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Sunday November 9, 2008 3:09 pm

Interesting Villians Help Make Interesting Heroes

WAR

I just noticed in the latest issue of Wizard magazine that War Machine will be getting his own on-going series.  It will be written by Greg Pak who has done some amazing things on the Hulk recently.  Cool.  I wonder how long this series will last.

I say this because if you are a long-time comic book fan as I am, you know that when a supporting character gets their own on-going series, very rarely do these books last more than a year or two.  Some break the trend and do last awhile, but many last twelve issues or so and then get canceled.  Some characters don’t even deserve their own series and get canceled because nobody cares.  Marvel Comics’ Quicksilver had his own series in the ‘90s.  Why ask you?!?  Why?!?

I think a major reason why supporting characters don’t last in their own series is because the powers that be (writers/editor-in-chief/editors) don’t take the time to really develop interesting antagonists for these characters. 

Read More | Wizard Magazine

Three long standing super heroes: Batman, Flash, and Spider-Man are great examples of characters who have done well over the years because of the villians they face.  Some of these villians have become so popular they’ve even been spun-off into their own solo series at one time or another. 

If you create an interesting villian, people look forward to those match-ups and what that particular villian may do to the hero and how he or she deals with that.  It’s drama; it’s conflict.  Look at when the Reverese Flash Professor Zoom killed Iris West.  Barry Allen aka the Flash killed him.  If the villian was a D-list character, I don’t think it would have had the same impact.

I’m sure Marvel is spinning War Machine off into his own series because of the Iron Man film and its upcoming sequels.  Another reason is that Marvel has always wanted to push their minority characters into the forefront.  If Marvel wants War Machine or any other supporting character who gets his/her own on-going series to last, they really need to come up with some good villians.  They also need to paint War Machine his own little corner of the Marvel Universe separate from Iron Man.  DC did a good job of that with the “Nightwing” on-going series.  Chuck Dixon created the city of Bludhaven so as to take Nightwing out of the shadow of Batman and Gotham City.  I don’t think they did a good job of developing a rogues gallery for him.  Dick doesn’t really have a Joker of his own.  Two-Face is a Batman villian and Deathstroke is more of a Teen Titans villian.

So if I were Greg Pak, I would sit down with my editors and really try to map out where we can go with this character.  Call up Joe Quesada see what he can think up.  If you just have War Machine fighting the Mandarin, Hydra, or some iron clad villian, you might as well be writing Iron Man. 

Good luck to Pak and good luck to War Machine.  In stores December 17th.

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