7 Comic Characters Who Outlasted the Trends That Made Them
Some comic characters are timeless. Superman embodies dutiful citizenship, Spider-Man is about becoming an adult and Wonder Woman will always be a role model to girls interested in BDSM.
Other characters belong squarely to the moment of their creation. Scholars estimate a full third of punches during World War II were thrown by racist caricature sidekicks. And if anyone other than Jack Kirby had created The Forever People (don't look them up), their best story would have been the issue where Lyndon Johnson stomped those dirty hippies to death. Yet some characters survive the time-bomb on their relevance. What you are about to see are real panels not recreated by actors, though that would be hilarious.
While Don Rickles-Man appears wherever a racist joke needs telling.
Who they are: Luke Cage was an innocent prisoner who became Power Man in an invulnerability experiment meant to satisfy the nation's hunger for indestructible convicts. Iron Fist wasn't Marvel's first martial artist, but he was the only white one (sorry, Shang-Chi), which made him marketable despite his goofy clothes. It's called the Elvis Principle.
If you have to hire them, are they really heroes?
It would have been called the Pat Boone Principle, but Iron Fist gave due credit to the black man.
The only way to carry on was to team up on a buddy cops title, even though
Luke Cage asks Dr. Doom what a bitch sounds like.
Xanadu all up in this bi-wait, why is Cyclops blinded? All his eyes do is emit bright light.
Dazzler was usually too busy on tour to attend the X-Men's battles, and when she did, she wore roller skates to remind them they were wasting her time. She didn't suffer much prejudice, because nobody ever hated lithe blondes with the power to put on a great concert until Perez Hilton started his blog. Dazzler probably caught more scorn for moving into adult contemporary than being a mutant.
Except for the Ramones, who agreed to sniff glue and kick ass ... and they were all out of glue.
Expect to see Lady Gaga wearing this any day now.
And after him: that punk Mr. Rogers
Unlike everyone else on this list, he survived the trend by internalizing it. Marvel keeps Vietnam integral to his story, because hate prevents wrinkles. Comics Punisher is the victim of meaningless violence, and sees society as a lie built atop the truths of the jungle. He's a man in an unwinnable war against human nature. Movie Punisher, who sucks, is the target of a mob hit for being such a swell cop, while being hunted by the law for wasting the time of three great action stars.
And, frankly, looking better
Who he is: Guy Gardner was a throwaway Green Lantern character who woke up one day with a macho new personality that parodied Reaganism. DC's writers had artist Howard Chaykin design a fascist version of the Green Lantern uniform, complete with crew cut and jack boots.
Fascism: It's what's for dinner.
Chaykin was apparently the go-to guy for that sort of thing.
Still Gardner stuck around, punching anyone who tried to drag him off-page. Those of you who saw the film
And shoulder pads. But again, it was the '90s
That villain is about three seconds away from defeating himself.
Of all thou wrought in hard-spun tragedies; Thy hairline was the dourest one of these.
Who she is: Blondie is a really, really old comic. Like, older than every Constitutional Amendment since women got the right to vote. The flapper named Blondie Boopadoop was a lead character in a time when feminism was not arresting women for showing bare shoulders. What spawned her: The comedic notion that a sweet girl could ever marry bourgeois capitalist pig Dagwood Bumstead. The gags derived from Mother Bumstead's
GILF. The sooner we all admit it the easier this will be.
Brendan survived in comics long enough to write a prose book instead.