOOD thing for the Osiris character. The Black Marvel Family hasn't particularly been known for their restraint. Osiris however has just slammed headfirst into the need for it. He seems like a good kid, really, and as we have reason to believe he doesn't just quit being a hero, he's clearly going to learn from this situation.

Besides, considering teenage impulsiveness combined with superpowers, I'm surprised this sort of thing hasn't happened more often.

It's actually really promising too. Osiris as he was before could never truly be more than an enthusiastic anti-hero type in the vein of Adam himself. A largely moral character but not one that follows conventional heroic mores and is willing to occasionally step over the line as needed. The trauma from this experience could set Osiris up as a truly heroic character though. One who understands that the ends NEVER justify the means.

Besides, if any comparison is valid, it isn't to Max Lord. It's to Superboy Prime. Both were portrayed as largely innocent kids before getting caught up in the heat of battle, underestimating their own power with tragic consequences.

The contrast is what's key though. Superboy Prime's first kill was accidental but he didn't stop. He kept killing and maiming and blaming everyone else for his failure. Osiris, on the other hand, made a tragic mistake and STOPPED. He's clearly horrified by what happened. He's not trying to blame someone else.

I think this was a necessary point in the poor kid's evolution. And it's the first time I've ever had an inkling of hope that the character might be allowed to survive and remain active after 52. I found him amusing before hand, but this is the very first time I've truly found him intriguing. He's finally being tested.

I want the next issue of 52. I want it NOW. I want to see the fall-out from this. I want to see what he does next. Besides. He has a crocodile. And that's just cool!

(Besides. Anyone who didn't see some sort of fall headed for a character named Osiris really ought to have their heads examined. Just sayin'. :-))


  • At January 02, 2007 11:23 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    You're right you know. If there is a villain to this piece, it is Amanda Waller.

  • At January 02, 2007 11:28 AM, Blogger ticknart said…

    "I want to see the fall-out from this."

    Shouldn't that be for what Lex Luthor did?

  • At January 02, 2007 11:29 AM, Blogger R.Nav said…

    I really, really like Osiris & Sobek. They're the characters I'm cheering for as they currently have really big bullseyes on their heads. I like him because of his enthusiasm and to temper that with a bit of trama can be a really good thing.... if they don't kill him and Isis off.

    I think they're to be dead. After all, OYL no one except for Billy and Freddy are harnessing the power of SHAZAM.

    I'd like to see Osiris (and Sobek) as members of the Teen Titans book. And Isis? She needs to get out and see the world! I currently don't see her as more than a supporting character, and a bit more world experience could really change that and would be much more interesting to me than making her yet another super hero(villain)'s dead wife.

  • At January 02, 2007 11:44 AM, Blogger Denyer said…

    This is one of the things I dislike about the DC universe.

    If someone's trying to kill you and your family, it's reasonable to shoot them.

    Likewise, WW in Infinite Crisis? Eminently reasonable.

  • At January 02, 2007 12:14 PM, Anonymous Loren said…

    This was pretty good for not being a blog entry. ;)

    Actually very well reasoned and thought out for an overloaded brain. I wish my brain could work like that.

    What was the livejournal link? I'd love to read it.

  • At January 02, 2007 1:18 PM, Blogger Filby said…

    I liked last week's issue very much and thought that scene was very well-written.

    One thing that really jumped out at me was Adam's reaction. If this were seven months ago, Adam would have sworn to find out who set them up and tear them to ribbons. But instead, he turns the other cheek. It's really indicative of his growth as a character.

    Also, I'm not so sure I trust Sobek. The way he looked at the Black Marvels after they de-powered looked almost... hungry. And you know what they say about crocodile tears...

  • At January 02, 2007 2:23 PM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    You know what's funny?

    This would be a much better setup for Marvel's Civil War than the Stamford thing.

    One young hero goes too far once and it makes it onto live TV. Fabian Nicieza (?) did a great job a while back in New Warriors of Marvel Boy going to prison for killing his father. His father was abusive and an all around scumbag. MB was getting the tar beat out of him when he lashes out once and ends his father's life by accident. He went to prison for it.

    The media in the Marvel U spun it as "Mutant murders human in cold blood!"

    If it'd been played differently, like if one of the Young Avengers gets caught on camera accidentally killing a human with a gun or something, I think that the outcry and fear would be even more palpable.

    Anyway, I'm fanfictioning here. You're 100% right on the issue and that was a twist I wasn't expecting. Osiris is kind of the Mary Marvel of the Black Marvel Family. I thought the aftermath, with the brother and sister hugging, was one of the best parts of the book, topped only by Luthor's extreme selfishness at the end.

  • At January 02, 2007 5:18 PM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    I think the situation with Osiris is alot more similar to Superboy Prime in Infinite Crisis. As you recall, Superboy Prime was all for being a true-blue hero and doing the right thing, then inadvertently ripped a character to shreds during a temper tantrum. It seems to me like DC's just replaying that same Superboy scenario with Osiris.

