Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Can Always Get Worse...

I heard a rumor once that Max Lord wasn't the only possible choice for Countdown's villain. There were other options for being the guy who put a bullet in poor Ted's head.

And one of them, according to this rumor, was Snapper Carr.

Which is mind-boggling and oddly awesome. Max as a choice kind of made sense. He was always a little shifty or off-balance. I'm sorry to see a lot of his human development seeming to be discarded, but I also think it's not implausible that given the events in his life, like the cyborg stuff, for example, couldn't have driven him over the edge. It was a bit of a stretch, but reasonably plausible in the end...

Snapper Carr, especially as he's developed in Hourman or Young Justice, makes much less sense in that capacity. Sure he turned on the JLA once, but as it's portrayed in Hourman at least, it was accidental and he was haunted by grief. And he's always been relatively sane in his adult portrayals.

So yeah, between them Max is really the better option, especially as he's got the personal history with Ted. But how awesome would Snapper Carr as the Black King of Checkmate have been?

Especially as, when he shoots Ted, he'd be wearing a fanboy t-shirt!

I mean the possibilities are endless: The OMAC eye shirt from Young Justice, the Booster Gold shirt from his intro in Hourman...

A stylized beetle?!

It could have been priceless!


  • At April 24, 2006 5:05 PM, Blogger Marc Burkhardt said…

    I would have loved to see Snapper "snap." The guy's had enough trauma in his life - like losing his hands - to go over the edge. I would have bought an off-panel turn to evil more readily than Max Lord's, if only to keep the Superbuddies in continuity.

    Another good candidate: Morgan Edge, although I really don't know much about him Post-Crisis.

  • At April 24, 2006 6:22 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I can see what you're saying, except that I really thought Hourman went a long way with dealing with Snapper's issues in a way that, rare for comics, actually brought real emotional resolution. It would have felt cheap to ruin that. He's actually, for me, the last character now I could see ever "snapping", as almost no other character has really had that level of cathartic dealing-with-it. That was a good series.

    But the shirts would have been funny.

    I loved Superbuddies as a fun romp but it was never going to really fit in continuity. Guy Gardner alone had way way too many problems to ever fit. But that's part of the fun, not being continuity isn't necessarily a bad thing sometimes. :-) This way they can write more if they ever feel like it without worrying about accomodating who has died or what's going on in actual continuity for the more active characters (namely Guy, Mary, or Captain Atom).

    Hmm, honestly, I have no idea who that is. I'm gonna have to look him up. (I'm shaky with pre-crisis continuity except for particular things like Green Lantern or Golden Age Sandman :-) I'll have to look him up.)

  • At April 24, 2006 8:27 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    I think Morgan Edge was prominent in Superman comics in the '90s(?).

    He was found to be the leader of intergang. That's all I remember from the one Superman comic I had from the '90s.

  • At April 24, 2006 8:31 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Ooo, that sounds interesting, thanks Calvin!

  • At April 24, 2006 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hell, infuse the shirts with Amazo technology, so his fanboy shirts actually grant him the powers of the character featured. It's just stupid enough to work!

    Magic shirts aside, I could actually see Dark Snapper working better than Max Lord did. Make him a Syndrome-type disillusioned fan, and let him spout the "You've stopped being heroes" lines that sounded so uncharacteristically whiny coming from the mouth of Golden Age Superman. It has possibilities.

  • At April 24, 2006 8:41 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Aww, the t-shirts are cool enough as they are. I still want the old-school Nightwing one. :-)

  • At April 24, 2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmm, does Snapper Carr still have his teleportation powers from the Invasion? That could make him a formidable villain.

  • At April 24, 2006 9:10 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Nope, at least according to Hourman, he ended up getting his hands cut off when captured, then Brainiac grew him a new pair. The teleportation power never came back though.

    Hourman was a damn good series. <3

  • At April 24, 2006 11:04 PM, Blogger Sleestak said…

    i was sure it was Alfred. How else would so many people get access to Batman's secret files? I figured ex-spy Alfred manipulated a damaged child into being Batman for his own reasons.

  • At April 25, 2006 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    From what I've heard, the original choice was Mr. Jupiter, the original mentor of the Teen Titans. But they thought he was too obscure, so brought in Max.

    ...yes, because you just had to ruin a *good* character. *mutter* *grumble*

  • At April 25, 2006 2:14 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Sleestak: Heh.

