Friday, August 23, 2019

Another conclusion

It's been a few years since I decided to resume using this blog again, though on a less frequent basis than I had originally, and I think the time has come to call it a day again.

I should note that, as of this writing, Dan DiDio has struck again over at DC (along with figurehead EIC Bob Harras), with another reprehensible miniseries called Heroes in Crisis, where the victim this time was Wally West, turned into an "accidental" murderer of a number of other characters, all for the sake of more drawn out storylines and publicity stunts. And even under current Marvel EIC C.B. Cebulski (and lest we forget, Joe Quesada's still in charge), similar stunts have continued, with the replacement of Valkyrie by Jane Foster one of the most recent examples. And judging from sales receipts, it looks like these PC stunts have finally taken their toll, with pamphlet and trade sales plunging, and stores even closing down.

It's all the fault of these higher echelons who've gone out of their way to spite their fanbases, and for all we know, both of the Big Two may eventually be closing their publishing doors, unless they're licensed out to 3rd parties who could have a better idea how to write stories, and stand continuity erect again while jettisoning the worst stories of the past 20 years or so. Better yet would be if the Big Two were sold off to smaller businesses minus the merchandising rights for films, toys and games, which, IMO, can remain with Disney and Time Warner.

For now, you could reasonably wonder if it's for the best if the Big Two close down. And maybe that'd be a good thing, since it would prevent further pointless abuse of their properties.

Some of the sexism that was prevalent in the 2000s storytelling may have stopped, but there's still more going in other ways, including how uglified the artwork's become in mainstream superhero comics, especially at Marvel during Axel Alonso's tenure as EIC. Carol Danvers was a particularly notable victim of this when she was shoved into the role of Captain Marvel. With that kind of approach, flaccid storytelling and even Mary Sue-ish writing, it's no shock the several different volumes of that solo book would collapse so badly.

And that's why, let me be clear, if the Big Two finally collapse, it'll probably be for the best. The way they're being run now is an utter disaster, and it would actually help if they ceased production of new stories. The people in charge not only refuse to take responsibility, resign and allow somebody not part of nepotism to take over their position, they even openly signal their contempt for core audiences. That's no way to run a business, period. So again, if the Big Two are on the way out, there's no need to feel too sorry about it.

And with that, I once again conclude the use of this blog.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Profile: Mariko Yashida

Mariko Yashida

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #118, 1979

History: the first notable lover of Wolverine, she was the daughter of Shingen Yashida, the half-sister of the Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada, and the cousin of Sunfire. The two of them met when the X-Men traveled to Japan to stop the terrorist Moses Magnum from menacing the country. They were engaged to be married, but because of the usual complications seen in superhero adventures, it never went through.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in the years following hers and Logan's failed plans for marriage, she was poisoned with a toxin-laced blowfish by a hitman named Reiko, who was working for mobster Matsuo Tsurayaba, a rival of her family's, in Wolverine #57, July 1992. She wanted to avoid a painful death, and convinced Wolverine to finish her off faster, which he did, while swearing to take revenge on Tsurayaba.

What's wrong with how this was done? Fortunately, very little. It was a tastefully and plausibly handled passing of a character, at a time when Marvel writing was still coherent enough. And one of the better stories of its kind set in the Asian/far-eastern world.

It's still a pity though, that Wolverine couldn't be allowed the benefits of a better life, along with a lady like Mariko.