    In the case of Wonder Woman killing Max Lord, it was done with her full intent to kill him and end his threat. In the case of both Superboy Prime and Osiris, the grisly deaths were a result from accidental. inexperienced application of too much power

  • At January 02, 2007 5:28 PM, Blogger YoungAf said…

    I felt sorry for him

    I hope he doesnt end up going psycho like Superboy Prime but it just feels like he'll be dead or a villain at the end

    I don't think he'll be able to handle the public response too good

  • At January 02, 2007 7:34 PM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    It seems to me like DC's just replaying that same Superboy scenario with Osiris.

    Possible, but I'm not so sure. Superboy flips out in anger, kills someone, and then maims/kills a bunch more people. Osiris panics at seeing his only sister in danger, tries to protect her, overcorrects, and slaughters a bad guy. The very next thing he does is show remorse and fear.

    One event shows a character to be a spoiled child. The other shows the character to be a child who genuinely feels bad about what he did.

    The SBP scene, for me at least, was kind of blah. A bunch of people I'd never heard of getting killed because a couple of jerks wanted their "own earth" back. Osiris's scene hurt because he has never been shown as wanting to do anything but the right thing, but politics and circumstances forced him into doing the wrong thing.

  • At January 02, 2007 9:45 PM, Blogger lostinube said…

    Initially I thought the same with the Emo-Boy Prime/Osiris comparison. But the build-up is different. SBP was already on the way to snapping because Alex was pushing him in that way. Until now Osiris was..well, he was Black Adam's Freddy Freeman. I haven't been paying much attention but have any of the Adam Family shown up OYL? I think they would be great characters to use in stories not focused on the U.S.

  • At January 02, 2007 10:05 PM, Anonymous jlg said…

    Not to mention SBP killed heroes, while the Persuader was very clearly a villain set to deliver a killing blow to Isis. Pantha just called SBP a stupid kid.

    It makes me think we'll be seeing Red Star support Osiris (understanding what was at stake).

  • At January 02, 2007 10:33 PM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    Well, just for clarification, I wasn't implying that Osiris' situation exactly mirrored Superboy Prime's. I was just pointing out that Osiris seemed to have more in common with Superboy Prime than the Max Lord comparison did. Two naive young heroes trying to do the right thing, but accidentally kill someone. From there the stories diverge, but that initial "first kill" is somewhat similar.

    I have a similar "bad feeling" about Osiris, though. He'll either flip out and get killed, or just get killed by...whatever is heading toward Earth at the moment.

  • At January 03, 2007 5:08 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    msallyp: Yep.

    ticknart: I know Luthor will get comeuppance. I'm more interested in the personal consequences for Osiris.

    r.nav: I think it's important to remember that none of the major characters in 52 are supposed to show up OYL until the comic ends. The Black Marvel family is definitely important.

    Not saying that Osiris may not have an unfortunate fate, but I think it's a bit soon to say. Especially given Freddy's own main character status...Osiris could make an interesting ally or enemy given their parallels.

    denyer: I don't disagree. But I also think that killing should be treated with some gravity. I like this though, as Osiris seems to be genuinely shaken. It should be a learning experience, imo.

    loren: Thanks. The link to the comment is here. It's a one-shot comment, but it got my goat. :-)

    filby: That's true! I really liked Adam's development as well.

    Sobek IS a crocodile!

    david: That would be a pretty interesting cause. And maybe with something like THAT at the base, it'd seem less likely that Tony Stark is losing his freaking mind. :-)

    mark: I think the parallels to Superboy's situation are intentional. Osiris though I hope will end up growing from it.

    I still think he may come out of 52 okay. Now ISIS, I think is earmarked for death. But they probably won't kill both.

    We wouldn't see them OYL until the end of 52 even if they live though.

    youngaf: Oddly, this made me more confident that he will last. Unlike Isis, he gets a point of genuine growth-potential. (I like her, but she's very static). I think he's got a shot.

    david: Agreed. Paralleling scenes but very different meaning, I think.

    lostinube: I believe the editorial folks said none of the central 52 characters will show in OYL until after it's completed so as not to spoil. I would love to see them remain on an international scale. We need more non-American heroes.

    jlg: I'd like to see something between Red Star and Osiris. It'd be interesting.

  • At January 04, 2007 10:17 AM, Anonymous Matthew said…

    JLG: You expect they remember Red Star at all.

  • At January 04, 2007 7:15 PM, Anonymous jlg said…

    They did show Red Star at the Titans Membership Drive looking sadly up at the Superboy statue. Considering how good 52 has been to Ralph Dibny, Red Star has to get some coverage as his wife's been murdered too.

  • At January 05, 2007 3:51 AM, Blogger Ununnilium said…

    Yeah, that's silly, especially because we haven't seen where Osiris is going with this; one mistake does not a supervillain make.

    "After all, OYL no one except for Billy and Freddy are harnessing the power of SHAZAM."

    Actually, they mentioned specifically in the first issue of Trials of Shazam that the "pure-hearted" Marvels are cut off; I read that as the Black Marvel Family keeping their powers.


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