    Ununnilium: Honestly, though, Max was sometimes. (For some reason, a lot of JLI fans hate hearing people say that, but in the first issue he pretty much manipulates a badguy's suicide...the potential for twistiness is there.) It *is* a shame to have lost all of his character development though, he wouldn't have lost as much as say Snapper, whose breakthrough in Hourman 16 was pretty damn powerful in a way that none of Max's storylines had equalled.

    Thing is though, Mr. Jupiter wouldn't have been a good choice writing wise, because well, honestly, most of us younger fans *wouldn't* remember him unless we were really big about collecting back-issues. As vocal and valuable as the older fans are, the target audience is going to be my generation, who'll have quite a few more decades to blow their cash on it. And I was *two* when CoIE came out. Jupiter would have needed quite a bit more of a post-Crisis push to be viable, I think.

    Besides, if Ted Kord remained the main protagonist/victim of Countdown, there's no way Jupiter would have been as impactful a choice as an old colleague/friend. To use Jupiter would have required an ex-Titan (Roy maybe?) as a protagonist/victim. And it sounds like Ted's death was in the works for a while.

    That said, I do understand and sympathize with the frustration, I liked Max too. I'd like to think this version was a deranged clone and the cyborg version is still out there somewhere and sane to someday be brought back. :-)

    I'm good at denial.

  • At April 25, 2006 5:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, but... Well, two things.

    First, Max has definitely had a history of being amoral. The problem is, he had an extended redemption arc, and no indications before Countdown itself that he was slipping away from that. Certainly he could have gone back to the dark side, but they did absolutely nothing to make it believable. Why use an established character if you're going to ignore established characterization?

    Which leads me to my second point: There really wasn't much done to justify using an established character in that place. Booster and the other JLEers never really got a confrontation with Max (not that I read, anyway - skipped OMAC Project, but heck, the climax of Max's storyline was in the Sacrifice arc, way over in another title altogether.)

  • At April 25, 2006 5:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...oh, and what I forgot to say: Yeah, Snapper would've been a much worse choice. Like I said, I can at least see Max going that way, if someone actually put it in a storyline. Snapper, not at all, and it would just have come off as turning a character evil for the sake of shocking the readers.

    (As this did, really, but even moreso.)

    Also: You rock. >>v

  • At April 25, 2006 5:17 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yeah, actually, I agree with you. *Especially* with regards to the lack of confrontation between Booster/the JLI/E/A/alphabet soup members and Max. It's one of the things I bitched about regarding OMAC project. I might have liked Sasha if I didn't think she overpowered a much more interesting storyline.

    And yeah, ignoring established characterization annoys the *hell* out of me. It's not like severe personality changes can't be justified built up over time (Guy for example has traversed the spectrum from sweet victim to insane villain to brain damaged rival/anti hero, to hero, but it made *sense*). An actual Max-falling-to-the-darkside arc could have kicked ass, but they went for shock value instead, which sucks.

    And thank you! You rock too! Even if I don't know how to pronounce your name. :-)

    (And to quote Kyle, "Thank you very much, rocking is what I was shooting for." :-))

  • At April 25, 2006 6:29 AM, Blogger Marc Burkhardt said…

    Morgan Edge also existed pre-Crisis. In the early '70s - gad, I'm dating myself - he was a minion of Darkseid who ran Intergang (as seen in Jack Kirby's wonderfully bizarre Jimmy Olsen series.) Edge was also the guy who made Clark a TV anchorperson!!

    (The evil Edge may have been a clone, too, but let's not go there...)

    The problem with using him is no connection to the doomed Ted Kord. (Who was never a joke in the Charlton Ditko years - as I date myself once more *sigh*)

  • At April 25, 2006 6:34 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ooo, sounds like an interesting guy. I tend to miss a lot of cool stuff being relatively new to comics as I am. :-)

  • At April 25, 2006 9:45 AM, Blogger Hate Filled Poster said…

    You could have had a "silent panel" of him shooting Ted. Just "bang!"..."snap, snap".

  • At April 25, 2006 10:19 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heheh. In a special beetle t-shirt. *snap snap*

  • At April 26, 2006 12:06 AM, Blogger Richard said…

    "I tend to miss a lot of cool stuff being relatively new to comics as I am."

    All I can say is, you cover it well -- I mean, I've been a fan of Simon and Kirby for over thirty years, yet in the previous post you spotted something crucial about Sandy Hawkins I never noticed before. I shudder to think how formidable you'd be with a more thorough education in comics history... ;-)

  • At April 26, 2006 12:23 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Ph33r my mad comic research skillz!

    Nah, it's just that when I like particular characters I then use my marvelous powers of borderline obsessive compulsion to hunt down anything I can find with them and dissect them. :-)

    I have no real attention span, it just so happens that the shiny things I like best are characters. :-)

  • At April 26, 2006 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm pretty new to comics too, but reading the old JLI stuff (admittedly I haven't read all of it, so I'm proably off-base in places) Max always came off as a sleazeball; a guy who was definitely out for his own gain, would manipulate others as he needed, and wouldn't mind at all if his enemies met with some mysterious, bullet-related accident, but out-and-out EVOL Max just confused me. He's too classy for that 'Mwa-ha-ha, the (metahuman-less) world is MINE!' schtick. And he was a guy primarily concerned with himself--he wouldn't sacrifice his own life for an ideal he wouldn't be around to gloat about (unless somebody put stupid juice in everybody's coffee that day and he thought it was a bangin' idea to put Wonder Woman in between a rock and a hard place).

    I've actually heard that they are counting the Superbuddies in continuity...ah, here we go.

  • At April 26, 2006 9:53 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *nod* Well, considering that Parallax ate the yellow ring before Ice died and Guy doesn't actually have a degree in law, and Didio said most recently in one of the Crisis Counselling that Gladys went away in one of Superboy punches.

    Rebirth pretty much re-retconned out all of the ICBiNtJL part. Zero Hour (when Guy became Warrior) predated the formation of the JSA, and Guy's still Warrior in Rebirth, which goes straight into Recharge essentially. And considering how Johns is pretty much the head guy when it comes to the Crisis...

    I'm thinking the Superbuddies thing completely disappeared with one of Superboy's punches. (I'm thinking when they declared that it *was* canon, they either had only read Formerly Known As, which works in any era, or just changed their minds, because it's pretty much all retconned out now).

    Though the toonverse comics actually plays with the Superbuddies stuff a little, that might mean the Superbuddies story could be canon there. Now though, I think it's pretty much an Elseworld.

    I admit, I can't really say I'm sorry. Superbuddes was a fun romp but vastly out of character for a number of reasons. Like the rampant mocking of Booster Gold which was getting pretty crazy near the end. Not to mention, the stuff that *I* really liked, (being a Gardner-fangirl)...the Guy-Ice closure, and the Guy-Fire reconciliation were really handled much better and more adroitly in Warrior. And as Rebirth is *undoubtedly* canon, it looks like Johns/Didio/DC are going with a straight on continuation as well.

    It's like Emerald Dawn/II really, a neat idea that worked initially as canon, but ultimately abandoned via Superboy punching shit, probably for the best.

    At least this way we don't have to cringe, reading Ralph cooing over Sue's Not-Maybe-Pregnancy. We can imagine that in *this* continuity, they actually end up living happily. And that Max won't shoot Ted in the head. And that's much much better.

  • At April 26, 2006 10:04 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Though I must a Guy fangirl, I love that he's basically the lynchpin now on whether something's continuity or not.

    He's actually *important* enough to be the lynchpin again! (For once! Yay, GLC!) To be fair though, he's really the only JLI-er that always had something else going on at the same time (GL and his own series).

    But still, hee, my favorite's important enough to track continuity, YAY!

    As for Max, yeah, the outright evil thing is perplexing, but I'm still not writing off the crazy clone explanation. It's been done before and works so well.

  • At April 28, 2006 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Given how mindlessly random the Max-as-villain plot point was anyway, I say Snapper Carr would've definitely worked better. Hell, go all the way and put Woozy Winks behind the trigger! Together with the tyrannical Bat-Mite, there's no telling what the evil Black Winks of Checkmate and his Secret Society of Supporting Characters have planned for world domination!

    Superbuddies will always count as "continuity" to me. Nothing in comics lasts forever; it's just a matter of finding a plausible excuse to reverse what the last editor decided to do. Given that the bar for plausibility has been lowered to "Superboy punched through time," I don't expect any "sweeping changes" to really last any longer than it takes for Dan Didio to go to the bathroom. Given that, it's up to us to pick and choose what stories work and which ones don't.

  • At April 28, 2006 4:52 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Fair enough. :-)

  • At April 29, 2006 8:18 PM, Blogger GamerGuy said…

    I've not seen hide nor hair out of Snapper Carr since Invasion. What ever happened to him and where has he appeared. Was there an Hourman series? People are talking like there was...


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